Monday, January 9, 2017

The BEST Appetizer of New Year's Eve and a Special Milestone!! French Bread and Stuffed Spinach Artichoke Bread


I was born in the 70's...

Our family always drove
"new-to-us" cars...
 not brand new cars from
 the showroom floor.  

It was a different time...
a time when families bought 
what they could afford...
no more and no less.

Credit cards were not
an everyday item...
In the 1970's
We paid cash for everything...
It's just how we did things.
 Car payments were
not an extra bill a lot
of families wanted to take on ...

If something on the car broke, 
you fixed it yourself, if you could...
and if not, the local mechanic was always a good bet.

I know our family was
 the proud owner of
at least five or so different
 cars that I can remember...

My dad always picked out 
good looking cars...
Some of our cars were
 certainly better than others... 

Many we remember for their quirks...
the weird seats, or after-market horns...
the fancy wheels or the tiny-triangle
 backseat windows.
the quirks gave us funnier stories
 and fonder memories.

My dad would cheerfully announce
 from the driver's seat:

We would all peer
 into the dashboard and 
watch the odometer slowly 
flip to a brand new number.
49,999...and then...wait for it...

"50,000 miles --and she runs like new!!"  
Wise words... 
from my real-life 1970's dad!!

Today, I am happy to announce from my
desk chair at my computer:



Today the blog, Blue Ribbon Kitchen 
turns three years old.

Happy Birthday Blue Ribbon Kitchen!!!

I have enough trouble trying not to be
too sentimental and sappy
about my own birthday,
let alone having a blog birthday too...

I will say this:

I could never have imagined all the wonderfully
magical, and absolutely amazing opportunities
 that would flow from sharing my ideas, recipes, 
triumphs and try-again stories... I had no idea.

When I first began this little adventure,
 I would wonder 
"How ever will anyone find this blog?... 
 Who will read this??
 ...How does that even happen...??"

I was discouraged at first
 by the 3 people or so
 that stumbled upon the blog...
in one week... 3 people visited the blog...

Soon the 3 readers turned into 30... 
many of which, were trusted neighbors
 and my family.
thank you for the way... 
thank you from 
the bottom of my heart... 
because those first readers let me
 believe that I could keep going...

30 views turned into 60 and yesterday... 
Can you even guess how
 many people visited the 
blog just yesterday alone??

 Nine thousand people.


to is utterly unbelievable.

Or last jaw nearly hit the floor... 

101,000 people.

...just imagine all those readers... 
Not from my hometown,
—or even from the Midwest...
You are coming from all over the planet...
I almost can't believe it is possible...
That is so many folks.

However it happened...
This stroke of unbelievable good fortune...
I thought you should know how much I enjoy 
having you stop by the blog... 
I appreciate that you do, --so very much.

To know that you stopped by to find a
 recipe... see a furniture makeover...
just to even read something, anything
Well, means the world.

I know, as blogs go... 
I'm still quite small.

I hope to keep growing
 and to improve on all aspects of blogging... 
I am certainly always trying to be better... 
as a mother, wife, friend and yes, 
as a blogger, and as a baker too.

Enough, with all this mushy stuff... 

I do believe there is an amazing, 
super-fabulous appetizer to be made!!

I have no shame... 
I was out of commission
 for the first week of 2017, 
so I am playing a little catch up.

Rewind to New Year's Eve...
we had a few appetizers...
and one was clearly so delicious... 
Dare I say it was the best of the buffet??

It was really really good...
Everyone said so... 
and it was gone in no time...
 the best part... ??
It is beyond easy to make.

 Spinach Artichoke Bread--
 tasty, cheesy-gooey bread, 
YOU are my new BFF 
of the appetizer world.
If I'm hosting something in 2017
 it's on the menu ...
it is too easy and too good not to be!

Delicious, just like the dip...
only on a bread and toasted...

I didn't have time during the evening celebration
and busy New Year's Eve festivities
 to snap the how-to photos,

So I made another loaf 
over the weekend.
We loved it all over again.

We all need a BFF appetizer... we just do.

RECIPE: Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Bread
1 loaf of store bought Italian Bread-- or French Bread... just a mid-sized loaf with soft insides.
1 can of quartered artichoke hearts-drained (I used Reese brand)
1 cup of frozen spinach-thawed and drained very well
2/3 cup good mayonnaise (I used Duke's)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used the not fancy- Kraft kind)
1 cup of Monterey Jack shredded cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Mix everything together in a medium bowl. --except the bread
Slice loaf of bread in half -horizontally-through the middle
Spread mixture onto the cut side of each loaf.
Place topped loaves on a lined baking sheet- I used parchment-easy clean up!!
Top each loaf with an additional sprinkling of Monterey Jack cheese- I like it cheesy so I used 1/2 cup on each side.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven on the middle rack for 
30 minutes or until the bread is hot and the cheese is melted.
Slice and serve.

Recipe for Homemade French Bread:
In a stand mixer: Place 1 cup of lukewarm milk (2% or whole) AND 1 cup of lukewarm water (not hotter than 110 degrees--or it will kill the yeast)
2 Tablespoons dry active yeast
2 Tablespoons softened butter
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons of oil (olive or vegetable)
3 teaspoons salt
5 cups all-purpose flour

Let the yeast, liquids and sugar rest in the bowl and begin to activate for 10 minutes.  Then add the butter oil, salt and the flour one cup at a time as the mixer is on low speed.  When dough pulls away from the bowl, stop mixing, form into a ball, cover and let double in size for 1 hour.  After 1 hour, punch down dough and let rest for 10 minutes.
Form dough into 4 loaves on two-parchment lined baking sheets.  Let the loaves of dough rise, covered for 40 minutes-1 hour.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven, on the lower middle and uper middle racks for 30 minutes or until golden.  Rotate the baking sheets half way through the bake.

Thanks for reading... and for 
allowing me get all sentimental
about turning three.

Special thanks to my mom and dad for 
digging up those vintage car family photos!!
They brought back so many wonderful memories.

I'm looking forward to all the 
 new memories this year will unfold... 

Here's to hoping we can all remember
to announce "milestone" a time or two... 
—savoring the celebrating the moments that 
matter most to us in 2017.

Xo  Karri


  1. Congratulations on your anniversary. I enjoy your blog very much.

    1. Thank you Rebecca!! I'm happy you're enjoying the blog!! :) Karri

  2. Thanks for the stories and the delicious recipes. It's a very nice blog.

    1. Thanks Carla!! I appreciate you letting me know!! :) Karri

  3. I cannot figure out how to pin this recipe. Is that possible?

    1. Hi Vicky, You can pin any of the photographs... The photograph pin will then bring you back to the blog for the recipe. :)

    2. I just pinned two photos... You can get them from the Blue Ribbon Kitchen Pinterest board too! Hope that helps!!

  4. Happy Milestone Day!!! This looks amazing! Think I'll try it on chicken breasts! In fact I think I'll try it on all my food it looks so good!! ❤️ this blog.

    1. Thank you!! I sure hope you enjoyed the recipe!! Thanks for reading and for taking the the time to let me know you enjoy the blog!!


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