Tasty game day fare: Beer cheese dip in a bread bowl (recipe)

And don't even bother getting healthy and using a light beer because it just wont taste the same. Use a dark beer like Guinness -- my favorite brew to use in this dish -- which gives this beer cheese dip a rich flavor. If you make this, be prepared to hand out the recipe. Or better yet, send your guests to Creative Loafing's Food and Drink site so they can get it for themselves.

Beer Cheese Dip

Recipe by Leslie Green, "The Hungry Housewife"

16 ounces cream cheese, softened

32 ounces Velveeta cheese, cubed

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 jars of Kraft Old English Cheese Spread (or something equivalent; found in your grocer's cheese aisle)

18 ounces (1 1/2 12 ounce bottles) of dark beer, divided and stirred to remove some of the carbonation

2 loaves of round shaped bread (not sliced)

1 tablespoon parsley for garnish

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, mix cream cheese until smooth. Add the two jars of Old English Cheese and incorporate with the cream cheese until smooth, then add half of the cubed Velveeta into the cream cheese and mix until smooth.

2. Blend in the 3 cloves of garlic and one bottle of beer, then add the remaining Velveeta and blend.

3. Add in the remaining beer. With the mixer on medium high, blend the cheese until smooth. Be sure to keep you beaters in the cheese mixture as much as possible to reduce the amount of air in the cheese (this will take about 5 minutes). You can add more beer if your dip is too thick.

4. To prepare the bread bowl, cut a lid out of one of the loaves of bread and set it aside. Scoop out the bread out of the center of the bread to make a “bowl”. Set that bread aside as well because you will use it to dip into the cheese. Take care not to tear through the bread bowl or your dip will leak through.

5. Take the other loaf of bread and the bread removed from the bread bowl and cube it into 1-inch pieces. Pour the beer cheese into the bread bowl and arrange the cut up bread around the bowl. Garnish with parsley. Serve immediately or make up to 3 days in advance. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Football season is finally upon us. Everyone has their own reason for loving football. For some it might be the actual "love of the game", while others simply enjoy the camaraderie of cheering for a beloved hometown team.

Why do I love football you ask? Well there are a couple of reasons — one being that it means cooler weather is around the corner and I can't get enough of the men in tight uniforms, but the biggest reason is the food. I always plan a week in advance what I am going to cook for the big game day that week. Isn't it funny how studies show that during the holidays people gain an average of 7 pounds? I wonder if they consider football season the beginning of the holiday season. If not, they should — especially here in the states.

I have yet to go to a football party and see a spread of healthy foods. You have your standard chips and dip, pizza, chicken wings and let's not forget the beer. If you happen to visit my house during football season, you will surely see this staple on the table: beer cheese dip. It is a cheesy, garlicky spread with a lovely beer flavor that goes so well with watching the pigskin get passed around.

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