September 18, 2017

Whether you choose to tailgate in a parking lot or camp out in your living room, chips and dip are the perfect for game-day snacking.

Every year before the Iowa/Iowa State football game the teachers at my school show their team spirit by proudly wearing their team’s colors on the day before the big game. During our lunch break, we munch on our favorite tailgate snacks, appetizers and desserts in the staff lounge. This year I chose to bring tasty little smokies in barbecue sauce and Bugles corn snacks drizzled in candy melts. I drizzled half with red candy melts and half with black candy melts. It’s a yummy sweet, salty and crunchy snack.

Cracked Out Corn Dip

A third-grade teacher at my school, Mike Noble, brought a crock pot of this cheesy and melty corn dip to our team tailgate. Mike is married to Courtney (Holm) Noble, a 2006 graduate of Carroll High School. Courtney is known for her winning dishes and this one definitely scored a touchdown!


8 oz cream cheese, softened

1 (1 oz) package Original Ranch dressing mix

1 (3 oz) bag bacon bits (Oscar Mayer)

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

16 oz sour cream

3 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed

Oven method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish; cover. Bake dip for 25 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.


Crock pot method: Courtney placed all the ingredients except for the cream cheese in the crock pot and mixed well. Then she placed the cream cheese on top. The crock pot was turned to high until the cream cheese was soft and then it was stirred and switched to low until dip heated all the way through.


Serve with tortilla chips, Fritos Scoops or plain pita chips.


Black Bean and Corn Salsa

I’m a University of Iowa alumna, and my teaching partner, Pam, graduated from Iowa State. We have taught together for 10 years in the same classroom and get along very well. I hang a Hawkeye football poster on my side of the classroom and she hangs a Cyclone poster on her side. I like everything she makes and this dip was no exception. She brought this black bean and corn salsa for our school tailgate. It’s a simplified version of Cowboy or Texas Caviar as it requires less chopping. No need to chop up tomatoes or jalapenos, just dump in a can of Rotel.


1 can black beans

1 can yellow corn (Pam uses yellow and white corn)

1 can Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies

1/2 cup finely chopped onion (any color) or green onion

3 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro

dash of lime juice


Rinse and drain black beans. Strain corn. Lightly drain Rotel. Dump all ingredients into a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Serve with tortilla chips or tortilla scoops.

Note: If you prefer more tomatoes, you can add a can and half of Rotel.