Wooden Horse & Super Bowl

Happy Lunar New Year!

I love that I can say that for the next several days.

Even though my family is Filipino and heavily influenced by Spaniard customs, we still received red envelopes on Lunar New Year and celebrated with feasts upon feasts of food. I was too young to understand why, and, honestly, who would want to question receiving gifts in January/February. But as I grew older, I realized that this tradition – of celebrating Lunar New Year – was because of my Chinese great-grandmother, Aurora. To honor her and part of my heritage, I decided to continue celebrating Lunar New Year, and someday (way in the future) pass the tradition along to my own children.

You may already know that this is the year of the Horse, specifically the Wooden Horse. If you’re interested in learning more about your wu xing and animal zodiac sign, check out the nifty calendar from wikipedia.

Now, on to Super Bowl! Yes, it’s Super Bowl Sunday. A day when you and your peers will eat, drink and hopefully be merry depending on if your team won or not. This year, I have no team. The 49ers were so close but no cigar. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to eat and drink with my friends. This year, I’m making creamy spinach artichoke crab dip, AND dump cake. Yes, I know, dump cake is baking sacrilege. But it’s easy and yummy!

1794665_10100588833574790_988576246_nDump Cake

  • Can of crushed pineapple
  • Can of Cherry Pie mix
  • Box of White Cake mix
  • Stick of butter (unsalted)


  1. Grease a baking dish (9 x 13).
  2. Mix pineapple and cherry pie mix together in baking dish. Spread it evenly in the dish.
  3. Take the white cake mix and sprinkle on top of pineapple-cherry mixture.
  4. Slice the butter (1/8 inch) and placed sliced butter on top
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour

AND THAT’S IT!!! See what I mean by easy??? Now the crab dip, that’s a bit more difficult. Also, I tend to never follow the directions from the original recipe. I mean, I added SPINACH! (It’s really good though.) So here’s how I make the dip, in case you want to go off book.

1607021_10100588847212460_344103701_nSpinach Artichoke Crab Dip

  • 1/3 cup of cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup of sour cream
  • 1 (big) tablespoon of mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts
  • 2 cups of fresh spinach
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8 oz of lump crab
  • Garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Parsley, chives or green onions for garnish


  1. Cut the spinach up into strips and then add 1 tablespoon of butter to a pan. Wilt the spinach in the the pan on medium. Put the wilted spinach in a big mixing bowl.
  2. Using the same pan at medium, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the artichoke hearts. Use the juice of half of the lemon. Save the other half for later. Break up the hearts and then place it in the big mixing bowl with the spinach.
  3. In the mixing bowl, add the sour cream, mayo, and cream cheese. Mix in with the artichoke and spinach.
  4. Mix the shredded cheeses in a separate bowl. Add half of that cheese into the artichoke spinach mix. Save the other half for later.
  5. Add the 8 oz of lump crab. Make sure to stir in gently. You want the lumps to stay intact. Add the lemon juice of the second half. Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Place the crab mixture in a baking dish. Top with the rest of the shredded cheese and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes until bubbly. Garnish with green onions, chives or parsley. Serve with chips or toasted bread.

Again, this is a variation of the original version, since I love experimenting in the kitchen. BUT that is the beauty of cooking. You can modify a dish to your liking!

Alright, now you know what I’m making in a few hours, what are you serving up at your Super Bowl parties? Let me know!

‘Til the next time.