One reason why spinach is AWESOME

In the midst of all the knitting, singing, and preparing for Christmas, I had a cooking (is making a dip cooking??) project: this week it was the Quintet’s turn to provide tasty treats for our after-service wine and cheese shindig. Yay!! We always have fun bringing tasty snacks for everyone to eat 😀

Now, before all you spinach-haters go “Why did you do something with spinach?????” I have to let you know – spinach, it is awesome. It Is super-tasty AND highly nutritious! Both things make my taste buds (and thighs) happy. I know spinach can be a contentious issue, so I just want you to know, Dear Internet, that you’d be crazy to hate spinach. That is all.

Now to my spinach dip!! Ok, so you should know that as much as I lurve the spinach, I usually quite dislike the usual spinach dips you find. You know, the ones that are mostly mayonnaise and effing water chestnuts?? (just so you know, I think water chestnuts are among the most disgusting food items you could stick in your mouth and chew on. . . But I digress) They’re heavy, rich, bland, and above all boring. Also, in about 90% of the recipes I looked at when planning my version, the flavouring consisted of powdered onion or leek soup mix. Powdered. Soup. Mix.

Blech 😛

Now. Back when spinach dip became popular, in the 70s?? maybe??, I’m thinking that these soup mixes might have actually been made of food, originally, before the powdering process. Have you tried one of these things lately??? Cause they gross now. Maybe they always were, don’t really know. It’s nothing but chemically saltiness now. And two things I dislike in my foodstuffs are chemicalliness and saltiness. Just saying. . . So it wasn’t until I found this recipe that I was actually inspired and started really thinking about what I’d like to do for my version.

I don’t mind creaminess, in fact it can be amazing, but it needs a balance. For me, food can’t just be creamy, I like some flavour in there too. So aside from creaminess and spinach, what makes a good spinach dip, you ask? Well, there’s a reason they tell you to use those onion soup mixes, you know. So, Wednesday afternoon after I got home from work, I whipped up a batch of some of the tastiest spinach dip I’ve had in ages. And everyone told me how tasty they thought it was, so I think that’s a success for Katie’s mad culinary skillz. Also, I have no photo of this tasty dip, cause it got all eated up, and I didn’t think to snap a few pics while putting it together. Sad face.

So here’s the first recipe I made up to go up here. So excite!!

Katie’s Tasty Tasty Spinach Dip

ingredients
2 packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed, excess water removed (squeeze the spinach in a towel over your sink after it’s been thawed!!)
1 medium avocado, peel and seed removed
1/2 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 or 5 green onions, whites and greens, chopped as finely as you desire
1 clove garlic, minced as finely as possible
3/4 cup light sour cream
3/4 cup Greek-style plain yoghurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise (olive oil mayo works nicely here)
1 package light cream cheese, softened (don’t get the fat free stuff, cause it’s just gross)
Spices and seasoning to taste: Cayenne, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder. Don’t be stingy here – this dip can deal with a LOT of flavour. Start with small amounts and build them up until you have a good balance.
1 large round loaf of either pumpernickel or sour dough, hollowed out into a bowl and the insides cubed
A variety of fresh veggies, for dipping

procedure
Get a nice big bowl and dump your chickpeas and avocado in it. Get a potato masher or fork and go to town until you have a fairly smooth paste. Don’t worry if you think the colour is funny, this gets hidden forthwith. A splash of lemon or lime juice now would work really nicely as well as reduce browning, if you care about that a lot. Next, break up the cream cheese into the bowl and mix it in thoroughly. The mashers does this quite well. If you like a thinner dip, feel free to add only half the package. Add the yoghurt, cream cheese, and mayo and mix all that in. Next go in the onion and garlic and mix this all in well. Add the first wave of spices, and taste how things are going. Adjust balance to your tastes. Now add the spinach and mix it all together. Taste again and add spices until you get a good balance of flavours. I added probably (at least) 2 teaspoons of cayenne (because I wasn’t sure of everyone’s spice tolerances, feel free to add as much as you like!), 3 of the smoked paprika, 2 each of cumin and coriander, and 1-2 of garlic powder. I forget how much freshly cracked black pepper I put in, probably at least a teaspoon.

An now you have a tasty spinach dip to share!!

I hope you enjoy my tasty spinach dip, Dear Internet!!

I hate you, Internet Explorer

I was totally in the middle of writing you an awesome post on my tasty spinach dip, Dear Internet, when my internet totally crapped out on me here.

Ok, I should be working, but still.

So now I’m in a bad mood and you’re going to have to wait for the recipe. . .

Blarg.

Also, the photo uploader went kablooie. The bastard. I was going to show you a picture of a cute puppy. . .

Knitpocalypse

Sooooooooo. . . First off, don’t blame me for the lateness of this blog post, as I did warn you! I’m so busy right now that 6 hours of sleep at a time is an amazing luxury . . . And I still have 8 knitting projects and one embroidery project for Christmas presents, as well as the boatloads of cookies I’m going to be baking next week. And the decorating, and the parties, and the singing, and the sing-along messiah, a crazy-packed weekend coming up, and the fact that I’m going to be at work until next Wednesday. AND ANOTHER DOCTOR WHO MARATHON!!!!!!! Not that I’m excited or anything. . . Though, I finished and packed all my presents bound for Calgary (for the boyfriend’s family) yesterday – just in time to ship them off on the last day that Canada Post will guarantee arrival by Christmas. And I didn’t even have to wait in line! It was surreal.

I just had a full day of software training at work today (so. bored.), and I’m running off to see my fearless leader for our present exchange dinner (at Elle M’a Dit – Alsatian cuisine!!). And I also have a treat to make for the post-service wine and cheese tomorrow. That I’d forgotten about until yesterday. Oops. . . I’m soooooo busy!!

So I can’t go swimming until Thursday, mope. Since a bout with the flu a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been pretty terrible about regular workouts. Though, that’s offset by the roughly 5 pounds I lost because of the flu. Which I somehow haven’t gained right back. . .

In the YAY column of life – my concert this past weekend went amazingly well!! Though, coming off the major adrenalin surge I got from that isn’t fun. Headaches and exhaustion and lethargy, oh my! Also awesome are
The sunrises recently – they’ve been so spectacular I haven’t been able to resent being up early enough to see them. Wish I had photos to share, but I was so awestruck I missed my photo opportunity window two days running. . . I do have a couple photos of the spectacular moon the last couple of days though:

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Maybe it’s the excess X-mas spirit I’ve gotten from singing a concert of Christmas carols (and Britten’s Ceremony of Carols!!!), maybe it’s hormones, maybe it’s finding someone whose awesome nerdiness rivals even my own, but damn but have I been feeling chipper. Exhausted and chipper, weird combination. Maybe it’s the fact that for the first time in two years I’ve been able to be genuinely happy without stress or excessive pressure on my shoulders. Maybe this is what real happiness feels like. Though, it’d be sad if I can’t recognize pure, unadulterated happiness, wouldn’t it?

Screw it, no introspection for me today. Life is good! It probably won’t stay that way for long, but dammit I’ll enjoy it while it lasts!

And seriously – I’m ridiculously excited about my upcoming Doctor Who-a-thon this Friday: awesome show, awesome awesome people to hang out with, awesome Whovian crafts (can’t wait!!), awesome Whovian snacks!!!! This week is going by soooooooooo slowly. . . If only I had a better TARDIS than this one:

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(made by me!)

It would definitely come in handy right about now. . .

And now, back to some knitting. How busy are you this month, Dear Internet?

(and, reading this back to myself, I’m noticing that sleeplessness really doesn’t help in elocution. Sorry about the jumping from topic to topic. . . Maybe I’ll be more lucid after the craziness of Christmas has passed? Not that I was very lucid to begin with. . .)