Dip, Dip Hooray - Football is Finally Here

September 7, 2017

"Are you ready for some football?” is the country’s current battle cry. Meanwhile, my mantra is “Dip, dip hooray!” That’s because a bowl of at least one or two of the 30 flavors in my dip repertoire, along with a party-size bag of kettle-cooked chips, is by my side wherever I’m watching the game. 

 

I hate to play favorites, but Loaded Bacon and Ranch dip is near the top. It tastes great, travels well to games and holds up in the heat. I found a new take on an old favorite that’ll get tested in a few weeks at my college campus’ tailgate party.

 

To make Baked Tater Tot Dip, spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. On a cutting board, coarsely chop three cups of thawed tater tots and transfer them to a mixing bowl. Add a cup of crumbled bacon or bacon bits, 16-ounce sour cream, cup of shredded cheddar cheese, and two teaspoons of seasoning of your choice (salt and pepper, Mrs. Dash, garlic, or onion powder.)

 

Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and smooth the top with a spatula. Top with another cup of cheddar cheese and bake 30 to 35 minutes until top is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve with crackers, pita chips, or baked tater tots on toothpicks. 

 

Baked seven-layer Mexican dip is not one of my favorites, but it's a crowd-pleaser. Cold-Not-Hot Mexican Dip is a worthy compromise. 

 

With a hand mixer, beat together an 8-ounce package of cream cheese, one-ounce packet of dry ranch dip mix and teaspoon of taco seasoning. Add a 16-ounce container of sour cream and beat well to combine. 

 

Pour into a serving dish and with a spoon, gently fold in 15.25-ounce drained can of Mexicorn, 15-ounce can of drained, rinsed black beans, 1/2 cup of Mexican blend cheese, and three thinly sliced and diced green onions. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, preferably overnight, to let flavors mesh together. 

 

Last, I’ve found two dips that are equally at home on the appetizer and dessert tables. To make Cheer ‘Em On Cherry Cheesecake Dip, combine an 8-ounce cream cheese with 10 ounces of Cool Whip with a hand mixer. Stir in a cup of plain nonfat Greek Yogurt and a 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk. Use a spatula to pour into a serving dish and smooth top. Top with cherry pie filling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, preferably overnight, to set up. Serve with vanilla wafers, graham crackers or pretzels.

 

My number one dip/dessert combo contains the incomparable flavors of my favorite childhood candy and snack. One bite and, like me, you’ll shout, “Dip, dip, hooray!”

 

Game Day Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Dip

 

1 cup Reese's peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped, plus extra for garnish

2 (8 ounce) bars cream cheese

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup brown sugar 

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

 

In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to thoroughly combine cream cheese and butter. Beat in brown sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla extract. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in chopped peanut butter cups. Spread into a serving dish, then chop extra peanut butter cups and sprinkle on top for good measure. 

 

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with peanut butter cookies, vanilla wafers, or other hard cookies. 

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