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Column: It's so good, double dipping is okay

With the NFL playoffs now down to four teams, plenty of football has been on at my house lately.

While I would love to throw some ribs on the pellet grill, the temperatures as of late have not been ideal for outdoor cooking, so I’ve instead used my trusted friend, the crock pot. I’m unsure how old our crock pot is, but it is getting up there. While its days are numbered, it’s still doing its job, and there is no better time to use it than for a big game.

We will do a lot of roasts and soups, but I cannot think of anything better than cheese dip. It makes a mess of the already warn-out appliance, but the juice is well worth the squeeze.

I’m sure to some that a “Velveeta” based cheese dip is nothing more than an appetizer, but I figured if we pour it over some tortilla chips, we can call it nachos, which can become a meal.

It is not healthy, but it sure is wonderful.

Growing up, I can vaguely remember seeing cheese dip at a few family get-togethers, but I don’t remember eating a lot of it. This would change one-Fourth of July when I went to a buddy’s house. I started with a smaller helping and quickly went back for seconds. It finally reached the point where I was just standing in front of the crock pot and acting like a complete fool as I skipped a plate or bowl and dipped my chips directly into the gooey mess of joy. I remember getting a few strange looks, but I didn’t care. I had cold beer and cheese dip. It probably looked like I was guarding the dip like a dog with a bone, but I was in the zone.

I probably ate half the dip that day and told myself I would start making the dish for a big game or get-together.

I was shocked at how easy it is to make. All I needed to do was brown some Italian sausage and throw it into the crockpot with massive block of Velveeta and can of Rotel tomatoes and green chilies. Sometimes, I might put a little bit of milk or broth in to smooth the cooking, but it’s not completely necessary. In under two hours, it’s ready to go, and I need to get on my “eating pants.”

Some might not enjoy Velveeta, but I love that processed block of cheese even though it seems to get more expensive by the day. By 2025, I’ll probably need to take out a loan to make cheese dip, but I will still do it.

I once had a co-worker who enjoyed cheese dip as much as I did, and we would talk about it for hours. When you work side by side with someone 40 hours a week, you will talk about all sorts of things, but it was weird how much time we spent reminiscing about the dip. When it came time for a Christmas party that featured the dip, we both just sat at the table and enjoyed multiple helpings while having the same tired conversation about how much we enjoyed it.

A few summers ago, my buddy shared a recipe for a cheese dip on a pellet grill, which had the same core ingredients but added some cubed cheeses, cream cheese soup, and jalapenos. It only took about an hour to finish off on the grill, and it was decadent.

It was so good I wanted to steal the pan and wander far away from our guests. It’s definitely a warm-weather dish, so it’s nice to have the crockpot version, which does not require me to go outside. I’m sure there are also other variations I could try, but I’m one of those people that if I like something, I stick with it. If I find a dish I like at a restaurant, that is what I usually order every time. Could I be missing out? Sure, but at least I know that I’ll leave happy.

Since I had cheese dip this weekend, it’s probably too soon to do it again for the Super Bowl, but I’m not ruling it out.