Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tuesday Temptation: Dips

PHS Editor Michelle Styles dips into one of her favourite treats.
I like dips -- either healthfully with a selection of vegtables or less healthfully with chips. It brings back memories of growing up or going to parties. But there is something and slightly forbidden about dips. You know they are probably not that healthy but they taste great all the same.
When I first came to the UK, I was surprised that most people did not seem to know about such things. I would merrily give dinner parties where a dip or two was ready and people would look at it, maybe prodded it but they did have to be told about it. The next time they came though, they were digging in with gusto. I did find giving little plates made it easier...
In the UK in the late 80s and early 90s most of the crisps (potato chips) were flavoured and it was difficult to get plain ones. Things are a bit better now and the cool cabinets of the supermarkets have things like hummus ( a chickpea and tahina dip), guacamole ( avoacado dip -- still better to make your own though), taramasalata. You can even get sour cream and onion. And the crisps are now served in bigger packets...
But why buy dips? They are sinfully easy to make.
And as it is World Cup Time and a feast of football (soccer), now is the right time for such things.
Hey the US even drew with England on Saturday...

Here are a few of my favoes to get you started.
Clam dip
Take one can of clams, drain and put in bowl. Add about 8 oz of cream cheese, a little milk and a dash or two tabasco sauce, Mix up and serve with chips. It is normally eaten on high days and holidays at the Styles household, but has been known to have been consumed watching girl films when one is having a slobby night in!
Seven Layer Dip -- sounds impressive but can be easy to make. I serve it on the 4th of July. It can be a meal on its own. Some people say to serve it in a glass bowl...
Take one large can of refried beans and spread on a plate. Top with in the following order
guacomole dip (2 ripe avacadoes, mashed with garlic, spring onion, tomato and lemon)
2 bunches chopped green onions ( spring onion)
1 can sliced ripe olives
About 8 oz grated cheddar cheese
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 small carton of sour cream.
Eat with tortilla chips.


1 can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) -- drained.
1-2 tablespoons of tahina (can use peanut butter)
juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves of garlic.
Blend all ingredients together and serve with pita bread and vegetables.

Does anyone else have any favourite dips? I am always looking to add one or two more to my stock.

Michelle Styles's latest US release is An Impulsive Debutante which does not feature dips but dips were consumed when she was writing it!


  1. Nacho dip

    1 cup cream cheese
    1 cup miracle whip salad dressing

    Mix together and spread on a pie plate.

    Top in the following order with:

    a layer of taco sauce
    a layer of salsa
    a layer of chopped tomatoes
    a layer of shredded cheese - cheddar, marble, or monterey jack
    a layer of green onion

    Serve with tortilla chips!

    Or a hot dip which is even easier:

    1 pkg cream cheese, softened and spread in a pie plate

    top with 1 can chili
    shredded cheese

    put in a moderate to hot oven (about 400 degrees fahrenheit) until cheese bubbles.

    Every time I make that one people rave about it!

  2. Hi, ladies! Thank you for the yummy recipes. I have two very easy dip recipes to share. If desired, they can both be made with "lite" ingredients : )

    "Darn Good Dip"

    1 large tub (16 oz) ready-made Ranch or French Onion dip
    1 (8 oz) pkg shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
    1 (3 oz) pkg or approximately 1/4 cup real bacon bits or pieces

    Combine all ingredients in serving bowl and cover. Store in refrigerator overnight or until well-chilled. Serve with chips, crackers, cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, and assorted cut-up fresh veggies like broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and bell peppers.



    1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
    1 jar (7 oz.) Marshmallow Creme
    1 tsp orange marmalade or strawberry jam

    MIX ingredients until blended.
    SERVE with assorted graham crackers, vanilla wafers, and cut-up fresh fruit.

  3. Thanks for the recipes. They will be tried!

    YOu know Virginia I had never really thought of doing a sweet/dessert dip before...it sounds good.

  4. Hi Michelle,

    Great topic. Writers are passionate people - passionate about everything including food :)

    This is a favourite dip recipe, even people who don't like spinach still love this :) You can use light mayonnaise and light sour cream.

    Spinach Dip in a Cob Loaf

    2 packets frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
    2 cups American Mayonnaise (I use either Bests or S&W – or European. DON’T use Aussie style (like Kraft) because it’s too sweet)
    2 cups Sour Cream
    1 can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
    2 packets Dried Spring Vegetable Soup Mix (e.g. Continental)
    4 (green) spring onions, chopped. Use complete onion, white and green.

    Stir ingredients together, cover and chill.

    Serving suggestion: Cut hole in the top of a cob bread loaf (round loaf). Scoop out inside of loaf to form a bowl. Chop bread into pieces and place around cob loaf on platter.

    Fill cob loaf with spinach dip just before serving. You’ll need extra bread – sliced bread sticks work well.

  5. hey Michelle! I have a warm tuna dip that goes like hotcakes whenever I make it (sorry, measurements in metric!):

    1 x 425g can of drained tuna in brine
    1 x small onion, chopped fine
    2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
    1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
    250g cream cheese
    2 Tbsp milk
    2 Tbsp toasted almonds

    mix cream cheese and tuna together, then add rest of ingredients, with milk last. microwave for 30 seconds or until dip is warm and parmesan slightly melted in. stir and serve immediately with celery sticks and water crackers.

  6. You reminded me I planned to make hummus this weekend and somehow it slipped my mind. Definitely making some today!

  7. The problem with crisps and dip is they have to be eaten while drinking a nice cold bottle of beer.... And as there's a feast of football to enjoy for the next month pretty much every night that could turn me into an alco-frolic!

    But some of these dip recipes are definitely making my mouth water... Frankly think I may need the distraction if I am to survive the next England game!

  8. I like dip with fruit. I know a friend used to make one from Cool Whip (or any frozen dessert topping/whipped cream) and vanilla pudding together. I just take softened cream cheese, and mix it with a little lemon juice and a bit of sugar. Stir it until it's whippy. It's even non-sinful if you use fat free cream cheese and sweetener instead of sugar.

    Last night I was craving hummus and pita chips after reading this...thanks a lot! :-) Oh and I think it is Costco who has a really good artichoke dip - and I normally don't touch artichokes!

  9. My mouth is watering now, too! Hummus is great, but taramasalata has to be my favourite. Smoked roe mashed with plenty of garlic, lemon juice and fresh herbs, thickened with a few breadcrumbs, then seasoned and brought to the right consistence with some really good olive oil. Sorry I can't give precise amounts - it's a sort of hands-on, do-as- you-feel sort of recipe!

  10. Michelle: I love that clam dip! My family's made a similar one for the holidays for years - though my mother taught me to add a touch of diced onion to the mix for a little more zing. My husband, who hates seafood, enjoyed this dip at parties for several years before he realized it was a clam dip.

    I'm also a big fan of a lazy nacho dip:

    1 pack of Velveeta cheese melted
    1 can of Riotel tomatoes and chillis stirred in.

    Serve warm. Great when you're stuck with last minute company and need something in a pinch.

  11. Gosh so many new dips to try out!

    Velveeta cheese always reminds me of my grandparents. Apparently it was the just the right thing to bait fish hooks with. YOu can't get it in the UK.