Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Game Day Taco Salad

I have literally been wowing men and their football fiend wives (no disrespect girls) with this little game day appetizer for years now.  It doesn't matter if they like me or even know me, when I walk into a game day party with not only just a platter of their favorite dip, but one done up like their favorite, most manly, most brutal sport as well, they get all excited and into it.  I almost half expect them to grunt out their approval at me.  I can almost hear my Grandma in my mind at these moments, "Can't be happier than a pig in sh*t right now."  Though even though it's always fun, it is not the only great pleasure  that I get when I make this, but I have to give credit all the way back to the memories that came with when and where this particular recipe came from.  I used to make this with one of my very best besty's, Jodi, back when we were fresh out and on our own.  This was the beginning of it all.  Trying to cook, trying to entertain and having no idea how.  These are some of my very best appetizer years.  When cheap was the only way to be.  We used to get together and do our grocery shopping, recipe planning and on occasion our eating together.  I think that is why I enjoy this beyond it just being awesome and delicious, it just makes me feel good to be reminded of us as young girls playing 'house' as women.

1- 8oz. brick of cream cheese (softened)
1- 16oz. tub of sour cream
1 packet of taco seasoning (I used Ole El Paso)
1- 2 cup package of shredded monteray jack and cheddar cheese
10-12 grape tomatoes (diced)
1 head of iceberg lettuce (torn into small thumb-sized pieces for the field)
3-5 T. of sour cream (for your yard lines and numbers)
1 can of medium-sized whole pitted black olives (cut width-wise in 1/2 for their helmets)
1 whole Greek olive or 1 pimento (for the 'football')
1-2 bags of scoops tortilla chips (I always go through about 1 1/2 bags for the dip)

-In a large mixing bowl, on medium speed, mix together the cream cheese, 2 cups of sour cream and the taco seasoning packet until smooth (if your cream cheese is not fully softened, there will be lumps that won't mix out).  Spread this mixture out evenly on a large square or rectangular platter (if it has a little depth to it like mine did) or in a 9"x13" cake pan (a cookie sheet would work if you are serving it immediately-otherwise saran wrap will mess up your yard lines since it will be laying flat across it).  Then just evenly spread out a layer of  cheese over it, then the tomatoes and lastly an even layer of the lettuce (by tearing the lettuce you can really cover the dip making it look like grass, if you chop the lettuce it tends to curl and then it shows the stuff underneath it).  Next you are ready to create your yard lines across your field of lettuce.  You place your 3-5 T. of sour cream into a ziploc sandwich baggie, snip the corner a little bit, twist the top zippered end tightly towards the sour cream to pressure it down and out with you guiding it like a pastry bag.  You may want to not follow my actual photo, as I know nothing of football and basically assumed that this is how the field looks in Tonya's World.  You can pipe out as many sour cream lard lines with coordinating field numbers as you like. Then you take your 1/2'd black olives, only wanting to use the bottom end 1/2, not the open hole 1/2's-discard them or save them for a later use like on some tacos.  Take these little bottom end olive 1/2's and place them cut-side down on the field in a formation on either sides of the yard lines.  I even put some on the 'sidelines' for my bench warmers.  Lastly, for the football, take either your Greek olive or your pimento (pimento looks the best but I was plum out) and place it on the center line in between your 2 'teams'.  And viola'!  You have a football game taco dip.  Serve with scoopable tortilla chips.  Serves many.

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