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what a day

Recipe: artichoke dip

you know what’s coming
We have a new president. A shiny, new, intelligent, thoughtful, gracious, handsome president. I was in good spirits this morning listening to my public radio feed flood the kitchen and great room with coverage of the inauguration. As I whipped meringue and ground almonds, I listened to Mr. Obama take the oath of office. And suddenly I stopped, stood there, and wept into my apron. Tears of joy. It means so many different things to so many people. I can’t even begin to list what it means to me. As tired as it may sound, I have hope. Not sure what hope may mean to you, but for me, hope coupled with realism and determination gets me through life. Well, I suppose I should say they helped me wade through the emotional and physical mess of cancer. I don’t get through life, I live it whole hog. But now I’m living it with a big ass smile on my face.

are you shittin’ me?
So I’m scanning my blog feeds this morning and I see that Susan of Wild Yeast is a finalist for the Well Fed Network Food Blog Awards in the Best Food Blog – Theme category. How awesome! I clicked on the link to see what other favorite blogs of mine made it to the finals. I always hope my favorites plaster the awards. I saw Jaden and Helen and Bea and Aran and Michelle and whoa! Use Real Butter?!?! In the Best Food Blog – Overall category?!

***Are you shittin’ me?!***

I didn’t even know there was voting or nominating or whatever going on! Color me surprised. Well thank you for nominating me, whoever you are. Thanks for reading, all of you. [How do you find out this information?] And thanks to the judges for putting me in the finals among such awesome blogs – written by awesome bloggers, fo shiz. Let’s see here… Voting is open until 8 pm EST January 24, 2009. Sweet!

this chocolaty cookie is brought to you by…
I discovered Tim Tams on my first trip to New Zealand in 2003. Actually, there were Tim Tams and Chit Chats. Tim Tams are Aussie and I think Chit Chats are Kiwi. In any case, I liked Chit Chats better. Jeremy liked the Tim Tams. But with each subsequent trip back to New Zealand and eventually the motherland of Tim Tams (Australia), we came to associate Tim Tams with all things Aussie and wonderful. I would get the occasional Tim Tam fix from friends in Oz – that slender sleeve of about a dozen cookies…


coming to america

you want this?



A few weeks ago I received a curious email from Tanya of Mr. Youth, asking if I’d like to sample Tim Tams. Absolutely. It’s a promotional thing, because it appears Tim Tams have made it across the vast Pacific Ocean to the shores of North America. Pepperidge Farm brings us this Aussie treat and they are currently at Target (although it says for a limited time, so that makes me nervous). You can read more about it on http://ilovetimtamcookies.com/. If you are a Tim Tam virgin, you may want to give them a try. And if you do nab some Tim Tams, don’t forget to try the Tim Tam Slam.

almost there
My web overhaul is done, but I’m in editing mode at the moment before going live. In the meantime, I am still transferring some recipes over to this blog. The artichoke dip I make is a huge hit with anyone who tries it or makes it themselves. I got the recipe years ago from the Etiquette Grrls website, which still exists but has been in neglect for the past several years.


as you would expect, it has artichokes

minced garlic



The lemon looks funky because it’s naked. I needed the zest for another recipe, so it’s not your eyes playing tricks on you. When I made the dip this weekend to reshoot, I discovered that my stash of artichokes had apparently dwindled to one measly can. I settled on a half recipe and baked them up in these little ramekin-esque baking dishes my MIL had given me a long time ago. I like the little servings even better!

stir together the artichoke, mayonnaise, parmesan, garlic, and lemon juice

spread into the baking dish(es)



I prefer to use artichoke hearts in water rather than the ones in oil since there is a lot of mayonnaise and cheese. However, I guess you could argue the other side and say, what’s a little oil since there’s all that mayonnaise and cheese? Okay, well I hope this dip is shared among party guests or a group of people because it’s scary to think about an individual sitting down and eating the whole thing (as my friend’s partner reportedly did). It’s a testament to the deliciousness of the dip, but just remember it’s a cup of mayonnaise too. That’s like sucking down a stick of butter…

sprinkle bread crumbs on top



If you decide to bake the dip in smaller dishes, they still bake for the same amount of time. It is best served hot and you can provide slices of baguette, crackers, even tortilla chips alongside the dip. Another variation includes mixing in chopped spinach.

serve hot with bread or crackers



Artichoke Dip
[print recipe]
adapted from the Etiquette Grrls

2 cans (12 oz. each) artichoke hearts in water, drained
1 cup mayonnaise (full fat)
2 tbsps lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350°F. Pulse the artichoke hearts in a food processor until chopped. Mix the artichoke, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, and parmesan cheese in a bowl. Pour contents into a 9-inch baking dish (or several smaller ramekins). Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve with crusty baguette slices.

48 nibbles at “what a day”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you thank you thank you! Weeeee. I think I will make this Thursday night. It is nice to know the recipe halves well. My boyfriend loves this so much he would make himself sick trying to make sure there are no leftovers.

    Hope is what makes it possible to get out of bed every morning. Hope is Good.

    Congratulations on being nominated.

  2. Margie says:

    OMG! Jenzie, I MUST refer my daughter to your site. Her ABSOLUTE favorite thing to eat is artichoke dip! She may take offense to your comment about consuming the whole kit-and-kaboodle by oneself, though …. (M1, if you read this, your mama UNDERSTANDS.) ;).

    And that cookie….and the post about the cookie and the coffee…TOGETHER. OMG! I need say no more. If there is just one item that I find more delicious than a cookie, well…that would be, COFFEE. (burp!).

    Congratulations on your nomination!

  3. Asianmommy says:

    Congrats on the nomination–that’s awesome!

  4. LizzieBee says:

    YAY! TIM TAMS! Wow, they’re “coming to America”? Congratulations!! I introduced Tim Tams to Toots, this great lady who put me up when I became suddenly homeless in Canada a few years back. I’d received a care package randomly from an Aunt and in it was a packet of Tim Tams. WOW did she LOVE them! They are an AWESOME biscuit (sorry, cookie). Ahhhh Tim Tam Slams. Man, all this talk of Tim Tams is making me want to go buy a packet of them. We get different varieties of them now: Dark Tim Tams (yep, with all the goodness of dark chocolate -my personal favourite), Caramel Tim Tams (you get your Tim Tam, and run a ribbon of caramel through the middle of it), Strawberry Tim Tams (for October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and when everything becomes PINK in fund raising for it – the fondant in the middle of the Tim Tam becomes Strawberry – a real close second, favourite wise) and then the decadence range, where you see “Raspberry & Chocolate Fudge” and “Vanilla Fudge” and “Caramel Crunch”.

    MMMmmmmmmmmm

    Congratulations on being nominated!! I love Use Real Butter!

  5. Whitney says:

    YUM. Perfect for Superbowl Sunday (and any other party). Your blog is always the first I hit if it is currently waiting in my reader. I just love it. (and I just voted for you!)

    Congrats on your nomination. You deserve it.

  6. zoe / puku says:

    congrats Jen, you certainly deserve to be nominated – great photos, great writing, great food, great personality and regular posting = awesome blog!!! (overall!)

    also, congrats USA on your new president!!! what a great choice, and sooo needed right now.

    and finally, congrats USA on the timtams, I strongly endorse your suggestion Jen – URB readers: go out and buy a packet or 5 before you miss out! they truly are Australia’s favourite biscuit, and for good reason! can’t eat 5 packets? they are great eaten from the freezer! *end patriotic food plugging* Although, to be fair to my two passports, I should also encourage you all to try chitchats, but you will have to fly to NZ for those. which I also recommend, of course. Come on down, we have great chocolate biscuits! ;)

  7. Dragana says:

    Congratulations Jen on your nominations! I like your blog because of its honesty, beautiful pictures and delicious recipes. Hope you win!
    - A Tim Tam virgin, but not for long!

  8. Rosa says:

    Congrats! You deserve this nomination!

    This dip looks incredibly good! a wonderful idea…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  9. Tartelette says:

    Toot Toot! Homerun!! A nomination, Tim Tams (are you shittin’ me?…oops did I just reveal my real form of speech…well yeah I think I did :)) and the yummiest artichoke dip!! Score!

  10. Carole says:

    Obama’s nomination had made me shed tears of joy too…and I am not American and I don’t even live in the US :)
    It was just a beautiful moment for the whole world and it gives me hope too.
    And congratulations on your own nomination! I nominated you then and just voted for you now…I LOVE your blog! Your recipes, pictures and stories are inspiring!

  11. Nate says:

    All those other blogs are great but you know what? I check yours every day to see what new thing you bring. I love the photography, the recipes are wonderful. But it’s your personality that really comes through and makes it a Blog Worth Reading. You deserve the nomination!

  12. Steph says:

    I JUST looked up your artichoke dip to use this weekend! haha. Hooray for cheesy and artichoke-filled deliciousness. It hurts my heart to eat it (literally..) but it’s so damn good. Everything in moderation, right?

    My mom and I watched the inauguration together and we were both excited as hell. SO hilarious that Bush Sr. gave that Marine a little swat on the butt as he was walking in. Oh, Bush family. I am so glad to say goodbyeeeee.

  13. joanne at frutto della passione says:

    Congratulations on your nomination!! I love dips and spreads, sometimes when we are feeling very lazy or naughty we had dips and spreads and pates and general partyish food for dinner! Hurray every ingredient in this recipe is easy to find here!

  14. Aran says:

    i saw your name on the nominations! i was also surprised about these since i didn’t know there was voting going on. best of luck my friend. well deserved. and all the names you mentioned above are so amazing… i’m just happy to be part of it all.

  15. Culinarywannabe says:

    Congratulations on your nomination! The dip looks delicious. I don’t think I’ve ever had artichoke dip, but anything warm and cheesy works for me!

  16. Maya says:

    Congratulations on your nominations!!!

  17. michelle @ TNS says:

    i totally voted for you, and thanks for the link love!

  18. Taryn says:

    Congratulations on being nominated! This is certainly the best food blog – overall in my eyes. And 115 people before me, according to the poll!

    And thanks for the dip recipe, I’m thinking that’ll be my Super Bowl dish to pass. But I have a question for you: Do you think it would keep fine refrigerated for 8ish hours (in my car) before going into the oven? Or would you just wait to assemble it before it bakes? I’m going skiing the morning of the Super Bowl before hitting the party, and was wondering if I could shave off some prep time :)

  19. Julie says:

    I love this recipe. It is a total hit when I take it parties. I haven’t had it with garlic and lemon, but will definitely add those the next time I make it!

  20. Susan/Wild Yeast says:

    It goes without saying but I’m going to say it anyway: VERY well-deserved nomination!

  21. Chez Us says:

    I saw this the other day – CONGRATS!!! Fantastic being nominated and not knowing, an even bigger surprise!

    Love this recipe – have not had in years – will have to give it a whirl again!

  22. Kathy says:

    You have a wonderful website. You give hope to people who are floundering alittle.
    Congratulations on your nomination; you deserve it!

  23. kellypea says:

    Love artichoke dip, but am totally denied because my husband hates mayo. It’s a complete drag as I look longingly at your recipe. I’m laughing that you didn’t realize you’d been nominated, because I had the same problem. Totally hilarious and for me, hopeless since David Lebowitz is in the running. Good luck to you, though. I love your wit — always! Of course, the food is good too. ;)

  24. Amy says:

    Oh, *awesome* Jen – CONGRATS!!! Well-deserved!

    I love artichoke dip, and I’m totally with you on the hopeful feeling. :)

  25. bee says:

    welcome to a new era, hopefully with less b.s. and fewer wars.

  26. Anelhe says:

    Of course you were nominated. You are the best of the best. I am so excited and beyond hopeful. It is a joyful time in the midst of crisis and despair.

  27. deb says:

    This is my favorite dip in the whole world. The only thing I do even slightly differently is that I think that there can never be too much lemon juice in it and lay on whatever I can get.

    Congratulations on the nomination! Well-deserved, so it doesn’t surprise me one bit. :)

  28. Laura says:

    Congrats on the nomination!

    I LOVE artichoke dip. Its always something I make around the holidays, but that may just have to change.

    And I fell in love with Tim-Tams in college. We had an Australian exchange student in our suite in the dorm, and her mother would always send boxes of them. I’m so excited to hear they’ve finally made it to the States! I’m so heading to Target right after work!

  29. ElleBee says:

    How funny! I am eating a Tim-Tam as I’m reading your blog! I discovered them at Target about a month and a half ago. I don’t buy them too often, as I could inhale the entire package in one sitting. They are soooooo yummy!

  30. Kristi says:

    I also noticed the Tim Tams at Target after reading your blog. My husband and I tried the slam and it was great. You are not kidding about it getting mushy fast! We told our children they were “coffee cookies” so they are no longer interested, though slightly suspicious!

  31. dawn says:

    you’re nominated because you rock–simply put. (I voted & nominated for you)
    I wish I didn’t see that pic of the cookie! Ohhh no

  32. Irene says:

    Yay, congrats on being nominated! You definitely deserve it! I’ve been looking for a good artichoke dip recipe, and lookie here, I find it on Use Real Butter (double yay). Thank you so much!

  33. Leah says:

    Congrats on the Blog nomination! I really enjoy your blog and always look forward to your new posts. Very well deserved!

    I’m really tempted to head to Target to look for Tim Tams! It’s been at least 10 years since I’ve had the delicious cookie. Are the Pepperidge Farms Tim Tams comparable to the Aussie originals?

  34. Jenny says:

    I thought I was the only one who used the Ettiquette Grrls artichoke dip recipe (I often add spinach too)

  35. Sara says:

    This artichoke dip looks great. I’ve heard good things about Tim Tams, so I picked them up when I was at Target. I bought the caramel kind – they were quite good

  36. Patricia Scarpin says:

    Congratulations on the nomination, Jen – so well deserved! :)
    I have never heard of a dip made in the oven like this – I’m intrigued and totally curious, since I’m a huge artichoke fan.
    Oh, and as for your new president, I’m so jealous! Ours is such a moron…

  37. Woolly says:

    I went and voted for you! CONGRATS!!!!!

  38. Mollie says:

    Of COURSE you’re nominated. You rock! :)

    Love the dip… spinach dip and artichoke dip are two of my most favorite things….mmmmmm

  39. Pomme says:

    Nomination well well deserved, well done!!!

  40. Abby says:

    Congrats on the nomination! Consider my vote yours!

    I’ve read SO MUCH about Tim Tams. Can’t wait to give them a try.

    My husband asked me last night to make artichoke dip for a party tonight. I may give this recipe a go because I totally trust you!

  41. peabody says:

    I saw you there my dear and I couldn’t be happier for you! Well deserved.
    I have been looking for those as they have popped up on quite a few people’s blogs. I can’t seem to find them out here yet. Maybe soon.
    Thanks for the dip recipe. Nothing I love more than artichoke dip.

  42. Melissa says:

    I voted for you. ;) As much as I love the others, I have lauded Heidi and Elise in the past and, while maybe I’m crazy, I don’t read the other two. So you were my other option. :P

    As for Obama, yeah, I wrote a personal blog about that yesterday and was freakin surprised at myself for it. I have never felt like this before. Very powerful.

  43. Duncan | The Gastronomer's Bookshelf says:

    Oooh, I never thought I’d see TimTams in the US with non-Australian branding! Are they imported with Pepperidge Farm packaging, or locally manufactured? Not sure I’ll ever take to the idea of them being called “cookies” though:)

  44. jenyu says:

    Elizabeth – thanks!

    Margie – thank you :)

    Asianmommy – thanks a lot!

    LizzieBee – Oh I love the different Tim Tam flavors. I think my favorite was a chocolate chili version. Sooo ingenious and fun. Thank you!

    Whitney – you’re such a sweetie. Thank you and I’m really glad you enjoy the blog!

    Zoe/Puku – aww, thanks on all three counts :) I’ve never thought to put TimTams in the freezer, although that is probably because they never last long enough to make it that far. ha ha!

    Dragana – that’s very nice of you to say. Thanks. Now get out and find some Tim Tams! :)

    Rosa – thank you, dear!

    Tartelette – ha ha ;) we love you BECAUSE you have that naughty streak. xxoo

    Carole – why thank you so much for the nomination. I have the best readers in the world!

    Nate – such a sweetheart. Thanks, hon. Finding so many awesome foodies out there like you makes the whole blog worth doing.

    Steph – I love this dip… that’s why I have to make sure I only eat a little at a time ;) We don’t have a TV, so I didn’t see that Marine swatting! How funny :)

    Joanne – party food makes for GREAT weekend food, doesn’t it? We are also guilty of that from time to time (usually after a party b/c we always make way too much food and love leftovers). Thanks!

    Aran – you certainly deserve to be up there, my dear. Your are a phenom photographer and baker. I am transported everytime I visit your blog. Thank you.

    Culinarywannabe – mmmm, cheese… :) Thanks!

    Maya – thank you.

    Michelle – I got you right back. No one makes me laugh like you do, lady… NO ONE. Thanks, chica.

    Taryn – awww, thanks! And yes! It will keep in the fridge and just pop it in the oven when you’re ready. That would totally work (don’t you love easy recipes?!)

    Julie – omg, you must add the garlic and lemon – I promise you’ll *love* it!

    Susan – you are so sweet! Your nomination is also very well-deserved. You got my vote, hon!

    Chez Us – thanks :)

    Kathy – ah ha ha ha! I think I give fodder to people who want to see how things can go wrong sometimes ;) Thank you for your kind words.

    Kellypea – oh no! You totally have to sneak a little for yourself. And congrats on YOUR nomination. That’s awesome regardless of whether you win or not. You are in some prestigious company. Good for you!

    Amy – thanks! It’s been a good month, no? Feeling happy with ya, love!

    Bee – yay!!!!!

    Anelhe – so very sweet of you to say. And I totally agree – very hopeful.

    Deb – mmm, I feel the same about the lemon AND garlic, tee hee! Thank you. I suspect you have won several of these categories in the past or else the judges would have plastered your blog all over every category possible. Yours is definitely one of my favorites and you set a high bar, my dear!

    Laura – thank you! oooh, I hope you found your TimTams :)

    ElleBee – awesome! Yeah, they are way too easy to polish off…

    Kristi – that is so clever ;) If your kids ever find out! … Yes, they mush up in no time flat. All the better to try another.

    Dawn – thank you for the nomination, you are really very kind :)

    Irene – I love this dip, so I hope you will too. All of our guests love it. Definitely give it a spin.

    Leah – thanks! ooh, ten years is a looong time to go without a TimTam. I hope you find them asap! To me, they really taste just like the original. Although maybe I need to do more comparison? ;)

    Jenny – not only do we share an awesome name, but we have great taste in good recipes!

    Sara – mmm, I need to get me some caramel TimTams. I love caramel.

    Patricia – thank you, sweetheart! oooh, you should try this dip. You would love it. Ha, you say that now, but just a few months ago it was not so – right? :)

    Woolly – hey man! Long time no see :) Good to hear from you. Thank you for your vote. Hope you’re doing well.

    Mollie – ;) phsaw. You just say that because you like flank steak recipes ;) xxoo

    Pomme – thank you!

    Abby – thanks :) Definitely try the recipe. If you are wary, you can halve the recipe and see if you like it (but I bet you will!).

    Peabody – you’re such a sweetie. Thanks. I really think a lot of it is quite random, though. As in – you should be right up there too with your ninja-training pup. If you have trouble still, let me know and I will hunt them down for ya.

    Melissa – thank you! You really ought to read Tartelette though, she has awesome recipes and lovely photos. One of my favorites, really :) I have to agree with you – very powerful indeed.

    Duncan – I am guessing that PF makes the TimTams here. Not sure what the full story is, but I sincerely hope they are here to stay b/c I think TimTams rock the socks off a lot of US cookies… er, I mean biscuits! :)

  45. Andy says:

    Your cursing is very surprising but very refreshing at the same time. I love the casual, yet elegant, style of your blog.

  46. jenyu says:

    Andy – h’okay! thanks :)

  47. Kirsa says:

    this dip rules my fiance’s world ! He keeps asking for more and more…. pics are amazing as always

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