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Getting ready.

With the holidays coming, a lot of entertaining may be on your calendar. It’s a great time to get together and toast to your friends!

I love to entertain. I love to plan the dinners and dessert, but when it comes to the appetizers, I admit I struggle. I usually never get a chance to eat much of them as I’m busy preparing dinner. I don’t like to serve things that are too fattening or filling and how often can you buy the same dips (which usually aren’t very good, except for hummas) or serve more cheese? Other things are great but more complicated and take up too much time unless you’ve taken the whole day off of work.

This is something I wanted to share with you. This dip is my friend, Diane’s recipe. I knew we liked her and her husband the first time we were invited to their home for dinner as they were the only other martini drinking couple we knew in Summit, NJ when we all lived there. Our sons were friends and played soccer together.

I love straight up gin martinis but these days I really can’t take more than 2 sips and then I need to put some ice in it. (I really just love drinking out of the straight up glasses.) I remember the first time I had this dip, that night we each had two martinis before dinner! I must admit, I don’t remember what she served for dinner.

Oh no wait, she served a way overdone boneless leg of lamb.

She had forgotten about it in the oven.

But the dip was great!!

Once again I have altered this recipe for our tastes. This has a nice spicey bite to it that most people love. If that doesn’t suit your taste, skip the Sirachi sauce.

ARTICHOKE DIP
One 14 oz. can of artichoke hearts, drained of juice
One 4.5 oz. can of green chilis with the juice
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese, packed
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use Hellmann’s light)
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 tsp. Sriracha sauce (the hot sauce with the red rooster on the label)

Take each artichoke heart in your hand, hold upside down, and squeeze the juice out of it and place in the food processor bowl fitted with a steel blade. Add all other ingredients and process until smooth. Place in an oven proof dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 30 minutes, until browned around the edges and a little bubbly.

This dish tastes great but is not pretty so top it with some chopped parsley leaves or snipped chives.

Serve with whole wheat pita chips, red pepper strips, fresh fennel strips or celery sticks.

The nice thing is you can make this ahead of time, even the night before, just cover with plastic wrap to store in the fridge, and heat up before serving.

CAN recipe competition.