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Archive for the ‘Cream Cheese’ Category

There is a specific grief that afflicts your Bad Mama Genny…namely, that which occurs when a foodie learns that he or she may no longer be compatible with a favorite nommable.  When I started to suspect that the lactose molecule (it is a molecule, no?  someone enlighten me) was not as Gen-appropriate as formerly thought, I…well, I went through some shit.

First came denial (“Oh, that no dairy thing is such fluffernutter, see, look, I can eat a whole pint of ice cream and I’m just fi—OH GOD SOMEBODY STAB ME IN THE CHEST RIGHT NOW”).

Then came sadness (“This is the end of my life as a foodie. I’ll never cook again. Why bother going out to eat? Well, there goes my social life. I might as well end it all right now. Anybody have a citrus zester I can fall on?”).

Overreaction was common (“No, The Boy, I do NOT think my Cashew Cheddar ‘Cheeze’ turned out well, I think it sucks, it does not remind me of cheddar, it reminds me of rotten hummus, and I’ll thank YOU to stay out of it! Stop eating that this instant! It’s terrible and I forbid you to like it!”).

Anger was a part of everyday life (“How could cream do this to me? ME?!  Bad Mama Genny loved it, cared for it, played with it all the time, put it in a bonnet and took it for walks around the neighborhood…sure, the other mothers stared, but cream was always the most beautiful baby to me—they didn’t understand our love!”).

But soon (okay, maybe not so soon, but for the sake of flow, let’s say soon), SOON, I reached the magical land of acceptance. Acceptance is not something that comes to those who wait. It is something that comes to those who bitch and moan and then refuse to live a life without spinach artichoke dip.

But allow me to depart for a moment from this me, me, me thing, and mention that I did not bring on this enlightened thinking all on my own. Rice milk, almond milk, nutritional yeast (or “nooch”), and tomes of online recipes were my friends as I slowly started to put my life back together.

Mostly, though, I’m brilliant. And that is how this recipe for Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip was born.  Out of my brilliance.  You’re welcome.

Lactose-Free Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip

Go Get:

8 oz. package Non-Dairy Cream Cheese (i.e. Tofutti or Soya-Kaas–I find mine at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods)

1 11 oz. (approximately) jar marinated artichoke hearts, roughly chopped

10 oz. pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed as dry as you can get it

1/2 cup mayonnaise (REAL mayonnaise–nothing low-fat, as they’re just so processed and frequently have lactose added for stability)

1/4 cup parmesan or vegan parmesan (most cheeses, especially aged ones, have little to no lactose remaining, but use soy if you’re having fear feelings)

2 large garlic cloves

2 teaspoons dried basil (or 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil)

1/2 tsp. salt

approx. 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1/4 cup shredded mozzarella OR soy mozzarella

Go Do:

Preheat oven to 375, and lightly oil a baking dish.  Combine all the ingredients except for the mozzarella in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until combined and creamy.  Spoon it into the prepared baking dish and top it with the shredded “mozzarella.”  Bake it until it’s bubbling and the cheese on top is golden–maybe 20, 25 minutes.  Serve with diced tomatoes and tortilla chips, pita chips, sliced veggies, crackers, or wedges of toasted rustic bread.  (Note—it’s also possible to skip baking this dip and just mix all the ingredients in a crockpot set on high until the dip is hot, and then lowered to the warm/lowest setting.  Voila—now it’s ready to party, just like your BMG!  Invite me, bitches.)

     

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Christmastime always makes your BMG think of Chinese food.

Now I know what you’re thinking–wow, her family probably never cooked; they probably ordered in Chinese for the holiday, what abuse, what misery, poor Bad Mama Genny!

Au contraire, my sweet misfit poppets, au contraire.

You see, I came from a family that dedicated itself to crafting the perfect holiday. Thanksgiving with 15 sides (3 different kinds of jello, but of course), Christmas with a family-style spread that required an extra 8-foot folding table to accommodate the selection, and a traditional Polish Christmas Eve Wigilia meal the night before–for a grand fucking whopping total of FIVE PEOPLE OH MY GOD WHY ARE WE WORKING SO HARD MY FINGERS ARE BLEEDING INTO THE FIGGY PUDDING OH THE HUMANITY.  So where does the Chinese food fit in?

Well, somewhere between my mother’s 3 AM panic attack over getting the house clean enough, my brother’s emotional breakdown at the tear we’d managed to rip in the universe which sent all the world’s dirty dishes to his sink, and my impromptu nap at the kitchen table, vegetable peeler still in hand, five pounds of potatoes down, only three more to go…well, irony of fucking ironies, we all got hungry. My aunt would pull out the Chinese takeout menu, and forty bucks later, we were a united front once again, happily chowing down on Moo Goo something-or-other and wondering how the hell we had ended up in this gelatinous, technicolored, gumdrop-studded, whirling, twirling gingerbread house of horrors. That, my friends, is why, as I was decking my halls and ho-ho-ho-ing my way through my cookie list, I was hit by an overwhelming–NAY–insatiable desire for Crab Rangoon. Enter today’s recipe.

I recommend eating these with the Christmas lights on, “Jingle Bells” playing in the background, and a sobbing family memb–but wait; that’s my house, not yours.

So indulge your mother’s compulsive need to include the three primary jello colors. Peel potatoes ’til you pass out (fine, so there MAY have been some gin involved, I can’t really say…).  Embrace the dog when she eats the blinking angel tree-topper (she looks kinda cute with her tummy periodically lighting up like that). The love will get you through. If not, well, there’s always that gin.

Crab Rangoon
Makes 48

Go Get:
1 package (48 count) wonton wrappers
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
6 oz. flaked crabmeat
2 green onions, minced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. each tamari or soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce
approx. 1/4 cup cooking oil (I used grapeseed)

Go Do:
Preheat the oven to 425F degrees. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except for the wonton wrappers and the cooking oil.

Lay out a won ton wrapper with one of the points facing you.  Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of the wrapper, and spread it out to make a horizontal, log-like shape.  Resist the urge to overfill, as this will cause them to burst while cooking.

Using your finger, moisten the edges of the wonton with water, and fold the bottom half to the top, pressing all the edges to seal.

Repeat with the remaining wrappers.  Place the finished rangoon onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and, using a pastry brush dipped into the oil, lightly brush both sides of all the rangoon.

Put the rangoon into the oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until both sides are pleasantly browned, flipping once halfway through cooking.  Allow them to cool for a few minutes before biting into them.  Serve with your favorite dipping sauces and sides.

 

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