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Monday, December 31, 2012

Spinach-Artichoke Dip Pasta Bake and Amey's Spiced Fig & Marmalade Cookies

How can it be the last day of 2012 already?! It seems like it was just yesterday when I made New Year's resolutions that I didn't keep! Now it's already time to pretend that I will stick to some sort of impressive life change just because the calendar says I should, yet again. My New Year's resolutions for 2013 are to eat lots of chocolate and watch lots of TV. There. Those should stick.

Oh, sorry. You didn't come here to hear me babble about my lack of will power? May I entice you to stay by offering you a delicious dinner?

Spinach-Artichoke Dip Pasta Bake
Spinach-Artichoke Dip Pasta Bake! 

I was singing in the shower the other day, and sometime between "The Rain In Spain" and "I Could Have Danced All Night" I had this brilliant idea to make an artichoke dip pasta bake. I patted myself on the soapy back and congratulated myself on my creativity. Then I came out of the shower and Mr. Google told me that artichoke dip pasta bakes have existed since the beginning of time. Harumph!

I used Dreena's Creamy Artichoke Spinach Dip recipe, mostaccioli, and shredded Daiya jack. This isn't my first time making this dip, and it isn't the first time I skip the chips and grab a fork to eat it instead. Evidence here. I won't copy and paste Dreena's recipe here because it's her recipe and you should get it from her blog - it's only a tasty click away! Here's how to make this pasta bake:

Spinach-Artichoke Dip Pasta Bake

You will need:

1/2 cup uncooked mostaccioli
Dreena Burton's Creamy Artichoke Spinach Dip
1/4 to 1/2 cup of shredded vegan cheese (Daiya jack wedge was my choice)

1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and spray an 8 by 8 inch baking dish with non-stick spray.
2) Cook the mostaccioli al dente following the directions on the box. Drain, return to the pot and set aside.
3) Make the dip. If you are a multi-tasker you can make the dip while the pasta cooks. Aren't you impressive?
4) Transfer the dip to the mostaccioli pot, throw in the shredded cheese and mix well.
5) Scoop the mix into the prepared baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes or until slightly toasty on top. If it refuses to get toasty on top, give it a quick broil. Watch it like a hawk or it will go from toasty to charred in no time though! You're done, dahlin'. Eat up!

Note: I wanted artichoke dip with pasta, not pasta with artichoke dip. If you want more pasta than delicious creamy dip, maybe go with 3/4 cup instead of 1/2. You will bring shame to the family, but if that's your choice I won't stop you.



Spinach-Artichoke Dip Pasta Bake

Let's have some dessert now! The marvelousness that is Ms. Amey, keeper of the Vegan Eats & Treats blog, sent me one of her awesome holiday cookbooklets that is aptly named "Yum Town!" The cookbooklet is full of tasty recipes and adorable doodles. If I were ever to use the word "adorbz", this would be the time. The doodles are... doodley versions of Amey, Mr. Vegan Eats & Treats, and their furry companions in all sorts of cute and funny situations. Don't worry, you too can check out lots of Amey's doodles on her blog if you can't go to Yum Town!

Amey's Yum Town
Forget Two Tickets to Paradise, give me a one-way ticket to Yum Town! Thank you, Amey, for the limited-edition Yum Town and my beautiful calendar! 

One of the recipes featured in Amey's Yum Town is Amey's very own recipe for Spiced Fig & Marmalade Cookies. They are made with orange marmalade! I'd never made cookies with orange marmalade before, but I know this won't be the last time. These cookies are very unique and like nothing I've ever tasted before.  A few of the flavors that merge into one delicious cookie are: cocoa, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, almond, orange, and don't forget the pistachios! Fabulous! Knowing myself and my pesky taste buds, I decided to only add chopped figs to half of the cookies. I am not a dried-fruit person, but Mr. Wing-It is, and this way we were both able to fully enjoy Amey's cookies. Don't worry, I wouldn't just wave cookies under your nose and leave you there drooling without a link to the recipe!

Amey's Spiced Fig & Marmalade Cookies

Amey's Spiced Fig & Marmalade Cookies
Figgy bits and pistachios!

Stick a fork in me, I'm done! See ya' 2012 - you were a pretty sucky year. Here's hoping that 2013 brings us peace, prosperity, and pastries. Happy New Year, everyone! Or happy regular day if you don't use a Gregorian calendar! :)

Mrs. C

Mrs. C wants to know if you have any New Year's resolutions. Isn't she fabulous?

14 comments :

  1. yay! that artichoke dip pasta creation looks AMAZING. Whoa. Mr. VE&T would love that business. What a great idea. I will give you full credit for that idea, by the way. Also - I'm so glad you made my marmalade cookies and liked them!! Yay! I feel like a real recipe-maker now! :) The bird picture is so beautiful. I'm sorta jealous of your snow. It's all sunny and blue (but still chilly) here today.

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    1. You should make more recipes, recipe-maker Amey! I'm telling you I'm going to be baking with orange marmalade far too often, thanks to you! Mrs. C is such a little cutie. Both Mr and Mrs Cardinal come to get some dinner late in the afternoon every day after all the other birds are gone. Antisocial little things!

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  2. I giggled out loud at your pasta bake note. Dip with pasta is the only way to go. :-) Happy New Year!

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    1. You make the family proud, Jenn! Dip with pasta all the way! Happy New Year to you too! :)

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  3. As usual, it all looks spectacular! I love the idea of artie dip and pasta. . . yum. And I adore Amey's doodles and recipe pamphlets! The cookies look delish, too. A great way to ring in the new year, River. Hope you both have a wonderful evening and a very Happy 2013! xo

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    1. Amey's doodles never fail to make me smile. It must be nice to have such talent! A very happy 2013 to you too, Ricki! Give the girls a New Year's Eve squeeze from me! :)

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  4. I made a weirdo version of cauliflower artichoke dip a few years ago that I'd completely forgotten about until reading this post. Mine actually used steamed and mashed cauliflower in the dip, instead of nuts, and lots of nooch and margarine. I bet it would be great with pasta, too. I usually only ever ate it with a fork, because I'm classy like that.

    I'm not a dried fruit fan either, but those cookies sound great!

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    1. That sounds awesome, actually! I think you need to make it again and share the recipe. Really.

      Yep, artichoke dips are meant to be eaten with a fork, straight out of the bowl. Chips are for the weak! :D

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  5. So much deliciousness! Love the classic dip as a pasta dish; and those cookies are the perfect mix of sweet ingredients.

    Happy New Year! :)

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    1. It really is a perfect mix! I thought they might not be sweet enough because the recipe doesn't call for much sugar, but that's where the orange marmalade comes in. Perfect!

      Happy New Year! :)

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  6. That's pretty smart of you to choose resolutions you can keep. At least you won't be tortured by failure, like some. And you'll really enjoy keeping them.

    I have a bag of frozen artichokes in my freezer that I bought the last time I planned to make spinach-artichoke dip — I don't know why it's still in there getting frosty. I resolve to make it soon. Yes, I do.

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    1. I certainly will enjoy keeping my lazy and gluttonous resolutions! A third resolution should be added to my list: I shall hang out with the ducks a lot.

      The last bag of artichokes that I bought (before the one I used for this dish) was so frosty and dried up it wasn't even that tasty. So I think you should hurry and make this dip before it's too late! :)

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  7. I don't care what google says, you're brilliant!

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    1. Well, who am I to disagree with you? :P You and your fluffiest-bread-ever are the brilliant ones though. (sorry about the delayed reply!)

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