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DINE IN: Artichoke Bruschetta

ArtichokeWhile I think most people perceive that I have a non-stop social life and am often on the go, nothing could be further from the truth. While I love my friends and am involved in a lot of community efforts, deep down I’m a homebody at heart.

When you find me on a Friday night, I’d much rather be tucked into my couch with my boys or on the back porch with a friend than out at a restaurant or club.

I’m worn out by the end of the week!

However, cooking relaxes me, and while I sometimes don’t want to go all-out for a full meal, I do like to make something special to let Friday night feel luxurious.

My boys weren’t home one Friday night recently, so I decided to treat myself to something they are not a huge fan of: artichokes.

I love them.

Roasted, fresh or jarred, packed in water (or olive oil for a decadent treat), artichokes add great flavor and texture to a dish.

You can make this bruschetta with the artichoke mixture as a topping, or bake it separately and use it as a dip.

Artichoke Bruschetta
Serves 8

2 (8 oz) pkg reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1 loaf French bread, cut into slices
1 cup mayonnaise with olive oil
1/4 cup light sour cream
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14 oz) can marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 Tbs parsley

Preheat oven to 350° F. Place the bread on a foil-lined baking sheet, and brush or spray with olive oil.

Bake the bread for 8-10 minutes until crispy and golden; set aside.

In an electric mixer, mix cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, chopped artichokes, garlic salt, parsley and both types of parmesan cheese.

Scoop a generous amount of the spread onto each piece of bread, and sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella cheese.

Broil in the oven on the high heat setting for 5-7 minutes until cheese is bubbly and slightly browned on top. Watch closely to avoid burning.

This can also be made into a dip and baked at 350° F for 15-20 minutes until bubbly.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 674, Calories from Fat: 364, Fat: 40 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (20 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 104 mg, Sodium: 1758 mg, Potassium: 107 mg, Carbohydrates: 46 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 6 g, Protein: 35 g.

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