Somewhere between Christmas and the new year, I always find myself tiring of giant holiday meals consisting of turkey, dressing, casseroles and all the heavy (albeit delicious) sides that inevitably go hand-in-hand. That's why I chose to make an appetizer from our new cookbook, America's Favorite Food. Spinach-and-Artichoke Dip seemed like a yummy change of pace from the type of nap-inducing fare we've all been indulging in the last few weeks. The recipe can be found in the 'starters' section of our book among other equally tempting finger foods and cocktails. This mouth-watering dip was originally imagined by the good folks at Cooking Light and includes ingredients that won't tip the scales like fat-free sour cream and fat-free cream cheese. Another plus? This dip can be made-ahead and easily reheated which is great during the busy holidays.


The ingredients come together quickly as long as you remember to thaw and drain the frozen chopped spinach and soften the cream cheese.


The best part about this Spinach-and-Artichoke dip is that it tastes similar to an hor d'oeuvre you would order in a restaurant but it's even better and a whole lot healthier for you too.


After I mixed up the ingredients, I separated the dip into two different baking dishes so I could test it out at a few different get-togethers. I baked both dishes together at 350° for 30 minutes and then turned on the broiler for a few additional minutes to get the parmesan on top golden and bubbly.


Not only did the dip earn rave reviews at both parties, but every last chipful was devoured in record-breaking time. Several people asked for the recipe which is always a good indicator of how good something is. This was a simple yet delicious appetizer that I know I will make again and again. Served hot from the oven, I am not sure that there is anything tastier. For the next batch, I will follow the advice of one MyRecipes user and "zip it up" by adding Tabasco, Worcestershire, lemon juice and horseradish... And while I'm at it, I'll be sure to make an extra batch just for my house!

Looking for more easy appetizer ideas? We've got you covered... Happy New Year!