Yesterday Julia and I enjoyed a morning out together. She went with me to my prenatal appointment, we bought a birthday gift for one of her friends, and went to Target and Whole Foods. Although we were basically just running errands, we had a great time together. It’s nice to take our time walking through Target, in no rush to get home or anywhere else. Julia was extra happy because I even let her walk instead of riding in the cart, which is usually my requirement. What she didn’t know was that this decision was partially motivated by the fact that it’s not all that easy to lift her into the cart at almost 8 1/2 months pregnant.
I’m trying to really enjoy these last moments where Julia and I can go out just the two of us, because I know that once the baby arrives it won’t be quite so easy. We’ll just have to plan our mother-daughter time a little more carefully.
One activity that I’m sure we’ll still enjoy together after baby brother arrives is cooking. Pretty much every night now Julia pulls up a chair to help me prepare dinner. She helped make these stuffed portabellos, even though she didn’t care to eat one herself. (I can’t really blame her on this one, as they aren’t the most kid-friendly meal- at least for my kid.)
I had to make these three times before I was ready to post them. The first time, I followed the original recipe and they were a little too creamy for my tastes. The second time I replaced the mayo with Greek yogurt, and cut down on the amounts of cream cheese and yogurt. We liked the meal much better this time, but of course I forgot to write down the exact measurements I used. I typed up a recipe, but had to make them a third time just to make sure that the proportions were correct. As a blogger, I’m really careful with the recipes I post- I don’t want to lead anyone astray here.
If you haven’t guessed, the fact that I was willing to make and eat this meal three times shows just how much I enjoyed it. A hearty mushroom with a filling reminiscent of spinach-artichoke dip? Yum. Add in a green or fruit salad and some french bread, and you’ve got a great meal. If you happen to have leftovers, they are delicious for lunch the next day.
Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Portabellos
Makes 4 servings
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 portabello mushrooms
- 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 2 tbsp. Greek yogurt (or mayonnaise)
- 3/4 tsp. dried thyme
- 9 to 10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 9 oz. frozen artichokes, thawed, lightly squeezed dry, and chopped (or one 14oz. can artichoke hearts, drained, patted dry, and chopped)
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs or panko
- 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 450 degrees F.
- Remove the stems from the portabellos. Using a butter knife, scrape out the gills.
- In a small bowl, combine 2 tbsp. of the oil and about two-thirds of the minced garlic. Brush the insides of the mushroom caps with the garlic oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Arrange the mushrooms oiled side up on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until just tender, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and 1/4 tsp. of the thyme. Stir in the spinach and artichokes and season to taste with salt and pepper. In another medium bowl, combine the remaining garlic, 1 tbsp. oil, and 1/2 tsp. thyme with the breadcrumbs and cheese.
- Spoon the artichoke mixture evenly into the mushroom caps and sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture. Bake until the crumbs are golden brown and the filling is hot, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
Source: Adapted from Fine Cooking