appetizers & snacks, vegetarian

No-Name Dip That Does Not Photograph Well

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links (marked with *). I receive compensation from purchases made using affiliate links. 

One of the struggles of being a food blogger is having to get good photos of the things I make. Nobody is going to want to try a recipe if the dish looks gross in the photos! Sometimes, though, I either forget to take a picture, or even worse, something is horribly un-photogenic.

I had some friends over for a shrimp & grits night a few weeks ago. I made crostini with pimento cheese and heirloom tomatoes. Those were a flop – the tomato counteracted the pimento cheese so much that they were absolutely bland. I might try them again, but amp up the pimento in the pimento cheese and add something else to the heirloom tomato topping. (Remember that the tagline for my blog includes, “and occasional disasters!”) I made this dip quickly once I realized the crostini were not going to work. We ate all of it, and one of my friends reminded me about 3 times to send her the recipe. (Kim, here is your recipe!)


  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp ancho chili paste
  • 2 tsp Tastefully Simple* Onion Onion (or 3 tbsp fresh diced onion)
  • 2 tsp Tastefully Simple* Garlic Garlic (or 2 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane)
  • ⅔ cup diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup frozen corn


Preheat oven to 350°. Mix the cream cheese, white pepper, cumin, chili paste, Onion Onion, and Garlic Garlic until well-combined. (I toss it in the stand mixer with the flex edge beater* and beat it on a medium-high speed to make sure the spices get really, really incorporated. I use a spatula and stir in the rest of the ingredients by hand because I don’t want the beater to crush the tomatoes.) Add the tomatoes, cheese, and corn and stir until incorporated throughout. Bake until it’s hot throughout. Serve with tortilla chips.


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