Diet: Week 2, or Stone Cold Sober Book Club

I survived week one of my competitive diet, although I have the sad distinction of earning the lowest number of points on my team, and my team has the sad distinction of being in last place — probably entirely due to me. Sorry, Team 3! Not sure if I mentioned this before or not, but I HATE LOSING. The really sad part is I was quite pleased with my performance until I saw the scores. I didn’t realize I’d be competing with perfect people who earned perfect scores. The poor sport in me wants to call them all liars with dicey accounting practices, but the lady in me just says, “Nice work!”

In any event, I need to up my game. As we’ve established, alcohol is only permitted one day a week, and this week, I’ve decided to choose alcohol on Saturday for a variety of reasons not just because my mother is visiting for a few days. That meant that last night I got to experience book club in a new and exciting way for the first time ever. I believe the word I’m looking for is “sobriety.” It was so weird, like I was in another country and couldn’t quite grasp the nuances of the foreign language they were speaking. I could understand everyone, but I couldn’t really understand everyone, if you know what I’m saying. But fortunately for me, my book club is comprised of smart, funny, interesting women who don’t require the consumption of alcohol in order to be appreciated…although I won’t lie — everything is more fun after a few glasses of wine.

I did, however, use my weekly allotted “meal off” so I could enjoy all the fabulous food. And enjoy it I did! My friend Amy always goes above and beyond in providing book club goodies, and there was NO WAY I was going to miss out on that. I was so excited that she made our friend Lauren’s famous spinach and artichoke dip. I secretly suspect that Lauren is a Helllmann’s mayonnaise heiress, because whenever you ask her about her recipes, she insists that you only make it with real Hellmann’s mayonnaise. The only change I made was using fresh baby spinach instead of frozen spinach (too mushy and too hard to fully drain, in my opinion) because I think that works out better. Yes, I realize artichoke dips are a dime a dozen, especially at book clubs, but this the best one I ever had.

Lauren’s Famous Artichoke Dip

1 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp Tabasco
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
2 cups Hellmann’s mayo
1/2 bag of baby spinach, chopped
1 can artichoke drained and “mushed”

Mix. Bake at 350 for 45 min

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