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Eating Well: Dips perfect Super bowl Sunday munch food

Karen Huber / West Fargo Pioneer

Hard to believe Super Bowl Sunday is almost upon us.

If you are planning on entertaining guests, complete with food and beverage, the appetizer route is a good way to go.

Nothing is easier that dropping a couple of your favorite hot appetizers into slow cookers, i.e. barbecued meatballs, cocktail wieners or chicken drummies, and accenting whatever you select with a variety of dips that pare well with crackers, chips, veggies or platefuls of bite size pieces of bread or bagels.

The following recipes are excellent choices that provide great variety for whatever the taste preference.

If you're hosting a really large group, you may want to consider doubling some of the recipes, as they will definitely disappear quickly.

The Buffalo Chicken Dip fits the hardy bill. The recipe calls for using Ranch dressing but if you prefer to substitute Blue Cheese dressing that also works well. As a starting point, celery is a great vegetable choice served alongside this dip.

For those of you who enjoy stuffed jalapeno poppers, you will love the Jalapeno Dip. It takes just like the poppers without all the fuss of stuffing each one.

The Layered Crab Dip provides a little diversity with its seafood base, compliments of Margie McClellan as featured in the West Fargo VFW cookbook. The lemon juice, extra spices and onion are a wonderfully enhancing addition to the cream cheese base. I have also prepared this recipe using the mock crab in lieu of the canned crab and found both options delicious.

The Nacho Dip is a little more substantive with the hamburger and Velveeta combination yummy served with the scoop type tortilla chips.

Make a couple or try them all. Assembly time is quick and easy, and each can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated in advance of preheating or serving.

Until next time, from my kitchen to yours, happy cooking!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese

1 cup Ranch dressing

¾ cup pepper sauce (Frank's Red Hot or similar)

1 ½ cups shredded cheese (cheddar, cojack, or pepperjack)

Heat chicken and hot sauce over medium temperature, until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well mixed and warm. Mix in half the cheese and transfer to a slow cooker. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and cook on low setting until hot and bubbly. Serve with celery, crackers, chips, bread or bagel chunks or whatever you prefer.

Jalapeno Popper Dip

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese

½ cup real mayonnaise

¼ pound Velveeta, cut into ¼ inch cubes

3 jalapeno peppers, seeded, finely chopped

12 Ritz crackers, crushed, about ½ cup

1 tbsp. melted butter

1 green onion, sliced

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cream cheese and mayo in medium bowl until well blended. Stir in Velveeta and peppers. Spread into a nine-inch pie plate. Mix crumbs and butter and sprinkle over the dip.

Bake 20 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. Sprinkle onion over top.

Nacho Dip

1 pound hamburger, browned and drained

1 (16 ounce) jar thick and chunky salsa (any brand you prefer)

1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies

2 lbs. Velveeta Cheese, cubed

Place all ingredients in slow cooker. Heat and serve.

Layered Crab Spread

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

2 tbsp. RealLemon juice

1 tsp. worchestire sauce

¼ tsp. garlic powder

2 tbsp. finely chopped green onions

¾ cup chili sauce

1 (six or six and-a-half ounce) can of fancy white crab

In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, lemon juice, Worchester and garlic salt until fluffy. Stir in onions. Spread cheese mixture into 7-inch circle on serving plate. Top with chili sauce and crab meat. Cover and chill thoroughly. Serve with crackers.