Friday, December 30, 2005

Favorite Party Layer Dip

A couple years ago, I attended a holiday get together of some successful doctor and scientist types, many of whom were gourmets with pretty much unlimited entertaining budgets. I guess after I showed up at the same house for Halloween wearing the top half of military fatigues with skin colored leggings and my date wearing the bottom half of the fatigues with a skin colored T-shirt. . . we were "upper and lower G.I." I was considered, likely a nut, but fun to have at such event.

It was at a house the size of Rhode Island. There was stuffed breads with cheeses and nuts, roast beast under glass, elaborate cookies and all kinds of wonderful, exotic things. And what everyone was standing around, hoovering in like there was no tomorrow, and spilling on their formal shirts, was my simple layered bean dip. that took five minutes from start to oven. Go figure.

1 large can refried beans (minus 1/3 cup which you can save for a breakfast burrito) mixed with 1/2 heaping teaspoon Penzey's Northwoods Seasoning or southwest style seasoning of your choice
pinch of crushed red pepper
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 jar Mrs. Renfro's salsa (trust me on this, do not substitute if you can find it).
2 cups shredded cheese, mix of cheddar and monterey jack
1 large can sliced black olives
sliced green onions and/or tomato for garnish

Pre heat the oven at 325 degrees.

In medium casserole dish, layer the beans (in which you've mixed the Penzey's seasoning and red pepper) with the cream cheese, salsa, cheddar and olives, and sprinkle with a little green onion and tomato for color. Heat for about 30 minutes or until the edges are bubbling. Serve with sturdy chips.

Stand back.

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