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In Portuguese, we have this saying when more people show up than you expected- “bota água no feijão.” Put water in the beans. When my parents got married in Brazil, they expected at max 200 people; over 400 showed up. (I know this may seem mind boggling in the US, but weddings are a different beast in Brazil.) That’s the context in which I learned to water things down. Unexpected guests at the door? Just put water in the beans. Problem solved.
I don’t make beans as often as my mom and my Tias did, but I still often find myself last minute preparing for guests or hosting an unexpected visitor. Whenever there’s company, you don’t want to run out of food.
I’m not just saying this. I know this because it’s happened to me before. No really, I have been in the situation where people were over my house and I ran out of food. I ordered pizza and that was that.
I am all that much more serious then when I say put water in the beans because I am not about to do that again.
Now, whenever we’re hosting friends or family, I always have in the back of my mind that I need to have a backup or extra, and extras to the extras.
I have a Tia who makes an amazing crab dip recipe that I’ve always wanted to be able to make but crab dip recipes get expensive FAST. If I wanted to make a knock-off version, I was going to need to figure out how to do it without breaking the bank.
That’s when I discovered the secret was in the substitution. This knock-off of my Tia’s recipe is just as good as the “real thing.” Because it’s so easy to whip together, you don’t have to worry about running out. The ingredients are probably already staples in your home.
Peppers, onions, tomatoes, and shredded cheese are probably in your fridge ready for your next “Taco Tuesday” dinner. The secret mix here is using Clamato® Tomato Cocktail. This makes this recipe super versatile. You can make this dip as thick or as thin as you’d like by adding more, less, or no flour, adding more or less filling, more or less cheese, or more or less crab. For additional recipe inspiration with Clamato, visit this website.
If they’re not in your fridge, you can always do what I did: order online using Walmart Grocery Pickup. It’s super easy. Just add the items you’re interested in and select your pick up time. You “check in” on the app as you’re leaving your house and they’re ready with your groceries waiting for you when you pull up curbside. It’s also a great place to keep a running list of your groceries if you don’t already have a flow.
It’s no secret that my cooking style is “Put ingredients in a pot; hope it works out.” Hoping it works out though is much riskier when you’ve got multiple guests to feed. Whether you’ve got family or friends coming over, for Sunday football or movie night, for a full meal or just appetizers, it is great to host. This tomato-based cheese dip (with crab if you’d like!) is the perfect thing to have ready for your guests. It’s easy to make with ingredients you probably already have in your fridge.
As a bonus, I love how you can distribute this as you wish. I don’t have a big glass dipping thing (whatever that piece of dishware is called). I have these two large glass baking dishes (they’re actually meant to make it easy to take soup/lunch to go) or bunch of individual ones. I like that I can split this into two dishes and have one on the coffee table and one on the dining room table, so that people can grab wherever they are!
The best way to host is to have lots of delicious food and make it readily available, right? I’ve always said that food is my love language.
Let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments!
Emilie is a data engineer by day, lifestyle blogger by night, CrossFitter by early morning hours, and Army Wife all the time in between. A Jersey girl at heart, she is currently living in Savannah, GA. Her favorite place is cuddling with Bo, their American Bulldog, on the couch with a good read.