In true Vanessa fashion- this post is very late.
Those of you who know me personally know I usually tend to run a little late when it comes to getting places. Whether its traffic or wardrobe problems, something usually happens. Hubs and I are teased that we’re always the last ones to arrive to group get togethers. lol. But I promise, I’m working on changing that bad habit! I even made it to 2 weddings on time! And to the 2nd we were the first guests there! haha.
So here it is, my Fourth of July post, just 9 days late 🙂 Sue me.
We spent the morning with my family at their new Ranch 🙂 My parents recently bought a house with five-acres. The house is about 45 minutes from our place so I don’t get to see them often. This was probably the first time I had seen them in about two weeks (versus a few times a week when they lived close by).
My mom asked me to bring a new appetizers and specifically requested the chili dip I had made for an event before.
This stuff is like crack- super addicting! (Not that I would know! PINKY SWEAR!) But seriously- it’s addicting and so delicious.
Chili Cheese Dip (From Joelen’s Culinary Adventures)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened I doubled the recipe, used 2 packages of cheese
1 (15 ounce) can chili Used 2 cans of chili
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese I used a Colby-Jack blend
1 tomato, chopped & seeded Skipped this step
chopped chives for garnish
Combine all the ingredients above except for chives and mix thoroughly.
Place in baking dish and bake for 20-23 minutes until warmed and bubbly OR place in mini crockpot to keep warm.
Garnish with chives.
It’s so good!!! Please put this on your list for your next party… I promise it’ll be a hit!!!
I also whipped up some Spinach & Artichoke dip that I baked inside of won-top cups.
This is sort of a made-up recipe adapted from several types of dips I’ve made in the past.
Spinach & Artichoke Dip:
1- 11oz pack of Frozen Spinach (Thawed, drained, and patted dry)
1 can of artichoke hearts (I buy the quartered kind)
1 brick of cream cheese
1 cup sour creamAs much shredded cheese as your heart desires (I probably added a good cup, cup and a half)*
1 package of won-top wrappers (My grocery store only had the square kind)
Set aside from extra cheese for topping
Salt & Pepper to taste
*You can add the cheese of your choice. I normally use mozzarella or Parmesan, one time I even added Asiago!… but use whatever floats your boat.
In a large bowl I add the spinach and the chopped up artichoke hearts (I chop mine up pretty small).
Then add in the sour cream, shredded cheese, and the softened cream cheese.
Mix until all the cheeses are blended into the greens.
I then put the mix into a baking dish and bake it up until the cheese is well melted (About 20 minutes).
While the dish is baking I take the won ton wrappers and form them into cups by putting them into my (well-greased!) cupcake pan.
Once the dip is nice and melty- I add it to the won ton cups. Then I stick the cupcake pans back into the oven for another 5-10 minutes, until the cups are nice and crispy. Before I remove them from the oven I sprinkle some shredded cheese on top of each cup and let it melt.
Serve them up warm- it tastes so much better when the cheese is nice and gooey!
Lastly, I baked up a cake- a VERY patriotic cake. I’ve got to say I’m proud of this one.
I saw this cake originally on 17 & Baking (check her out, she’s awesome!)… I took her idea and ran with it.
I won’t list the recipes I used for the cakes here, but I made 1-red velvet 8″ cake, and 2-white/vanilla 8″ cakes (one colored blue).
3 cakes: 1 red, 1 blue, 1 white (kind of obvious huh?)
Enough Frosting to cover this bad boy PLUS enough to ice the various layers.
Feel free to check out 17 & Baking for the details instructions. Here’s a short run-down of what I did.
- Cut the red & white cakes in half using a cake leveler
- Cut out the center of the blue cake leaving a ring (you won’t need the inside)
- Cut out the centers of 1 red and 1 white half
- Stack the first two colors (the still in tact white & red layers). Make sure to frost between each layer.
- Stack on the blue ring (icing both the top and insides)
- Inside the blue ring stack the white & red cake cutouts.
- Frost the entire cake- and viola!
I used a classic cream cheese frosting:
1 brick of softened cream cheese
1 stick of softened butter
2 cups+ of powdered sugar
A splash of vanilla extract
Blend the cream cheese & butter in a stand mixer until well blended.
Little by little add the powdered sugar until it reaches the right consistency (may take more than 2 cups!)
Add a splash of vanilla extract, and mix until its all blended in.
I hope you enjoyed your Fourth!!!