There’s nothing like getting together with a bunch of girls, too much food and barrels of wine. Last night was girls’ night. It’s a monthly event with several friends from college. One person hosts each month and they’re responsible for setting the menu and telling everyone else what to bring. There are a couple of regulars- Buffy’s Better Than Sex Cake, Floaty’s Cheese in a Crescent Roll and Ms. Butterpants’ (yes, yours truly) Spinach Dip. Last night was appetizer night. Oh yes.
Ladies’ night is usually quite rowdy, debauched, and excessive. Secrets are shared. Stories are told. Old wounds are opened. Last night was a doozy. We went from discussing old paramours to telling ghost stories of our old, haunted college theatre, to sharing memories of the deaths of two very important and precious people in our department. As we sat there and relived all those moments, I was struck by how lucky we are. We get each other. We were all present for some not-so-pretty moments and we still love each other. We support each other. We want the best for each other. We don’t judge when certain ladies drink too much wine and overshare. Stop looking at me like that. We share breakups, new relationships, sadness, joy, uncertainty, and spinach dip.
Spinach dip. This dip was born of a desire to replicate Houston’s Spinach Dip at home. I did a little googling and found Robbie’s Recipes. It’s pretty close and it’s quite excellent. I’ve toyed with it a bit to fit my tastes and you’ll find my adaptation below.
Make this. Share it with your girlfriends. Or your boyfriends. Or don’t. Just sit in your house and eat it all by yourself with Stacy’s Pita Chips.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
adapted from Robbie’s Recipes
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tbs. minced onion
1/4 cup real butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 cup fresh-grated Pecorino Romano cheese
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sour cream
(2) 10 oz. boxes frozen chopped spinach – thawed, squeezed dry
2/3 cup artichoke hearts – drained, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup shredded monterey jack or white cheddar cheese (sometimes I use less, sometimes I use more- depends on my mood)
In a largish saucepan over medium heat, cook garlic and onion in butter until golden, about 3 – 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in cream and broth and continue cooking until boiling. When it’s boiling, stir in the Romano cheese, lemon juice, and salt; stir until cheese has melted; remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Stir sour cream into pan, then fold in dry spinach and artichoke hearts. Fold the mixture into a microwave-safe serving dish. Sprinkle the cheddar evenly over top. The dip can be refrigerated until you’re ready to serve it. I usually keep it in a crockpot for a party. When I’m ready to serve, I put it in the crockpot, top it with cheese then let it heat up til the cheese is melted.
I’ll never make this again without thinking of my girlfriends. I love them. I love the ones that live within driving distance and I love the ones who are separated from me by far too many time zones.
Party here, party there, everywhere. This is our night, ladies.