Our "secret ingredient" was sausage (thank you SO much to the readers who voted sausage over shrimp!), and I was immediately reminded of the "sausage balls" that my cousin often makes. I don't even LIKE sausage, but can't seem to stop popping these babies when she brings them to family events.
I was inspired by the recipe on the Jimmy Dean package, but wanted to spice them up a bit. Since the first Monday Night Football game features the Buffalo Bills at the New England Patriots, I thought I'd whip up two dipping sauces, paying homage to each region.
The buffalo dip had an awesome kick to it, but that didn't deter my two-year-old from going to town. Granted, he adores any food he can dunk, so these were right up his alley.
The Sam Adams cheddar dip was really an interesting blend of flavors. In all honesty, I was a bit hesitant about this one, but was pleasantly surprised. I loved the smoothness of the cream cheese, and the beer really gave it that extra something special.
These little treats disappeared very quickly at my house, and I can only imagine their popularity on game night.
adapted from Jimmy Dean
- 2 pounds pork sausage
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose baking mix
- 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 an onion, finely chopped
- 1-2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
Buffalo Bills Cheddar Dip
adapted from Betty Crocker
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup lite Ranch dressing
- 1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce
- 5 oz Mexican blend shredded cheese
- 3 green onions, chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in dressing, buffalo wing sauce and 1-2 tablespoons of water until blended. Stir in cheese. Spread in ungreased 1-quart baking dish or 9-inch pie plate; cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes, or until bubbly; top with onions (a step which, from the photo, you can see I forgot!).
Sam Adams Cheddar Beer Dip
adapted from chow.com
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- One 12-ounce bottle Sam Adams
- 4 cups shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 and coat the inside of a 1-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Melt the butter in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, and sauté for 2 minutes, until the onion begins to soften.
Add the mustard, cream cheese, and beer, stirring until the cream cheese is melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the Cheddar cheese, a handful at a time, until it is all incorporated.
Bake the dip for 20 to 25 minutes, until bubbly. Serve warm.