Roasted Garlic & Artichoke Dip (and a Vegan Snickers Bar?!)

I don't know about you, but this weekend starts a three-month long party bender for me. Monday is Thanksgiving here in Canada. Friday also marks the opening ceremonies for the week-long 2011 Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest (only the largest Oktoberfest celebration outside of Germany and my town's claim to fame), soon to be followed by Halloween. After that and before you know it, there come Christmas and New Year's parties. And then in January, fifteen pounds heavier, I hibernate. Much like all those bears I love so much!

It's at this point in the year that I start brainstorming party foods. Quick appetizers, dips and spreads that can be rolled out with minimal during-party effort. If Weezer's El Scorcho comes through the speakers, the last place in the world I want to be is in the kitchen.

This garlic and artichoke dip comes from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan, but you can find it online here. It takes about an hour to make in the oven, but it's nothing you can't leave unattended while you're in the living room doing the Time Warp.

A lot of garlic goes into it. I'm talking, like, 10 big cloves. So it's probably best that you don't invite any vampires or anyone that you want to make out with. And this time I actually mean 10 cloves of garlic, not like a couple days ago when I told you to put 2 cups of garlic in your mashed potatoes (oops).

The other thing is that I found the 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup of oil to be a bit much. Remember on The Simpsons when Homer is trying to gain weight so that he can work from home and they rub the sandwich on the wall to see if it is greasy enough? And then the wall goes clear? That's kind of what this felt like. My hands were pretty much see-through when I was done eating. I'm pretty sure cutting down the oil to just a couple tablespoons would be just fine. Especially if you've got stubborn jarred artichokes that won't drain of all the oil that they are packed with.

Instead of using bread, I bought a basil-infused gluten free pizza crust from Healthy Foods & More in Waterloo and baked it until the ends started to brown, about 10 minutes. Don't let the best before date frighten you - this crust freezes really well so feel free to stock up and defrost on day-of-use!

Sadly, I lack willpower the second I walk through their front door. The bakery is usually my first stop. On this particular day they had gluten-free vegan Snickers bars!

I swear, my intention was not to eat the entire thing in one sitting at ten o'clock at night.


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