Another weekend of football playoffs and our local team is still in the mix. Reading Tasty Thoughts for the last few weeks, you would think that I am a huge football fan, but that really isn’t the draw for me. It is a combination of other elements that I enjoy: the family gathered together, having friends spend an afternoon with us, and cooking with my dear.
So, when our team advanced to the division championship, it was another reason to have a get together, a very casual dinner party. Although we enjoyed the food at the previous week’s gathering, it was fairly work-intensive. This weekend we wanted the food to be ready before our guests arrived and easily kept at the correct temperature.
For this menu, we opted for a mix of cold and hot munchies. For cold, we had an assortment of veggies with dip and a fresh fruit platter. We included pepper strips, baby carrots, broccoli, pineapple, watermelon, and kiwi fruit in these trays. The warm dishes were breadsticks with marinara and two different dips to accompany tortilla chips. The first was espinaca dip, and the other was a hot sausage dip.
We debated what ingredients would work best in this dip and created a simple, tasty snack. It took less than 10 minutes to prepare and stayed perfectly warm in a 2-quart crockpot. Both the adults and children enjoyed this dip, which we made medium hot due to the mixed company. However, it could be made with any salsa, from sensitively mild to burn your tongue hot.
- 14 oz. frozen bulk sausage, thawed16 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
- 16 oz. jar salsa, any heatblack pepper
- In small frying pan, cook sausage until browned.
- Remove pan from heat, and place sausage on plate lined with paper towels to remove excess grease.
- Place cream cheese and salsa in a medium-sized glass bowl, and heat in microwave for 1 minute. Remove from microwave, and stir.
- Continue heating and stirring until cream cheese and salsa are well combined.
- Add sausage and mix.
- Season with black pepper to taste.
- Put in 2-quart crockpot and turn heat to low.
- Serve immediately.
- *The dip can stay in the crockpot for several hours to allow for continued snacking during a party, just stir occasionally to distribute heat evenly.