A Kickoff to Tailgating

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January 21, 2013 by caitlinvaclark

What a weekend we had! The sun finally came out in full force on Friday. I was pretty certain that I would be sunburned within minutes, given my utter lack of exposure to UV rays in the last few months. Don’t worry, I survived. And the great weather meant we could grill up some NY strip steaks Friday night. Saturday, the American food bender continued. We went to an awesome girls-day-out brunch where I was able to get good old southern biscuits and gravy. Check that off my list.

After coming out of my afternoon food coma, the question was asked again of what to do that evening, which clearly meant: what to eat? Sometimes, better than a fancy night out, or even a formal dinner party at home, you just want to mingle and snack and drink and snack and hang out and snack and chat and snack. So my friend, Danielle, and I put together an extensive spread of scrumptious dips and bites, lightened up but incredibly satisfying.

It was sad to be in Atlanta for the Falcons’ loss, but all the football and college basketball has prompted my Super Bowl excitement and made me eager for March Madness. All week I will be highlighting some tailgating recipes because, while I love a good sports match-up as much as the next person, I really love an excuse for some amp-ed up bar food.

For the record, I love a baked potato. Sometimes when Chris is working late, I’ll top a potato with some chopped broccoli and shredded cheese and call it a night. So I came up with this simple dip to capture the flavors of a loaded baked potato in a delicious bite-sized snack.

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Make sure the bacon is very crispy so it adds a great crunch to your dip.

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Mix the bacon, a good sharp cheddar cheese, scallions, and some ranch seasoning into sour cream. Yummy.

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This dip is so simple, but I guarantee that people will come back to it again and again. It’s addictive, salty, creamy, and cooling. You just want another morsel in your mouth. Plus don’t tell anyone, but you can make it a bit healthier by using a low fat sour cream.

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Baked Potato Dip

Serves 6

5 strips bacon

2 cups sour cream

½ cup shredded cheddar

¼ cup sliced scallions

2 tsp ranch dip seasoning

2 lbs.very small baby gold potatoes, or red potatoes cut into bite size wedges

2 tsp. olive oil

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375˚F.

Toss the potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread out onto a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes, until golden and tender. Reserve.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon strips and cook, flipping occasionally, so that they crisp without burning. Drain on a paper towel. Chop or crumble into small pieces.

Stir together the sour cream, bacon, seasoning, cheese, and scallions.

Serve the sour cream dip with roasted potatoes.

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