Author Interview & Giveaway – Rachel Khona

Author Interview – A Quick Word with Rachel Khona

Can you describe Are You There Krishna?  in a tweet (140 characters or less)?

I think the subtitle sums it up!

“Essays on Talking to Ghosts, Accosting Celebrities, Getting High, Sexism, Race, and First-Generation Woes”

What are you currently reading? 

I am currently reading Jessi Klein’s book You’ll Grow Out of It

How important do you think social media is for authors these days? 

Yes! But it’s more than just posting it’s about really creating a following. Much easier said than done!

Are you currently working on another novel? 

Not at the moment, but I hope to in a year or so.

~~~

 About the Book

Title: Are you there Krishna?

Author: Rachel Khona

Published: February 2017

Book Blurb: Rachel knew even as a young child that she wasn’t like the rest of her Indian family. While her parents were plotting how she could make it into med school with her mediocre grades in chemistry and biology, she had other things on her mind, including such gems as:

· Why can’t she go to the temple on her period?
· Why don’t her Indian cousins like her?
· Why was it OK to be sexualized at a beauty pageant but not for herself?
· How can she straddle two cultures while retaining her sense of self?
· Why are women considered sluts and men considered studs?
· Why do people keep asking her if she was born in India?
· Should she wax down there?
· Why does she have crazy eyes?

After leaving home, Rachel got high in Amsterdam, met her pop singer idol in a bathroom, argued with a ghost, and got lost in the Pyrenees. But that didn’t stop her from questioning while men still tell her to smile. ‘Are You There Krishna? It’s Me, Reshma. Or Rachel. Or Whatever.’ weaves stories of Rachel’s life with observations on race, class, sex, feminism, and culture with humor and candor.

Book Links: Amazon | Amazon UK | Goodreads

About the Author – Rachel Khona

Author Bio:  

Once upon a time in an exotic land called New Jersey, Rachel used to dream of one day playing tambourine in an all-girl rock band. That never happened.

Instead she became a writer. She has written for The New York TimesThe Washington PostPlayboy, Penthouse, Maxim, and Cosmopolitan among others.

When she’s not writing or designing, she is busy drinking wine and singing off key, bike riding, pretending she’s friends with Mindy Kaling and Amy Poehler, eating absurd amounts of cheese, or listening to rock music at an appallingly loud volume. Sometimes all at once.

Check out her book at bit.ly/areyoutherekrishnabook 

Check out the other stops on the blog tour:

April 17 – Karan Eleni – Excerpt

April 18 – BookLove – Review

April 18 – Cafinated Reads – Review

April 19 – T’s Stuff – Interview & Excerpt

April 19 – Chick Lit Plus – Review

April 20 – Living Life With Joy – Guest Blog

April 21 – Books Dreams Life – Interview & Excerpt

April 24 – Chick Lit Goddess – Excerpt

Enter the Giveaway Here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Social-Media Short Link:

http://wp.me/p4F2Uk-mqQ

Exclusive Author Guest Post & Giveaway by Clare Chase

Today I’m excited to participate in a blog tour for author Clare Chase in celebration of her novel A Stranger’s House being published in paperback last week. In keeping with the fact that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, the author has graciously written a Valentine’s Day themed guest post exclusively for my readers!! Scroll on to learn about her novel and read Clare’s fabulous post.

A Stranger’s House by Clare Chase

a-strangers-house-clare-chasePublished: Hardcover – February 2016, Paperback – February 2017

Publisher: Choc Lit

Book Blurb:

What if you were powerless to protect the person you cared about most?

When Ruby finds out that her partner has done the unforgivable, she has no option but to move out of their home. With nowhere else to go, a job house-sitting in Cambridge seems like the perfect solution.

But it’s soon clear the absent owner hurts everyone he gets close to, and Ruby’s faced with the fallout. As violent repercussions unfold, her instinct is to investigate: it’s a matter of self-preservation. And besides, she’s curious…

But Ruby’s new boss, Nate Bastable, has his eye on her and seems determined to put a stop to her sleuthing. Is he simply worried for the welfare of a member of staff, or is there something altogether more complicated – and potentially dangerous – at play?

Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

Guest Post written by Clare Chase

Valentine’s Day in Cambridge, UK

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today, Arielle. It’s great to be here.

Although my books all have a romantic thread running through them, they’re mystery fiction and so I often blog about the crime element. Given that, it makes a lovely change to be asked to write a post about Valentine’s Day!

I should say that I’m at the stage where I know who my valentine’s cards and presents come from – despite the fact that my husband and I still sign our messages with a question mark for tradition’s sake. Apparently this habit of sending cards anonymously took off when the price of postage went down with the introduction of the stamp in 1840. Not having to hand deliver cards made it easier for shy, would-be lovers who wanted to hide their identity.

Although there’s certainly something fun about sending and receiving anonymous cards (and I’m not going to turn my nose up at champagne and chocolates either!), I sometimes feel it’s the more unplanned and less deliberately romantic situations that make for the most memorable occasions – especially in a relationship that’s just starting out. In my book A Stranger’s House, a lot of the sexual tension develops over cooking: two people who don’t know each other well, collaborating on making a sumptuous meal, accidentally brushing against each other and catching each other’s eyes. The wine flows freely, and my lead characters start to find out more about each other.  The spark’s there, and it builds.

A Stranger’s House is set in the UK, in the ancient university city of Cambridge and, on Valentine’s Day, there are certain treats you can enjoy that are specific to this location. The river Cam, that flows through the city is scenic, weaving its way between college buildings that date back hundreds of years. Hiring a punt is the accepted way of making the journey. For anyone who hasn’t come across this weird method of transport before, a punt is a long, flat boat that’s square at both ends, and the punter stands on a board at the back, ready to propel the craft with a long pole. What could be more romantic? You can take a bottle of wine and a picnic, if it’s warm enough, or a hip flask of brandy if not!

clare chase guest post photo 1

But there are a few things to be wary of. The poles are either aluminium or the more traditional (and heavy) wood. If you get a wooden pole, making your way along the river and back again by shoving it against the river bed is quite hard work! What’s more, the base of the river is pretty muddy in places. It’s not uncommon to shove your pole down and find you can’t drag it up again. Meanwhile the board I mentioned that the punter stands on is outside the body of the boat, and it’s slippery if wet! And guess what? Each time you drag your pole out of the river, the board gets covered in water. (Or at least, it does when I do it. I’ve always been hopeless at punting.) If your pole does get stuck, the all-important thing is to let go. It’s hard to look like a romantic idol if your punt moves out from under you and you’re stuck clinging to your pole, sliding inexorably down towards the river! Thankfully, the punt hire people provide you with a (rather weedy) paddle, so if needs be you can eventually rescue your pole. More often than not, some kind person who’s still fully in control of their craft will nip over and get it for you. Other people seem to make the whole process look effortless…

clare chase guest post photo 2

The punt companies know all about the pitfalls, and that’s why – for a hundred pounds or so – you can book a Valentine’s punt tour instead. With these you get to sit back and relax whilst a chauffeur takes strain – at the same time as giving you a running commentary about the colleges you pass on your journey. There are also blankets, hot water bottles and a red rose for your guest. And if you go after dark you even get Chinese lanterns. I can sort of see the appeal. It’s less private, but when it comes down to it, it’s hard to have a cuddle when one of you is in charge of an unwieldy river craft and the other’s clenching their teeth and wondering how hard it would be to swim in their clothes. That said, when I went punting with my husband (then fiancé) on an unseasonably warm February 14th, he did the punting, and I seem to remember it was a solidly good experience.

Whatever you do to celebrate your Valentine’s Day, I do hope you have a wonderful time!

Enter to Win!

Enter for the chance to win an eBook or paperback copy of A Stranger’s House by Clare Chase. To enter simply email info@choc-lit.com with your details and the subject heading Living Life with Joy competition. Good luck!

About the Author – Clare Chase

Links: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

clare-wartnaby-1Author Bio:

Clare Chase writes women sleuth mysteries set in London and Cambridge. She fell in love with the capital as a student, living in the rather cushy surroundings of Hampstead in what was then a campus college of London University.

After graduating in English Literature, she moved to Cambridge and has lived there ever since. She’s fascinated by the city’s contrasts and contradictions, which feed into her writing. She’s worked in diverse settings – from the 800-year-old University to one of the local prisons – and lived everywhere from the house of a Lord to a slug-infested flat. The terrace she now occupies presents a good happy medium.

As well as writing, Clare loves family time, art and architecture, cooking, and of course, reading other people’s books.

She lives with her husband and teenage children, and currently works at the Royal Society of Chemistry.

ash-blog-tour

 

Arielle Joy

 

Social-Media Share Link:

http://wp.me/p4F2Uk-mjF

 

Thank you to Choc Lit for including me in the blog tour fun!

Review – THREE & OUT

Today I’m thrilled to tell you about a new book that was published this week by one of my favorite authors, Laura Chapman. Scroll on for information on her new novel Three & Out, my review, an excerpt of the novel, AND a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card!

THREE & OUT by Laura Chapman

New from Laura Chapman, the third installment of her fantasy football romantic comedy Queen of the League series . . .

threeout

After rushing to the altar and moving across the country, Harper Duquaine (or is it MacLaughlin, now?) is in uncharted territory. What once seemed like a promising opportunity to advance her husband’s career while giving her some much-needed independence and adventure has proven to be a bust. By the time fall rolls around again, she’s back in a boring job by day and overstocking her inventory of crocheted scarves by night. Not even the prospect of a new football season holds much excitement.

At least that’s what she thought. Harper suddenly finds herself the manager of not one but two fantasy football teams—each with its own set of drama. Between the added pressure of her new marriage, an unexpected career prospect, and the hiccups created by people from her past and present worlds, Harper quickly finds herself going from bored to over-whelmed.

Can she hold up under the pressure, or will Harper learn the hard way that the turf isn’t always greener on the other field?

Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

My Review

threeoutbook

Three & Out Recap: Team Chapman pens another winner!

I loved the continuation of Harper and Brook’s story. This novel finds them newly settled in Seattle after moving for Brook’s new coaching job. Things start off slow for Harper and as fantasy football seasons progresses, she finds that she’s got too much going on to handle it all. She continues to grow in her relationship with Brook, and although they have their drama and situations, they always work it out in the end. That’s part of what being married is all about, being on the same team, supporting one another, and working together to make it work.

J.J’s role in this novel adds a comical layer and I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at some of the situations the characters manage to get themselves into. This story was entertaining and funny and captured my attention from the first page to the last. I doubt I’d ever be interested in being on a fantasy football team, but it was fun pretending to immerse myself in it by living vicariously through Harper for a few days while reading this novel. I can’t wait to read the next one in the series to see where life takes them next!

5/5 for another win from Team Chapman

I received a complimentary Advanced Review Copy from the author. My review reflects my own opinion 100%.

Connect with the Author – Laura Chapman

laurachapmanLaura Chapman is the author of First & GoalGoing for TwoThree & Out, and The Marrying Type.  Her holiday novellas Making Christmas and What Happens at Midnight will be released on November 8, and are now available for pre-order. A native Nebraskan, she loves football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Connect with her online on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube and on her website at www.laurachapmanbooks.com.

Read an Excerpt from Three & Out

“You have to talk some sense into J.J. He’s freaking out about this whole redraft thing.”

I roll my eyes at the irritation in Wade’s voice. How like sweet, lovable, but basically helpless Wade to want me to save the day and soothe everyone else’s nerves. Even though I’m two time zones away. It’s my own fault. Back when we all worked together at the car dealership in Lincoln, that’s what I did. I fixed things. Not to brag, I was good at it. Too good, apparently.

I start the brisk walk toward campus. After looking around town, we’d settled on a tiny walk-up a few minutes from campus rather than going for something more spacious in the suburbs. What we pay for in extra rent, we make up for in gas and time savings. Plus, every work day starts and ends with cardio, which is how I’m able to rationalize skipping the gym. I’ve always been bad about going, but now I can do it guilt-free.

“What are we going to do?” Wade asks. “He’s out of control.”

“In his defense, it was a pretty big pain in the butt to find a time when we were all available to draft in the first place. Things are complicated now that we’re on the West Coast and Gio is on the East—”

“It’s not a matter of time zones.”

I imagine myself flipping Wade the bird. “No. I suppose it isn’t.”

“You’re not here every day. You don’t get it.”

Now I have to fight the urge to throw my phone into the street. The only reason I don’t is because I don’t want to have to replace it. Especially not until I back up my music and photos. I have a bunch of pictures of Blitz and my latest crocheting projects on my phone. I can’t risk parting with them in a wave of misplaced fury. I take a deep breath and remind myself that I like Wade. Most of the time. Plus, I have to be patient with him. He’s married to Brook’s sister now, so he’s family.

“What else is going on?”

“It’s hard to explain.”

“Try.”

“Well . . .” Then Wade launches into something that’s a mixture of rant and useful information.

Apparently, J.J. hasn’t been handling the changes to his environment well. First, Brook and I moved in February. Aside from the few months he spent playing in an arena league, J.J. hasn’t been away from his former practice squad wide receiver since they were freshmen in college. Then in May, Gio transferred to the flagship store in Schenectady, New York, so the owners of the dealership—the Donaldsons—could enjoy early retirement and a second honeymoon.

With his most stable influences gone, J.J. spent the summer in a free-for-all binge. There’s more drinking. More one-night stands. More shoving matches with strangers in bars. More illegal substances. It’s all of J.J.’s vices, only on a bigger level. He’s Deluxe J.J.

“Why are you just telling me this now? If it’s been going on all summer, why—”

“I thought we could take care of it. Contrary to what you might think, I usually try to handle things on my own.” I can almost imagine Wade tussling his cropped brown hair on the other side of the line. “But this morning, after we got our messages about the botched draft, J.J. lost it. He threw a chair at one of the cars in the lobby.”

I gasp and nearly run into a woman walking her dog in the other direction. Recovering quickly, I dart an apologetic grin and mouth, “Sorry.” “What did Anderson do?”

“Nothing.”

I stumble again. “He did—”

“Well, not nothing really. He told J.J. to cool down and check our Internet sales. He said it in that voice of his that scares the crap out of you.”

I’m all too familiar with it. “That was it?”

“Well . . . then he asked Dylan to take the car back to maintenance.”

It makes sense. He’d want to make sure there wasn’t any damage to the body. He’d also want to take care of the dents with as little fuss as possible before ripping J.J. a new one.

“Then he asked you to call me? So I could set J.J. straight.”

“Pretty much.”

That figures. It all does. However, understanding the source for this request doesn’t give me any clear ideas on what I’m supposed to do to help. It’s not like I can hop on a plane and smack some sense into J.J. I’m already flying back in October, and I can’t take off that much time from work. A phone call will only do so much. There’s also the chance I could say the wrong thing and make it worse.

It’s not a good situation.

“Look, Wade, I don’t know what I can—”

“Just think of something. Anything. Give him a call and talk some reason into him. He listens to you.”

“Yeah, right. You mean he listens to Brook.” Which is who Wade should have called, come to think of it.

“Brook is my next call if you won’t help. But you’d be surprised by how much stock J.J. puts in you. I know I’m asking a lot—”

“You’re asking for a miracle.”

“Maybe, but please.”

The way he says it—his voice so wistful—is more than a request. It’s a last-ditch plea. Like Princess Leia telling Obi-Wan he’s her only hope. And, man, I need to make some less nerdy friends if that’s the first analogy to come to mind. I’m practically a female version of any given member of the league these days. My heart pings as I think about those guys. They’re more than my buddies. They’re my family. Not just the one’s I’m related to by blood or marriage.

Family comes through when you need them.

“Okay. I’ll talk to him.”

~~~

*** BARGAIN ALERT *** To celebrate the new release, for a limited time, you can pick up the first two stories in the series for only 99 cents each. E-Books First & Goal and Going for Two are available for only 99 cents each. ***

chapman

In Laura Chapman’s Queen of the League series, Harper Duquaine joins a fantasy football league to prove she can hang with the guys. Only problem: she doesn’t know a sleeper from a keeper (or any of the other lingo thrown her way). Her competitive streak soon emerges, and she catches the interest of her top two competitors. With a slew of conflicting advice in her real and fantasy worlds, Harper must figure out how to play the game and come out a winner.

First & Goal CoverFirst & Goal
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Click the photo to read my review!

 

 

Going for TwoGoing for Two
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Click the photo to read my review!

Enter the Giveaway HERE for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card!

Blog Post short-link: http://wp.me/p4F2Uk-mfl

Arielle Joy

Smoothie Recipe & Giveaway

Today I’m going to share my favorite green smoothie recipe with you. In keeping with the tone of my month-long giveaway sponsored by Culinary Corner, today’s focus is on their silicone collapsible funnel. It’s marketed to use with protein powder (for those of you that just mix it with water in a bottle) but today I’m going to share my favorite recipe that calls for protein powder as one of the main ingredients. Check out last week’s Delicious Drinks, the previous week’s Oreo Mint Chunk Cookies and the first week’s Artichoke Spinach Dip if you missed them! If you haven’t had a chance to enter the giveaway yet, you can do so by clicking this link: a Rafflecopter giveaway. The giveaway ends in 3 days, so enter now!!

Green Smoothie

My favorite way to enjoy protein powder is with frozen fruit and a bunch of spinach. I promise you’ll barely taste the spinach and it’s a great way to sneak in an extra veggie serving! If you want a tropical smoothie I would suggest using a mixture of mango, pineapple and banana but if you’re watching your sugar intake I would suggest using a berry medley and a bit of banana.

Green Smoothie Recipe

What’s your favorite way to mix protein powder into your routine? I’d love to hear from you!

Here’s the product detail description from Amazon:

  • Culinary Corner FunnelFunnels Liquids, Small Foods, Spices, Etc.
  • Collapses For Efficient Storage (Stores Flat)
  • Washable, Durable, Reusable, Convenient
  • Indoor/ Outdoor, Pre Workout, Protein powders
  • 3″x4″ Dimensions When Expanded

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for your chance to win a set of the silicone ice molds (in addition to 3 other Culinary Corner products). If you don’t want to wait to see if you win, you can use my special code for a discount at checkout: ARIELL10. Happy baking everyone!

Arielle Joy

 

 

Delicious Drink Recipes & Giveaway

Today I’m going to share two of my favorite drink recipes with you. In keeping with the tone of my month-long giveaway sponsored by Culinary Corner, I used their black silicone ice molds to use in my drinks. Today’s focus is on their silicone ice molds. Check out last week’s Oreo Mint Chunk Cookies and the previous week’s Artichoke Spinach Dip if you missed them! If you haven’t had a chance to enter the giveaway yet, you can do so by clicking this link: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Drink Recipes

 

I don’t know about you, but I love mixing drinks! There’s a couple tried-and-true recipes that my family and I love. But please be warned, these drinks run a bit on the sweet side, so I wouldn’t suggest them if you don’t like your drinks sweet.   Please remember to drink responsibly! If you’re ever anywhere and you aren’t capable of driving home, get a ride; from a friend, a parent, a taxi or from one of the popular car services that are widely available these days.

When I’m feeling adventurous and in the mood for something sweet I always reach for something with Midori and pineapple juice. Do you like your drinks sweet too? Scroll on for a two recipes you might enjoy!

The first recipe is for a Midoritini. My parents have had this recipe in the kitchen for a long time, so I can’t really tell you where it originally came from, other than to say that it’s been adapted from recipes we’ve found over time. My best guess would be that it originally came from the Midori website or something in associate with the brand, but I can’t say for sure.

Midoritini

The second recipe I’m going to share is for a very strong drink that my family likes to call the Deltoro Grass Skirt. Make sure you’re at home, getting a ride, or staying the night if you venture out and try this one! My family adapted this recipe after trying a seriously delicious drink at a nice restaurant in Santa Barbara for my sister’s college graduation dinner quite a few years back. The staff was kind enough to tell us the types of ingredients that were in the drink, but weren’t allowed to tell us the exact amounts of each. We spent an entire summer testing the measurements for this concoction and this was the recipe that we finally decided upon.

Grass Skirt

If you don’t want alcohol but you’re in the mood for a sweet drink, try one of my favorite non-alcoholic treats from Trader Joe’s. Their Pink Lemonade is made with organic lemons and it’s low-cal with less sugar than most other juices or lemonades I’ve ever tried. Simply open the pre-made lemonade and pour over ice. Try it over a large round ice cube in a short drinking glass for a fun and festive sweet drink!

Pink Lemonade

No matter how you prepare your drinks, please drink responsibly and be mindful of how much you’ve had to drink. What are your favorite drink recipes? I’d love to hear from you!

Here’s the product detail description from Amazon:

  • Silicone Ice MoldsThis 100% silicone 2.5 inch ice ball mold set creates slow melting ice spheres to dress up any highball glass or mug without the worry of diluting your actual drink. From water to your highest end liquor, enjoy your ice cold drink conveniently at your own pace without the need to get up and refill with more ice.
  • Ice mold top and bottom fit snug to avoid leaks. Simply fill with water (or another liquid for fun) and store with ease in the freezer as the flat mold bottom helps keep a secured position without tipping over. Once frozen, remove ice sphere from the mold with ease.
  • 100% top rack dishwasher safe; feel free to hand wash with light soap and air dry. We offer a lifetime guarantee with every product purchase.
  • Silicone ice mold sets are great for holiday and birthday gifts, or simply for adding to upgrade your barware setup.
  • FDA approved; BPA free. The ice ball mold set is made of food grade safe silicone.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for your chance to win a set of the silicone ice molds (in addition to 3 other Culinary Corner products). If you don’t want to wait to see if you win, you can use my special code for a discount at checkout: ARIELL10. Happy baking everyone!

Arielle Joy

 

 

Recipe & Giveaway – Oreo Mint Chunk Cookies

Looking for an easy recipe to make for your loved ones for Valentine’s Day? Today I’m going to share a delicious cookie recipe that will have everyone raving about your baking skills and asking you for the recipe! In keeping with the tone of my month-long giveaway sponsored by Culinary Corner, I used two of their silicone products while whipping up these cookies. Today’s focus is on the silicone baking mat, but I also used the turquoise set of spatulas (they’re just so cute and easy to use!). Check out last week’s Artichoke Spinach Dip if you missed it! If you haven’t had a chance to enter the giveaway yet, you can do so by clicking this link: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oreo Mint Chunk Cookies

I originally found the recipe while browsing pinterest back during the holidays when one of my friends wanted to find a delicious cookie recipe to make for a Christmas Cookie Exchange Party. We found a recipe for Oreo Peppermint Crunch Cookies on Inside BruCrew Life’s website, but as you can find on pinterest, there are many recipe blogs that have a similar version. You can view the original recipe (shared on National Cookie Day!) from Inside BruCrew Life by clicking this link. I will be sharing an adapted version of Jocelyn’s cookies, based on personal taste.

Oreo Mint Crunch Cookies

The Ingredients & Extra Notes

Cookie Recipe IngredientsThese cookies are super simple to make, they don’t have to look perfect, AND they’re scrumptious! In about an hour and a half, you can have delicious cookies ready to be eaten (and watch out, these little fellas will go fast!). I purchased all of the ingredients at the local Target near me. I used a metal bowl for mixing, turquoise silicone spatulas to mix, and the fabulous silicone baking mat from Culinary Corner to bake the cookies on.

IngredientsThese cookies are practically fool-proof and are easy to make. The foundation is a boxed cake mix, a stick of butter, cream cheese and an egg, then you add the extras in to taste. I know some people will think that using a boxed cake mix to make cookies is cheating, but honestly, when they taste this good and they’re this easy to make, who cares?!

The original recipe on Inside BruCrew calls for Oreo chunks, chocolate chips, Andes peppermint pieces and vanilla and peppermint extract. I swapped out the Baking Matpeppermint pieces for mint, upped the oreo amount and eliminated the extracts. I like to use a combination of dark chocolate and white chocolate chips, but this time I used Semi-Sweet Morsels from Nestle. As long as you don’t mess with the foundation of the cookie, you can play around with the amounts of the toppings depending on what you like.

I’ve never used a non-stick silicone baking mat before and wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve always used parchment paper for roasting veggies and some people swear by it for baking cookies. Now that I’ve used a silicone mat while baking, I don’t know if I’ll ever bake without one again! They keep your cookie sheets from getting dirty, and they’re simple to clean in the sink or in your dishwasher.

Here’s the product detail description from Amazon:

  • Culinary Corner Baking MatEasy Cleanup: Never wash your baking sheets again. Non-stick baking mats are 100% dishwasher safe to be placed in the top rack only, or simply wash with soap if needed and rinse with warm water for air dry.
  • Multi-use for oven, microwave, freezer and/or placed on countertop for rolling dough. As the mats are not a cutting surface, do not use sharp objects on them as they will become damaged.
  • Non-stick mats can be safely used in the oven up to 480 degrees, and promote healthy eating by eliminating the need for grease sprays or treatments.
  • Professionally used as heat is distributed evenly and flavors/odors will not penetrate the baking mats. 100% product GUARANTEE

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for your chance to win one of the baking mats (in addition to 3 other Culinary Corner products). If you don’t want to wait to see if you win, you can use my special code for a discount at checkout: ARIELL10. Happy baking everyone!

Arielle Joy

 

 

Recipe & Giveaway – Artichoke Spinach Dip

Unless you missed my blog post on Monday, you’ll know that I’m currently running a giveaway sponsored by Culinary Corner. No worries if you missed it, I’ll give you a brief rundown on it again! The giveaway is exclusively for my readers. One lucky person will win a gift set filled with all of the silicone kitchenware products Culinary Corner has on the market right now; set of 3 spatulas, baking mat, ice molds and retractable funnel. [Their products can be purchased on Amazon via the Culinary Corner website and my readers can use the code ARIELL10 for a special discount.] Enter the Giveaway by clicking the link here: a Rafflecopter giveaway. Today I’m going to show you my favorite way to use the first item in their product offering that I was dying to try… their gorgeous set of 3 turquoise silicone spatulas.

Spinach Dip

Today I’m going to share my artichoke spinach dip recipe with you. It’s seriously one of the most delicious dip recipes I’ve ever tried, and it’s not super unhealthy like most artichoke spinach dips are these days. I originally got a similar version of this at a local Trader Joe’s tasting counter but altered it to suit my personal tastes. Superbowl Sunday is only a few days away and why not bring one of America’s all-time favorite snacks?! Make a quick stop at the store for a few simple ingredients and this dip will be ready in no time. Trust me, the ladies and gentlemen in your life will thank you!

Artichoke Spinach Dip   Recipe Ingredients

The Ingredients & Extra Notes

Spatulas

I buy all of my ingredients for this recipe from Trader Joe’s except for the light mayo and the tortilla chips. The great thing about this dip recipe is that you can add ingredients or use less of something that’s called for. The original recipe called for a can of roasted red peppers, drained and chopped. I’m not a fan of red peppers, so I left it out. If you don’t like artichoke much, you could use one can instead of two. This is a dip, I’ll dare to say that it’s mostly fail proof, so if there’s an ingredient you don’t love, go ahead and experiment!

I was excited to try out the new silicone spatulas I received from Culinary Corner. Not only are they gorgeous [if you don’t already know by now, my favorite color is turquoise], they’re easy to use and made mixing the dip ingredients so easy! I’ve never really used spatulas in the kitchen, but this set has definitely changed that! I also used them when I whipped up the batch of cookies for the recipe I’ll be sharing next week. They make mixing so easy!

SpinachChopped SpinachI use a 12 oz bag of baby spinach from Trader Joe’s. I’ve seen recipes that use a bag of frozen chopped spinach. You could use that as a substitute if you wanted, but I always would use fresh when possible. If you don’t like as much spinach, you can use less, to taste.

chopped artichoke heartsIMG_5646 2Here’s a photo of the cans of artichoke hearts I use in the recipe. You’ll want to drain and chop well. If you’re not handy with a knife, you can always use a kitchen food scissor to help you. I wouldn’t suggest using a food processor or blender, unless you want the dip to not be chunky at all. I personally prefer it with a little texture, but if you want a completely smooth dip, you could throw this all in a food processor, like when you make hummus.

Parmesan Cheese

IMG_5649 2I use a 12 oz bag of freshly shredded parmesan cheese. This is mainly where the calories and fat are coming from in this recipe, so if you were looking to make it healthier, you could use less than a full bag. I think this is the best part, so I wouldn’t suggest it, but you’re more than welcome to cut back on this one a bit if you choose to.

Light MayoI personally use light mayo for this recipe, but you could use regular mayo if you prefer. I don’t think anyone can tell the difference, and it’s unnecessary fat and calories when the light stuff works just as well. I picked up a bottle of the light mayo at my local Smart & Final, though you can obviously pick up mayo wherever you shop locally.

GarlicI don’t know about you, but I LOVE garlic… but I hate chopping it because the smell lingers on my hands for days! Trader Joe’s sells a small can of crushed garlic that eliminates this problem for me. I keep it on hand and toss in a teaspoon whenever I want to cook with garlic. It’s an extremely useful ingredient to keep on hand for any garlic lover out there. I used 2 teaspoons of this in the recipe, though you could use freshly crushed garlic that you’ve made yourself.

Mixed IngredientsMix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. I like to use a metal bowl and now my turquoise spatulas are on heavy rotation when I bake. Your mixed ingredients should look a little like this…

Serve it with tortilla chips, bread or crackers, whatever suits you best. I picked up tortilla chips from a local mexican store called La Reina. If you live near a mexican grocery market, you should go in and get a bag. Nobody does tortilla chips better! If you don’t live near one, Trader Joe’s or any other grocery store always carries a Tortilla Chipsnice selection of tortilla chips.

This artichoke spinach dip is so good that when I made it last weekend for a friend’s gender reveal party, half the dip was gone before I even got to take a photo of it! It was Dipa huge hit then and is a huge hit every single time I make it. Going, going, gone! This dip is a winner and one you’ll find yourself wanting to make it quite often, whether you’ve got one friend coming over or a party full of people.

 

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I’d love to know what you think of this recipe. Is it something you’ll try out this weekend to bring to Superbowl Sunday or for an upcoming party? Let me know your thoughts below. If you like the recipe, please share it on your social media or Pinterest so that others can try it too! Arielle Joy