Here in the Ozarks, where I live, we have quite a few lakes and streams that you can boat or float on. It's awesome! I truly believe this is one of the most beautiful places to live in the whole world. But, I can also see that I'm extremely biased on this point. :)
One of my favorite summer activities is spending a day out on the lake. You pack up a cooler of drinks and snacks and spend a day just hanging out on the water. One snack that I make to bring with us on lake days is something that the George family calls Love Dip. It's basically cream cheese and salsa blended together. I love it.
This is a slightly more substantial version (the black beans as flavor as well as protein). If you're in a hurry or just don't like fresh food, you can totally make a version of this with just cream cheese, store-bought salsa, and black beans. But since our CSA has brought us plenty of onions and cherry tomatoes lately, I think a fresh version is in order. This dip is great on a lake; just pack it in a container and throw it in the cooler until you're ready for it. Or you could make this as a delicious appetizer to take to a summer BBQ. Who doesn't love chips and dip?!
15 ounces (one can) black beans, rinsed and drained
Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese*
3 cloves garlic
1 small onion (or half a medium-sized one)
2-3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
8 ounces cherry tomatoes (or any tomatoes you have/like)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder (or more if you like it spicy)
salt and pepper to taste
*Pro tip: I usually use one reduced fat cream cheese and one regular. With how flavorful this dip is, you could easily use two reduced fat cream cheeses and no one will be the wiser. :)
The order you make this dip actually matters. It's a texture thing. You gotta get the texture right on this one.
First we make salsa. In a food processor, pulse the garlic, onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and juice from half the lime until well blended but still chunky. You don't want this to be completely smooth. Pulse. Try not to eat all the salsa once made too; that's a tough one.
Stir (by hand) the salsa into the cream cheese mixture. Taste, and add salt and pepper to your liking.
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.