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Tangy dips make for easy summer entertaining

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Summer is the season of easy, hot and hardy yummy dips that can be prepared in an instant but taste like they've been hours in the making.

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I have made the "Buffalo Chicken Dip," the "Cheesy Chili Dip" and the "Easy Refried Bean Dip" several times for recent 'friend and family' entertaining occasions and each time they have been well received, disappearing quickly.

Relying on canned ingredients and other handy items you have either on your pantry shelf or in your fridge, the assembly process is about as quick as it gets.

All three can be prepared in advance and either popped in the microwave (if you are in a hurry) or baked in the oven until they are nice and hot and bubbly. The Buffalo Wing dip can also be prepared earlier in the day and placed in a small slow cooker, making serving even easier. That method is the process I outlined in the recipe I am featuring.

Serve any or all of the dip recipes with Tostito chips (Scoops are the best) or a tray of fresh veggies (celery sticks and carrots for sure.)

If you feel like topping any extra ingredients on the chili and refried bean recipes before you bake them free to do so. Onions, jalapeno peppers, or fresh tomatoes are great and you could even add a little sour cream or guacamole.

Each recipe makes a nice sized batch but if you are preparing for larger groups, you may want to double the size depending upon what else you are serving.

Until next time, from my kitchen to yours, happy cooking!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup Ranch dressing

¾ cup pepper sauce (Frank's Red Hot)

1 ½ cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Heat chicken and hot sauce in skillet or microwave until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and Ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended and warm. Mix in half of the shredded cheese, and transfer the mixture to a slow cooker. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover, and cook on low setting until hot and bubbly. Serve with celery sticks, crackers, or chips.

Cheesy Chili Dip

1 can chili without beans (about 14 ozs.)

1 8 oz. package cream cheese

1-2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

Spread softened cream cheese into bottom of glass pie plate. Spread chili over the cream cheese and top with shredded cheese. Place in 350 degree oven and bake for about 20 minutes until hot and bubbly, or microwave until the same. Serve with Tostito chips.

Easy Refried Bean Dip

1 can refried beans

1 8 oz. package cream cheese

1 cup salsa

1-2 cups shredded cheese (any kind you like)

Spread refried beans in bottom of 8 inch baking dish or pie plate. Cut cream cheese into cubes and press down into beans. Pour salsa over the top and cover with cheese. Either bake in 350 degree oven, also about 20 minutes, or microwave. Serve with chips.

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