Spinach + Cheese + Crescent rolls = An Appetizer to Write Home About

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Last night our two oldest kids had a formal dinner to attend as part of their high school curriculum affectionately referred to as protocol. Being reminded that manners are not for sissies, yet proper behavior is not necessarily intuitive, the students are instructed how to act graciously and properly at formal functions. In an era where respect for anyone or anything seems to be less and less important, I’m thankful yet again that we found Classical Conversations and can share these social graces with our kids. (For more information about our kickin’ homeschool group, click here.)

Actually, last night’s dinner was a practice session for the Spring Protocol, where the group will dine at a fancy restaurant and attend some sort of performance. One of the CC moms graciously opened her home to host the night, and along with other Challenge tutors, prepared, served, and cleaned up the meal. From what I heard, it was quite a delicious spread!

Truth be told, however, one of our children was less than thrilled with the prospect of dressing up and suffering through an evening of formalities. (Until he or she actually went, that is. The entire ride home, the two were a-flurry with happy details from the night.)

I volunteered to make the appetizers for the evening, both because I knew it would be a huge undertaking for the hostess to get her home set up AND prepare all the food necessary for such a large dinner party, and because I like to make food. It took me until two days before, however, to make a final decision as to what I was going to make. Thankfully, my email inbox was seemingly inundated each morning with new holiday recipes. On Wednesday, the perfect appetizer recipe came to my inbox, and I knew it was the one. With spinach, cheese, and a warm crescent roll encasement, what could go wrong? Put with my tried-and-true veggie tortilla pinwheels and my sister-in-law’s famous sausage balls, I had a plan. Finally.

I know better to prepare a recipe for the first time when I have to make it for a function, but I still did it anyway. Next time, I think I’ll make some changes, but on the whole, this recipe is a keeper.

Start with a short list of ingredients, none too complicated:

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The first step is to completely thaw the spinach and drain it well. Then mix the spinach, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, onion-flavored cream cheese, and egg yolk until all are completely incorporated. I used a fork to make sure everything was mixed into the spinach. *Here’s where I would have made a change: I definitely would have added some minced garlic and salt and pepper to the mixture.

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Next comes the geometry problem, and admittedly, geometry was very close to my least favorite subject in any level of my education. The recipe says to cut each crescent roll triangle in half, but with the shapes of crescent rolls being what they are, they don’t easily lend themselves to being cut in…how you say…half. Nevertheless, I pressed on and cut them as close to half as I could figure out. Judge for yourselves….

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After placing a bit of the spinach mixture in the middle of each crescent roll “half,” just draw up the corners and seal the seams. Easy peasy. Especially while chatting with two children who happen to wander through the kitchen. And listening to Christmas music.

Once they’re all assembled, I brushed the tops with egg white and sprinkled a bit more Parmesan cheese.

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They baked for about the same time that a plain old boring crescent roll would, and smelled wonderful during and afterwards. A beautiful golden brown top on each also added to their appeal, so much so that Todd and I had to try one before I packed them up to go with the kids.

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All in all, I love this recipe and will happily add it to my list of go-to appetizers. In addition to the changes I mentioned above, I might also be tempted to stir in a bit more of the onion and chives cream cheese than the recipe originally called for. While it wasn’t exactly dry, I felt that it was missing *something* that would catapult it from good to great. I suppose I should just keep making it until I find the perfect combination.

It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. Right?

Cheesy Spinach Bundles

1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well-drained
1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/3 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup Chive & Onion Cream Cheese Spread
1 egg, separated
1 can (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
make it
HEAT oven to 375ºF.

MIX first 4 ingredients and egg yolk until blended.

SEPARATE crescent dough into 8 triangles. Cut each triangle diagonally in half. Spoon 1 Tbsp. spinach mixture onto center of each triangle. Bring corners of dough to center over filling, overlapping ends; pinch ends together to seal. Place on baking sheets. Beat egg white lightly; brush onto bundles.

BAKE 12 to 15 min. or until golden brown.

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(taken with love and respect from http://www.kraftfoods.com)

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