Sweet Spinach Salad

3 T. orange juice concentrate
2 T. sugar
2 T. cider vinegar
1 T. finely chopped green onion
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. canola oil
1 1/2 t. poppy seeds
1 pkg. fresh baby spinach
2 cans (16 oz.) mandarin oranges, drained
2/3 c. honey roasted Almond Accents

In a blender, combine the orange juice, sugar, vinegar, onion and salt. While processing, gradually add oil in a steady stream. Stir in poppy seeds. transfer to a small pitcher or bowl. Refrigerate for one hour.

On salad plates, arrange spinach, mandarin oranges and almonds. Drizzle with dressing. Optional: add chow mein noodles and chicken for a delightful lunch! From Taste of Home magazine.

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Spinach-Artichoke Dip

My friend Holly shared this with me years ago, when we lived in Arkansas. I have it written on cool, “official” House of Representatives notepaper.  It makes me think of good times with our friends as young-marrieds, every time I make this delicious dish.

13 oz. can artichoke hearts (not marinated), chopped
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 c. mayo
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/4 c. grated Monterrey jack cheese
1 medium garlic clove, minced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine, artichokes, spinach, mayo, Parmesan, 1 c. Monterrey jack and garlic. Stir well.

Pour into a baking dish (9X13 inches or 9 inch round deep dish pie). Sprinkle rest of Monterrey jack cheese on top.

Cook in oven 15 minutes. Serve with bagel chips or small round Tostidos.

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Mer’s Spinach-Artichoke Dip

I am a spinach artichoke dip aficionado.  If it’s available at a restaurant, I get it.  And among all the wonderful ones I have tasted, this recipe my friend Meredith shared with me is by far the most EXCELLENT. You should definitely make some for your next gathering.

1/4 c. butter plus scant amount for greasing dish
1 med. onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 c. fresh spinach, chopped
14 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
8 oz. cream cheese, cut in chunks
1/2 c. mayonnaise
3/4 c. Parmesan cheese
8 oz. bag four cheese Mexican shredded cheese

Melt butter in skillet; add onions and garlic. Sauté until tender. Add spinach and cook 3 minutes. Add artichokes, cream cheese, mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese, stirring until cheeses melt. Spoon into greased 2 qt. baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips. Serves 10-12. From Meredith. The best artichoke dip we’ve ever tasted!

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