Wednesday, 4 April 2012

A Little Taste of Home!

I've had this same Easter basket since I was a baby
So last week a package was delivered to our house . Inside was a basket full of awesome! My mom had sent me my Easter basket. Just the day before, I had made myself all weepy thinking about how this was going to be my first year without an Easter basket. Here in the UK they don't do baskets. They do eggs. Big hollow chocolate eggs filled with assorted candies. I much prefer Easter baskets! Anyway, my basket was full of Peeps, Starburst jelly beans, 2 chocolate bunnies, Hershey's chocolate eggs, Easter M&M's, coconut cream eggs, Cadbury creme eggs, Reese's Peanut Butter Bunnies, little toys, bobbleheads, a rubber duckie, a coloring book...and in the less "traditional" category, my mom also included a box of Hidden Valley Ranch mix and several packages of Knorr vegetable soup mix. I cannot even begin to tell you how unbelievably THRILLED I was! First of all, Starburst jelly beans are the BEST jelly beans EVER created. I wish I could find them in the UK. More importantly, I wish I could find bags of them in the UK that only contained the strawberry and grape flavored beans. Mmm...I tried to avoid them as long as possible. I think I made it about 24 hours before I opened the bag and devoured all of its contents. They are so addictive. They are like crack. Not that I've ever had crack, but whatever.

So aside from the jelly beans, I was most excited about the Knorr veggie soup mix. Surprise surprise, I can't find this here in the UK (I just checked Amazon and it's not available there, either. Booo). I can find Knorr cream of vegetable soup mix but that isn't the same thing. Dammit. For as long as I can remember my mom has used Knorr veg soup mix to make spinach dip for special occasions. Christmas, Thanksgiving, parties/get togethers and whenever my older brother would come visit from Massachusetts. This dip was ALWAYS included. I really missed it this year at Thanksgiving and Christmas to tell ya the truth. I'm thrilled to have 4 lovely packages at my disposal now! Well, 3...because I totally made spinach dip today. This dip is chock full of flavor and vegetable goodness. Dylan (my dear, sweet, wonderful husband) does NOT like vegetables. all. It's weird. He's a 28 year old man and he loathes them. I, on the other hand, cannot get enough. I am constantly trying to find ways to sneak them into his diet because he refuses to just eat them. I puree frozen mixed vegetables and chuck them into spaghetti sauce. I try to mix spinach and other various veggies into assorted pasta bakes and hope that he's just not in the mood to pick through it all to remove the offending tidbits, hahaha. I didn't think I would have to get so creative until we had children, but there we go. So yeah, I figured this would be a fool proof way to get Dylan to eat loads of spinach goodness. 

Spinach Dip Goodness

He tried it and liked it! Woohoo! The recipe for the spinach dip is on the back of the package (and can also be found here) but I altered it a bit based on what I did and didn't have on hand in my kitchen. I doubled the spinach because spinach rules, bell pepper replaced water chestnuts, Greek yogurt replaced sour cream and peas replaced green onions.

Here's my (slightly) altered recipe! Enjoy!

Spinach Dip

20 ounces frozen chopped spinach, cooked, cooled and squeezed dry
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup Mayonnaise
1 package Knorr® Vegetable recipe mix
1 small orange bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup frozen peas

Combine all ingredients and chill for as long as you can handle it. This is usually about half an hour for me, but trust me when I say it's so much better after a few hours!
My mom always serves this in a hollowed out bread bowl along with crudite, crackers and the bread from the bread bowl. I am eating mine with slices of cucumber and pretzels. Nom nom nom!

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