Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Crave Wednesday: Artichoke, Spinach, and White Bean Dip

June is over, and things are mellowing out a bit.  Which if you know me, know that means very little.

June rolled right into July, and the Fourth of July.   We actually started the celebration a little early.  Because the 4th was on a Tuesday, we thought that maybe the annual backyard campout would be better served on Monday night.  Thatboy wasn't as keen about waking up in a tent on a morning he had to go to work.

So on July 3, he set the tent up in the backyard.  Thatbaby was instantly enthralled.  He hasn't slept in the tent since he was 10 months old.  It's been a while.  And he was convinced it was another bounce house.

Now that he's older, Thatbaby could join in the sleep-out.  And I could too.  Less excited about that last part.  We called it an early night and piled in together to sleep.

We woke up early on the morning of July 4th.  Unsurprising when you have four people sharing a small space, especially when two of them love to rise with the sun.

The boys got dressed in their patriotic best.

And then quickly stripped them off so they could spend the day in the pool.

Thatboy set the pool up under the playset, and hooked the hose to the top of the slide, giving us our very own waterpark.

There was plenty of food throughout the day.  Including a giant bowl of watermelon.

Because it wouldn't be the 4th of July without watermelon.

We always let Thatdog in on the watermelon action.

No sugar cookie White House this year, but they did decorate sugar cookies.  It's fun to watch their different styles.  Thatkid just dumps the sprinkles on.  Thatbaby meticulously places the sprinkles with his fingers.

I grilled some pollo asada and carne asada for dinner, along with some hot dogs for the boys.  And after dinner, we lit the firepit and made s'mores.  We got creative this year.  Thatkid enjoyed his on chocolate chip cookies instead of graham crackers.

And I stuck in a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup in place of a chocolate bar.

And after that, it was time for pajamas and glow sticks so we could head over to the neighbors and watch the town fireworks.

This was Thatbaby's first experience with fireworks and I think it got mixed reviews.  He spent the first part facing me in my lap, holding me.  He spent the rest, still in my lap, but watching the fireworks.  After they were over he said he liked them, but they were "too wowed."  He continued to repeat "fireworks over" and "fireworks all done" which carried over to the next morning.

The next morning it was clear that the fireworks were not the only thing that was over.  The 4th of July came on the end of some serious eating and drinking indulgences and continued through the day. I'm not one that believes in waiting for the first of the year, month, or even week to start anew, so Wednesday the 5th marked the return of better eating.  But I ease myself back.  By allowing myself some "healthy" snacking.  Healthy in the sense that it is high in protein.  As much as I love chips and salsa.  And as much as I ate my weight in chips in salsa over the holiday, it's lacking in a lot of nutrients.  Some whole wheat crackers, paired with bean dip is a better alternative.  The creaminess of the beans means less cheese is necessary, it's terribly filling, and it keeps you full for a lot longer than low/no protein snacks.  I also love the addition of spinach, which always makes me feel like my indulgence isn't that indulgent.

Artichoke, Spinach, and White Bean Dip (From Cooking Light)
1/4 cup grated fresh Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 can baby artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
cooking spray
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Place cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice, cayenne, garlic cloves, and white beans in a food processor, and process until smooth.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Spoon into a bowl and stir in artichokes and spinach.
  3. Spoon into a 1 qt glass dish coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle with mozzarella.  Bake for 20 minutes.


  1. I love the creativity with the waterslide! It's hilarious to see they do their sprinkles differently too. You'd think the younger would be the dumper!

  2. You guys definitely did some good July 4th celebrating! Looks like the boys had a blast!

  3. Wonder what it would be like if you dipped watermelon into this Artichoke & Spinach DIP!