Rule #294: Alaska knows best.

Alaskans know how to do it all. They know how to fish, hike, have a good time, show you a good time, and they freaking now how to cook like you’d never believe. When we went a couple of summers ago, we had the most unbelievable seafood, drinks, and spinach + artichoke dip we’ve ever had in our lives. I know it seems weird to highlight the dip, but trust me, once you taste it, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

spinach and artichoke dip

We had our fair share of choices of great food, but we still opted to go to Resurrection Roadhouse at the Seward Windsong Lodge not once but TWICE. And it was all for this friggin’ dip! One night, we had burgers and the normal good stuff like that and the other night they had a sushi night. Holy. Smokes. Alaskan seafood + these views + this dip. Life is good, my friend. Gooo-oooo-oooood!

 

seward lodge alaska

I highly, highly recommend that you get to Alaska if you ever have the chance. It was hands-down one of my top five vacation spots, and we plan to go back once Corey is a bit older. It’s a perfect place for couples, families, and kids!

seward lodge alaska

“I believe in miracles
Where you from…
You sexy thing, sexy thing you
I believe in miracles
Since you came along
You sexy thing”

spinach and artichoke dip

The chef at Resurrection Roadhouse was nice enough to share the recipe so we could make it allllll the way down here in Texas. It’s on a handwritten note that I’m pretty sure we’ll never be able to throw away. It’s like a love note from the Alaskan kitchen.

spinach and artichoke dip

The goodies we’ll need for our Dip Mania:

EVOO, Kosher salt, black pepper, artichoke hearts, mayo with olive oil, spinach, shallots, garlic cloves, cream cheese, Parm, and sour cream

spinach and artichoke dip

I normally would say, “Mayo is Mayo is Mayo,” but in this case, you really need the mayo with olive oil. I’ve tried it with regular ole Hellmann’s, and it comes out way too oily (ironically). I’m not sure of the science behind it (that’s above my pay grade), but definitely go for this kind of mayo for this recipe to avoid having an oily appetizer.

spinach and artichoke dip

Here’s the recipe breakdown:

Heat some EVOO until it’s shimmering in a large skillet.

spinach and artichoke dip

Dump in the spinach. I leave the leaves whole, but if chopping is your thing, go ahead and cut ’em up!

spinach and artichoke dip

Sauté until the spinach is wilted completely. I usually work in batches because 1 lb. of spinach is a lot for any skillet.

spinach and artichoke dip

Meanwhile, chop up yer artichoke hearts.

spinach and artichoke dip

Sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and sauté them in a skillet over medium-high heat (no oil or spray). The goal is to dry out the artichoke hearts to get rid of the excess liquid. This process takes just a couple of minutes.

spinach and artichoke dip

Then, let the artichokes and spinach cool slightly before mixing everything together.

spinach and artichoke dip

I like to use my biggo standing mixer with a spatula attachment to whip all of this together. You can definitely use your muscles and a spoon or even a hand mixer if you want. Throw everything into the mix.

spinach and artichoke dip

And give it a good stir until it’s well combined.

spinach and artichoke dip

Pour it all into a large, greased baking dish. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.

spinach and artichoke dip

Clearly my balance was off when I took this picture, but I wanted to show you that I put a baking sheet under the dip just in case it decides to bubble and get messy during its sauna visit. Ain’t nobody got time to scrub the oven, ya heard?

spinach and artichoke dip

Voila! Spinach + Artichoke Perfection. Serve with pita chips, bagel chips, Wheat Thins, or even veggies. This lovely dip can be mixed ahead of time, stored covered in the fridge, then baked the next day!

spinach and artichoke dip


Seward Lodge Spinach and Artichoke Dip

1 tbs. EVOO
1 lb. fresh baby spinach
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 lbs. cream cheese, softened (3 bricks)
2 cups mayo with olive oil
1 large shallot, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/4 lb. Parmesan cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven, heat 1 tbs. olive oil over medium high heat. Once oil is glistening, sauté the spinach, stirring occasionally, until just wilted (about 5 minutes). Work in batches as needed. Remove from heat and set aside. Allow to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in a small nonstick skillet over medium high heat, sauté the artichokes with a pinch of salt and pepper until slightly dried out and flavored (about 4 minutes), stirring occasionally. Allow to cool slightly.

Combine spinach, artichoke hearts, sour cream, cream cheese, mayo, shallots, garlic, and Parmesan. Sprinkle salt and pepper, stir to combine, and adjust seasonings as needed. Pour into a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Can be mixed, covered, and stored in fridge one day ahead. Simply remove from fridge and allow to sit at room temperature while the oven preheats. Bake as recommended above.

Click for Printable Recipe: Seward Lodge Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Who doesn’t love a juicy, cheesy jalapeño popper? I used to get them all the time when I worked at Sonic back in the day. Couple that with some ranch and holy moly. I wish I had the metabolism to handle that nowadays. This Jalapeño Popper Dip gives you all the flavor of the original thing, but in the form of a creamy, cheesy, slightly spicy condiment for your tortilla chip. Again, I’d love that metabolism back. 

jalapeño popper dip

I’ve seen TONS of variations of this recipe. Some use only ‘real’ jalapeños. Some use only canned jalapeños. Some use a combo. I use only the jarred goodies that are already diced. That way, I can refrigerate the rest for some other yummy concoction down the line.

jalapeño popper dip

I like a good, shallow oven-proof dish that allows for scooping without too much gettin’ on your chip. I like a good chip-to-dip ratio, you know what I mean? This Le Creuset lovely was on sale during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale for only $30. A steal if you know anything about Le Creuset!

jalapeño popper dip

This recipe can’t get any easier.

Let your cream cheese come to room temperature (no, you won’t get sick).

Put the cream cheese + mayo + shredded cheddar + grated Parmesan + diced jalapeños in a biggo bowl or mixer.

Whip everything together in a standing mixer fitted with a spatula paddle OR just whip it up with a hand mixer OR just get your elbow grease going and use a whisk.

jalapeño popper dip

Spread it all out in an even layer in your greased oven-proof dish.

jalapeño popper dip

Sprinkle on a combo of panko breadcrumbs + grated Parmesan.

Bake for 20 minutes.

jalapeño popper dip

Voila! I give you the ultimate party dip for your chip.


Jalapeño Popper Dip

1 8-oz. block cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup Parmesan, grated (divided – 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup)
4-oz. jarred, diced jalapeños, drained
1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 350.

Mix the cream cheese, mayo, cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and jalapeños in a bowl or in an electric mixer fitted with a spatula paddle. Pour into a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

Mix the Panko breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup Parmesan in a small bowl. Evenly sprinkle over the top of the dip.

Bake at 350 until the cheese is bubbling and the top is golden brown (about 20 minutes). Garnish with sliced jalapeños (optional). Serve warm or at room temperature with tortilla chips.

Click Here for Printable Recipe: Jalapeño Popper Dip

On Saturday night, I got to have a girls’ night since Jon Boy was OOT at a bachelor party. I decided it was the perfect time to put together a charcuterie (meat + cheese) board since the ole Johnny Boy is pretty opposed to meals that consist of only finger foods. Not totally his jam.

charcuterie board

I bought everything on the board from H-E-B, and I even made a special appetizer (Whipped Feta + Marinated Cucumbers – recipe below) to go with it. Let me tell ya what I got from the old H-E-B:

Meats

Proscuitto di Parma | Charcuterie Trio Package (three kinds of salami: one red pepper, one red wine, and one peppered)

charcuterie board

Cheeses

Drunken Goat Cheese | Irish Cheddar | Cranberry Wensleydale | Dutch Gouda | Brie*

charcuterie board

Extras

Marinated Olives | Sliced Gala Apples | Pickled Okra* | Sweet Gherkin Pickles* | Sliced French Bread* | Bagel Chips* | Pita Chips* | Marcona Almonds*

charcuterie board

Everything with an * was not pictured, but was definitely consumed!

Before I get into the Whipped Feta + Marinated Cucumbers, lemme dish a little about some outfits and our weekend.

I FINALLY got to wear this gorgeous dress that I’ve been dying to wear for two months now! I went to a beautiful bridal shower for a sweet friend, and it seemed like the perfect occasion to bust out this little number. I’ve been looking for shoes to match for a while, and a friend suggested these Sam Edelman pumps (link below). They work perfetly, and I’ve actually worn them already to a few date nights! (Please ignore the dog toy in the pic – story of my life is tripping on dog + kid toys.)

Charles Henry Off the Shoulder Dress | Sam Edelman Patti Sandals

charles henry off the shoulder dress

I had to document two things about this picture: 1) I was wearing pants/shorts that had a zipper – instead of a stretchy waistband. 2) I was wearing my new Kendra Milla Necklace + earrings (not pictured). I just got them both for 50% off at my fave boutique – Magpie’s Gifts in Cypress.

kendra scott maxwell

Sundays are for Snapchats. And snuggles. Lots of snuggles.

snapchat

Anytime I hold my phone up now, this guy screams, “Dog! Dog! Dog!” until I open up Snapchat or Instagram and get a pic like this one. I have no less than 820 at this very moment.

snapchat

My birthday is on Wednesday of this week, and my sweet Mama surprised me with some GORGEOUS flowers!! They kicked the tail off the little $4 bundle I just got at H-E-B, so they’ll be front-and-center for a week or so. I looooove fresh flowers and these especially are so full and beautiful!

birthday flowers

Now let’s talk turkey… or cheese. Whatever. I made this Whipped Feta + Marinated Cucumbers that I found in a Food + Wine magazine. It was ridiculously simple (I made it all ahead of time), and it was by far the biggest hit of the whole charcuterie board!

charcuterie board
Here’s the simple method for makin’ this easy appetizer that’ll make you look like a Fancy Pants Cheese Maker:

First, take ya some good Feta cheese (the whole block – not the pre-crumbled kind). Throw in some cream cheese and whip ‘er up. If you don’t have a stand mixer, just use a hand mixer.

whipped feta

Squeeze in some fresh lemon juice.

whipped feta

Add some heavy cream + EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil).

whipped feta

Whip ‘er up again until it’s smooth (notice I had to change the mixing blade – definitely use one with a rubber spatula). Move to a smaller dish and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to a day before serving.

whipped feta

Now for the Marinated Cucumbers. Cut up an seedless/English cucumber. You can cut the pieces as small as you’d like – I like them to be bite-sized.

marinated cucumbers

Throw in some herby fresh oregano.

marinated cucumbers

Add some lemon juice + EVOO. Season with S&P.

marinated cucumbers

Throw a lid on the bowl and shake-a-shake-a-shake until everything’s good and mixed. Throw it in the fridge for at least an hour and up to 2 days.

marinated cucumbers

What are your favorite things to have on your charcuterie boards?

charcuterie board


Whipped Feta + Marinated Cucumbers

Whipped Feta
8-oz. feta cheese block
2 tbs. cream cheese, softened
1 tbs. heavy cream
2 tbs. EVOO
Juice of 1/2 a lemon

In a standing mixer using a paddle attachment, whip together the feta cheese and cream cheese until smooth. Add in the heavy cream, EVOO, and lemon juice. Whip until everything is combined. Remove and store in an airtight container in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

Drizzle the feta with EVOO just before serving.

Marinated Cucumbers
1 seedless (English) cucumber, chopped into bite-sized pieces or smaller
2 tbs. EVOO
1 tbs. fresh oregano, chopped
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Pinch of Kosher salt
1/8 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in a large glass Tupperware that has a lid. Cover with the lid and shake until all ingredients are combined. Store in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Serve with bagel or pita chips.

Adapted via Food and Wine

We had such a great weekend at home with family and friends. I’m sure like you, it’s a rare thing for us to have a weekend with ZERO plans. It was nothing short of amazing.
Grilled Stuffed Jalapeños
Jon had to work late Friday, so we ate leftovers and were passed out by 11:00 [which, sadly, is late for us]. On Saturday, we all got up, ate breakfast, adults had coffee, little man had milk, and we were lazy until about mid morning.
scenes from the weekend
Then we decided to venture out to our local farmer’s market where we bought a TON of organic veggies for less than $20! They also had great meats, jellies, decorations, etc. I can’t wait to go back! Near the farmer’s market was an adorable [dangerous] boutique that I can’t wait to go to again. If you live in the Tomball/Cypress/Spring area, I’d highly recommend Vickie B’s on Main. I got the most adorable cover-up and a great top – bonus the top was on sale so I got it for $12! I’ll post pics later.
vickie b's on main
I had to share these memes. I’ve been feeling lots of #momlife vibes lately.
parenthood
But really. This is perfect. And it applies to daddies, too.
parenthood
Gotta love the $4 bunches at HEB. Nothing makes me happier than seeing fresh cut flowers on the table. The cheaper ones usually last longest, too.
Scenes from the Weekend
We scored a majorly adorable hat at Target the other day. Best thing is that C will actually leave it on his head for longer than two seconds!
Scenes from the Weekend
We also scored some awesome Crocs that match his daddy’s from Academy the other day.
Scenes from the Weekend
I’m not sure there’s ever been anything cuter than this chubby man wearing those stinkin’ crocs toddling around the house in his diaper. He’s constantly asking for his new “sshhhoooossss”.

Scenes from the Weekend

On Friday during Corey’s nap time, I managed to do some much needed gardening. I actually planted our first flower bed in the new casa! Here’s the before and after:
Scenes from the Weekend
Hopefully these little lovelies will last despite my very non-green thumb.
Scenes from the Weekend
I have a new wine rec for the summer. This delicious little number is very light, has slightly fruity hints, and goes down super smooth. I love me some chardonnay, but in the summer, I really like the rosé-type lighter wines. This gem was only about $12, too!

wine recs

Saturday night it was all about food, family, and fun. We had some delicious grilled sausage from Chappell Hill [best ever] along with sautéed veggies from the farmer’s market and these yummified grilled jalapeños. I have to say that they are on of the things I look forward to most in the summer. They’re wayyyyy better than the premade ones you buy at the store. They don’t take much effort either.
Grilled Stuffed Jalapeños
Beware of the spicy jalapeño fingers. They burn. Make sure you wash your hands before, during, and after with antibacterial soap. That seems to take a lot of heat away. Also make sure you remove the membranes and seeds from the jalapeños because that’s where the really spicy heat is. Or leave them in if you’re that much of a rebel. You do you.
Grilled Stuffed Jalapeños
This is one of the few recipes that I’ve never really measured anything. I go by looks and tastes. I love a lot of bacon bits, cilantro, and green onion. By all means add or subtract anything you love or hate from this recipe. Definitely make sure your cream cheese is at room temp though before you start mixing. Otherwise, you’ll end up with huge goops of cream cheese with no other lovely flavors. Sad.
Grilled Stuffed Jalapeños

 


Grilled Stuffed Jalapeños
Cream cheese, room temperature*
Shredded cheddar or colby jack cheese
Cilantro leaves, chopped
Green onions, chopped
Bacon bits
Splash lime juice
Freshly ground black pepper

Jalapeños, tops, seeds, and membranes removed, cut in half lengthwise

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients minus the jalapeños using a fork. Mash everything together until it’s a pretty homogenous mixture. Stuff each jalapeño half. Grill over medium heat on a bed of foil for about ten minutes or until the jalapeños are tender but still have crunch.

Garnish with cilantro.

*I use about 1 oz. cream cheese for each whole jalapeño. The rest is really to taste. I don’t add anymore salt though because the bacon bits have plenty in them.

Gotta love a good ole fashion classic dip for a football game. I vote that during the best time of the year, you keep it simple. More time to enjoy the festivities, food, and drinky-poos.

Seven Layer Dip

Seven Layer Dip
2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 1/2 tbs. fresh lime juice (about half of one juicy lime)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Garlic salt to taste (about 1/8 tsp.)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste (about 1/8 tsp.)
1 (16-oz.) can refried beans
1/2 – 1 oz.package taco seasoning mix
1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
1/4 cup picante sauce
4 roma (plum) tomatoes, cored and diced
3 tbs. green onions, chopped
1/2 (2.25-oz.) can black olives, drained and sliced
2 cups shredded Mexican-style cheese (cheddar/Monterey Jack)
In a medium bowl, mash the avocados with lime juice, cilantro, garlic salt, and pepper until well-blended.
In another bowl, mix in the taco seasoning with the refried beans.
Spread the refried beans on the bottom of your serving dish. Follow with guacamole mixture, then sour cream, picante, tomatoes, green onions, black olives, and cheese.