Scrumptious Sunday – Ashley’s Infamous Bean Dip

Last night, I threw a pot luck at my house as an early birthday celebration. My counter tops were teeming with all sorts of treats, and we opened up my beautiful backyard for the first time, complete with a fire pit! I had a wonderful night with my giant ‘birthday girl’ cup full of my mom’s sangria and a crowd of my favorite people. We roasted marshmallows, watched undefeated champs Ryan and Sam dominate the beer pong table, toasted to Florida State’s unexpected victory and basked in each other’s company – but the undeniable highlight of the evening was Ashley Laing’s infamous, unbeatable, devilish bean dip.

This bean dip makes an appearance at every food-bearing occasion that Ashley attends. It is the most phenomenal dish that tortilla chips have ever been blessed enough to get dunked in. The dip is simple, ingenious, and dangerously addictive. Last night, the first batch lasted about an hour, largely due to the fact that the secret wasn’t out yet. Once the glassware was scraped clean, Ashley cooked up a second batch – and this time it was gone within 15 minutes. Like a flock of starving vultures, we ascended upon the dip and feasted uncontrollably. The boys could not stop gushing with praise for Ashley’s tasty bean dip; it’s an irresistible explosion of hot beans lathered in cream cheese and dripping with melted shredded cheddar.

Here’s how to make it:

  • Ingredients:
    1. One stick of Philadelphia cream cheese.
    2. One can of chili beans, can be vegetarian or meaty!
    3. Shredded cheese, I prefer cheddar.
    4. A casserole dish, or similar ceramic/glassware.
    5. A bag of tortilla chips.
  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  • Spread the cream cheese in an even layer across the bottom of the dish.
  • Layer the entire can of beans/chili across the cream cheese layer.
  • Sprinkle a hearty amount of shredded cheese across the top of the dip.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes – this is a rough estimate, so check on it frequently!
  • Let it stand for a few minutes after removing from the oven; it’s hot as all hell.

I wish I had taken some shots of the dip with my digital camera, but I only used about half a roll with my AE-1, so we’ll have to wait for photos. Images could never do this delicious dip justice; you’ll have to taste it for yourself. Kudos to Ashley for sharing this stunning quick-fix masterpiece, and a million thanks to her mom, who came up with the dish as a fast solution for last minute pot luck parties.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the house last night! I had a phenomenal evening munching on my wine-soaked fruit and enjoying the company of my favorite climbers and friends. Six days until my birthday, folks!

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Tasty Tuesday – Basil Vinaigrette

I wish I could claim this fabulous recipe as my own, but the very talented Gwendolyn of Patent and the Pastry is responsible for sharing today’s tantalizing treat, which originated from the Rebar Modern Food Cookbook. Her basil vinaigrette looks so phenomenal that I was tempted to lick the screen. I’m dying for Niko’s basil plant to get big enough so we can make a batch of this stuff. Check out her photos:


Here’s what you need to stick in your blender:

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 ounces fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cracked pepper
  • 1 cup olive oil

Ingredient list compliments of this original posting by Patent and the Pantry.

Folks, this is not merely a topping for salads. I am having naughty thoughts about slathering a tomato, mozzarella and onion sandwich with this delicious stuff. Hell, I’d have a wonderful evening with just a giant bowl of cherry tomatoes and basil vinaigrette – maybe a glass of my new favorite ‘Sweet Red’ wine to top it off.

If you’re looking for a delicious read, or want to pick up a few unique recipes – I highly suggest a visit to Patent and the Pantry. On top of the mouth-watering dishes you’ll find on this blog, Gwendolyn’s food photography is simply stunning. A few of my other favorite dishes featured on her site include lemon ricotta pancakes and the disturbingly simple microwave lime cheesecake. I am smitten with this blog – and could seriously go for a midnight snack.

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