Recipe: 2-for-1 Spinach Artichoke Dip

I love Spinach Artichoke Dip and so does the husband. It's his go-to appetizer - as long as it doesn't have mayo in it! I decided to make some at home so he doesn't have to only get his favorite in a restaurant. 

And of course - if I'm making it - it had to be simple! I even got this adorable mini-slow cooker at Christmas that is perfect for dips. It's just a 1.5 quart - so cute!

The best part about this is you just throw it all in a bowl (artichoke hearts, spinach, cream cheese, mozzarella, sour cream, salt & pepper) and stir it up.

 Then pop it in the slow cooker and turn it on low for 4 hours. This is such a little one - that it doesn't have to heat that long.

What comes out is creamy, cheesy deliciousness. And, of course, it's great with pita chips - which is how we enjoyed some of the yummy dip. It's definitely easy and tasty. This also doesn't make an overwhelming amount - so you're not eating it for 2 weeks.

The thing is though - we did have leftovers. So I took them into my bag of tricks and made a second recipe!

 There's a restaurant we love that serves a fish dish that basically has spinach artichoke dip on top - so I decided to give it a whirl. I bought some salmon at the grocer and went to town.

I piled the leftover spinach artichoke dip on top and baked it for probably 12-15 minutes at 400. It really depends on how thick your salmon is and how well done you like it. I like my salmon a little more on medium - definitely not well done.

Out came deliciously flaky salmon with a wonderfully cheesy topping. The best salmon I've ever made - hands down - it's a great pair!


Recipe #1 - Easy Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip

* 1 can artichoke hearts, quartered & drained
* 2 handfuls of spinach, chopped
* 4 oz cream cheese, cubed
* 1 cup Mozzarella, shredded
* 1 cup sour cream
* salt & pepper

Mix all ingredients together and spoon into a slow cooker and cook on Low for 4-6 hours.

Recipe #2 - Spinach & Artichoke Salmon

* 1 cup spinach artichoke dip
* 1 pound salmon fillets

Spray baking dish with non-stick spray. Cut salmon into 2 pieces and place skin-side down in baking dish. Top each fillet with 1/2 cup dip. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes - add minute 2-3 min at a time until desired doneness.

Product Review: Dia & Co

I'm all about trying different services and doing a compare/contrast. I've been using Gwynnie Bee for probably a year now - it's a clothing rental mail order service. With GB - you "closet" items on their site and then you get 1-5 items at a time. You can wear them as long as you want, as many times as you want and then send them back (they do the laundry & pay the shipping return fee). You pay a monthly fee and you can also purchase the items if you would like. 



As a contrast - Dia & Co is a personal stylist. You pay $20 for the stylist to choose 5 things for you. Once they are sent, you try them on and keep or send them back. If you keep anything from the box you can apply the $20 styling fee to your total. Return shipping is free also.  

When you fill out your profiles on Dia & Co you provide a lot of information about your sizes, style choices, likes and dislikes. I said how much I don't like button-down shirts - oh they're horrible on me! :-) When my first box arrived, it came with a personal note from my stylist about what she chose for me and ideas of how to wear it. This is SUPER HELPFUL!

They sent a necklace, scarf, top, pants and a dress. This was the scarf - it was soft but bulky ($36).

This t-shirt ($48) was a cute pattern but it was sort of see through. I tried it on with the necklace that they sent ($25). It was cute-ish but I was a little uncomfortable in it - I guess I'm more modest in my old age. I did keep the necklace. I love that they ALWAYS have some $25 item - because then when you buy it - you're only paying $5 because you get the $20 credit.

Here's me with the scarf. I'm not great with knowing how to wear a scarf so I never could figure this out and did not keep it.

They also sent this pair of leggings with a faux leather front panel ($69). While they're cute - I have one pair of black leggings and that's enough - especially for the $70 price tag.

The last item was a long sleeve, black dress ($89). As you can see - it really just had no zing - it was like a big giant black sack.  I definitely wasn't keeping this one.

Here's the statement you get with the box - it outlines all of the items and the cost. You also could get a 20% discount if you keep the whole box. If I was starting from scratch with a wardrobe - it might be more of an option - but for me - I have been keeping one item.

After you get your box and have your decisions made - there's a big bag that you put your returns in and pop them in a mail box. Then you go on Dia.com and fill out a survey letting them know what you're keeping/returning and any notes on the fit, style, color, etc.

Cut to a couple of months later - here's my third box. After the 2nd box I asked for brighter colors and no more pants. I have a lot of pants - so I don't really need more.

Here's a chiffon coral pleated tank ($59) - the tank was cute but a little tight at the bottom so I didn't like how it fit. I think a size larger would have been too big on top. Looking at this pic though - it does look cute.

My stylist recommended I try this with the black & white cardigan ($42). The open cardigan is nice & long and has pockets.  It's super light weight and comfy.

This hummingbird scarf was also in the box ($25) - it's sort of a green-ish mustard-y color but more green than yellow. It's very lightweight and see through. Normally - this would be the $25 item that I would keep...but not today!

The stylist recommended pairing this with the tank & cardigan - but you can tell by my face what I thought of it. :-)

I also got this mint hoodie ($52) - it's super soft - like SUPER SOFT! The hood and the sleeves have that gray/white stripe pattern on them. It's just such a soft and cozy fabric - I loved it the second I pulled it out of the box. It's a little pricey - but I do get that $20 stylist fee off - hmmm. 

A photo posted by Heather Johnson (@foodhussy) on

I was pretty much decided that I would be picking between the b/w cardigan and the mint hoodie. The mint hoodie is $10 more - but it's super cute. I put the decision to the people - and the people resoundingly chose the mint hoodie - so the decision was made for me. I kept the mint! I actually have it on as I write this and it's super cozy!

There was also a super cute fit & flare dress ($118) - it fits great, it looks great - but it's too expensive. I wear dresses a lot in the summer but really don't want to pay more than $50 for one. It was super cute though!

Here's my bill of goods for the items in box 3 - it was a lot better - and I was really excited to fill everything out and get another box.

So let's break it down - Dia & Co vs. Gwynnie Bee:

Dia & Co:

  • $20 styling fee (credit towards purchase)
  • monthly box
  • purchase only
  • free returns 
  • personalized stylist
  • items are expensive
  • stylists improve over time
  • clothing more unique
  • pushes your comfort zone
Gwynnie Bee
  • $35/month for 1 item (can go up to 5)
  • unlimited exchanges 
  • rental of clothing, purchase available
  • free returns
  • you're your own stylist
  • items are more affordable
  • lots of options to try 
  • items do seem a bit similar after a while - lots of similar options in variety of colors
  • Melissa McCarthy brand! 
I have definitely purchased more from Gwynnie Bee and probably will continue that way. But - I do like Dia & Co because the stylists pick things more different than I would choose and they appear to be getting better. 

(There are affiliate links in this post but I paid for all services myself at full price.)



GIVEAWAY: Cincinnati Home & Garden Show This Weekend

Photo Courtesy of Cincinnati Home & Garden Show

Last weekend was the Auto Expo - but this weekend - it's the Cincinnati Home & Garden Show at the Duke Energy Convention Center! The show runs this weekend February 27-28 and next March 2-6.

More than 400 landscape and interior designers, remodeling specialists, manufacturers, retail stores, specialty boutiques and contractors will fill the show floor for the largest and longest-running spring
showcase in the region.

Whether you’re a diehard DIYer, looking for inspiration for your next home improvement project or searching for sustainable solutions for everyday living, they have you covered.

More than 400 tons of dirt, rock and stone will be trucked into Duke Energy Convention Center to create full-scale vignettes of landscapes and hardscapes, replicating backyards with paved walkways, patios, flowers, shrubbery, water features, gazebos, hot tubs, garden walls and more.

Photo Courtesy of Cincinnati Home & Garden Show
Several interactive gardening and home improvement seminars led by local and regional experts will be scheduled throughout the show, including Maximizing Small Spaces and Older Homes, Collaborating to Work with Your Budget, Best Kitchen & Bath Designs for 2016, Unlocking the Green Value of Your Home and more. Visit cincinnatihomeandgardenshow.com for the full seminar schedule.

Photo Courtesy of Cincinnati Home & Garden Show
Included in show admission, the Go Green Cincinnati Show℠ and The Garden Market℠ will run in
tandem with the Cincinnati Home & Garden Show®. The Go Green Cincinnati Show℠ features
environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions for all aspects of your home and garden. The Garden Market℠ offers a variety of specialty boutiques and retailers displaying garden accessories, décor, jewelry and gift ideas. Gourmet food items including popcorn, coffee, dips, salsas, olive oils, spices and more will be available for your springtime picnics and get-togethers.

Show dates and times are as follows:

 Saturday, February 27: 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.

 Sunday, February 28: 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

 Wednesday, March 2: Noon – 8 p.m.

 Thursday, March 3: Noon – 8 p.m.

 Friday, March 4: Noon – 9 p.m.

 Saturday, March 5: 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.

 Sunday, March 6: 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Admission for adults is $13. Adults can save $3 on admission by buying a ticket at Cincinnati-area Kroger stores, or save $2 on admission by purchasing online at http://cincinnatihomeandgardenshow.com.

Children (ages 12 and under) are free when accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets include admission to the Cincinnati Home & Garden Show® and The Garden Market℠.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Restaurant Review: Copper Blue - Milford

The hubby works weekends and we don't get to see each other much - so I like to drop by with lunch. The thing is - we get tired of fast food and fast casual - so every now and then I throw in a "sit-down" restaurant just to keep him on his toes. 

So I decided on Copper Blue in Milford. We had been once a few years back but were definitely due for another visit - especially since this is our 'hood now! 

I got Larry the cod sandwich & fries ($9.99) - we're both suckers for a fish sandwich. I snuck a bite and it was tasty. The fries are huge thick cut and - with takeout - they're never quite crispy - but I don't hold that against them.

I went for the Steak Salad but didn't really read the whole description - you see the Steak Salad is grilled & sliced sirloin + french fries on top of the Sam's Salad ($11.99).

The Sam's Salad is what I forgot to check - it's loaded with bibb & romaine lettuce, shallots, tomatoes, bacon, bleu cheese crumbles and sunflower seeds. This is a big salad with tons of goodies. You better like bleu though - because the chunks are big and very very bleu!!!

It came with fries & a sirloin steak in foil to top the salad with (and some delicious ranch). The Ranch was super good - thick which is the way it should be! I was dipping the fries in it. The sirloin was lean - a bit too lean for me - there just wasn't a ton of flavor. It was also a little more done than I would like - I'm a medium rare gal - but again - when you get take out it has more time to continue cooking after it's off the heat. So tip - if you order takeout - order it more rare.

I'd like to see the presentation in restaurant - because the fries seem a bit odd in this version. I also would like the steak cut into smaller pieces - just tough to do with a plastic knife. :-)

The salad had a ton of ingredients though and the dressing was good - so it was good. I practically stuck my nose in the little cup to get it all out!

Why Should You Go? It was a good salad. People seem to like the place quite a bit. We'll have to go back sometime and dine in.

Copper Blue Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Restaurant Review: Dily Bistro, Bar & Bottle Shop - Mariemont

My husband works every weekend - and he works evenings - so it pretty much sucks for us. We rarely get to have dinner together. Last week though we decided to that I would takeout on my way home from work and we'd have dinner together at the store. 

I decided to go fancier than Gold Star or Taco Bell and ordered takeout from Dilly Bistro in Mariemont. We've wanted to go for a long time - and I figured takeout would be a good first time - right?!

I got a few things in appetizer-land just so we could nosh on stuff. First up were the Housemade Wings - 6 for $6. These were a Bourbon BBQ sauce and they were sweet and sticky and tasty! I actually like dry rubbed better than saucy - but these were pretty good and had a slight bourbon flavor (not too much - just a hint).

I also got Dilly Beer Cheese ($9) which is a combo of sharp cheddar and cream cheese blended with beer and served with fresh bread & breadsticks. The beer cheese was REALLY thick and maybe a little too much cream cheese for me. The bread was good but the breadsticks left a little something to be desired. They were soft but would have been better with a little salt and warmer.

Last up was the Hummus Plate ($10) served with marinated olives, feta, carrots, cucumbers and pita bread. This was literally ALL the fixins and was by far our favorite of the apps. I made little sandwiches with pita, cucumber, hummus and feta and inhaled all of the olives.



Here's a shot that was super popular on Instagram of a close-up of the hummus. There's so much stuff in the hummus - I can't even tell you what it all was except to say it was delicious! We both killed that hummus - especially with all the extras!

Why Should You Go? Well everybody seems to love them and the apps we tried were definitely enough to make me want to go back for the full experience. There's a wine shop on the front entrance as well.

Dilly Café Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

DIY: Knockoff Anthropologie Mirror (Just $4!)

I love my DIY days with my girls. I'm realizing I need to get better with photos. I have 3 projects that I only took half the photos needed! But this time - I got them all! Step by Step! 

 We decided to do a dollar store craft and chose to knockoff a mirror we saw at Anthropologie. Danielle really loved the mirror and we could get the supplies super cheap - so it was a go!

Here's the original mirror for $49.95 on Anthropologie's website and our finished project! Ours was around $4! I'll take that any day!

Step 1: First we started with a mirror. Dollar Tree is the key - they are the Dollar Store where everything is actually $1. These were the only small-ish mirrors they had and $1 each was good for me.

 Step 2: Tape off the mirror. We just used painters tape and paper but this step is very key!! I tucked the paper under the frame as much as possible and taped it down as tightly as possible. Danielle tried to do this quickly and hers didn't stay down when we painted - so it's really important that you get this taped off well.

Step 3: Pick Your Flowers! I got a variety from Dollar Tree - each bunch was $1 and there were a lot of flowers on each "strand" so I spent about $2 per person on flowers. These plastic ones were great - you can just pluck them off the plastic stems and then hot glue them to the mirror.

Step 4: Spray Paint! I got a couple of fun colors (glitter & Tiffany blue) and the other girls had some. This I could not get at the Dollar Store but I got them at Meijer for as little as 99 cents/can.
 
We all chose different flowers and patterns for our mirrors. The balls were very popular. It was nice that the leaves had texture - it would lend itself well to the paint.

We were not shy with the glue - load it up to get the flowers to stick to each other and the mirror. We had a couple of glue guns going for the three of us.

More glue - these little pink stick flowers were unique and we all liked them but had a hard time figuring out how to use them. I stuck mine on a corner and liked it.


Here's my finished project - I had them only on the top in case I wanted to set this on a counter rather than hang it.

Once we all had our flowers on the mirrors and the glue was dry - we took them outside and it was painting time!

I brought a box I had leftover from moving and we went in Dani's garage (it was COLD outside!!). You're supposed to be above 50 degrees but we did it anyway. Dani brought out a space heater for us to heat up with.

A few tricks to the painting - you're going to need to hold it up to get in between the flowers. You might plan in advance for a hook on the back mirror hanger or at least something to prop it up with. Also - wear rubber gloves. Rachel didn't and got some spray paint on her wedding ring! Eek! (Olive Oil & Sugar removed it!)

We also noticed that the paint ate away the little balls that we chose. So some of them are only half there. Not a huge deal depending on how OCD you are. I was fine with it but did go over it a couple more times to make sure I got paint in all the crevices between the flowers.

Here's a quick selfie of us in the garage - oh how cold it was! We kept huddling around the space heater and holding it on the mirrors and then on us.

Our first couple of coats were in the Tiffany blue color. I wanted a little something more (of course!).  The glitter spray paint can was defective but I was able to shake a few sprays out of it over top of the blue. This added a little something fun I think!

After they were painted - we had to let them dry overnight so the paint wasn't tacky.

The next day I peeled off the paint and paper and took my first pic in the mirror. This is what my friends and I have dubbed #hussyface. I do it all the time! Maybe if I become famous - it'll become a real thing. :-)

Here's a close up on the flowers - I think they look pretty good! We have this in our 2nd bathroom. It's always good to have extra mirrors around the house.

All in all it was a really fun DIY craft! We all had a great time and the projects turned out great! All in all it was about $4/mirror vs. $49! Not bad at all!