Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Seven Layer Dip for a Party and Port City Life

Port City Life artistic director Susan Hackett and freelance photographer Fred Field came on over today to shoot for their September issue. What wonderful people. Fred's son Robert came along, too and was an extraordinary young man. I love 13 year old boys who have good manners, are kind to their parents, have a good sense of humor and are extremely patient while their dad works. He was a delight! Susan was a hoot and right on target with set up and vision for the shots she needed. Fred on the other hand... well, I guess I'd have to say that anytime he wanted to shoot anything I'm cooking up- he can take the pix and eat it up afterward. He got some shots that were absolutely beautiful! Rich apple butter sliding off a spoon into mid-air; the first glistening, golden droplet of pure maple syrup as it hovered, gravity calling it to it's appley future home... apples in shadow, apples in light. He has a gift for capturing the essence of his subjects. Thanks so much Fred for sharing your talents!
Ok, now for some food, We're going to a party this weekend and I'm bringing a dip that I haven't made for a long time. It's an old stand by that everyone loves- an 80's classic you might say.
7 Layer Dip
Take an oven safe platter or casserole dish and grease it lightly with oil.
Spread evenly in layers:
1. 16 ounces of cream cheese or Neufchatel lower fat cream cheese sprinkled with 1 teaspoon chili powder
2. 1 can or about 2 cups of lowfat refried beans sprinkled with 1 t ground cumin
3. 2 cups shredded jack cheese
You can stop here and chill it overnight if you'd like. An hour or so before serving, place the dish in a cold oven and turn it on to 350 degrees. Set the timer to 30 minutes when you put it in. Check it at 30 minutes and if it is bubbly take it out and proceed.
Gently layer the remaining ingredients on next.
4. 2 cups of your favorite salsa
5. 1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
6. 1 cup sour cream mixed with the juice of a lime and 2 or more dashes of Chalula or other hot pepper sauce
7. Sprinkle with 4 or 5 scallions that you've sliced up finely and a handful of pickled jalapenos that have been finely chopped.
Serve with lots of tortilla chips for dipping and napkins of course.
Savor. Linger. Enjoy! -Cynthia

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