Tag Archives: artichokes

Baked Olive Artichoke Dip

The original recipe for this lovely hot dip came from one of the blogs I regularly read. The only change I’ve made is to spell out how I made the green olive tapenade for those of you who may not have tapenade on hand.

You definitely need to like olives in order to enjoy this, but the olive flavor also won’t punch you in the face and knock you out cold. It’s so easy to assemble, so let’s get started.

Wow–I’m not feeling very verbose today, and it’s kinda freaking me out. I normally like to chatter at least a little before stampeding on with the recipe at hand. Hmmmm.

*Searching brain for something clever and hilarious to say*

*Searching brain for something at least mildly amusing to say*

*Searching brain for any old anything to say*

Nope, I’m coming up on empty. Well, as they say, another day another dollar. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. Don’t take no wooden nickels. Lose the battle, win the war. So to speak.

Alright! I’m feeling better already.


(Serves 6)

1-14 oz can artichoke hearts (unmarinated), drained

1/2 packed fresh basil leaves, minced

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

3/4 cup chopped green anchovy-stuffed olives

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tsp capers, minced

5.2 oz Boursin (or any garlic and herb cheese)

Crackers, flatbread, or crusy bread to serve

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Give the drained artichoke hearts a rough choppity-chop.

Measure out the basil–firmly pack it in there.

Cram it . . . no, I’ve made that joke too many times already and, as they say, 3rd time’s a spanking.

Give it a nice mince.

Now if you have a green olive tapenade on hand, simply measure out 3/4 cup of that, and skip this next step. I didn’t have any tapenade around, so I assembled some anchovy-stuffed olives, capers, and garlic.

Mince the olives, capers, and garlic (or use your food processor) (then please send me your food processor).

Unwrap the beauty that is Boursin cheese.

By all means taste it. I know I did.

Mix all the ingredients together (except for the crackers, of course).

A sensible person would do this in a bowl, with a spoon.

I did it in a pie plate with my hands.

Hey! What the heck . . .

Note to self: next time, fully remove the foil packaging from the Boursin.

Press the dip into a pie plate, creating an even surface.

Lick your fingers avidly. Consider the possibility of eating it just like this, right now.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Serve with the crackers or bread.

Mmmm. I love a good hot dip.

It’s delightful, folks.

If you want a pop of fresh color, garnish it with a little extra sprinkling of basil.

And for my closing remarks . . . It takes one to know one. It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. A penny in time saves nine. And the most hideous expression of all time which despite my hatred of it doesn’t prevent me from writing it on a regular basis: don’t get your panties in a bunch.

With this dip on hand, no panties will be bunched by anyone at any time.

P.S. Thank you Lester Roadhog Moran for the page I just ripped out of your book.

P.P.S If you don’t know who Lester Roadhog Moran and the Cadillac Cowboys are, please ignore previous P.S and continue living as previously scheduled.

Click here for printer-friendly version: Baked Olive Artichoke Dip

Chicken Artichoke Pasta Alfredo

This scrumptious recipe is woman-pleasin’ to the max. I attempted to make it man-pleasin’ as well by sprinkling some bacon on top. The results:

Me: So what do you think? Isn’t this awesome?

My man: Um, well, it’s alright.

Me: “Alright”?? “Alright“?? Are we eating the same dish? Did I not sprinkle enough bacon on? Seriously, you don’t love this?

My man: I mean, it’s okay. I like it fine.

Me: “Okay”??? “Fine”???? *spazzing out*

My man: Yeah, it’s fine. Not mind-blowing, but it’s good.

*at this point I’m passed out on the floor*

So I’m just going to skip the whole burning question that has my mind on fire: did God really create my taste buds so differently from my husband’s? Is it a woman/man thing? Or is he a freak of nature? Or wait, maybe I’m the freak of nature?

Anyway, ignore this whole little session and just remember the fact that I fully endorse the deliciousness of this dish.


(Serves 5)

3 TBS olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1.25 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 1/2 breasts)

salt and pepper, to taste

1 lb farfalle (bowtie) pasta

2 14 oz cans artichoke hearts, drained (rinse well if using marinated hearts)

1 stick unsalted butter

1 c heavy whipping cream

1 1/2 c freshly grated parmesan cheese

4 slices bacon, chopped and fried (optional garnish)

1 TBS minced thyme or rosemary leaves (optional garnish)

First, get the pasta water (salted) on the stove so that we can get that farfalle cooked!

I chose to prep my garnish first–don’t ask why that made any kind of sense. I’d fried up some bacon the night before, so I chopped it up nice and fine along with some rosemary.

Thyme is also delicious on this dish. I should note that if you choose to use raw herbs for the garnish (as opposed to cooking the rosemary with the bacon, for example, or adding it to the chicken as it’s frying), chop it up finely! A mouthful of herb can be a rather bitter experience. You want tiny pieces–they pack a whomp.

Now, chop the chicken into bite-sized cubes.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high to high heat. When it’s hot, add the garlic and chicken.

Immediately sprinkle the chicken with salt and black pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the chicken is starting to look less raw.

Open and drain those artichoke hearts–we don’t want any excess liquid going in.

Add the artichoke hearts, and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Looking good.

Now you could chop up your artichoke hearts if you want, but I just broke them apart in the pan with my wooden stirring device:

I also used this opportunity to quickly grate the parmesan.

Add the butter to the artichokes and chicken . . .

Watch it melt with longing in your eyes.

Once it’s fully melted, add the cream . . .

. . . and parmesan.

Continue to cook for another few minutes until it’s turned into a lovely, thick sauce.

It looks a little pale, and that’s why the garnish is so important. It adds a beautiful pop to what could be a boring-looking dish.

When the pasta is done, pour it into the sauce and stir it around to combine.

Ew. That picture is disturbing, disgusting, and unappetizing. The drips of sauce look like . . . stalactites. Please pretend it never happened.

Let’s serve it up and top it off with some rosemary and bacon pieces.

Much prettier without those stalactites hanging ’round like they do.

You can also grate on a little more Parmesan if that does it for you.

I used one of my favorite Christmas gifts: a microplane zester.


Let’s take another bite.

Enjoy, ladies. And . . . men? If your taste buds are so inclined.

Click here for printer-friendly version: Chicken Artichoke Pasta Alfredo