I love appetizers. If I had my way, I would probably only eat snacky-type things for every meal. I don't think there's anything wrong with that.
I have a few standby dips that I like to make for potluck type things. Recently, I made my nacho dip to bring to a friend's birthday/bridal shower/bachelor/bachelorette/going away party (seriously). I thought I would share the recipe with you. It's nothing fancy, but it's really, really good.
What you need:
2 bricks of cream cheese
mayonnaise (I normally use mayonnaise, but this time I was out, so I used plain yogurt instead)
2 peppers (red, green, whatevs)
1 bunch of green onions
shredded cheese (I usually get lazy and just buy a package of pre-grated cheese, and usually go for the Tex-Mex kind)
1 bottle of taco sauce (very important - taco sauce. Not salsa.)
What you do:
Blend your 2 bricks of cream cheese in a large bowl with about a 1/2 cup of mayonnaise. Like I said, this time I didn't have any, so I subbed in plain yogurt for mayonnaise. It turned out really, really well. It was much smoother and creamier than with the mayonnaise, so I'll probably stick with that in the future. The measurements don't have to be specific, just add enough that the cream cheese isn't quite so thick. Add in a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice. (I used the juice of half a fresh lemon.)
Spread evenly in a pan (I use a 9x13 baking dish)
Start chopping your toppings, and put them down in layers. I usually like to put down the green onions first, so they stick in the cream cheese mix instead of falling off the top.
Usually, I go green, red, green for my layering. I'm OCD like that.
When you put down your tomato layer, I really recommend that you de-seed the tomatoes. I just slice them, then run them under water using my hands to push out all the little seed pockets. You can leave the seeds in if you want, but I find it makes the dip really watery as it sits.
Last layer of veggies...
I used about 1 1/2 green peppers, but you can just eyeball it. You want the dip to be covered evenly, but you don't want it to be so topping-heavy that everything falls apart when you try to scoop it.
Cover the whole thing in cheese. I'm not shy with the cheese. I usually use the whole package.
The last step I don't have a picture of, but you want to pour your taco sauce over the dip just before serving it. I don't like to put it on early or it soaks in to the cheese and makes it a bit messy. Just drizzle it over evenly. Do not loosen the cap, forget that you've done so, then try to bang on the bottom of the bottle to mix it up. You will end up spilling taco sauce all over your friend's kitchen. Trust me.
I usually use mild taco sauce, because I'm a wimp. You can use hot, or add hot sauce to bring up the spice if you want. You could also chop some jalapenos or something if you wanted to mix those in to bring in some heat.