Man Lab Kitchen: Kicking Up The Office Potluck

The Christmas season seems to involve a high number of office potluck luncheons. Unfortunately, these things suffer from two problems. One: Not all of your coworkers can cook something edible. And two: Most offerings are dips or involve cheese. So the Man Lab is going to help you stand out from the crowd with three recipes to make you the king of the office potluck. Remember that everyone loves a man who can cook.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 cup thawed, chopped frozen spinach
  • 1 & 1/2 cups thawed, chopped frozen artichoke hearts
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Method

Boil spinach and artichokes in 1 cup of water until tender and drain. Discard liquid. Heat cream cheese in microwave for 1 minute or until hot and soft. Stir in rest of ingredients and serve hot.

Notes

Serve this with tortilla chips and pita chips. I know I said that we’re kicking things up and that you’ll find a lot of dips at potlucks. Well, taco dips are the standard. Most people get spinach dips at restaurants. Serve a restaurant dish and serve it hot and you’ll stand out from the crowd.

Cajun Dirty Rice

Ingredients

    • 1 pound lean ground beef
    • 1 pound beef sausage
    • 1 onion, finely diced
    • 1 (8 ounce) package dirty rice mix
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers
    • 2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
    • salt and pepper to taste

Method

In a skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef, sausage, and onion; drain.

In a large pan, combine rice mix and 2 cups water. Add diced tomatoes and chilies. Stir in the kidney beans. Bring to a boil, then add meat mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Return to boil, reduce heat, and cover, stirring occasionally. Cook for 25 minutes, until rice is easily fluffed with a fork.

Notes

You can serve this either hot or cold. The one thing you have to watch is that not everyone eats red meat. However, the people who do will appreciate the fact that you’ve brought one of the very few dishes, if not the only, with beef.

Rocky Road Bars

Ingredients

 

  • 1 & 1/2 cups Graham Crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 & 1/2 cups flaked coconut
  • 1 & 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 pkg. (300 g) Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 & 1/2 cups Miniature Marshmallows
  • 1 can (300 mL) sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 squares Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate

Method 

Heat oven to 350°F.

Line 13×9-inch pan with foil or parchment paper, with ends of foil extending over sides. Mix crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of pan. Top with layers of coconut, nuts, chocolate chips and marshmallows. Drizzle with condensed milk.

Bake 25 to 30 min. or until golden brown. Meanwhile, melt chocolate squares as directed on package.

Drizzle chocolate over dessert; let stand until firm. Use foil handles to lift dessert from pan before cutting into bars.

Notes

Everybody loves a good dessert. The great thing about Rocky Road bars is that they can be cut to size at lunch for those who over-eat. If you have to avoid nut allergies, substitute dried fruit for the nuts.

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