Goat cheese is one of my favorite cheeses ever. I love the creamy texture and tangy flavor of it.  I eat it on its own, in salads, but my favorite way to eat it is spread over a toasted piece of bead, especially when it is mixed with some delicious herbs with a hint of lemon enhancing the flavor.  Mmm… Mmm…

The original recipe came Giada De Laurentiis and is incredibly delicious but a bit involved and time consuming.  So, I’ve made some edits to reduce the time and enhance the flavor profiles I enjoy (more thyme & rosemary).  If you love goat cheese, you have to give this dip a try.  You will not regret it!!

Lemon & Herb Goat Cheese Dip
(adapted from Giada De Laurentiis’s  Herb Coated Goat Cheese Balls)
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 baguette
Zest of 1 lemon
3 Tbsp. chopped parsley
2 Tbsp chopped rosemary
2 Tbsp chopped thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 oz goat cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

2.  Cut the baguette into 1/4 – 1/2 inch slices.

3.  Arrange the baguette on a sheet pan in a single layer, then drizzle them with 2 tablespoons of your extra-virgin olive oil. 

4.  Bake until golden, about 10 minutes.

 5.  While the bread is toasting, mix together the lemon zest, parsley, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. 

6.  Add the goat cheese into the mixture and mash it together using a fork to combine.

 7.  Garnish the toasted bread with a few rosemary, thyme and/or parsley leaves.  Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil over the dip.

8.  Serve and enjoy the yummy goodness of this mouth watering dip!

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Today I’m sharing the most delicious Spinach and Artichoke Dip recipe, perfect for a New Years (or any other) celebration.  This dip is rich, hearty and SO flavorful.  It has  been a hit at every gathering I’ve served it at so I know you’ll love it.  It’s almost healthy too!  I mean, the spinach and artichoke totally cancel out the cream! 🙂

Give it a try… I promise it’s worth the effort and the extra time at the gym!

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

1/4 cup butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp minced onion
1/4 cup flour
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sour cream
20 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
12 oz jar canned artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese

1.  Melt butter in large sauce pan.
2.  Add the garlic and onion and saute until they are golden, about 5 minutes.
3.  Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute.
4.  Whisk in the heavy cream and chicken broth.   Allow the mixture to come to a boil (3-5 minutes), stirring occasionally.
5.  Stir in the romano cheese, lemon juice, hot sauce and salt.  Keep the mixture on the heat until the cheese melts.
6.  Turn the heat off and stir in the sour cream.
7.  Stir in the spinach and artichoke hearts.
8.  Spoon the mixture in a 13″x9″ oven safe dish.
9.  Top with the shredded white cheddar cheese.
10.  Bake at 375* for about 15-20 minutes.  The cheese should be melted and the dip should be bubbling along the edges.
11.  Serve warm with chips or crusty bread.

* Dip can be prepared in advance.  Complete steps 1-9 then cover and keep in the refrigerator.  Bake it off when ready to serve.
* Dip freezes really well.  If I’m making it for a smaller gathering, I will spoon the mixture into 2 smaller serving dishes.  I freeze one and serve the other.  Just defrost your frozen dip before placing in the oven.


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