Christmas Corner

The earth has grown old with its burden of care, But at Christmas it always is young.
- Phillips Brooks



Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.
- Hamilton Wright Mabi



Christmas has lost its meaning for us because we have lost the spirit of expectancy. We cannot prepare for an observance. We must prepare for an experience.
- Handel H. Brown



Christmas is the day that holds all time together.
- Alexander Smith



Florentine Artichoke Dip Recipe

Ingredients:
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained well and squeezed dry
1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 (8 oz.) packs cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 Tbls. lemon juice
Salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste

Directions:

Step 1:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Step 2:
Lightly grease an 8x8 baking dish.

Step 3:
In a medium bowl, blend together cream cheese and mayo until smooth.

Step 4:
Mix in spinach, artichoke hearts and Parmesan cheese.

Step 5:
Add garlic and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and peppers.

Step 6:
Spread evenly into baking dish. Cover dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Step 7:
Remove foil and bake for 5 additional minutes or until slightly browned.

Step 8:
Serve with tortilla chips, breadsticks, pretzels or veggies.

Note: For a more elegant presentation, dredge quartered artichoke hearts in egg wash and Italian breadcrumbs, deep fry until crispy and use for dipping instead of chips.

EXTRA SPECIAL: For a very elegant dish, add crabmeat, shrimp or crawfish before baking.

Recipe by Chef John Folse