Christmas Corner

Christmas is the gentlest, loveliest festival of the revolving year - and yet, for all that, when it speaks, its voice has strong authority.
- William John Cameron



Christmas is the keeping-place for memories of our innocence.
- Joan Mills



Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most.
- Ruth Carter Stapleton



Christmas is for children. But it is for grown-ups too. Even if it is a headache, a chore, and nightmare, it is a period of necessary defrosting of chill and hide-bound hearts.
- Lenora Mattingly Weber



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