As I write this there are only FIVE more sleeps! I’ve done all of my Xmas shopping…..all wrapped and either under the tree or hidden (away from the touchy, feely types!)
One Christmas years ago I was doing some last minute shopping and was in the middle of town when I had a wee car crash with another woman. It was a really loud bang, right in the centre of town so everyone stopped what they were doing and stared. We both got out of our cars, highly embarrassed and red-faced. Instead of the standard checking out the damage and swapping numbers, blaming each other, calling the police (all that common accidenty stuff) we just looked at each other and simultaneously said “Is your car alright?” with both of us replying “yes” and then we quickly got back in our cars and drove off! Funny thing is that we never checked that our cars were okay as we were so mortified by all of the onlookers that we just wanted to get out of there! (there ended up being a large scratch and a wee dent but I had an old dunger at the time). Anyways ever since then I stay well away from the town centre during the ‘silly season’ and make sure my Xmas shopping is done super early!
Onto the important stuff…..the food! This is a simple yet delicious cream cheese and sour cream spread, filled with spinach and sun-dried tomatoes, sour cream, parmesan, garlic and red onion. It’s super tasty and very colourful, with the red tomatoes and the green spinach giving it a real ‘Christmasy’ vibe. I also added a garnish to resemble holly (a little bit of a stretch….please use your imagination!)
40 g / 1 ½ oz frozen spinach, defrosted (around 3 balls/squares)
10 g / 1/3 oz parmesan (¼ cup when grated)
3 large sun-dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon, finely diced, red onion
1 small or ½ medium-sized clove garlic
1 x 250 g / 8 oz pottle cream cheese (1 cup)
125 g / 4 oz sour cream (½ cup)
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cracked, black pepper
3 large sun-dried tomatoes
3 baby spinach leaves or curly lettuce leaves
To Serve – Crostini and/or crackers and/or thick-cut potato chips (crisps)
Makes 1 ¾ cups
- You can wilt some fresh spinach for this (but not baby spinach). Just cover the above weight with boiling water and then immediately drain it. Then run it under cold water and then wrap it in a tea towel and wring out any excess water.
STEP BY STEP
First, prepare the ingredients by placing the defrosted spinach inside a tea towel and squeezing out the water.
Then pull it apart so it’s in little pieces (or if in whole leaves, finely slice it up). Set aside.
- If it’s frozen it will only take a minute or two to defrost it in the microwave.
Next, if the parmesan is in a block, grate it on the finer side of the grater.
Also, finely dice up the drained sun-dried tomatoes and then red onion.
Lastly, crush the garlic and get the salt and pepper ready.
Next, place the cream cheese and the sour cream in a medium-sized bowl and using your electric beater on a medium speed, beat the two together, until smooth.
Add all of the other ingredients and the salt and pepper and fold it all through until it’s all well combined.
Find one or two bowls that it will fit into (right to the brim) and smooth the top/s over.
Cover it with cling wrap and pop it into the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour (or overnight).
Once chilled, run a sharp knife around the edges to loosen it a little.
Turn the bowl upside down, tap the bottom and gently shake it out on to a serving dish.
- If it’s being difficult you can stand the bowl in some boiling water for 20 seconds and then try again.
- I left mine rough around the edges but once on the plate, you can smooth it over with a knife if you like.
You can simply leave it as is but if you’d like to decorate it like mine, cut three large sun-dried tomatoes in half, lengthways.
Wind one slice up, squeezing it to help it stay in a swirl and then wind another around that one, so they look similar to rose petals. Then repeat with the other slices (making 3 in total) and place them on top of the spread (very close together and that’ll help the little ‘buds’ from unravelling).
Then just before serving (they will go limp fairly quickly in hot weather) poke in some spinach leaves…..
…..or some curly baby lettuce leaves.
That’s it! Simply delicious!
It’s quite thick so best to serve with crostini (little toasts) and/or crackers and/or thick-cut potato chips (crisps).
Keepin’ it fresh – Keep covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.