This weekend, my fabulous sister gathered my favorite girlfriends from three different states to the lovely city of Birmingham for an out-and-out girls weekend packed with a shower, plenty of red wine, and, you guessed it, delicious food. Whether we were brunching at Jackson's or dining on tapas at Sol Y Luna, the 11 of us spent the weekend feasting on the best food this city has to offer.

While we did go out for two meals, we tried not to be a one-group stimulus team and opted to eat in for a few of our gatherings, starting with the welcome pizza dinner on Friday night and ending with the breakfast-casserole departure brunch on Sunday morning. But my favorite do-it-yourself dish was this amazing black bean dip one of the girls made for the shower.

I've scoured the internet for the origins of this dip, but I'm pretty sure it's simply an appetizer of legend and lore, handed, emailed, and texted from friend to friend for various parties and gatherings. One thing's for sure, it's darn good. Slightly sweet, this dip is a flavorful departure from the typically salty black-bean-and-corn-salsa offering. I can't wait to make it for my fiance; I know he'll go crazy for it! And, besides, he should be privy to at least one thing from the whole "girls only" event.

If you're planning a bachelorette party or a shower, check out our Girls' Night In guide to the perfect girls-only night. It's easy on the budget and big on the fun. Plus the "Party Plan" section takes all the guesswork out of the prep, getting you out of the kitchen and back into the festivities.

Sweet Bean Feta Dip1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)1 can white corn (drained)8 oz feta cheese (I use 2 packages Athenos reduced fat feta crumbles)Handful green onions, chopped1/2 cup vegetable oil1/2 cup distilled white vinegar1/2 cup white sugar

Mix all ingredients together and serve with chips. If you can, make it the night before and let it hang out in the fridge so the flavors can mingle overnight.

By Ashley Kappel and Ashley Kappel