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Originally published Friday, November 23, 2012 at 5:00 AM

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Recipe: Spicy bacon spinach artichoke dip

A new twist on an old favorite.

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Spinach dip could use some ramping up. This certainly does the trick. Tip: Divide among small ramekins before baking and place them in several places around your party.

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

3 teaspoons cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped

1 cup grated Parmesan (*see note)

1 cup shredded mozzarella (*see note)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat the frozen spinach in the microwave for 5 minutes. Carefully squeeze out as much water as possible and set aside.

Microwave the cream cheese for a minute. Combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, cayenne and garlic powder in a large bowl and blend together well. Add the spinach, bacon, artichoke hearts and cheeses. Stir together.

Spread in a pie plate or small casserole dish (or small ramekins or baking dishes). Bake until bubbling and slightly browned on top (30 minutes in a small casserole dish or pie plate; less time for smaller ramekins).

Serve hot with crackers, pita chips or vegetable sticks.

*Note: Instead of grating the cheese, you could use 2 cups of the Italian cheese blend sold in supermarkets.

Yield: About 6 cups

From "Savory Sweet Life," by Alice Currah (Morrow, 2012).

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