Well, they say absence makes the heart grow fonder. I suppose that's so since I missed Mr.S. like crazy while he was gone for four days with the kidlets up at the cabin; however, the time away gave me some much needed time to catch up with my awesome girl friends. It seems like we're all busy with trips, kidlets, work or dating lately and it's hard to get together like we used to. So I was excited on Friday night, when eleven fantabulous gal pals came over for some noshing, drinking and chatting.
Feeling adventurous, I wanted to try a new recipe, perhaps a twist on an old favorite? So I decided to go with - spinach dip! We LOVE this stuff at our house. Guaranteed if I make it or someone brings it to one of our fiestas, it'll be gone in the blink of an eye. But the issue was that I wanted something a bit more refined looking...something...well, something that didn't look like slop in a bowl. So, I browsed around online and came across this great recipe for Baked Spinach Dip Bread Bowls...super cute! I was kind of short on time, so didn't have a chance to do a trial run; hence, the first batch I made (on the night of the party) came out a wee bit more cooked on the edges then I would've like. However, I lowered the baking time to 13 minutes and the second batch the next day came out perfect! These little muffin-sized quiches are wonderful and quite addictive- crusty bread, hot spinach dip...your guests will love them!
Baked Spinach Dip Mini Bread Bowls (adapted from Picky Palate)
1 can of refrigerated Pillsbury Simply Rustic Loaf or Crusty French Bread
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
3 oz softened cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons fresh shredded Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon ancho chile pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Lightly mist (regular-sized) muffin pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
3. Pop open french bread from can. Place the bread on a cutting board and slice into 1-inch thick pieces. (A sharp knife works best for getting through the dough.)
4. Place each piece in a muffin cup and using your fingers, press it down firmly- covering the bottom and along the side of the muffin cup (it doesn't have to go all the way up).
5. In a pan, heat up your olive oil over medium heat. Saute your spinach until it's wilted, then add your minced garlic. Once the garlic becomes fragrant, turn off the heat.
6. In a large mixing bowl, combine your softened cream cheese, sour cream, cooked spinach and garlic, Parmesan cheese, ancho chili powder, garlic salt, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly so that all ingredients are combined and there are no cream cheese lumps.
7. Spoon about 1.5-2 tablespoons of dip onto the bread bowls. Top with a sprinkle of shredded mozzarella cheese.
8. Bake in oven for 13-17 minutes (start with 13 minutes if your oven tends to like to burn things like the one at Mr.S.'s house does). When the edges start to turn a golden brown color, remove pan from oven and set aside to cool for about 5 minutes.
9. Pop the spinach dip bread bowls out from the muffin pan (I gently slid a knife under them to help nudge them out) and serve while still hot.