Baked Cheese Dip for Game Night or Movie Night

This is a tangy but tasty dip to be used with crackers, pretzels, celery pieces or whatever you have on hand. Please note.. I tried to be healthy. After all, I added celery, didn’t I?


  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 cup shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3-4 pickled artichokes in a jar, drained and chopped

Put all the ingredients in a blender and process until well blended.

Spoon into a greased 3 quart baking dish and bake in a 375 oven until hot and bubbly. Remove from oven and let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

Note: I would add small cooked shrimp just after removing from the blender. Mix well with a spatula.  Bake are noted.  I know….a glass of wine or beer of your choice would be good.

OMG! This is yummy.

Shrimp and Artichoke Soup

When we were in New Orleans this past week, these two foodies(us)  took in a cooking class at the New Orleans School of Cooking. What a delight it was. Sondra, our teacher for the morning,  is a real treasure and this was one of her recipes. Not only that, we served it Friday night at a dinner we put on for friends and they LOVED it..

It is fabulous, and you should try it at least once…..once this week, once again next month and on and on…you will really like it.

  • 24 oz. quartered artichokes (rinse really well)
  • 1 qt. strong chicken stock**
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley (for garnish)
  • 1 tb sp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup flour, plus 1 tbsp.
  • 1 qt. heavy cream (whipping cream)***
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

Combine the artichokes, chicken stock, 1/2 the green onions, pinch of salt, Joe’s Stuff seasoning and thyme. Bring this to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes.

Combine butter and flour for a light roux and add to the simmering pot. (see note below). Stir in the heavy cream and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add shrimp and simmer for 5 more minutes. Serve with some of the remaining green onions and the parsley.

**The quart of strong chicken stock can be substituted by the liquid from the artichokes.

***No apologies here. Milk or half and half will not work here.

Note: When making the roux, Sondra says “turn off the tv, unplug the phone and with a flat bottom wooden ‘spatula’, continue to stir the roux until it becomes a light colour. Do not stop stirring”.

It makes 6 to 8 servings. Serve with a nicely chilled Viognier from Quinta Ferreira Wineries and Voila! you did it again. Thanks to Sondra.