Ranch, Cheddar, and Bacon Dip

A few times each year, I try to bring some sort of treats to other staff members with whom I work and who help create a more vibrant campus for our students, staff, faculty, and visitors.  One of the staff areas that have been knocking it out of the park lately is the facilities management staff.  I took some sweet treats — still coming to be posted, but also wanted to take a savory treat.  I found this recipe for ranch, cheddar, and bacon dip in one of the community cookbooks (the 75th Anniversary WMT Cookbook) and thought it was time to put it together.  I got compliments on it from a few different folks, so it must have hit the spot!

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Ranch, Cheddar and Bacon Dip

1 pkg ranch dressing dip
1 c sour cream
1 c cheddar cheese
1/4 c bacon bits

In a bowl, combine ingredients.  Serve with crackers.


Corn Dip

Every once in awhile, a recipe catches my eye and I know I want to make it.  This recipe, from the Iowa State Fair Cookbook was one such recipe.  I was looking for an off-the-beaten-track dip for chips and the combination of corn, cream cheese, ranch dressing, and other items (and that it was a refrigerated dip, not a heated one, was the right combination to pique my interest.

This was another recipe in the various recipes that I served to the students who came over to my house last month.  If you have a potluck or tailgating event to attend this summer, this may be the recipe you want to throw together.

Corn Dip.jpg

Corn Dip

2 8 oz pkgs cream cheese, softened
1 pkg dry ranch dressing mix
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2.25 oz can chopped ripe olives, drained
1 can whole kernal corn, drained
14 oz can chopped green chilies, drained

Beat together cream cheese and ranch dressing mix.  Add additional ingredients.  Chill several hours and serve with tortilla chips.

Tomatillo Pumpkin Seed Dip

Recently, I have had a fascination with the tomatillo.  I never ate them much when I was younger, but have started to get excited about salsa verde lately.  When I wanted to celebrate the start of spring with some colleagues, it seemed like incorporating some tomatillos into the menu would be great.  So, when I was reading 2015 Food and Wine Annual Cookbook and came across this recipe, I knew I wanted to make it.  I would get to use several ingredients I rarely use and put it together with some salsa picante and have a nice snack.

Tomatillo Pumpkin Seed Dip

Pumpkin Seed and Tomatillo Dip

1 lb tomatillos — husked, rinsed, and halved
7 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
2 dried chiles, such as New Mexico or guajillo, stemmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup salted roasted pumpkin seeds, coarsely chopped
1/8 tsp sugar

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  On a large baking sheet, toss the tomatillos and garlic in 2 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast for about 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tomatillos soften.  Add the chiles and roast 3 minutes longer, until the chiles are toasted.

Scrape the tomatillo mixture into a food processor and pulse until smooth.  Transfer the dip to a medium bowl and stir in the pumpkin seeds, sugar, and remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.

Bean Dip

One day I noticed I had a variety of things in the fridge that needed to be used up and I thought mixing them together might prove to make a great dip, so I melted it together over the stove and it had a nice mix of spice and creaminess.

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Bean Dip

1 can refried beans
5 oz cream cheese
5 oz pepper gouda
1/2 pkg taco seasoning
1/2 jar salsa
1/2 c mozzarella cheese

Melt together on the stovetop.  Eat the deliciousness.

Refried Bean Dip

If you are a football fan, you might know that tonight is the Big Ten Championship game.  And, if you are from Iowa, you might note that the University of Iowa Hawkeyes are undefeated this season.  In light of this, and cleaning through some photographs on my phone and came across this refried bean dip.  It seems like just the thing to put together for any game day parties you might have coming up.

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Nancy's Potluck Chip Dip

There are things which take us back to specific people, places, ideas, and worlds. Back to a time which reminds us for a pivotal moment in our lives or people who were part of our life. Today, as I share Nancy’s Potluck Chip Dip, I am taken back to one of the more amazing women I’ve known in my life and a time in my life when I was full of excitement.

When I was a student at the College of Saint Catherine, a women’s college in St. Paul, Minnesota, I worked with so many amazing women. One of the women with whom I worked was a beautiful woman named Nancy Baumgartner. Nancy was the office coordinator in the Student Center and Activities office, where I worked my senior year of college. Prior to that time, the Student Center and Activities office did not exist. The student center was built in my second and third years working there, and the office came about as I was working at that point. Nancy, who has since passed away after a bout with cancer, was one of those women who touched the life of every student and/or person she met. She had a warm soul, was a former hippie, had two wonderful daughters, and spent her time enhancing the lives of women around her.

Nancy was a knitter and free spirit. I don’t think I saw her knitting much while I was a student, but she would talk about it on occasion and I ended up taking up knitting the following year. She stated she was inspired by me, although I think it was the opposite. Nancy would knit felted purses and then would name them after people she knew. She named a purse after me once. It is one of the ways I felt most blessed in my life.

One of the traditions we started quickly when I was working in the Student Center was a regular potluck. A few times, Nancy brought what I have come to know as Nancy’s Potluck Chip Dip. Although I haven’t made it recently, the reason I am blogging about it today is twofold.

  1. I always lose this recipe and just found it
  2. Nancy made such a positive impact on all around her, I feel like I need a little inspiration from Nancy at the moment!

There was no doubt that this dip is delicious. But, this is also tempered with the fact that the dip doesn’t look that pretty. In fact, it looks downright undelicious. But, when you finally give in and taste it, you will love it. So, for your next potluck, whip up a batch of Nancy’s potluck chip dip and embrace it. Until then, be blessed by the life of a truly beautiful person who, had you known her, would have left you smiling at every connection.

Nancy's Potluck Chip Dip

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