I really want to teach “Life Skills” to the Mia Maids during some of our Mutual activities, so tonight we did some cooking for our class activity. We made Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip and Baked Tortilla Chips. I chose these items because I thought they would be unique enough to interest them, but easy enough that they could do the mixing and cooking themselves.
First, two girls got started on the Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip. I used a great recipe from Alton Brown (one of my personal heroes) with 3 small adjustments. I was able to have them follow the recipe with very little help from me.
Here is the original recipe
And here is my version: 1 cup thawed, chopped frozen spinach
2 cans of artichoke hearts (not the marinated kind that comes in glass jars)*
6 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese1/2 cup mozzarella cheese**
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Directions: Drain artichokes. Put spinach and artichokes in a large microwavable bowl with 1 cup of water and microwave*** for 2 minutes (stirring once after each minute). Drain again. In a separate bowl, heat cream cheese in microwave for 1 minute. Stir all of the ingredients (artichokes, spinach, cream cheese, and everything else listed above) together in a large bowl. Heat in the microwave for 2 minutes (stirring once after 1 minute).
* Change #1: I checked several grocery stores, but I could not find frozen artichokes. So I just used canned artichoke hearts instead. It was totally fine.
**Change #2: Added mozzarella cheese. Only because I bought some at the store when I couldn’t remember what kind of cheese I needed, so we just threw it in there!
*** Change #3: We made our dip in the microwave instead of cooking it on the stovetop. It worked fine.
Meanwhile, I had another girl start on the baked tortilla chips. I brought a package of whole wheat tortillas and handed her the recipe, and she handled it all on her own. They were great! I don’t have a photo of the chips, but here is a link to a website that explains how to make chips from tortillas (I prefer the whole wheat, but you could use any kind). 3 tortillas made 24 triangular chips, so you could get a lot of chips from a single bag of tortillas.
The girls seemed to like the dip and chips overall and the whole process only took about 15 minutes (20 minutes if you count clean-up). There were some complaints about the smell of the spinach/artichoke combo while it was cooking, but once the other ingredients were added it was “all good”
This recipe made a large amount of dip – probably 5 cups worth. But the smell of the finished dip and chips wafting through the church soon brought the other YW, the YM, and the adult leaders around to see what was going on in the kitchen. By the time Mutual was over, everything was completely gone. It was good for the girls to see that they had made something delicious that others appreciated (and it was pretty easy). Luckily I had brought a box of crackers also, because they ate all those, too!
PURPOSE: Teaching basic cooking skills – either with a microwave or a stovetop. Baking using an oven. Following a recipe. Providing an opportunity to feel pride in something they’ve made.
COST: Approximately $13.00 (ingredients for dip and tortilla chips – enough to feed about 10 people a 1/2 cup serving of dip)