Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Our Anniversary and Dips and Such

Yesterday was our 15th anniversary and we had a wonderful day and evening! I don't know how these 15 years have gone by so quickly but they sure have!

 I am so thankful for this man who has loved me well. Making it 15 years in this day and age is quite an accomplishment but for the record Miles has made it pretty easy for me. When we said these vows to each other we made them blindly not knowing what was really ahead of us. There have been good and bad times, thick and thin times, (both literally and figuratively) painful and joyful times, for better or for worse times, sick and healthy times, poor times and still hoping for some rich times, but it has been an honor to keep these vows. I meant them then and I mean them even more now!

My wonderful husband took care of getting a babysitter and took me to dinner in St. Cloud at a Greek restaurant we have been wanting to try for quite some time now. It is called Cafe Renaissance. We had the best 4 course meal we've had in a long time! We usually like to try the hummus for an appetizer at Greek/Mediterranean places but last night we opted for for the Greek cheese they bring to your table and set on fire and then shout, "Opa!" It was fun and delicious. We then had their vegetable barley soup that was excellent. They brought us some sparkling, frozen, grapefruit, on a spoon to cleanse our palate which was also incredible! Amazing how that actually works. For dinner I chose souvlaki with their saffron basmatti rice and steamed vegetables. I was on the fence about beef or lamb and ended up choosing the beef tenderloin. Miles chose a shrimp curry with the same rice. He said it was the best shrimp he has had in a very long time and was really thrilled at how much they gave him. We did eat dessert last night too! We were pretty full and should have shared a dessert but nope, we wanted different things. It is very hard for me to pass up Baklava but the Tiramisu looked so divine and I couldn't remember the last time I had enjoyed some. My husband on the other hand fell in love with the chocolate cake she brought out to show us, and since he couldn't take his eyes off of it, he never even heard her elaborate on the other desserts. He has a little side thing going with chocolate cake. Hmmm...should I be concerned???

I must apologize for not taking pictures of this meal for you. I brought my camera but left it in the car and I must say it was a pretty nice place and I don't know if they would have appreciated my flash going off. I might have scared the piano playing man! If you live around here though you should give Cafe Renaissance a try for sure!

Now over the very relaxing and lazy break we had I found a couple dip recipes I wanted to try on the Whole Foods website. I only have pictures for one of them. Again I apologize but Miles ate the Kermit dip too fast yesterday for me to get a picture!

So the first one is called Spicy Cheese Cauliflower Dip.
Start by steaming some cauliflower in a pan. The recipe called for half a head but I used the whole head because it was small and I needed to use it up.

While that is steaming, chop up some spinach and a couple jalapenos. Definitely use 2 jalapenos. I was a little leery and regretted not using it all of what I chopped.

When the cauliflower is cooked, drain it VERY well, let it cool, then puree it in a food processor until it is pretty smooth.

Then add the spinach and jalapenos to the cauliflower and process.

You will add the following ingredients to this mixture as well: 4oz. Neufchatel Cheese (reduced fat cream cheese) 1/4 cup reduced fat olive oil mayo, 2 cloves garlic, minced, salt, and about 8 oz. of shredded cheese plus another 4 oz. reserved. This is where I would make a change from their original recipe. I was expecting this dip to have a bit of a kick, but not too much because I don't care for spicy that much. However, it was really a bit bland. The next day when I added some reduced fat pepper jack I liked it much better then Mexican blend I had originally used.  I am also going to suggest adding 1 tsp. of ground cumin and a little bit of hot pepper sauce, such as Franks.

Spread this mixture in a dish (I used this 9 x 7 size) and top it with the remaining 4 ounces of cheese. Next time I will use an even bigger dish and spread it out thinner. That might require more cheese but the dip to cheese ratio will be better. Cook at 375 degrees for 35 minutes or until the cheese starts to turn golden brown. Serve this healthy snack with pita chips or veggies for dipping or multi-grain tortilla chips.
It will make a great Super Bowl Party Dip and is an awesome
way to sneak in the veggies.

You can click on this link below for the full instructions and recipe but keep in mind the changes I suggested. Add 1 tsp. ground cumin, a bit of hot pepper sauce or cayenne pepper, and use reduced fat pepper jack cheese for better flavor. Also keep in mind it might be nice spread out thinner in a bigger dish so adjusting the cooking time might be necessary if you choose to do that.  Whole Foods Spicy Cheese Cauliflower Dip

The other dip I found on their website is called Kermit's Dip. It is a simple avocado and yogurt dip that is also great with pita chips and would make another wonderful Super Bowl Party Dip that is great tasting and healthy. Since I have no pictures I will just give you the link to that one as well. I did follow the recipe but would also suggest adding more cumin (a full teaspoon) next time or actually finding the Mexican spices. I used Greek yogurt because I always do but plain yogurt is fine as well. I also love their serving suggestions, cucumbers or cherry tomatoes!

I must now figure out what we will be having for dinner tonight and get off of this computer! Funny how tomorrow night's dinner is planned but not tonight's. Tomorrow involves the crockpot. Hooray!

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Happy belated anniversary! I'm behind on my blog reading. I do want to try some of your dips, including from this post and your Mediterranean dip. Glad you had a good anniversary and a good vacation!!!