Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Faux Snow Days and Comfort Food

Recently Houston experienced something that I like to call a little "Snow Faux Day". And we didn't have just one, we actually had two. Seriously. Two of these days. And let me tell you how how much snow came down...zilch. Nothing. Maybe a few flakes but that is it.  However, schools were closed all over the Houston area. So I did what any girl and momma would do...I stayed in my little robe and pajamas, indulged in many cups of coffee in my favorite mug...
and wasted the day away with my baby girl. We had zero plans and it was too cold to do much outdoors. However, we did venture out for a few minutes on the wagon and tried out pigtails for the first time!

Having a one year old indoors all day was a bit rough with her attention span of 5 minutes. We did everything we could and played with every toy possible at least three times.

So I knew we had to get some plans quickly because we couldn't stay home all night. So I called Mary Rachel, who is also a teacher with a faux snow day and we got some plans together quickly. Dinner with the babies and game night once they were in bed ASAP. I made it to the store for a few ingredients and and whipped up an delicious appetizer (Compliments of Southern Living many moon ago) and a yummy dessert. Mary Rachel made her delicious chili and we had ourselves a little faux snow day party.

And somebody LOVED Mattthew's big and comfy chair:)

Pecan Crusted Artichoke and Cheese Spread
1/4 cup butter, divided
 1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 8oz. package cream cheese, cup up
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 8oz. package shredded four cheese blend
2/3 cup chopped pecans 
1/2 cup herbs seasoned stuffing mix

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet; add onion and garlic, and saute until tender. Add spinach, and cook over medium heat, stirring often, 3 minutes.
Add artichoke hearts and next 4 ingredients, stirring until cheese melts. Spoon into a greased 2 quart baking dish.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, stir gently.
Combine remaining 1 tablespoon butter, pecans and stuffing mix, tossing until blended. Sprinkle over top, and bake 15 more minutes.
Serve warm with pita chips

 White Chocolate Cookie Bars
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350. In 13x9 inch baking pan, melt butter in pan. 
Sprinkle crumbs evenly over butter, pour condensed  milk evenly over crumbs. Top with remaining ingredients, press down firmly with spoon. 
Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cut into bars. 

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