creamy spinach and artichoke tart: too tame a dish for a stagette.

It was my friend's bachelorette party on Saturday - a day that we've been looking forward to with anticipation.
I contemplated the night before - what appetizer can I bring that everyone will enjoy? Spinach dip. Then I thought - what can I do to jazz it up, to make it a bit different than the 'usual'? Tart form.
 Spinach dip is the pervasive appetizer at any get together. However, it can range from delightfully creamy with subtle hints of onion and spices, to something you wonder if your grandma made, left it out for weeks because 'in their day, nothing needed to be refrigerated' and its shelf-life is the same as the lifespan of that oh-so-loved grandparent. In other-words - its questionable. 

There should be something light, with a range of flavors playing off each other, held within the ricotta cheese. I decided that puff pastry would be the perfect vehicle to deliver this delight into mouths. A baked dip, on the bread already (I know, its been done, its standard, but just let me think that I'm pretty innovative)! What an appetizer. Oh, what an appetizer.
With some nails in the morning and lunch at Earls, we started the day. With a break to quickly make/pick-up appetizers (and change into a little more 'appropriate' attire for the night's upcoming activities) we all parted to run errands.
I felt so grown-up. Bringing an appetizer to my soon-to-be-married friend's party. These are the events that we only had passing thoughts of when little, or watched with detached fascination on television. As I passed into the threshold of the hosting house, I held my head high, aware of my twenty-two years of age and entry into the mythical land of the adult.

Then, I saw the penis straws.
The evening started out tame enough. With some bubbly, some good chats, and some 'pin the penis on the man' (ouch!), we commenced the night.
Anne was treated like a princess last night - as she should be. She even had a crown (with a couple huge jewels on it that were constantly saluting us).
 But with such friends, such support around her, a few too many male-objects didn't seem to affect the enjoyment of the evening.
And off we went, into the sunset . . . or at least a very large limo.  Congrats my lovely friend, not only for your upcoming nuptials, but for (fashionably even!) wearing a veil and crown the entire evening that was always at attention.

Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Tart 

1 box frozen spinach, moisture squeezed out
1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 container (16oz) ricotta cheese
1 container (16oz) sour cream
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese, grated
1/4 c. feta cheese, crumbled
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 eggs, beaten slightly
1 tsp. dried tarragon  
1 tsp. dried oregano  
1/2 tsp. dried thyme  
1/4 tsp. dried sage
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. parmesan (optional)
 1/4 c. butter, melted or olive oil (I prefer olive oil for this recipe for the taste, but butter will make the phyllo that much lovlier)
10 sheets phyllo dough

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix the first 12 ingredients together until well mixed (redundant sentence I know, but just to accentuate the point - not blended, mixed).

2. Place a sheet of phyllo on a baking sheet. Brush butter on the sheet. Place another sheet of phyllo on top, brush butter on, and place another layer of phyllo. Repeat this until all the sheets are used up. If it looks too thin to you, add more phyllo, or if you're like me and love lots of dip but little bread, then use less. Its all at your discretion.

3. Brush butter on the edges and fold them over so they create a ridges on the sides. Pour the dip on the phyllo and spread it evenly to the ridges.

4. Place in the oven. Cook for 30 mins. If the dip still seems a bit jiggly in the middle, then cover and cook for another 10(ish). Place the oven on broil and brown the top for a few minutes. Cut and serve.

5. Pray. Eat. Enjoy and promise never to bring another phallic shaped object near me again.