Touchdown Thursdays. Giveaways. Spinach Artichoke Dip… Oh MY!

I love football.  Not like it.  Not watch it occasionally.  Not pretend to be interested when it’s on.  LOVE IT!  Growing up, it was a big part of my life, having a father that coached locally, and a family equally into the sport, and the love has only increased as I’ve gotten on in years.

When I left New York City, and my life as a would-be dancer, my life’s priorities switched to three things – carbs, beer, and football.  I applied to colleges that fit the criteria, and decided on Ohio State.

Lucky for me, football and beer and in Columbus, Ohio flow like the Olentangy.  There’s nothing like game day, and there’s nothing like the comradery and loyalty I learned there.

When law school took me to Miami, I feared my football Saturday fundays were over.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  I became instant friends with a great group of football nuts.  On Saturdays, we would travel to a Buckeye bar in the middle of nowhere, that damn near recreated Saturdays for me.  When we weren’t feeling the drive, I usually pulled out a serious food spread, and we rotated viewing locations.

I won’t bore you with football talk any longer, you’re here for the food!  So what does this all mean for you, the dear reader?  Well, it means that for the rest of the season, Thursdays will be TOUCHDOWN THURSDAYS!  Each week I’ll post a seriously yummy dish for your football spread or tailgate party.  If football party throwing ain’t your thing, entertaining can always use a new recipe for the masses.

Since today kicks off the NFL season, here we go!

This recipe is adapted from Katie Lee Joel, and is always a huge crowd pleaser.  Unlike most spinach artichoke dips it brings a little something extra with the basil and garlic component.

It’s super easy to make ahead of time.  Just pull it out about half an hour before serving then pop it in the oven.

Make sure your spinach is really well-drained and dry, trust me.

I prefer to serve this with a thinly sliced baguette that has been rubbed with garlic, brushed with EVOO and baked at 350 degrees until lightly toasted.  You can use crackers, veggies, what ever floats your boat.

Oh, and that’s not all… with the beginning of my favorite season and some of my favorite kinds of cooking comes a first here at this old cooking blog… A GIVEAWAY!!!

Here’s how to play… leave me a comment including your favorite team and your favorite thing about football season.  If you’re not into the pigskin, feel free to use your brother’s, father’s, husband’s, boyfriend’s info.

To enter twice, head to the Facebook page and say hey, or give another juicy football tidbit about yourself.

The winner will be picked at random and he or she will receive a super kick-ass game day package filled with football related baking supplies, tail-gaiting, entertaining, and drinking goodies.

This giveaway will start today, September 8, 2011, and end September 15, 2011 at 12 pm EST.  Winners will be notified via contact email provided on the comment contact form.

And for those of you that aren’t feeling the football theme, stayed tuned, September 23 will feature a super awesome Fall giveaway and recipe.

*Special treatment will not be given to my fellow Buckeyes, Colts, Browns fans, although I’d love to know some of my readers share my passion.

Happy eating, and good luck.  Here’s to a great season!

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Ingredients:

1 8 oz package cream cheese,  room temperature

1 9 oz package artichoke hearts (drained jarred or canned, cooked fresh, or frozen, but not marinated)

1 c steamed spinach (1 lb. raw or one 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed), well-drained

1/2 c mayonnaise

1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 small head of garlic, oven roasted

10 large fresh basil leaves

1/2 t kosher salt

1/4 t freshly ground black pepper

1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Grease a 2-qt. baking dish.

3. In a food processor, combine the cream cheese, artichoke hearts, spinach, mayo, Parmesan, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper. Spoon into the baking dish. Top with the mozzarella. Bake until bubbling and the top is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

4. Serve with veggies, crackers, chips, or toasted bread.

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33 thoughts on “Touchdown Thursdays. Giveaways. Spinach Artichoke Dip… Oh MY!

  1. I’m with you, I LOVE football. The lock-out nearly killed me thinking the season may not happen … well, and so it begins, tonight 🙂

    Oh, and your dip sounds great too! 😉

  2. Well since I live outside of Washington DC I do like the Redskins, but with my dad being born and raised in San Fran, and me being born in Palo Alto, I grew up watching the 49ers. I’m just a football fan. I just love to get together with people, talk trash, pig out and drink beer 🙂

  3. I myself am not a die hard fan, but I do have plenty of friends that are! They range from Raiders to Packers fans and everything inbetween. Gotta love the diversity in our group. Thanks for the great recipe!!!

  4. I love my Colorado State Rams! Although they don’t always impress on the field, they have one of only two stadiums in the US that serves beer… and the tailgaters are kick-ass good fun pre-and post game! On away days, the Man Cave in our house becomes the Mom Cave so I can cheer on my Rammies in my custom made good luck green and gold underwear. (With clothes on top, of course.)

  5. I’ll always be a Dallas Cowboys girl, even when they’re not doing well 😛
    Football Season=Beginning of Fall Weather so I love it!!

  6. My favorite team is the Bears (my husband is a Packers fan so it makes for some fun times during football season) and my favorite thing about football season is vegging out on the couch on Sundays with some good snacks…like our favorite from last season a hot buffalo chicken dip!

  7. I don’t follow football religiously, but I can definitely say that nothing beats the atmosphere, great time, food, and drinks of tailgating on a cool fall day

  8. Always love me some spinach/artichoke dip, especially on gameday!

    Personally I’m a Colts fan, have been going on 30 years now, but I love everything about football. This first month of college and NFL action is the best time of the year, when the hopes and dreams of every fan are still alive. In fact I’m such a football nut I prepared a entire NFL recipe series for the 8 weeks leading up to the season: http://sports-glutton.com/2011/09/06/2011-nfl-recipe-series-the-complete-collection-2/ Let me know what you think about the Browns & Colts recipes.

    Enjoy the first weekend of the NFL season!

  9. I am not much of a “football” person, but my favorite team would have to be the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The best way, for me, to watch the game is either in a home or bar/restaurant. And the best home to watch is mine……….as I will be the one willingly in the kitchen cooking/baking up the foods to eat. This recipe sounds amazing and I can hardly wait to give it a try. Thanks!

  10. Virginia Tech Hokies! Wishing the idiot owner of the Redskins would sell to Ted Leonsis as he actually cares about local sports teams. I like your idea of adding basil to the dip; its one thing I haven’t tried in my many times of making a spinach artichoke dip.

  11. I was raised a Redskins fan and will also be one! No one could ever call me a fair-weather fan! It is tough living in a house with a completely off-the-wall ridiculous NY Giants fanatic, but this lady stands her ground. Of course, THE Ohio State Buckeyes will always and forever be my favorite sports team of all time.

    Can’t wait to make this dipparoo!

  12. Ooohh I sense I rivalry! From the great city of champions, I LOVE THE STEELERS. And my favorite thing, since I’m at college in Cincinnati, is to head over to the local Steeler bar to celebrate with the rest of the Steeler Nation!

  13. Well, I’m a Green Bay packer fan. That says it all doesn’t it? I love the tradition of the Packers, Browns, Giants and yes… even those guys in Chicago. I was raised in Wisconsin, so, on Game Day, we have the four basic food groups: Beer, Brats, Brandy and Cheese. In Washington State for the last twenty years, I’ve taught many how to go to “Church” on Sunday!

  14. I love the Green Bay Packers. I love this time of year because of football. I am always looking for new recipes to share with the family. Can’t wait to try some of yours!

  15. O-H! Just happened to stumble upon this(literally) ..wish I could have made it for today’s Win –albeit ugly–against Toledo. My favorite thing about football? Spending the day dressed in Scarlet and Gray hanging out with people who consider yelling at the TV normal! 🙂 Oh and buffalo chicken gameday dip.

  16. This is the BEST time of the year! The weather cools, the leaves change color, and best of all… FOOTBALL. I grew up with a football family, and I love when my Sundays become filled with touchdowns and fun food. The only cherry on top is when my main men, the RAIDERS, are on the field. Win or lose, I will happily rep them, and wait for the day I can watch them back in the Superbowl! Until then, some beer and your delicious spinach artichoke will do just fine 🙂

  17. I am a hardcore Steelers fan. (Today was embarrassing, but I will still claim them ;D) My favorite part about football season is that it’s always something I’ve done with my dad. And, even living 10 1/2 hours away, I can still text/call/harass him on facebook and it’s just like it always has been. So, I guess football is good because it is one of the things that unites me with him. And seriously… Who could complain about the food?

  18. Our favorite team is the Kansas City Chiefs, though today it’s kind of embarrassing to say that after their horrible loss to the worst NFL team. Oh well – fans through thick & thin. My favorite thing about football season is that my husband is SO HAPPY on the weekends. He lives for football season. LOL
    susitravl(at)gmail(dot)com

  19. I live and die with the green and gold ~ a huge Oregon Ducks fan here! Gotta love football because it is the most visceral of all sports. Battles in the trenches, power and finesse all out in the elements. ‘Tis

  20. Washington Redskins – I love sitting on the couch all day, eating food, drinking beer and following my fantasy football. Nothing is better!

  21. Pingback: Kick-Offs & Recaps « Someone Left The Cake Out In The Rain

  22. I love football season. Just finished picking my fantasy team on Sunday and got Aaron Rogers as my quarterback. It is going to be an awesome season. Looking forward to seeing the Patriots kick some ass this year! Also looking forward to some great tailgating recipes!

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