Spinach Artichoke Pasta & Magic Bars

At DePauw there was pretty much only one bar/restaurant on campus, the Fluttering Duck. The Duck didn’t have the finest food but there is one item I crave: Spinach Artichoke dip. Friday night we did a rendition of our favorite spin dip from the Duck, Spinach Artichoke Pasta!

The recipe was found on my sister’s Pinterest board – beware before clicking (if you are hungry it will be torture). It is from the blog Heatovento350. Her back story on the pasta is quite funny. We enjoyed it very much, below is the recipe along with a few cooking photos!

Spin-Art Pasta

Ingredients:

1 (13 oz) box shell pasta
1 tsp butter
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 8 oz package reduced fat (not fat free) cream cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1T lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 14 oz can artichoke hearts (packed in water), drained and chopped
10 oz chopped, frozen spinach, thawed, with as much excess water squeezed out as possible (we used fresh spinach because that’s all they had at the grocery!)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup chopped cooked chicken (optional)
Additional Parmesan for serving

Directions:

1. Cook pasta according to package directions

2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and add garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted. Slowly stir in milk, then add sour cream, lemon juice, salt and red pepper flakes. Stir in artichoke hearts, spinach, Parmesan cheese and chicken (if using).

3. Drain pasta and add to artichoke mix. Toss and season to taste with salt and additional lemon juice as needed. Serve with additional shredded Parmesan.

Isn’t the wine cute? 🙂 I love the name!

I also decided to make magic bars. I thought they would be for dessert but since they had to set we pretty much ate them for breakfast on Saturday!

Magic Bar Recipe

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees for glass dish). Coat 13×9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.
Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Press down firmly with a fork.
Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Cut into bars or squares. Store covered at room temperature.

For the nuts, I used chopped walnuts & pecans mixed together. I also used butterscotch chips and crunch pieces (since they were out of chocolate chips) but I think it would be really great with 1/2 choc chips and 1/2 butterscotch chips. That’s the fun part – you can basically layer anything you want in them!

I also put it in the freezer for about an hour afterwards, then in the fridge overnight so that you are able to cut them into bars or squares more easily.

I’ll leave you with the sunset from our drive home Friday night!

Gorgeous colors in the sky.

Xx,

Ashley

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