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Dips and ‘dippers’ can hit the spot

October 3, 2012
By ESTHER MCCOY - Food editor , The Herald-Star

Football games were never meant to be watched without food within easy reach. The big stuff is brought out at halftime, like brats and hot potato salad.

But for nibbling during the sometimes nerve- wracking quarters, dips with a variety of "dippers" can hit the spot.

The chosen dip can be healthy, indulgent, sweet or savory. Your choice. Or make one of each. They are easy to do and most involve no baking or cooking.

Article Photos

A Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball was made by the Lucky Leaf 4-H Club in competition at the 4-H Iron Chef Contest back in March. Dips are popular right now, with football season in full swing. The chocolate chip cheese ball earned a first-place award and should win a first place with your taste buds as well.
-- Esther McCoy

The Lucky Leaf Livestock 4-H Club made this dessert-type cheese ball that looks attractive and tastes even better. Either roll the ball in chopped pecans or add them to the ingredients and put the ball in an attractive pottery-type colorful bowl like the 4-H members did.

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter

1 1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 cup miniature chocolate chips

1 cup Heath English toffee bits

1 cup chopped pecans

Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Stir in the chocolate chips and Heath bits. Either add the pecans to the mixture and shape into a ball and refrigerate or shape into a ball and roll in pecans. Then refrigerate until time to serve with vanilla wafers, chocolate animal crackers, graham crackers or sweet pretzels.

Here are some recipes from a wonderful cookbook called "Kitchen Keepsakes" that I received for Christmas from Mary Koos back in 2002. If low-fat mayo is used, this is quite healthy.

Curry Dip for Raw Vegetables

1 pint mayonnaise

2 teaspoons curry powder

2 teaspoons onion juice

2 teaspoons vinegar

2 teaspoons horseradish

Assorted raw vegetables

Mix ingredients well and serve with assorted raw veggies. Makes 2 cups.

Dilled Crab Dip

8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sour cream

1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon dill weed

2 green onions, minced

1 beef bouillon cube, crushed

1 teaspoon hot sauce

7-ounce can crabmeat, rinsed, drained and separated

Assorted fresh vegetables

Beat cream cheese in medium-size bowl until light. Beat in mayonnaise and sour cream. Stir in remaining ingredients, except for fresh vegetables. Refrigerate, covered for several hours to blend flavors. Serve with fresh vegetables. Makes 2 cups.

Sombrero Spread

16-ounce can refried beans

Package taco seasoning

4 tablespoons picante sauce

7-ounce can green chilies, chopped


8 ounces sour cream

Black olives, chopped

Chopped green onions, tomatoes and lettuce

Grated cheddar cheese.

Mix refried beans with taco seasoning. Layer ingredients on a dinner plate or a ceramic pie plate, beginning with beans, then picante sauce, chilies, guacamole, sour cream and black olives. Top with chopped green onions, lettuce, tomato and grated cheese. Serve with tortilla chips.

Good and Easy Guacamole

2 ripe avocados, peeled and mashed

1/3 cup sour cream

1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix

Add sour cream to mashed avocado and taco seasoning. Mix well. Serve with tortilla chips. Makes 1 cup.

Here are some dips that require baking until the ingredients are hot and bubbly.

Creamy Artichoke Cheese Dip

Two 4-ounce cans artichoke hearts, partially drained

Two 7-ounce cans green chilies, diced

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Combine ingredients and pour into a baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve warm with party rye rounds or club crackers. Cooking blends the flavors just right, according to the cookbook editor. Makes 3 cups.

This is an oldie but goodie recipe.

Chili Con Queso

1/2 pound Velveeta cheese

1/2 pound Old English cheese

1 medium onion, chopped

10-ounce can Ro-Tel tomatoes

Mix all ingredients and cook in top of double boiler for about 1 1/2 hours. Serve in a chafing dish or fondue pot to keep warm. Serve with tortilla or corn chips. Makes 3 cups.

This recipe calls for baking the dip on party rye rounds.

Swiss Ryes

1/2 cup bacon, fried and crumbled

1 cup Swiss cheese, grated

4 1/2-ounce can ripe olives, chopped

1/2 cup green onions, minced

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup mayonnaise

Party rye bread rounds

Combine all ingredients except for the rye bread rounds. Mix well and spread on between 25 and 30 rye rounds. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until bubbly and browned.

Here is a sweet and sassy dip that is wonderful with fresh fruit.

Fresh Fruit Dip

12 macaroons, crushed

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 pint sour cream

Large pineapple

Crush macaroons to fine crumbs and combine with brown sugar and sour cream. Chill several hours to soften macaroon crumbs. Hollow out center of pineapple to make a serving dish. Fill shell with macaroon dip. Place in center of a large platter and arrange fresh fruits, such as strawberries, cut melon squares, bananas dipped in orange juice or grapes, around the pineapple.

This will made an excellent dip for the month of October. The taste is reminiscent of a candied, caramel apple on a stick.

Caramel Apple Dip

5 to 6 apples cut into wedges

14-ounce bag of creamy caramels

8-ounce package miniature marshmallows

2/3 cup cream or milk

Melt caramels and combine with marshmallows and cream. Stir until smooth. Pour into fondue pot. Dip apple sections, placed on a skewer stick or on a fork, into the hot caramel mixture and enjoy. Watch not to get burned or have it drip on the tablecloth.

(McCoy can be contacted at

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