Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"A" is for Artichoke

We have a couple of friends in our neighborhood where give each other about an hour's notice and almost literally shout out "Happy Hour" and the families congregate.

The host guarantees the house will likely be a mess {we all have toddlers/babies}, there may or may not be a super-easy appetizer available, but there will always be a delicious beverage and good company. No thrills, just fun.

Taking you another direction...

When I was growing up my mom used to serve artichokes with mayo for dipping. I don't like mayo. I grew up not liking artichokes. {I will say mayo is probably my mom's only food vice - Other than that she raised us with great eating habits.}

BUT, I recently came across a blog from The Spicy RD {she's great - worth reading} and was amazed at how yummy she could make artichokes look with her recipe of Artichoke Squares so I thought I'd try it out when we hosted happy hour on Friday.

The artichoke squares were a big hit! My son, who usually loves everything, was not a fan but my daughter, who usually has a "more refined pallet" {e.g. she's pickier} loved them and ate three for dinner.

A few changes I made to my recipe:
* Used 6 egg whites instead of 4 eggs
* Used 1 1/3 c low-moisture/part-skim cheese instead of 2 c cheese
* Sprinkled bread crumbs on top {didn't have bread to make my own}
* I didn't have fresh parsley so I added dried oregano
* The recipe called to put it in a 9"x9" pan - If serving as an appetizer, I'd make it in a larger pan next time to make thinner squares.

I would highly recommend trying these and even adding them to you go-to list for simple, healthy recipes to serve with limited time available. Most ingredients you can have on-hand all the time.

Cool Dads
What's that drink, you ask?! :)

It's our house specialty: The Creamsicle. Two parts vanilla vodka, one part fresh orange juice {fresh off our tree}, and club soda to taste. Result? Dreamy:

How do you make artichokes? I'm so open for new ideas! And, let me know if you try a Creamsicle. There's one more tasty drink I'm excited to share, but that's for later. :)

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