Football games were never meant to be watched without food within easy reach. The big stuff is brought out at halftime, like brats and hot potato salad.
But for nibbling during the sometimes nerve- wracking quarters, dips with a variety of "dippers" can hit the spot.
The chosen dip can be healthy, indulgent, sweet or savory. Your choice. Or make one of each. They are easy to do and most involve no baking or cooking.
A Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball was made by the Lucky Leaf 4-H Club in competition at the 4-H Iron Chef Contest back in March. Dips are popular right now, with football season in full swing. The chocolate chip cheese ball earned a first-place award and should win a first place with your taste buds as well.
-- Esther McCoy
The Lucky Leaf Livestock 4-H Club made this dessert-type cheese ball that looks attractive and tastes even better. Either roll the ball in chopped pecans or add them to the ingredients and put the ball in an attractive pottery-type colorful bowl like the 4-H members did.
Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 cup miniature chocolate chips
1 cup Heath English toffee bits
1 cup chopped pecans
Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Stir in the chocolate chips and Heath bits. Either add the pecans to the mixture and shape into a ball and refrigerate or shape into a ball and roll in pecans. Then refrigerate until time to serve with vanilla wafers, chocolate animal crackers, graham crackers or sweet pretzels.
Here are some recipes from a wonderful cookbook called "Kitchen Keepsakes" that I received for Christmas from Mary Koos back in 2002. If low-fat mayo is used, this is quite healthy.
Curry Dip for Raw Vegetables
1 pint mayonnaise
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons onion juice
2 teaspoons vinegar
2 teaspoons horseradish
Assorted raw vegetables
Mix ingredients well and serve with assorted raw veggies. Makes 2 cups.
Dilled Crab Dip
8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
2 green onions, minced
1 beef bouillon cube, crushed
1 teaspoon hot sauce
7-ounce can crabmeat, rinsed, drained and separated
Assorted fresh vegetables
Beat cream cheese in medium-size bowl until light. Beat in mayonnaise and sour cream. Stir in remaining ingredients, except for fresh vegetables. Refrigerate, covered for several hours to blend flavors. Serve with fresh vegetables. Makes 2 cups.
16-ounce can refried beans
Package taco seasoning
4 tablespoons picante sauce
7-ounce can green chilies, chopped
8 ounces sour cream
Black olives, chopped
Chopped green onions, tomatoes and lettuce
Grated cheddar cheese.
Mix refried beans with taco seasoning. Layer ingredients on a dinner plate or a ceramic pie plate, beginning with beans, then picante sauce, chilies, guacamole, sour cream and black olives. Top with chopped green onions, lettuce, tomato and grated cheese. Serve with tortilla chips.
Good and Easy Guacamole
2 ripe avocados, peeled and mashed
1/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
Add sour cream to mashed avocado and taco seasoning. Mix well. Serve with tortilla chips. Makes 1 cup.
Here are some dips that require baking until the ingredients are hot and bubbly.
Creamy Artichoke Cheese Dip
Two 4-ounce cans artichoke hearts, partially drained
Two 7-ounce cans green chilies, diced
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Combine ingredients and pour into a baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve warm with party rye rounds or club crackers. Cooking blends the flavors just right, according to the cookbook editor. Makes 3 cups.
This is an oldie but goodie recipe.
Chili Con Queso
1/2 pound Velveeta cheese
1/2 pound Old English cheese
1 medium onion, chopped
10-ounce can Ro-Tel tomatoes
Mix all ingredients and cook in top of double boiler for about 1 1/2 hours. Serve in a chafing dish or fondue pot to keep warm. Serve with tortilla or corn chips. Makes 3 cups.
This recipe calls for baking the dip on party rye rounds.
1/2 cup bacon, fried and crumbled
1 cup Swiss cheese, grated
4 1/2-ounce can ripe olives, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Party rye bread rounds
Combine all ingredients except for the rye bread rounds. Mix well and spread on between 25 and 30 rye rounds. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until bubbly and browned.
Here is a sweet and sassy dip that is wonderful with fresh fruit.
Fresh Fruit Dip
12 macaroons, crushed
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 pint sour cream
Crush macaroons to fine crumbs and combine with brown sugar and sour cream. Chill several hours to soften macaroon crumbs. Hollow out center of pineapple to make a serving dish. Fill shell with macaroon dip. Place in center of a large platter and arrange fresh fruits, such as strawberries, cut melon squares, bananas dipped in orange juice or grapes, around the pineapple.
This will made an excellent dip for the month of October. The taste is reminiscent of a candied, caramel apple on a stick.
Caramel Apple Dip
5 to 6 apples cut into wedges
14-ounce bag of creamy caramels
8-ounce package miniature marshmallows
2/3 cup cream or milk
Melt caramels and combine with marshmallows and cream. Stir until smooth. Pour into fondue pot. Dip apple sections, placed on a skewer stick or on a fork, into the hot caramel mixture and enjoy. Watch not to get burned or have it drip on the tablecloth.
(McCoy can be contacted at email@example.com.)