Touchdown party dips


Sunday is the Super Bowl and while I sincerely doubt there are many local New England Patriots or Los Angeles Rams fans, still many Americans will get together with friends and families to watch some of the big game, the commercials — and eat.

I’ve never thrown a big Super Bowl party. Don and I always watched together. When we lived in Savannah, we hosted our next-door neighbors. I’ll never forget that Super Bowl. The Patriots were undefeated and Eli Manning and the New York Giants took them down. We were all so excited we ended up watching some guy jump the fountains at Caesars Palace on a motorcycle.

But I digress.

Often when Don and I went to dinner, we would as he said, “let’s appetize the hell out it.” We ordered two or three appetizers — sometimes more — and that was dinner.

That’s why I’m sharing with you some of my favorite game day dips, which are filling and don’t require a lot of time to prepare. If you want buffalo wings or Italian beef or sandwiches, that’s fine. But for most of use, these dips will fill the bill.

A true classic that seems to be a hit at any of my get-togethers is spinach artichoke dip. Even the veggie haters seem to love it. It’s warm and creamy and perfect for spreading on crackers or chips. One way to serve it is baking the dip inside a little cup made of sweet Hawaiian bread.

These little dip cups are quick to prepare, with just a few extra minutes of hands-on time while you cut the bread into circles and place it in a muffin tin. Once the bread cups are filled, it’s off to the oven until the bread is toasty and the dip is creamy.

Here’s what you’ll need: Monterey jack cheese, artichoke hearts, mayonnaise, spinach, garlic, cream cheese, and sweet Hawaiian bread.

To make the dip, it’s easiest to start with softened cream cheese and frozen spinach that has been thawed completely. Dump everything right into a mixing bowl and stir with a spoon until it’s well combined.

Use a round cookie cutter to cut a circle from the center of a slice of bread. Alternately, use a drinking glass with a thin edge to cut the circle of bread. Press the bread into an ungreased muffin tin.

Spoon the dip mixture into the bread cups — you can fill them right to the top.

Pop the muffin tins into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. These don’t take long. You’ll just want to let the bread toast up and get the dip warm and melty. Carefully remove the bread cups from the muffin tin and dig in. These are best served warm, but they’re not too shabby at room temperature either.

I am such a fan of a good bean dip. It is a staple for party goers, an easy appetizer and a real crowd pleaser. It’s also basically one of the best ooey, gooey, tastiest concoctions known.

I have seen a lot of variations on bean dips and seven-layer dips. They usually involve switching up the beans, or adding a fancy, healthy or easy ingredient.

This classic seven-layer dip got an upgrade with the creamy, pourable cheese sauce.

Instead of simply layering shredded cheese and calling it a day, I took this classic combination and gave it the best upgrade ever — pourable, creamy, nacho cheese sauce, made with real cheese. It couldn’t be any easier. It barely adds an extra step and brings the whole dip up to a new level. If you really want to get crazy, you could even add an eighth layer of the classic cheese shreds in a different variety.

Have you ever tried sausage cream cheese dip before? This is a show-stopping party food —unassuming at first — but becomes positively addicting after your first taste. With just three ingredients, this dip is rich and creamy — thanks to the cream cheese — and immaculately flavored courtesy of the sausage and Rotel. It can be made relatively mess-free in a single pan, making it a great easy, last-minute potluck dish.

I love an easy appetizer or dip recipe. Two of my all-time favorites are jalapeno popper dip and deviled eggs, but nothing quite beats this easy, three-ingredient sausage cream cheese dip.

You read that right, it just takes three ingredients to make this show-stopping dip, which is great because that makes the recipe easy to memorize for when everyone is asking you for the recipe.

In my opinion, there’s nothing better than homemade pimento cheese. My favorite recipe is from Paula Deen and anytime it’s served, it’s gone in no time. Imagine my delight when I discovered this recipe — hot pimento cheese dip — that’s more Tex-Mex style than southern.

The key to great pimento cheese, in my opinion, is to not buy shredded cheese but to grate your own. Does it take a little longer? Of course it does — but trust me — it’s worth the time. While the recipe calls for fresh jalapenos, I like the pickled type, too, and I don’t think they take anything away from the recipe.

So here’s to enjoying the final football game of the season with family and friends — and rooting against the Patriots.