This week we had our first book club meeting of 2017 and for us, as well as many other book clubs we’re sure, it’s just as much about socialising with friends over a drink and nibble as it is about the book – the book is merely the catalyst for getting everyone together. In fact, if we’re being totally honest, our book club sometimes doesn’t even read a book, we just head to the movies! But this month we read an actual book, so Abby made this delicious cream cheese dip to take along and it was an absolute hit. People loved it, even Leigh who after two bad artichoke experiences had sworn off them forever!
There are few things as irresistible as a really good dip. Maybe it’s the contrast of smooth and creamy with the crunch or chew of the bread, cracker or vegetable sticks. Or perhaps it’s the strength of flavour a dip can carry – either way dip is good! We each have a favourite dip and because they’re simple and quite similar we thought we’d include both recipes in the post. And we think that ‘Double Dips’ sounds pretty catchy too!
This recipe came from Abby’s Mum, and we’ve made it here with artichoke and spinach but the base is versatile and you can use just about any flavour combination you have on hand. We’re looking forward to trying these three combinations – bacon and corn; crabmeat; and caramalised onion.
Leigh’s favourite dip is another cream cheese based dip. The recipe came from her cousin’s wife in the USA and is incredibly tasty and seems to be equally popular with kids and adults – Leigh first tried this dip at a child’s birthday party and it was amazing how quickly it disappeared. The finished dip is quite firm but it’s delicious scooped onto corn chips. Toasted bagel chips or pita bread also work well.
For both recipes, the quantities are flexible and can be doubled to cater to larger groups of people.
Warm Cream Cheese Dip:
125 grams cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon sour cream
100 grams cheese, grated
60 grams artichoke hearts, chopped
2 handfuls fresh or frozen spinach, chopped
Mix the cream cheese and sour cream together until smooth. Stir in the grated cheese, artichokes and spinach. Spoon into an ovenproof dish (the same dish you will serve it in) and bake until golden brown and bubbling, approximately 20 minutes. Serve straight away with thinly sliced crusty white bread.
Cream Cheese and Feta Dip:
125 grams cream cheese
125 grams feta
3 tablespoons basil pesto
6-8 sundried tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup pinenuts, toasted
In the bowl of a food processor, blend the cream cheese and feta together until smooth. Turn out onto a serving plate and shape into a shallow mound with a dip in the middle. Spoon over the pesto, followed by the chopped sundried tomatoes and toasted pinenuts. Serve with corn chips.