I have a confession to make. I used to be a football ‘faker’. I would feign interest in football games just to be part of the crowd – clap when everyone clapped, stand up when everyone stood, and yell out things I heard others yell out. My boyfriend was on our college football team, and I had no idea what went on for four years.
I feel a little ashamed now, especially knowing the reason for my lack of interest – it all just seemed way too complicated. And if I hadn’t learned the rules before college, well it was simply too late.
Since being married to a football fan who is very dedicated to his college team, I have once again found myself attending football games, this time with young kids often in tow. And they ask me questions . . . about football. Well, I can’t have the children growing up in ignorance like their mother did. So I’ve been forced to actually pay attention and figure out what’s going on. I guess it’ll keep my brain young and all, you know, learning something new. And my kids won’t have to fake it either.
Now, something I don’t have to fake is cooking up some tasty football snacks. If you’re in need of a warm and spicy dip for the game, this is what you need to put on the table. Sausage, cream cheese, spicy tomatoes and hot sauce melt together to make a delicious dip for corn chips, baguette slices, or crackers. It also tastes just as fabulous with turkey sausage and light cream cheese as it does with the regular stuff.
Trust me, there’s no fakin’ the fabulousness of this dip.
Hot and Spicy Sausage Dip
- 1 pound (16 oz) ground sausage, pork or turkey
- 2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
- 2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, regular or reduced fat
- hot sauce to taste
- Cook sausage in a large saucepan over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain and return to pan.
- Add tomatoes and cream cheese to pan and cook, stirring occasionally until thoroughly blended and heated through.
- Stir in hot sauce to you liking.
- Serve warm with corn chips, crackers, or baguette slices.
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Who still has their Christmas tree up? (Raises hand.) The ornaments are off of ours, but it still sits in the den, crispy and deep-fried from the dry heat. Looking more like something from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Scary.
This weekend included both cinnamon rolls and biscuits and gravy, so I must do a little cleansing of the arteries this week. If you happened to indulge over the weekend, let me suggest a dish that is packed with flavor and will not leave you feeling guilty.
Once while in college, my boyfriend and I and another couple had gotten together to grill some steaks for dinner. After my friend and I chatted and had a drink or two, the guys brought the finished steaks inside. As I was cutting into mine, I spotted something green on the steak. “What is this…grass?”, I asked. After a lot of man-laughing, they told me they had dropped one of the steaks on the ground. “Why’d you give it to me?”, I said. Of course, the gentlemanly thing would have been for one of them to eat it. But what did they do? They just wiped it off and put it back on the grill and let whoever get that one. I took my boyfriend’s steak and gave him the grassy one.
When I was a new bride, I already had a few dishes in my cooking repertoire, but I wanted to learn to make some of my husband’s favorite dishes, too. So I asked his mother to teach me to make these recipes, and one of them was spaghetti.
Here’s what she puts in: onion, ground beef, tomato sauce (sounds pretty ordinary so far, right?), ketchup, tomato soup, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and 1/3 cup of sugar. Not that it tastes bad or anything, I mean I had eaten it a few times before and it tasted fine, but not only is it way different than what I learned to make from my mother, but it’s almost like sacrilege to even call it spaghetti sauce, what with all the crazy things it contains. My brain just can’t seem to accept it as spaghetti sauce.
I have read that children have a greater number and more sensitive taste buds than adults. I have also seen it noted that it can take a child anywhere from 10 to 20 tries of a new food before they develop a taste for the food. Also, around the age of seven is when children begin to be more open to the idea of trying new foods. Lucky for me, my children have just arrived at that magical age! Not so lucky for them, I now get to flex my wings and dive into the vast expanse of the produce section.
Gone are the canned green beans and frozen corn. Today there will be eggplant, zucchini, arugula, butternut squash and even (gasp) turnips! Beans of every variety and melon and grapefruit. I might only be able to convince them to taste one bite, but that’ll do for now. Continue reading