Well, here we are folks. It’s Sports Bowl Day! AKA, the day we all eat blocks and blocks of cream cheese! This year I actually have a minimal interest in the game because someone from my alma mater is playing—and it’s for the same team my husband likes! It’s the only time we really get to cheer for the same time so-Go 49ers!
This year I’m still in charge of bringing the side snacks to our get together and I decided to go 100% predictable and bring two dip bowls that always please. While everyone probably has their own recipe for both of these, I enjoy seeing different takes so I can perfect my own recipe. If you have something fun that you do for either of these, please share!
Buffalo Chicken Dip
- 2 cans of chicken breast, drained (or a whole well-shredded rotisserie chicken)
- 2 8oz cream cheese, softened (I tend to do one original and one 1/3 less fat)
- 1 cup of blue cheese dressing (you can use ranch dressing, or a ranch dressing packet and sour cream/Greek yogurt)
- ½-1 cup of Sweet Baby Ray’s Buffalo Wing Sauce (Frank’s also makes a good one) *this is try and taste*
- 1-2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I prefer to grate my own because the shredded cheese in the store doesn’t melt was well due to anti-caking agents) *you can play around with the cheese here as much as you’d like. There’s a lot of fat in this recipe so using something a little sharper helps balance through*
Add all of these into a slow cooker on low and let it melt and combine. Stir and watch that it doesn’t separate!
If you need to do this on a stovetop, I would mix the cream cheese, dressing, and wing sauce together over medium heat until smooth. Add the shredded cheese in batches (so it doesn’t separate) over a medium-low heat. Add the chicken last and warm to enjoy!
I serve this with tortilla chips, butter cracker rounds, carrots, and celery.
Chili Cheese Beer Dip
(This is pretty much the only time I enjoy American cheese)
- 2 cans of chili (whatever type you and your guests enjoy-with or without beans, vegetarian, etc.)
- 1 can of diced tomatoes and green chilies (there’s a lot of fun ones out there, the fire roasted versions are tasty in this!) Drain but reserve the juice in case the dip is tight when it melts together. You can also use a variety of salsas here!
- 1 8oz block of cream cheese
- 2 cups of shredded/cubed cheese (whatever your style, but that American cheese log melts beautifully.)
- 1 cup of beer (lager style)
Why the beer? The same reason for sharp cheese in the buffalo dip-it adds a dimension to flavor that cuts through all the fat on your tongue. It also helps thin the dip so it doesn’t immediately congeal.
You can also do this in a slow cooker but take note that you should still start the beer on the stove top. Pour the beer into a small sauce pan and allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes. This removes about 80-90% of the alcohol content, which is important if kiddos will be enjoying your food (or anyone else who abstains from alcohol). The rest should cook out as the dip comes together and sits out; leaving you with just the acid it brings to the mouth party. You can also add a little lemon juice if you’d rather not mess with beer (try and taste-you should notice a difference but not so far that you say, ‘why is there lemon in this?’). Yes, I do feel that acid is important-not everyone will notice it’s there or appreciate it consciously but I promise, their brains do!
If you do this on the stove top- after you’ve simmered your beer lower the heat to medium-low and add the cream cheese and melt, then the cubed/shredded cheese and melt, and then your chili and tomatoes. Warm through. Add your reserved juice as needed.
And for dessert I’m taking it easy and bringing brownies for brownie bowl sundaes al a mode.
There’s no real recipe here. I’m making box brownies (adding in some fun caramel chips), buying some vanilla bean ice cream and calling it a day. You can go ‘super’ fun with this and add whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate sauce, cherries, etc. but I’m tired.
Added bonus: if you have a group of friends who are like mine and most of you are more interested in the food and commercials rather than tackles and touchdowns-play Sports Bowl Bingo! I found these bingo cards at Target last year and we’ll use them to create our own cards of what we’ll hear and see during the big game. Hopefully it’ll help my witty banter this year (last year I had a set list of typical sports ball things to say at random times to provide the illusion of understanding what was going on). You can also do a quick search and find free printables on-line (some filled out even!)
Have fun and don’t forget the antacids!