By Jo-Anna Rooney

Winters in Calgary are long and very cold, but we try to embrace the season by enjoying all it has to offer. This means that during those long winter months our family can often be found outdoors, taking part in great Canadian activities like pond hockey, snowshoeing, skiing and tobogganing.

After all of the fun, we look forward to heading indoors to gather around a crackling fire and enjoy warm drinks and comforting eats. There is just nothing like filling your belly with hearty, homemade food on a cold, wintery day. This Baked Goat Cheese and Bacon Spinach Dip is perfect for such an occasion! I like to prepare it ahead of time, and have it ready to go as soon as we come inside. Serve it bubbling hot with loads of crusty bread and your favourite red wine.

Baked Goat Cheese and Bacon Spinach Dip, Courtesy of Jo-Anna Rooney, aprettylifeinthesuburbs.com, Calgary

This make-ahead treat is the perfect reward after a day of winter fun.

BakedGoatCheeseBaconSpinachDip

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time:
30 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients
2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
8 oz (225 g) fresh spinach, chopped
1 onion, diced
1–2 cloves garlic, minced
5 oz (140 g) goat cheese
¾ cup (175 mL) sour cream
¼ cup (50 mL) chopped marinated artichoke hearts
8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
salt to taste
pepper to taste
crusty bread or crackers for dipping

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
2. In skillet heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Sauté spinach, onion and garlic until onion is translucent and spinach is wilted. Remove from heat.
3. Stir in the goat cheese, sour cream, artichoke hearts and bacon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Scrape mixture into ovenproof dish and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until mixture is bubbling.
5. Serve with crusty bread or crackers for dipping.

A Pretty Life in the Suburbs
Jo-Anna is the editor, director, chief, main cook, dishwasher and home decorator on the site A Pretty Life in the Suburbs. She created the site as a way to share her love of a simple home life through uncomplicated home tips and fresh and easy recipes. Her hope is that by spending some time on A Pretty Life in the Suburbs, you are inspired to add some simplicity and deliciousness into your home and life.