Sunday, March 14, 2010

Holly's Bean Dip!

Here’s a confession, I really
suck at passing down recipes.
I’m a rather intuitive cook.
I just...well, guestimate.
And while that works well for
me, it’s hard to pass guestimated
recipes on to the kids when I
have to say things like,
“Take a handful of this,
then a smidge of that...”

I make my older kids crazy when they call
asking for the recipe for a family favorite. LOL
So, I went through my recipe box and discovered
that I had an actual recipe for one of our family
favorites! It’s an easy bean dip.
I’m all about easy and
nutritious...this recipe is both.

Holly’s Bean Dip

1 can kidney beans
½ tsp garlic salt
1 tsp vinegar
1/4 tsp black pepper
½-1 cheddar cheese

Use the mixer or a Cuisinart to mix
the first four ingredients. Mix by hand
with grated cheese, then microwave
until warm.
Serve with tortilla chips. Or, broil
some pita bread until browned
and try that. Or even crackers.

It’s fast and easy to make, so it’s
perfect for surprise guests.
I made it this afternoon in order
to take a few pictures, and
realized it’s not a pretty dip.
But I put it down on the coffee
table with some chips...and it’s gone.
So, while it’s not pretty,
it’s really, really good!
Oh, and for the people like me who
enjoy messing with recipes,
this one begs to be messed with. I’ve
done it with black beans instead of kidney
beans. You could switch up the cheese.
Try a few spices. Oh, and how about
doing black beans, cheese
and a bit of salsa? That might be what
I try next!
I know some cooks are nervous about
straying from a recipe. But to be honest,
I’ve never met a recipe I don’t want to
fiddle with!
Let me know if any of you tweak
this one and how it turned out!

About Holly:

I've been in love with books, with words, ever since I can remember.
I read JRR Tolkien's Hobbit in third grade. How much I understood,
I don't know, but I fell in love with Middle Earth and visited often.
Heinlein, Lewis and Bach all soon joined him on my list of must read
authors. Trixie Belden, The Black Stallion, Little House on the
Prairie . . . the list goes on and on. It was rare not to find me with a
book in hand!
From that love of reading I seemed to naturally progress to
writing. I've toyed with a little of everything, but I must confess,
though I "found" romance a little later in life, I fell head over heels
for the genre. When I began writing, it seemed like the right place
for me to be.
Why? Because it's a genre about people, about relationships. I can
add in the sci fi, the fantasy, the suspense, the mystery. I can add
in any plot, but it all boils down to the people and that is why I fell
for it. Watching two characters overcome the odds, overcome
themselves . . . what could be more satisfying?

Thanks for joining us, Holly!
I live in AZ, so I am absolutely giving
your bean dip a whirl! Jenn

For more about Holly, check out her

Contest Time!

sprinkleIt’s March and we’re celebrating cupcakes! Our own Jenn McKinlay’s Sprinkle with Murder is now out in bookstores near you! If you’d like to win cupcakes from Crumbs Bake Shop, send us an e-mail at or leave a comment with your idea of the wackiest cupcake ingredients you can think of.

Anchovies seem to be the zaniest so far! Eeep!


  1. Thanks for joining us today, Holly! Love the fact that the bean dip can be whipped up so quickly with relatively few ingredients. A great last minute snack!

    ~ Krista

  2. Sounds yummy!

    Wackiest cupcake idea/entry:
    I call it: "Murder Takes the Cupcake":
    -White cupcake with lots of red food coloring and strawberry preserves in the center.
    -Idea: When you open the cupcake its bright red and oozy
    -Then a mini fake plastic butcher knife sticking out of it :)

    Fake knife could look like this kinda:(

    Crazy I know but you asked for wacky and the title of the book is Sprinkle with Murder ;)

  3. Krista, We've always had a ton of kids that end up here, so I love fast snacks that are healthy. It's especially nice because the kids don't seem to realize it's relatively healthy! Yeah, I'm tricky! LOL


  4. Look I found someone else with my idea: (

    But do they have the red preserves center? ;)

  5. Holly, thanks for joining us. Bean dips are so wonderfully versatile! So easy to make. And thanks for sharing your love of books and writing. I know our fans like not only mystery but books with heart. Yours should fill the bill! ~Avery

  6. I learned to cook from a family of guesstimaters, and am having the same problems passing the "recipes" down to my kids.

  7. Holly, I could not agree more with your writing philosophy. Your point about family recipes is so true, too. I appreciate this blog because it forces me to write it all down, step by step! Thank you so much for hanging out with us mystery writing cooks today!

    (Quick note to Juju - your cupcake idea is hilarious.)

    ~Cleo Coyle
    author of The Coffeehouse Mysteries
    “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”

  8. Thanks so much for visiting the Mystery Lovers' Kitchen today, Holly! I love your idea for a bean dip that I can quickly whip up in the case of emergencies. :) I seem to have plenty of emergencies!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  9. This is a great quick snack. We always have a lot of kids around our house, too, so I know I'll be using this one soon! Thanks for joining us today, Holly.

    And Juju - I love it!


  10. leaving middle earth for romance novels...

    well, there was hope for awhile.

  11. JuJu, My kids would love your bloody cupcakes! LOL

    Thanks, Avery! I'm really having fun with this new set of Supers.

    Alice, Glad it's not just me with guestimating problems! LOL

    Cleo, I bought really nice recipe books and wrote down what recipes I could for the kids and gave them each one. They loved them! My two older girls have become very good cooks!

    Elizabeth, I think it's nice to have a set of easy, quick dishes for those entertaining emergencies. My grandmother was a firm believer in feeding guests and I inherited that from her.

    Julie, A house where kids gather is never boring!! Enjoy the chaos!

    A Year of the Grill, No matter what I write, there will always be a huge part of me in Middle Earth!

  12. Holly, thanks for popping in today. You are truly one of the best cooks. I can't wait to show up on your doorstep for dinner one day -- I know it will be fabulous (I'll take notes). LOL.

    JuJu, that might HAVE to be a title of a future book! I LOVE IT!

  13. Jenn,

    Thanks for inviting me! And the day you show up on my doorstep will be a happy day indeed!


  14. Holly, thanks for sharing, but I had to laugh reading your recipe. What is 1/2 - 1 cheddar cheese? (I assume 1/2 - 1 cup.) Regardless, it sounds yummy, and I'll bet I'd like it with black beans and salsa, too.

    It reminded me of one of my favorite episodes of the old Dick van Dyke show where the next door neighbor (what was her name? Millie?) wanted Laura's recipe for something and thought Laura had intentionally left out an ingredient. Laura overheard this comment on her son's walkie talkie which had been left on. Later that evening, when the Helpers came over for dinner, they played a hilarious round of Charades. The episode was probably called "On the Street Where You Live". Very funny!

  15. Follow up: It was called "All About Evesdropping", and here's a link if you have some time on your hands. It's very funny!

  16. And it was a toy intercom instead of a walkie-talkie.

  17. JV, LOL Yes, that's cup. And I loved Dick Van Dyke. It was a funny show with a lot of heart! My favorite kind of story!

  18. PS The fact I forgot to specify cup might be yet another reason why my kids find my recipes hard to follow! LOL

  19. See, in the end you did me a favor by leaving out the "cup". It caused me to go look up that episode. I had a funeral to attend this morning, and I'm really not good with funerals. Never have been, but I still feel especially raw, emotionally.

    So, I came home and watched the whole episode and enjoyed a good laugh -- several of them, in fact. Not only is that one of the funniest games of charades ever, but I just realized today that's where I got the term "malicious accusory" that I use all of the time. I didn't remember it being from that show, but there it was!

  20. JV,

    Then it was a good thing that I left it out! I'm so sorry about the funeral, and am glad it gave you something else to think about.

    Sending hugs!