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Wednesday - January 3, 2018 5:40 am

Spinach Dip Bites

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10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed well-drained and re-chopped

1 (6-ounce) jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

½ teaspoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

½ teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

optional 1 can seamless crescent dough

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, combine spinach, artichoke hearts, garlic and Parmesan cheese; blend in cream cheese and half the mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper; set aside. Using a rolling pin, lay out dough on a cutting board and lightly stretch to an 8- x 12-inch rectangle. Cut dough into 2-inch squares, 24 squares total. Lightly grease a mini muffin tin and place a square in each slot, gently pushing down to create an indent (you don't need to mold to the cup). Scoop one teaspoon spinach mixture on top of each square; gently push in (bites will mold to your tin while baking). Spread remaining mozzarella over tops of cups. Bake 15 to 17 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before moving from tray. (lilluna.com) My time saver: Buy spinach dip. I added chopped water chestnuts and artichoke bottoms (I prefer them to hearts), a handful of cheese – any type is okay – I usually use shredded mozzarella, but this time I had 3-cheese Italian blend, so I used that. Feta cheese gives it a little more zip. I scooped it into mini prebaked phyllo shells, topped it with a bit of shaved fresh Parmesan and baked it 15 minutes (check it at 10). Can be served warm or at room temperature. Another alternative is to use pie crust to line the muffin cups. It won’t turn soggy as crescent might.

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