I love to watch football as long as it’s a good game. Who is playing is not as important to me as watching a good game. If asked, I would say I’m a Bears fan, but it’s been hard to be a Bear’s fan for many years now. My Aunt Paula, however, was a die-hard Bears fan and I can’t watch a game of theirs without remembering how much she loved them and always had faith in them. A few years before she passed from a brain tumor, she received a team photo and letter from the Bears thanking her for being a loyal fan and wishing her health and encouragement in her fight. She treasured that until her last breath. The Chicago Bears were her team. My grandpa, Emmett, was a die-hard 49ers fan. His blood ran red and gold. He was Aunt Paula’s father-in-law, so you can imagine the trash talking and mud-slinging that took place during football season. They loved their teams, they loved each other, and they really loved harassing each other about the other’s team.
I was fortunate enough to grow up during the time of the ’85 Bears. There was so much excitement surrounding each game. Even as a young kiddo I was super pumped for game time because I knew we would be watching a good game, and I love me a good game. Walter Payton, the Fridge, Jim McMahon, Mike Singletary, Dave Duerson, Willie Gualt, Gary Fencik, Richard Dent, Matt Suhey, and of course, Coach Ditka. The glory days! More recently I really enjoyed watching Brian Urlacher and Peanut Tillman play. There was just something about their talent, as well as their character on and off the field that I loved and appreciated.
Superman teases me because I am a sucker for good sportsmanship. Talent plus sportsmanship makes me a forever fan, talent and no sportsmanship- you’ve lost me. Congratulating your coverage on a good play with a pat on the back, helping an opposing player up, positive comments after a play, I love that stuff! I also love seeing a kid getting his first shot and just killing it as his parents watch from the stands. I find myself beaming with pride and I have no clue who the kid is- I’m just really excited for the whole family because you know this shot means everything to all of them. Guess I’m a sucker, and I’m okay with that. We need more good in this world.
Sometimes we have plans for the Super Bowl and party it up, other times we stay home and have a quiet evening in. Regardless of our plans, there will be food. I tend to have hot and cold snacks to graze on throughout the game, but other times I make a pot of chili and some caramel corn and call it game time. My mom, at least in my memory, always made chili and caramel corn for Bears games when I was growing up, and it was a great choice for game day. Refer to my post on Chili and Corn Bread for that delicious recipe. I have already planned our contributions for this year, since we will be inviting ourselves to our friend’s house for the game. We will be bringing Chili con Queso and Lynn’s Dip.
Chili con queso is a warm Mexican-style dip that is not at all to be confused with jar salsa mixed with cheese. Lynn’s Dip is a cold cream cheese-based savory dip served on crackers. It gets its name from a family friend who introduced it to our family a really really long time ago. Like many recipes in my family’s wheelhouse, it bears the name of the person it comes from. When our youngest daughter was 2 years old this was her favorite dip. I would put some dip on a cracker and hand it to her. She would lick it off and hand me back the cracker for more. Though I don’t recommend you do that at a party, it is a sweet memory and I think about it every time I make it and remember her so stinking little. Sigh…
Chili con Queso
- 1 large can (1 lb 13 oz) Petite Diced Tomatoes
- 1 Cup Onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 Cup Oil of your choice (I use EVOO or Grapeseed)
- 1 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
- 1/2 tsp Oregano
- 1 clove Garlic, crushed
- 4 small cans diced Green Chili Peppers, drained
- 1/2 Cup Half & Half or Evaporated Milk
- 1 lb Velveeta Cheese (the brick) cubed
- Salt to taste
- Tortilla chips
Drain tomatoes and chilis. Over medium low heat cook finely chopped onion in oil until translucent, do not brown. Add chili powder, oregano, garlic, and tomatoes. Cook over medium low until onions are tender. Add cream and stir. Add diced cheese brick and heat over medium low heat until melted, stirring almost constantly. Taste, then add salt if needed. Can be made ahead of time and reheated. Leftovers freeze well, but there won’t be leftovers. Serve with tortilla chips.
- 2 packages Budding Dried Beef or Corned Beef, diced
- 2- 8oz packages Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 bunch Green Onions,** diced
- 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce (thank you spell check)
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- Crackers or pretzel flats
Soften cream cheese util it is easily spreadable. Dice the beef and thinly slice the green onions after removing the octopus tentacles from the bottom. Put diced beef, sliced green onions, Worcestershire and garlic into the cream cheese bowl and stir until well combined. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve with crackers or pretzel flats, we prefer Ritz. If you plan to kiss anyone after the game, make sure they have some of this dip too, so all is onion, I mean even.
**Use thin green onions. If your onions are thicker, only use the green tops. Larger onion bulbs (white part) tend to be more potent and may overwhelm the other flavors. When in doubt, only use the greens.**
For another savory, crowd-pleasing dip, see my recipe for Uncle V’s Bagels and Lox Dip. It is one I can eat and eat and eat…and eat. Perfect for brunch, the hors d’oeuvres table, or the Big Game. All the goodness of bagels and lox in 1 bowl- you need to check it out!