Posts Tagged ‘dip’

1st July
written by Loren

It’s been at least two months since I posted a recipe featuring bacon prominently, right? Good, because this one is pretty good, AND you can put it on vegetables and salad, so it’s totally healthy. Just pay no attention to the Paula Deen-esque ingredients, and keep telling yourself that.

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3-6 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/3 cup crumbled/chopped, cooked bacon
  • 1/4 cup minced chives
  • 1 medium shallot, minced

Combine everything but the cheese, bacon, chives and shallots in a mixing bowl and whisk together. Start out by adding 2-3 tablespoons of milk and reserve the rest. Once this mixture is well combined, fold in the remaining ingredients. Now check the consistency and add the remaining amount of milk bit by bit until the dressing has the consistency that you like (keep in mind that if you are going to refrigerate this before serving, it will thicken up a bit). You can also adjust the amount of blue cheese you add, based on your taste for it. I like the taste of the blue cheese in the dressing, but less so the chunks of blue cheese you bite into. I think the next time I make this I’m going to try putting the blue cheese, milk, mayo and sour cream in a food processor to homogenize the mixture.

I’ve found this to be a very versatile dip/dressing. It goes well with salad, although its pretty thick and flavorful so it’s easy to overpower the lettuce; maybe add some arugala to balance it out. It’s a great dip for crudites or potato chips, you could put it on top of a burger, and the first time I made it I used it as a dressing on some boiled, cooled red potatoes for a kind of potato salad.  Give it a try and let me know what other applications you find for it!


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3rd February
written by Loren

IT’S SUPERBOWL!!!!!!!! This is like the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and your first frat party all rolled into one. Throughout my whole life, this weekend has always been an epic party. When I was a kid my dad would take me to one of his friend’s houses out in the boonies and all the guys would stand around the deep fryer in the garage, watching crispy and golden delicious chunks of deep fried pheasant, grouse, walleye, and chicken-fried venison cutlets emerge from the bubbling witches cauldron of peanut oil while the game played on a projection TV. Side note: is there any better way to enjoy nature than deep frying critters?

But without a doubt, my favorite SB parties were in college. You get 15-20 guys together in a house, along with 15-20 cases of beer, and play beer pong and NFL Blitz for hours before the game even starts. And once the game does start, everyone picks a side and cheers for them as though they were your hometown team. Notice how I precluded the possibility of the actual home town team getting into the Superbowl, for we reside in the tundra – land of the Vikings.

So for this holiest of all weeks, we’re going with a trinity of appetizers: beer cheese dip, polpetini (tiny meatballs), and  a shrimp cocktail with honey chipotle cocktail sauce.

The beer cheese dip we’ve done before, here. Except this time I’m going to replace 25% of the cream cheese with sour cream.

The polpetini will be made roughly from:

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork, veal or mild italian sausage
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons dry red wine (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

This is a slightly modified version of the Joy of Cooking recipe which has been previously posted. This time we’re going to roll it into smaller meatballs, about 3/4 of an inch in diameter. Then lightly coat them in either seasoned flour or breadcrumbs and fry them in a pan with just enough oil to coat the bottom. A minute or two each side should do, just long enough to get some good color. Then they go in the oven at 300 degrees, until a meat thermometer says they’re about 140 degrees inside. Take them out and let them cool a bit, then put them on a toothpick with a cherry tomato, small mozzarella ball and a leaf of basil. You can either roll the basil into a tight roll and skewer that, or kind of weave it over the meat, cheese and basil on the toothpick.

These are pretty good at this stage, but you can make them even better. Mix extra virgin olive with aged balsamic vinegar (which I happen to have laying around because my brother Danny knows EXACTLY what to get me for Christmas) at a ratio of about 3:2. Whisk this together and add it to a jar with a lid, then shake it up. Drizzle that over the tasty skewers, then top everything with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Now its time for the brand new recipe which I found on one of my favorite foodblogs, The Food in My Beard. Now, I love shrimp cocktails but my undying hatred of horseradish prevents me from enjoying the typical condiment associated with them. That makes this recipe perfect for me.

  • 1 7 oz can of chipotles in adobo
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 limes
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • cilantro

Take the peppers out of the can, split them open and remove all of the seeds. Add the peppers to a food processor along with the adobo sauce left in the can, the juice of both limes, the honey and the garlic. Process that until smooth, then add a few tablespoons of the cilantro leaves, and pulse a few more times. Once you put it in the serving bowl, you can garnish with a few more cilantro leaves. Serve with delicious shrimps. I’ll be buying mine frozen from the grocery store, because boiling my own would be just a bit too much work combined with everything else.

These look amazing... except for that red crap in the bowl.

One last thing to note about Superbowl food: the only acceptable choices in terms of recipes are the ones which you can make before the game starts. Several times in recent years I’ve done foolish things like deep frying snacks during the game or cooking something in the oven which needs to be checked on frequently. Remember, this is your last taste of football for the next 6 months, and your last taste of meaningful football for the next 7. That’s a long time to wait and I know I always felt pretty stupid after missing half the game to cooking.


[DDET Click to expand]

Dedicated readers (or maybe just the authors) will remember that at the beginning of the football season, I made 6 predictions for the 2011-12 NFL season. Let’s see how hard this NFL commentary business is:

  • Barring injury, Adrian Peterson will rush for 2,000 yards this year. While we don’t have the greatest O-line Minnesota has ever seen, the reports are that we have abandoned the zone-blocking crap which plagued us in the Childress era.
    • Outcome: Well this one obviously failed to come true, and I won’t even hide behind the hideous knee injury which ended AP’season and maybe permanently dimmed the prospects of his career. He wasn’t really close to the pace of a 2,000 yard season. 0 for 1.
    • As an aside, I am terrified about AP’s prospects for a comeback. He tore his ACL AND MCL. If you didn’t have a chance to see what happened in that game, check this out. Warning: you will feel his pain after watching that clip. Adrian is the most amazing running back I’ve ever watched. Pretty much half a dozen times every season I see him do something so amazing that I thank Odin that he somehow fell to the Vikings in the draft. And it seems like better than even odds that he won’t be anything special when he makes it back onto the football field.
  • The Colts will be in contention for the first overall draft pick by the end of the season. This team is GARBAGE without Manning. He ran the whole offense and he elevated a team that has drafted crap the last several years. (Sub-prediction: this will create endless ESPN contaversy about whether Peyton will allow them to draft Andrew Luck)
    • Outcome: NAILED IT ON BOTH COUNTS! Full disclosure – all of these predictions were written after the pre-season so there was already a hint of how god-awful the Colts were going to be, but that’s not going to stop me from claiming credit for this one. Seeing as how both prediction and sub-prediction came true, I’m 2 for 3.
  • The Houston Texans will finally make the playoffs. I mean, they kind of have to. Jacksonville and Indianapolis will be terrible, and I just don’t think the Hasselbeck-led Titans will steal the division away from them.
    • Outcome: Also correct. It’s intriguing to think about what would have become of this team if they hadn’t lost Mario Williams, Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson for most of the season. Think about that! That’s arguably your best player on both offense and defense plus your starting quarterback, and they still won a playoff game. If the injuries had shaken out a different way, the Texans probably could have made the Superbowl. 3 for 4.
  • The Lions will still fail to hit the .500 mark. I know everyone is in love with them and they have certainly created a monster d-line, but Stafford is made of porceline and I still think they need another season to wipe out the stink of 0-16.
    • Outcome: Ouch, and I fall to 3 for 5. The Lions exceeded the .500 mark, made the playoffs and Stafford made it through the season without missing any appreciable amount of time. This team has lots of potential with an improving Stafford, Megatron hitting his prime and a solid core of Suh and Fairley on the D-line. They just desperately need a running back to make it through the season.
  • Lastly, the GB Packers will fail to make the Superbowl this year. Because they’re evil. Superbowl pick: New England over Philly.
    • Outcome: Ahhhh this is the sweetest one to get right. A Rodge was getting just a bit too cocky, and I’m glad the Giants came along to serve some humble pie. And that makes me 4 for 6. OVER .500 THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
I’m pretty excited about this year’s Superbowl. I love the rematch of 2007, I love any Supernowl featuring Tom Brady, I’m looking forward to seeing Belichick try to stop Cruz, Manningham and Nicks using his broke ass secondary, and I am super pumped for the prospect of seeing a pouty faced Eli Manning sulking on the bench after  he chokes away the game.


Please... no more of this.


29th November
written by Loren

Hello food fans,

It’s been about 5-6 weeks since my last post. I would apologize for the delay but at this point it seems to be becoming a pattern that I post in bunches and then dissapear for a while, so maybe you should just expect that at this point. Anyways, I’ve got some great ideas and recipes which are coming your way over the next month or two, including: Oreo cake balls, the best stuffing recipe EVAR, White Chicken Chili, grilled pheasant breasts, and some homemade eggnog when we get close to Christmas!

Today’s recipe comes from… nowheres in particular. I stopped at the grocery store on my way home from work one night and got a hankering for some kind of garlicky-creamy goodness which I could spread on crackers. Since this particular grocery store happened to sell roasted garlic cloves in their olive bar, I went for those. A week later I re-made the recipe with a few tweaks which really brought everything together.

  • 1 brick of cream cheese, room temp
  • 1 cup roasted garlic cloves
  • 1 raw garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1 package basil leaves (15  big leaves or so?)
  • 4 scallions, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded/grated Parmesan
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt & pepper
  • Sprinkle of red wine vinegar
  • a big dollop of  sour cream (optional)

Combine everything but the cream cheese in a food processor and pulse until its a roughly homogeneous mixture, then add the cream cheese and process until everything is mixed together.  You can do a few different things with this; I imagine it would be great as a sandwich spread, you could make pinwheels, you could probably thin this out with some milk and white wine to make a bitchin’ pan sauce for something like roasted chicken, or you could just spread it on same fancy crackers and top it with some thinly sliced capocollo.  I chose the latter route, and it was well received by the Thanksgiving crowd.

On a side note, please do yourself a favor and go buy a half pound of capocollo. This delicious salumi is dry cured from the meat on the neck and shoulder cuts of the pig. It’s like a cross between canadian bacon, real bacon (take that Canada!), and prosciutto. It’s not usually smoked to the best of my knowledge, but there is sometimes a spicy or savory coating on the outside of the meat. The marbling, which is amply demonstrated below, is incredible and gives it a deep, rich flavor. Get your butcher to slice it thin, and eat a few slices while you walk around the grocery store and decide what you want to do with this manna from heaven.

om nom nom

20th October
written by Loren

Our glimmer of hope

This has been a disappointing football season so far, as any Vikings fan will tell you. Not only are the Purple stinking it up, but they’re doing so in the most frustrating way possible. They have some pretty damn good players (Kevin Williams, Jared Allen, AP, Antoine Winfield, Percy Harvin) but they prove week after week to be entirely incapable of playing like professionals. What’s more, they aren’t even in full blown re-building mode, as evidenced by the fact that before they re-structured Adrian Peterson’s and Chad Greenway’s deal they were right at the salary cap. I can accept losing from a team that’s trying to get young or is trying to free up cap space to make some moves, but we’re doing neither and sucking royally. 

But at least we have something to look forward to now that Donovan “Chunky” McNabb has been benched for our first round pick, Christian Ponder. He may not be any better than McNabb… no, wait, I’m not going to go with that disclaimer. He will be better than McNabb. He showed a couple of things in his debut last week which are going to be huge upgrades. 1. He’s accurate, or at least far more so than D McB. He was putting passes right in front of people IN STRIDE, as opposed to 2 feet above a receivers head and 3 yards behind them. 2. He’s got some mobility and he’s able to throw on the run. Did you see that safety McNabb took last week? He saw a blitzer coming up the middle and just laid down in the end zone. Ponder looked pretty good at avoiding the rush. Finally, I think Ponder cares about winning. If the Vikes wanted McNabb last offseason they should have given him a contract so loaded with incentives that he would have earned slightly above minimum wage in that week 1 stinker where he piled up 39 yards over the course of the game, because you can absolutely tell he does not give a shit what happens in these games because he’s making $5 million in his last year in the NFL.

Enough football talk, time for football food. The other week Rick and I had another of our patented football ho-downs with 10.5 straight hours of food, beer, smoking and football. During this particular one, I got to try out a new Food Network recipe which turned out amazing. The only downside of it is that it’s pretty heavy and somewhat greasy, so if you’re not careful you will eventually have wished that you had a bit more self control as you nurse an over-full belly.

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil*
  • 1/2 pound Spanish or Mexican chorizo
  • 1/2 pound mushroom caps, quartered
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
*note: The olive oil is only neccesary if you are using the more solid  Spanish Chorizo which is a cured sausage like Andouille. All I was able to find was fresh ground Mexican Chorizo,

Spanish Chorizo

which has more than enough fat to render out without adding additional oil.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. If using Spanish chorizo, dice it and add it to a pan over medium-high heat. If using fresh ground chorizo, add it to the pan and break it up while it’s cooking. Add the quartered mushrooms to the pan after about a minute and continue to cook for 5-6 minutes.  At this point, you’ll most likely want to remove some of the excess grease from the chorizo-mushroom mixture which you can do by pouring everything into a colander or onto a plate lined with a few layers of paper towels. After you remove the grease, add the meat and mushrooms to a small to medium baking or casserole dish and top with the shredded cheese.  Bake until bubbly, then remove from the oven and top with the scallions. The Food Network recipe said to serve this with blue corn chips, but that seems like a bad idea to me. It’s a very thick and stringy mixture which seems like it would destroy corn chips. I served it with a take and bake ciabatta bread that was torn into small peices and that seemed like a great fit.
11th September
written by Loren

The NFL won't be the same without you, Randy.


Welcome, my friends, to the show that never ends! Well, actually it ends every spring. And this offseason it almost ended for a full year thanks to greedy owners. BUT IT’S BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER! I think every year I become more of a football fan. Back in the mid-90’s I followed the vikings very casually. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s I became a rabid Vikings fan (even after the gut wrenching 98 NFC championship and the 41-doughnut debacle against the giants just 3 years later). In the mid to late 2000’s I started to get interested in the other NFL games not featuring the Vikes and now that I started fantasy football last year I am an unabashed football addict. Between the months of September and January, nothing can get me down because I always have Sunday and Monday to look forward to. And in a couple of years, when the NFL starts selling Thursday night games to non-premium channels, we’ll have that too. And there will be much rejoicing.

And now that football is back, we’re going to resurrect the on-again-off-again Football Food series. This week: Beer Cheese Dip. I tried this for the first time at a work potluck (love my job), and it was incredibly addictive. It’s a nice combination of tangy beer, sharp cheddar and onion flavor, and creamy cheesy goodness.

Combine in a bowl: 2 bricks of cream cheese, softened; 2 cups of shredded cheddar; 3/4 cup of beer, I used Summit EPA because a) it’s my Minnesota beer of choice and b) I wanted something with enough flavor to shine through all the cheesyness; 1 packet of ranch seasoning; 1 bunch of green onions, chopped. Reserve a bit of cheddar and green onions to sprinkle over the top when you’re done mixing.

Eventually I would like to work out a version of this dip that uses fresh garlic and herbs in place of the ranch seasoning packet, but in the meantime this is a tasty addition to your sunday football buffet. As for your dipping item, I think this would taste pretty good with plain ol’ potato chips but the dip is probably too thick to maintain chip integrity. Stick with pretzels or veggies. Also, this makes enough dip for 6-7 people. If it’s only you and Brundage watching football, you might want to cut the recipe in half.


Football Predictions:

I don’t know that we’re going to keep up the Vikings weekly football prediction segment we  had going last year, but here are some general predictions for the NFL season which we’ll re-visit at the end of the season.

  • Barring injury, Adrian Peterson will rush for 2,000 yards this year. While we don’t have the greatest O-line Minnesota has ever seen, the reports are that we have abandoned the zone-blocking crap which plagued us in the Childress era.
  • The Colts will be in contention for the first overall draft pick by the end of the season. This team is GARBAGE without Manning. He ran the whole offense and he elevated a team that has drafted crap the last several years. (Sub-prediction: this will create endless ESPN contaversy about whether Peyton will allow them to draft Andrew Luck) UPDATE: Houston leads Indy 34-0 at halftime. I like this prediction.
  • The Houston Texans will finally make the playoffs. I mean, they kind of have to. Jacksonville and Indianapolis will be terrible, and I just don’t think the Hasselbeck-led Titans will steal the division away from them.
  • The Lions will still fail to hit the .500 mark. I know everyone is in love with them and they have certainly created a monster d-line, but Stafford is made of porceline and I still think they need another season to wipe out the stink of 0-16.
  • Lastly, the GB Packers will fail to make the Superbowl this year. Because they’re evil. Superbowl pick: New England over Philly.
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29th January
written by Arthur

The Beautiful Machine

Among the many things I love about my new apartment (ok, new as of last August) is that I have the space to actually spread out and take on some cooking projects that just seemed painful, if not dangerous, in my old apartment.  I’m talking most about deep-frying of course.

Meg got me the deep fryer for my birthday two summers ago but I could never bring myself to break it out in my old apartment.  For one thing, it stored nicely in the box on a shelf in the shared hallway.  I had serious concerns about where I would put the thing once it was actually broken in.  Plus, the limited counter space meant that a gallon or two of 300 degree peanut oil would be precariously placed somewhere.

But with a longer train ride has come a large kitchen.  With plenty of counter and storage space it was time to fry!  I actually first broke in the deepfyer a few months ago for a poker game.  So this last time wasn’t the virgin run, but it was the first time I thought about taking some pictures and writing about it.

The deep frying plan came together as part of a larger scheme.  Stu’s girlfriend Chin was planning a surprise birthday visit.  To keep Stu from running off to Atlantic City for the weekend to try her luck at the poker table, I decided to bring the action to Park Slope and get a game together for Friday.  Coincidentally, it was also my friend Dave’s birthday and I was excited to get some party time in with him, as well.

Preparing for this event was one of those times where I miss having a car in New York.  In order to deep fry you need peanut oil—heavy, heavy peanut oil.  Plus, while deep frying is great, we need a few other things, some chips, the making of a spinach dip, the makings of chilli, etc.  So Meg and I grabbed the little red push cart headed out for the half-mile walk through the snowy Park Slope streets to Key Food (for those in MN, think a supermarket between ¼ and ½ the size of Rainbow or Cub Foods).  After loading the card to the brim, we headed for the now much more difficult trek back.  We made it, but in some snow bank or another the weight of all the food in the cart managed to bend one of the wheels to about a 30 degree angle.

Once back it was time to get the cooking thing rolling.  As Meg started in on the cup cakes from scratch (a must for Dave and Stu’s b-day celebration) I started in on the spinach dip.  See the recipe here.  Something that I’ve done before, it comes together very quickly in a food processor.  The recipe calls for ½ to 1 cup of mayo and to keep the Mayo flavor down I stayed on the lower end.  A new addition was some cherry tomatoes.  After trying to mix some in using the food processor and seeing them shredded into a million little pieces I decided to slice them in half and mix them in by hand.  The dip was a great snack to have around as people arrived and I set-up the deep fryer.


The first things to fry were some crimini mushrooms.  In a little experimentation, half of the package got a standard egg wash and a cover of some seasoned flour (including some paprika, garlic salt, and a dash of white pepper) and half got that flour mix turned into a beer batter (aka I pour some beer into the flour mix until it was a paste).  Even before the deep frying, the color of the beer batter was noticeably enticing: the paprika turned the mixture a beautiful bright orangish red.  When the beer batter mushrooms were deep fried they came out with a nice orange colored crust.  While both sets of mushrooms were good, the beer battered batch was the clear winner.  Not only did they have a great color, the orange compared to a duller gray brown, but they were more moist, while still retaining a nice crunch on the outside.

Sweet Potato Fries

Next up was the fries, both regular and sweet potato.  The regular fries turned out well, but not as crispy as I had hoped.  I think that I might have under-timed the first fry of the double frying process.  (In order to get fries nice and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside you first fry at 325, take them out for a few minutes, and then fry them at 375.)  Still, even though they were less crispy then I would have personally liked, they were well-loved.  The sweet potato fries presented a whole other problem in the second step of the double-fry process.  The sweet potatoes’ high sugar conten started to caramelize and almost burn at the high temp on the second fry.  The result was a little ugly, but was really tasty—a little sugar, a little caramel, and some starch.

After the fries, the final deep-fry act was jalapeños in the beer batter.  Not unseeded these little guys packed a mean but delicious punch.  (The heat of all pepper resides with the pepper’s oil which is mainly found in the seeds.)

Some of the Spread

There were grand plans for onion rings and Meg’s idea to turn string cheese and breadcrumbs into fried mozarela sticks… but alas the night was getting on, there was poker to play, and bellies were full from the first rounds of deep frying.

At some point in the poker game Meg broke out the chilli that she started along with the deep frying.  Coming about 4 hours and countless beers after the end of the deep frying and that start of poker it was a welcome warm treat.

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8th October
written by Loren


This week’s football food is an adaptation of a recipe from one of my favorite food blogs (besides this one), The Food in my Beard. There have been some really cool recipes over there, some of them far more ambitious than I am prepared for. He also seems to have a knack for coming up with dips, which are of course perfect football food. At one point I stumbled on his BLT Dip and it looked amazing so I gave it a whirl (check out the link, the pictures are what really inspired me to try it). Overall it was pretty good, with some awesome flavor combinations. There was only one problem: the mayo. I don’t know about you readers out there, but I am NOT a mayo fan. It’s one of those condiments I barely tolerate, sort of like sauerkraut or Dijon mustard. A little bit will usually help your cause, but a there is a very fine line between a little and way too damn much. And once you cross that line, you’re screwed. There is no going back so you might as well just throw whatever you were making in the trash, go brush your teeth and start over again.

In this case, it was not immediately obvious that this was a problem. I made a big batch of the dip for a game and everyone dug in. But after a few minutes all I could think of was the mayo flavor and mayo texture and it was just wrong. I ended up throwing a big tub of the dip out because there was just no way I was going to eat any more. This is certainly not a shot at the culinary skills of the recipe’s creator, just a personal taste thing. Anyways, I modified the recipe slightly to avoid a repeat of the over-mayo trauma I experienced. The recipe’s name? PTSDBLT Dip. It strays even farther away from religious adherence to the ingredients of a BLT, but its damn tasty in its own right.

[DDET Click for recipe!]

For the base of the dip, skin and pit two ripe avocados and drop them into a blender along with 1/3 cup of sour cream and 1/3 cup of mayo and the juice of half a lemon. Blend that until smooth and add to your serving dish. Add to that a carton of cherry tomatoes which you quartered, about 1 Tbsp of minced shallot, and half a pound of torn arugula leaves. I love arugula; it’s so peppery and unique for a green leafy vegetable. And this is a great recipe for it because you need something that will have a flavor capable of standing up to the creamy avocado/mayo/sourcream mixture.

The last thing to add is by far the most important: BACON. If I were you, I’d try to find something nice and thick cut. No Name makes pretty good bacon, and if all else fails most any butcher should have some top notch stuff. Cook up about ¾ of a pound of it, and just like for the Jalapeno Poppers, you want to cook it to fairly well done so that almost all of the fat is rendered out. Crumble that up and add it the bowl, then fold everything together. Finally, give it a taste and then add salt and pepper to your liking. By the way, this one definitely goes with sliced bread. It’s just too chunky and thick to pair well with chips, and with all that bacon the dip is plenty salty without adding potato or corn chips.




We got Randy. What the hell is going on here? Imagine that you’re back in 2004 and someone says to you “Don’t worry about trading him to Oakland. He’ll be back in 6 years and, oh yeah, Brett Favre will be tossing him passes.” WHAT?! Your head might have exploded then and there. Allow me to use this opportunity to publicly declare my love for Zygi Wilf. This man is a god send and 90% of NFL fans wish they had an owner like him. My only concern here is that the ownership is going to shell out for player after player to try to win now, and then we falter in the playoffs and the stadium bill goes down in the legislature. That’s when I see good ol’ Zygi throwing his hands up and deciding to cut his losses.

As for this week, I’m afraid I don’t see good things; and that’s only partly because I refuse to be the homer who picks the Vikings every single game. I think jumping to a new team, combined with facing Darrelle Revis is going to mostly shut down #84. There are three other main things going for Jets next Monday: 1) The Brett Favre incarnation of the Vikings has been absolutely terrible on national television, with the sole exception being the annihilation of the Cowboys in last year’s playoffs. 2) I think coaching does matter in the NFL and if I had to rank these two coaches I would say Ryan is top-five in the NFL and Chilly is bottom-five. That’s not a good matchup. 3) The Jets are a bunch of blitz-happy motherfuckers. They are going to put a hurt on old man Favre, and send extra defenders from all over the field.

Final score: Jets 20, Vikings 17.

Arthur’s Two Cents:  Having Moss back in MN is going to be a game changer.  And for third round draft pick?!?!  Until the offensive line learns how to give Farve more than a blink of time in the pocket here is how see things.  Moss won’t be used for his very deep threat potential, but for more modest passes.  Farve will be able to trust him and have just enough time to find him quickly.  With AP on the field and Farve’s ability to find the some other recivers he won’t be triple covered like he was in his last year with the Vikes!

On the game versus the Jets, I don’t know if we can pull it off, but I think that we have a real chance.  Revis got hurt covering Moss, maybe that will get in his head a little.  I see the Vikes at 21 and the the Jets at… well we’ll see what our defense can do.

On the food:  this sounds like a great dip.  Meg is planning on making up some bread this weekend.  But, since this is a Monday game that I’ll actually be able to watch at home, I was thinking of breaking out the old deep fry and getting some homemade wings going.  Though this might be great for Thursday poker night.

My other thought is that that the high mayo version might work great not as a dip, but to use instead of boring plain mayo on burgers for grilling time.

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24th September
written by Loren

My dear god, I don’t know how many more games like that I can watch. You know, you get a couple 7-8 beers in you and fire up the grill and get ready to watch the game with friends, and then… pick after pick after pick. They showed Favre walking into the stadium before the game and I immediately texted a few friends, “Favre looks old, brittle, and gimpy”. That visual was enough to give me pause and make me wonder if we weren’t in for another brutal game and yeah, verily, it came to pass.

This week’s football recipe is much more blue collar than the goat cheese jalapeno poppers from last week. You will need: chips, salsa, hamburger and velveeta. Given how ridiculously easy this is, it almost feels like cheating to put it up for a recipe this week. On the other hand, its realllllly good and people always seem to love it when it’s brought to parties. It also meets one of the big tests for great football food: it does not distract from the game. You just throw everything in the crockpot, and stir it every 10 minutes or so. A few years ago I hosted a Superbowl shindig and between cooking 3-4 different things, I’d say I missed about 40% of the actual football game. NEVER AGAIN, I SAY!

First off, take your hamburger, about a pound, and brown it in a pan. To season it, you’re gonna want some salt and pepper, and possibly something else. Maybe some chili powder, or chipotle, or garlic powder. Don’t go nuts with the flavoring though, otherwise the meat won’t play nice with the other ingredients in the dip. Drain the grease off completely; you don’t want any of it in the dip. When that’s done, add the meat to the crock pot. Now cut up the velveeta and add that to the crockpot. I use the usual large brick size, I dunno if that’s a pound or 1.5 lbs, but it’s the main size and the ratio should be at least one to one with the beef. Finally, add the salsa. For this, I’m usually using a regular jar of medium Pace salsa, for a few reasons: one, Pace has a good consistency. There’s a good amount of veggie chunks and it’s not too watery. Second, it’s cheap. There’s no reason to buy nice habanero salsa just to throw it in cheese dip.

So, combine the “cheese”, meat and salsa in the crockpot and turn it on high. Stir it every 5-10 minutes and it should take about 30-40 minutes for everything to melt together. Once its melted, turn the crockpot to low and let people help themselves as the game goes on. You’ll want to check on it every now and again because if it sits for a prolonged period it will get an unpleasant skin over the top. If this skin does show its ugly face, just stir vigorously for a bit. Serve with tortilla chips. Recommended beer pairing: something cheap. Save the high brow stuff for fancier meals, grab yourself a Grainbelt if you’re in Minnesota or an MGD if not, and enjoy the game!


I really think the Lions might beat us in Minneapolis for the first time in a decade this weekend. Even without Stafford, they put up 30 some points on Philly last weekend, and this Jahvid Best kid looks like the real deal. I certainly wish we had him instead of the Great White Flop, Toby Gerhardt. But I am not, at this point, ready to completely give up the Vikes.

I think this weekend they finally get their heads out of their collective asses and realize its gonna take some effort to put up points. I see a heavy dose of AP this weekend, especially if Percy is out for the game because of his migraines. Plus, our defense has given up 21 points over two weeks! As long as Graybeard can remember to throw to the guys in purple instead of honalulu blue, we should be fine riding #28 to victory.

Final Score: Vikings 17, Lions 10. Sad Fact: if the Vikings manage to put up 17 it will be our best offensive production of the season.

Arthur Two Cents: I have had this tried and true recipe with Loren many a time.  A quick cooking item is just what you want for what should be the first non-gut-wrenching game of the season.  [For a beer pairing here on the East Coast I would recommend the Yuengling.]

After last  week, I see why there were so few long pass attempts in the first game. Maybe a little more conservative playing is what we need with the old man until he refinds his stride.

Hopefully this game will be a low key chance for Favre  to make-up for all of their absence from training camp and Percy Harvin’s miss of the preseason.  With the Vike’s D having been strong, the end results against the Lions should be OK.  I see the end score Vikings 14,  Lions 6.

Still, if Farvre collapses in this one, I say we pull him for the season put in Tarvaris Jackson and call this season a rebuilding year. (Not really, but kind of.)  But I don’t see that happening, Loren let me pick the pics for this week’s post and I decided to go for the glory we still can have this season!

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8th September
written by Loren

With the football season approaching (GO VIKES!) I thought it would be fun to start a recurring article here on EatCookLive. Every weekend I’m going to try to post a new recipe for football food. These recipes will generally be fairly easy (no one wants to cook 5 hours before a football game, unless it’s the super bowl), incredibly unhealthy (all that beer should flush the cholesterol and sodium from your system) and will pair well with beer. I’m going to do my best to get them posted on Friday or Saturday so you can buy the necessary groceries before game-day. And, just because I can’t get enough football, I may break down the upcoming Vikings game. Maybe I can even get Arthur to tag-team this section with me.

For this week: Buffalo Chicken Dip!

This one is pretty simple, and very easy to make the day/night before and then throw it in the oven right before the game starts. It also definitely meets the necessary criterion of pairing well with beer! You will need:

  • 1 oz block of cream cheese
  • ½ cup  of blue cheese or ranch dressing (or ¼ cup of each)
  • 2 cups of shredded chicken (I have always used canned chicken for this because the combined buffalo/blue cheese flavor is pretty strong, but I wonder if this would taste even better if you bought a rotisserie chicken and shredded the breast meat.)
  • ½ cup of blue cheese crumbles.
  • ½ cup of frank’s red hot (you can use whatever hot sauce you like but, for me, Frank’s has that perfect buffalo wing flavor. However, use the regular stuff, not the buffalo sauce variety which has artificial butter flavoring added. Ick.)

That's the Good Stuff!

Bear with me on this one because the preparation necessary to make this is both extensive and very tedious. Ready? Take a casserole dish; add all the ingredients and mix well to combine. Throw it in the fridge until you are ready to cook it. Then throw it in the oven (preheated to 350) and bake for 20-25 minutes until it looks done in the middle. Hot damn that was hard, but I have faith that most of you can pull this one off.

Serving suggestions: you need something to put this dip on, and most anything will work in that respect. This can go with crackers, potato chips, baguette or other crusty bread, or you can use some crunchy veggies like celery and carrots. Word to the wise: as tasty as this dip is right out of the oven, it’s pretty bad as leftovers out of the fridge. You probably want to make this one when you have a few people coming over to watch the game.


I will admit that this game is making me pretty nervous, and it has a lot to do with the depth of cornerback and wide-receiver on the Vikings. Three healthy cornerbacks? Three? Vikings fans take note: when your team’s two best option for a 4th cornerback is to rush a player back from a torn ACL, or start a special-teamer who has never before played CB, things are dire. Add to that a Saints offense which likes to pass even more than Childress likes to toss out random 19th century literary references, and you have the recipe for a defensive melt-down. And as for wide receivers, why the hell did we cut Javon Walker and trade Darius Reynaud??? Granted, neither of them are by any means star wide-receivers, they’re only emergency back-ups, but WE NEED EMERGENCY BACKUPS!!! And why not pick up TJ Houzh? All he was gonna get was 1 year and $850K, and we turned him down! WTF ARE YOU DOING CHILLY!?

Having said all of that, I still think we can pull this one out. Look, we destroyed that New Orleans defense last year, racking up damn near 500 yards and being 15 seconds from the super bowl on unfriendly turf. You just don’t win games with that many turnovers. I’m counting on AP to get his mind right regarding the fumbles and Brett Favre to be steady but not spectacular, at least not in the first game when the decrepit old fart still hasn’t nailed down the timing with his receivers. I’ll take by Vikings by a field goal, 28-31.

Arthur’s Two Cents:
With football season fast approaching, I know there are a few emergency fantasy football drafts in the works. For those of you hosting the midnight hour drafts this recipe might be just the quick snack you need.

On to the football. I think that AP, even with his fumble risk, is enough of a threat to allow the Old Man to make the most of the passing game. Still, I honestly don’t know if we are going to be able to win this one. If we lose, I see the season going one of two ways: (1) responding by pulling together and working out the kinks or (2) staring a patented Brad-Johnson-era style downward spiral.

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