What is the best thing about football season? Seeing your team win? Taunting others about their team's loss? The come-from-behind win? Relief that a lead wasn't blown? Winning the office pool? Sucking down brews and foods that would make a cardiologist cringe? The chance to leave the house and buy as many shoes as you want because you know it's not going to be noticed?

Football season brings the promise of fall. Obviously, autumn takes its good old time to actually arrive, but we know it's right around the corner. In colder climates, the traditional tailgate parties and football-related food will help put on an extra layer of fat for the winter. That's handy if you're a bear or a shirtless fan.

Watching a game is also a chance to take a few hours to spend time with friends and family, going through the ups and down of a game together. While I don't follow any particular team (as long as Ohio State beats Michigan, I'm good for the year) I do enjoy watching games and watching the interaction of people around a game.

Take some time this season to gather some friends, put together some snacks and watch a game together. Both dips below can be served with crackers, crisps or chips. Have some. The shoes will still fit.

Ahwatukee Foothills resident Lori Rossi began collecting recipes at age 14, but her real love affair with cooking started after picking up a December 1989 Bon Appetit magazine. Today, she shares her love of the kitchen with her two kids, Nathan, 11, and Nicole, 8. If you'd like to get in touch with Lori with a question or idea, e-mail her at azlrossi@gmail.com.


1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

2 cups chopped arugula

18 slices of crumbled bacon

4 diced tomatoes, drained

Early in the day or night before, blend mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic powder and onion powder. Chill 5 to 24 hours. Before serving, mix in arugula, bacon and tomatoes. Serve.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

2 cups of parmesan cheese

1 box of chopped frozen spinach, thawed

1 (14 oz can) of artichoke hearts, drained

2/3 cup sour cream

1 cup cream cheese

1/3 cup mayonnaise

2 tsp. garlic, minced

Mix together parmesan cheese, spinach and artichoke hearts. Combine remaining ingredients and add to spinach mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.


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