My husband was watching some television commercial that featured women -- not women wearing skimpy underwear or using their feminine wiles to get you to buy a Cadillac a la Kate Walsh -- but presenting their husbands with special Football Sunday snacks and treats, holding up sheet cakes decorated like football fields, which is anathema to me. I think it might have been a Kroger commercial, so remind me to go to their dairy section a drop a carton of eggs on the floor. It was that goofy.
Anyway, he gave me this wistful look out of his melting brown eyes and said, "I sure wish you would make some special game day food."
I trumpeted a scornful laugh through my nose and said, "I suppose you mean things like Rice Krispie treats with orange and black M&M's stirred in for the Bengals?"
He looked discomfited. "Well...yes. That's just what I meant."
Apologetically, I said, "I'm sorry, honey. I thought you were being satirical."
"I don't know how to do satirical. I can do sarcastic, gloomy, hopeful underdog, pulling-for-them-in-the-clutch and maniacal fan shouting and jumping around the living room, spilling beer on the couch and grinding Doritos into the carpet, but I can't do satirical."
"I think I can come up with a few things, then. And they won't be inspired by satire."
My main requirement for Game Day Snacks and Treats is that they would do beyond just opening a crackly bag and a carton of french onion dip, but also that they would be very easy, since I consider Sunday afternoons and evenings my own personal time out. Of the kitchen, that is. So when I found this really delicious recipe for taco dip, I knew it was a champion.
GAME DAY TACO DIP
1 can traditional refried beans
1 8-oz package cream cheese
1 packet taco seasoning
1 1/2 cup salsa
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (sharp cheddar, colby, colby-jack, whatever your preference)
4 green onions, finely chopped
approx. 10 grape tomatoes, very thinly sliced (optional)
1 small can sliced black olives, drained (optional)
sliced jalapeno peppers (optional, to taste)
1. Place the refried beans and the cream cheese in a microwave-safe dish and warm them in 30-second bursts to soften, about 2 minutes total. Add the taco seasoning packet; stir to combine.
2. Spread the beans/cheese/taco seasoning combination in the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan.
3. Pour the salsa over the beans and spread to the edges
4. Evenly sprinkle shredded cheese over the top of the salsa
5. Add the green onions and the tomatoes, black olives and jalapeno pepper slices, if desired.
6. Serve as is (room temp) or chill and serve with tortilla chips. Makes around eight servings.
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