Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Christmas - Greater Gifts (& Hot Artochoke Dip)

I'm not getting any presents this year for Christmas. Well... that's not true, I already got my presents really early. I sit here in the midst of a recession self employed, a new home owner, capable of taking care of myself during a crappy economy.   I owe all this to my Greater Gifts. Nothing tangible or valuable in a monetary sense but gifts of friendship, of family.  Gifts of using my intelligence and showing leadership and openness. Gifts of being able to relate to other human beings. Being able to smile and talk to strangers, or help those in need. Being able to learn something every day is a Great Gift. Being able to apply all these lessons to my world every day is a wonderful life.  I hope other people are realizing that the Greater Gifts matter more than money, or ego, or self.

I make this Hot Artichoke Dip every Christmas Eve... This year I promise I'll add a photo.

Ingredients
- 2 (13 3/4-ounce) cans artichoke hearts (drained & broken into smaller chunks)
- 1 14 ounce can of tomato with jalapenos. 
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup packed grated Parmesan Cheese
- 2-3 tablespoons tobasco sauce (more or less to taste. You can try other hot sauces too.)
- 1 large garlic clove, mashed
- A few cranks of fresh black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, stir well. Scrape into an oven proof dish, cover and bake for 40 minutes. Serve this savory dip HOT, with bagel chips, corn chips, crackers, bread... anything! Enjoy!

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