Best Ever Artichoke Dip

A friend brought this dip over to our Halloween party.  While her husband tried to warn us away from the dish, claiming it tasted horrible, we all tried a little just to be polite.  Then we went back for seconds, thirds, etc.  He then admitted that he called the dish “Crack Dip” because it was so horribly addictive.

When I found out rather last minute that i needed to bring a couple dishes to a friend’s Thanksgiving meal, I decided to tweak the recipe a bit.  It proved horribly addictive, and even better, has a little of the fat/calories shaved off so maybe you won’t even feel guilty afterwards.

Here is the recipe:

1 cup lite mayo

2 cans artichokes (drained, rinsed, and chopped)

1.5 cups shredded parmesan

3 cups shredded mozzarella (I used the skim version)

3 cloves garlic, minced

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 2 quart dish.  I used a quick spray of Pam.

Step 2: Mix all ingredients well and then dump into the greased dish.

Step 3: Bake until hot and bubbley (35-45 minutes).  Serve with crackers, toasted bread rounds, or veggies.


Night of Writing Dangerously

Last night I attended NaNoWriMo’s big fundraiser, The Night of Writing Dangerously.  It was spectacular!  If there is anyone out there who was considering going and didn’t, I highly recommend it.  It raises money for a great cause (encouraging kids and adults to write!) and helps in a huge way with your word count.

The Julia Morgan Ballroom was an excellent venue; we had a table with views of the city in two directions and close proximity to the floor to ceiling fireplace and speaker podium where the winners bell was stored.  I was one of the 18 who hit 50k words during the evening and got my moment to ring the loud bell and receive applause.  I also hit an all time personal daily word count high: 11k in less than six hours.  My table mates absolutely rocked, and despite the fact that we were only five people, we managed to win both word wars against the other competitive tables.   Between the candy buffet, the endless array of specialty donuts, the buffet and backup buffet of pizza, and open bar with friendly bartenders willing to keep my table heavily supplied with grenadine heavy shirley temples, there was a pretty impressive amount of calories.  In addition to that, more than 500k words were written during the evening and a large sum of money was raised for the Office of Letters and Light.  Go NaNo!

Hopefully the Office of Letters and Light will be able to meet their fund raising goals for the next 24 hours as well.  If you’d like to donate, go to the following link:


Every November brings back the recurrence of National Novel Writing Month, an international contest in which writers challenge themselves to write a 50,000 word novel in only 30 days.  You can plan your story in advance, but cannot begin writing it until November 1st rolls around.

This is my fifth year participating in the NaNoWriMo and I am continuing with the challenge I set for myself last year: only write at write-ins.  Write-ins are basically social gatherings of writers who all desperately try to reach their word count goals.  Sometimes more socializing happens than writing, but they’re usually a lot of fun to attend, especially since they most often take place in restaurants and coffee shops.

If you’re interested, you should consider checking out the website to learn more:

Even if you do not want to try this year, you can always start planning next year’s novel.  It might seem crazy to attempt a novel in 30 days, but if you don’t start it Nov. 1st, when will you actually give yourself the chance to try?