Sunday, February 6, 2011

Getting back in the game...

Sometimes I think about the subliminal - maybe better described as 'sub-noticed' - influences on creativity, writing, cravings, etc. I saw this interesting video in college, and have thought of it often since.

Quite obviously, the title of my post coincides with the Big Game day throughout the United States... Superbowl Sunday.

This would not be interesting at all, except that today we have, for no particular reason other than not enjoying football or primetime tv, spent the majority of today in "anti-Superbowl" activities.

I'm sure the more astute and analytic among you can draw out all manner of insinuation, context, and meaning beyond the simple fact that I am re-engaging in the game (of blogging) on anti-game day, but I've been more distracted by the delicious anti-Superbowl snacks we've enjoyed together today. And also, by the buoyant and boisterous movie we just finished. (PS did you catch 'buoyant' and 'boat movie'? Dang.)

Today I ditched the (however loosely arranged) meal plan for the weekend, as well as my usually slow-food, seasonal, and from-scratch proclivities; answering instead to the call of chips-and-dip. We watched a movie, but a board game, or a widely-viewed televised game, if you're into that, would accompany these finger foods well.

Oh, and don't forget the cold beer.

(anti-)Game Day Taco Dip
adapted from everyone's mom's recipe

4 oz light sour cream
2 tablespoons taco seasoning (I use Penzey's - feel free to use an envelope - but only about half)
1/2 of a 14.5 oz can refried black beans (preferably vegetarian)
finely shredded cheddar cheese (lowfat if desired)
finely shredded lettuce
canned sliced black olives, rinsed and drained
2 vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped and drained of excess liquid
juice of a couple lime wedges

Mix the sour cream with the taco seasoning in a small bowl. In an 8" square dish (glass is prettiest) spread the beans, then the spiced sour cream, and sprinkle with a light dusting of cheese. Top with some lettuce, then the olives, tomatoes, and sprinkle the lime juice on top. I find the sour cream layer needs a little time for the flavorings to meld, but hey, this is not fancy food. Serve with some tortilla chips.
Serves 2-4

(Not-storebought-)Buffalo Chicken Ranch Dip
adapted from

5-6 ounces cooked chicken, in bite-sized chunks
1/3 cup Franks Red Hot Sauce
4 ounces whipped lite cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup bottled lite ranch dressing
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (lowfat if desired)

Preheat the oven to 375. In a small saucepan combine the chicken and hot sauce over medium heat. Toss and smoosh in the chicken with a spoon to break it up into scoopable shreds. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cream cheese with the ranch dressing until evenly combined. When the meat is hot, remove from the heat and stir in the cream cheese-ranch mixture and the cheddar cheese. When evenly mixed, taste the mixture for spicy-ranch balance - it should still have a pleasant, lingering kick, but too spicy a dip will require a Maalox nightcap! Add more hot sauce or ranch dressing as desired.
Turn the mixture into a small baking dish, cover with a lid or with foil, and bake for 20-30 minutes, until bubbly and hot. Serve with celery sticks, red bell pepper strips, and tortilla chips.
Serves 2-4

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