All Things Beer

Beer Cheese Dip a great appetizer for your holiday party

Beer Cheese Dip
Beer Cheese Dip

It’s holiday season so that means visiting with friends, family and the dreaded work holiday party. So what do you do at these parties while visiting with friends, family and coworkers? Eat!

I am not much of a cook – I probably have 5 recipes I can (or actually) make. When I do cook they are usually the same recipes from my childhood. Most of the time it’s because they are inexpensive (we didn’t have much money while I was growing up – not that much has changed in adulthood) and best of all they are easy. So I guess what I am saying is my food menu is not that exciting at home. But that’s what I leave traveling for, finding great meals on the road!

At the start of 2013 I decided I would work on improving my cooking (notice I waited until almost the end of December to get going on this – oh New Year’s resolutions – why do I bother?) The improvements to my recipes of course have been beer inspired.

After researching a few beer cheese dip recipes for one of my holiday outings I found this one by Mean Jeanne. I thought I would test it out on a few friends before I took it to my holiday party as you should never take “untested” food to a party.  I invited my friends over for beer and beer cheese dip.

beer cheese dip ingredients
beer cheese dip ingredients

The dip is pretty easy to make and somewhat inexpensive. The dip takes 16 oz of cream cheese (already starting out well), a packet of powered ranch dressing, two green onions, 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar and ½ cup to 1/3 of a cup of beer. I used an Irish red beer.

cream cheese bricks with ranch powder dressing
cream cheese bricks with ranch powder dressing

I recommend leaving the cream cheese out of the fridge for a bit to reach room temperature before mixing. It was a little difficult to mix in the ranch powder with hard bricks of cheese.  Adding the beer helped soften it up however.

After adding all the components of the recipe I took a quick taste test. I was surprised by how salty it was and thought that I had just created a disaster. I wrapped the bowl up and let the dip sit overnight in the refrigerator.

mixing up the beer cheese dip
mixing up the beer cheese dip

There were comments on the site where I found this recipe that debated back and forth on the consistency of the dip. Most of the comments were that it was too soft. That was definitely the case when I put the dip in the refrigerator but by morning it had harden back up and was ready for my after work party.

Before my friends came over I took the dip out of the fridge and let it warm up a bit. Right out of the fridge the dip would break even the most sturdy chip. I taste-tested the dip before my friends got to my house and I was pleasantly surprised that the flavor was perfect and the salt concern was gone. You could taste the beer and it went well with the cheese and ranch flavoring.

By the end of my party the dip bowl was scraped clean so I would say it was a hit.  I have since taken this dip to two more parties and both groups of people praised me on my “great dip”.

Do you have a holiday party you are going to? What is your go to dish?

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