Cheesy Beer and Spinach Dip

by Cate on August 15, 2005

When Nicholas and I went to the bookstore on Friday, I neglected to tell you about my stash. If you’re a regular reader, you already know I love getting the import magazines, and they’re starting to come already this month. There’s still a few missing, but this will get me nicely started. Fresh is a new import and with tapas on the headlines, I’m excited about this one. The soup featured on the cover of delicious. looks scrumptious, and already has me thinking about Fall Soup Night menus with our neighbors. Each magazine has something waiting for me to tear into.

Every weekend, bloggers unite for Weekend Cat Blogging. Haven’t had a chance (read: remembered) to participate until this weekend, when I finally got to snap a picture of one of our cats, Callie. Isn’t she gorgeous? I was trying to get her next to one of the dogs, since all their colorings match and makes for a really striking picture, but you know how pets are … VERY uncooperative! You can check out the other participants of Weekend Cat Blogging over at Eat Stuff’s web site.

Cat Blogging Weekend #10

Power went out today around 3 pm, and didn’t come back on until around 7. We were due to get a large storm, which was the cause of the outage, but unfortunately it didn’t bring the much-needed rain we were looking forward to. Power or no power, I was determined to continue with my dinner plan of homemade pizzas, and I did. Funny … my very 21st century Husband asked how I could POSSIBLY make dinner with no power. The grill, silly! Now before my sister interjects with some “pot calling the kettle black” joke, I will be the first to admit, I am quite 21st century myself — I’m too addicted to Tivo to not be. But I took tonight as a challenge … it was fun, cooking by candlelight. We had a chuckle when we saw our neighbors get Chinese food delivered.

I made Gourmet Chicken Pizza, Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Pizza, and the Cheesy Beer & Spinach Dip. My stepdaughter helped me in the kitchen, making the dip all by herself and completely deboning the chicken for the pizza. That was pretty impressive, especially since that’s one of my least favorite jobs. While we were cooking, I asked The Husband to dig out the fondue pot. He said “no” and walked away to get it, joking, of course. The Stepdaughter pipes up with “Geesh, men are so lazy. The women have to do all the cooking, the cleaning, the laundry…” I thought it was funny … she’s only 11, and while that doesn’t apply to The Husband (because he’s a big help in the house), it probably applies to a lot of other husbands out there, and it’s a little early to be getting that lesson. Anyways, we had a good time.
The Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Pizza was excellent, and my favorite. Everyone else liked the Gourmet Chicken Pizza. I thought it was very good too, just liked the other one better. The chicken pizza has a base of Ranch dressing, which is an interesting diversion from the usual tomato sauce. Hey, even Nicholas ate a whole piece, and since the shorts he was wearing today were 12-18 months size that still FIT him, when he should be in 36 months, I was happy for that. He’s a pretty good eater, but has such a SKINNY waist!

Now for the Cheesy Beer & Spinach Dip. I made the dip for two reasons. One, I happen to love Spinach Dip and The Husband doth protest. Two, I thought I could sneak some green veggies into him and Nicholas. Fat chance. The Stepdaughter and I ate the lion’s share of it, with The Husband having only one bite, and Nicholas, two. Oh well, can’t blame a gal for trying. It was very good, and simple to make, but next time, I’d switch out half the Jack cheese and add Cheddar instead, for more of a flavor impact. We did it on the stove (power came back at the very end) and finished it off and served it in the fondue pot.

Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Pita Pizza

I love my Strawberry Sangria and made another batch tonight. We have affectionately named it “Mom Juice” – quite fitting, I’d say.

Strawberry Sangria

Cheesy Beer & Spinach Dip

Stephanie from Dispensing Happiness is hosting a Blog Party, and I think with two of the things I made for tonight, this is a good opportunity to enter. Stephanie, enjoy my Cheesy Beer & Spinach Dip and my Strawberry Sangria (aka Mom Juice). And JT, my newest partner in drinking Mom Juice… I got a pitcher in the fridge for us; bring Nicholas’ girlfriend and pop on over.

Until tomorrow…

Goat Cheese & Sun-Dried Tomato Pizzas
1 (5 ounce) log goat cheese, crumbled
1 (7 ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes marinated in olive oil, drained
4 pita bread rounds
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Separate the pita breads by cutting around the outer edge, and carefully prying the halves apart to make two rounds out of each one. Place the separated pita rounds onto cookie sheets. Generously sprinkle goat cheese, roasted red peppers and sun-dried tomatoes onto each one. Bake the pizzas for 16 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the crust is crisp. (Also can be grilled) As soon as the pizzas come out of the oven, sprinkle with torn basil, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut into quarters, and serve hot or warm. Easiest way to cut is on a large cutting board with your longest knife.

Cheesy Beer and Spinach Dip
2/3 cup beer
3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring beer to a boil. Lower heat. Slowly stir in Monterey Jack cheese and flour. Cook and stir until cheese is melted but not bubbly. Mix spinach, cilantro, salt and pepper into the beer mixture. Serve warm.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Clare Eats August 15, 2005 at 12:40 am

Callie is so pretty!
One of my parents cats has similar colouring. I so want to make that Strawberry Sangria


Anonymous August 15, 2005 at 12:44 am

Your cat is absolutely gorgeous!

Is your Mom Juice recipe posted somewhere? Looks like something all us Mom’s should enjoy!


Stephanie August 15, 2005 at 12:59 am


I once had a cat of similar coloring; I called her “Snickers”, because she looked like a melted candy bar…


Joe August 15, 2005 at 1:02 am

Love the kitty picture! How old is callie?

The magazines look good! I’ll have to check them out sometime at B&N – there’s one less than a mile away.


Cate August 15, 2005 at 1:16 am

Thanks, Clare! DO give the Strawberry Sangria a try — I love it because it’s got less of an edge than regular Sangria. Goes down nice and smooth…

Anon – thanks! You can get the recipe from this entry:

Stephanie – Snickers sounds like a perfect name!

Joe – we think Callie’s around 3. We have a lot of three-year-olds in this house … Callie, both dogs and Nicholas! Went to Trader Joes today — stash revealed tomorrow.


Jeff August 15, 2005 at 1:38 am

Callie is one of the prettiest and most striking cats I’ve ever seen!


Anonymous August 15, 2005 at 1:07 pm

If you are a AAA member, you receive a 30% discount at Lenscrafters.


Anonymous August 15, 2005 at 1:41 pm

I just found your site and it looks really good. Do you make up these recipes yourself or can you please share your sources?


boo_licious August 15, 2005 at 7:23 pm

Callie is so cute, I love her calico colours.

I like your stash! I’ve got the same BBC Good Food mag (I collect them!) and I just got the August issue of delicious.


Anonymous August 15, 2005 at 10:29 pm

Can you point me in the direction of the Chicken Pizza? Sounds good! Thanks!


Randi August 16, 2005 at 12:48 am

lucky you, getting a bunch of new mags and brand new glasses. how did you hook up with that mystery shopping gig? I need to sign up for that. Those magazines are so expensive. I just read them at the store.


kima August 16, 2005 at 1:32 am

Hoiw’s life in Fla..oops NJ!

Yes it is you know who!

i am curious as to which isse of BBC Food you have there? I aw the August issue on sale here and it had a different cover.
Such gorgeous photos eh?


Anonymous August 16, 2005 at 1:33 am

Gosh can’t I go back and make corrections????

Oh well that’s how bad a typist I am!


Cate August 16, 2005 at 2:10 am

Anon #1 – thanks for the tip on the AAA discount for LensCrafters! Because it was a mystery shop, they gave me a 50% off coupon to use this time, but in the future, it’s good to know I can still get a discount. I always forget to ask about AAA discounts.

Anon #2 – thanks for visiting! Glad you like the site. The recipes come from all over … cookbooks, the internet, friends and family, and my own imagination. If I didn’t put a recipe in an entry and you’re looking for one, drop me a line.

Boo-licious – thanks for visiting! I like your blog. :) Isn’t BBC Good Food a great magazine? I love how simple, yet flavorful all their recipes are.

Randi – for mystery shopping, go to and look at the Get Paid link. There you’ll find an alphabetical listing of the MS companies, and a forum for mystery shoppers. As for the magazines, if you become a Barnes & Noble Reader Club member ($25/year), the discount (I think it’s 15%?) is off magazines too.

Maureen – how could you forget I’m in NJ? Geesh! Air not getting to you up there? :) The BBC Good Food I got Friday is August’s issue. The one I got at the end of July (see other post) is July’s. Which one do you have? Maybe you’re ahead of us?


Ruth August 16, 2005 at 12:06 pm

Love the shots of Nicholas – especially the one of him asleep and chocolaty. I have similar pictures of my girls when they were little. Nothing more delicious that a sleeping angel!!!

Looks like it’s time for another foray for magazines. I love the imports too.

Thanks for sharing and for visiting my site.


keiko August 17, 2005 at 10:17 am

Hi Sweetnicks – Callie is gorgeous indeed! She looks very small though (my cat is a boy so quite big). I’m impressed that you can get all the British magazines, are they much more expensive? BTW, I love your site logo on top, it’s really sweet ;)


Cate August 17, 2005 at 11:44 am

Hi Ruth & Keiko – thanks for visiting!

Keiko – the imports are roughly $7 or so, but I get a discount at the bookstore, so they’re pretty hard to resist!


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