I spent last weekend in lovely Lexington, Kentucky (and I apologize to the Lexingtonians that I love and didn’t get the chance to see this time around. I promise I’ll catch you next time, or at NCA?) Man, I miss that place. I didn’t get to fully appreciate it during my three years living there: my weekends & free time were spent either working or traversing I-75 to see my sweetie. Don’t get me wrong: Rosalie, our friends and I still had fun. We just didn’t get to fully “live” in Lexington the way normal, non-grad-school-stressed-out people get to. (BTW friends who are still in grad school and getting gray hairs at the ripe old age of 25: chill out & enjoy Lex while you can. I mean it. Put down the Polkinghorne and just enjoy your weekends every once in a while. It’ll do your soul some good. Working constantly turns the nicest whales into the meanest sharks. I’m speaking from experience. LBD has spoken.)
This probably explains why I love going back so much. I get to just enjoy the bluegrass for what it is: a fantastic place to live. I was most excited about seeing some of the people who made my time in Lexington worthwhile, but I was also excited about a Saturday morning run, on my old route.
The Chevy Chase and historic neighborhoods are simply fantastic for running. I did a short out-and-back on Chinoe, then ran down Richmond for a while, then turned back and winded through some of the neighborhoods near High Street. I love house watching on those roads – to say the houses are charming is a complete understatement. They are the cutest stinking houses in the whole world.
After my run, Rose, Steve, precious baby Harrison, and our other housemates Cat & Dave went to Keeneland for a day at the races.
After dinner, we had a few people over to hang out, play games, and watch some football. I was in charge of stocking our rental house with snack items for the weekend, so of course that meant I had to make corn dip. Here’s my beautiful friend Aubrey, modeling the corn dip.
Corn dip is always a hit. I’ve been making it since Loren’s sweet mom Barbara introduced us all to it after a long day of playing in Lake Hartwell, one summer while we were still at Auburn. We were starving after boating, tubing (I still have scars on my right foot from hanging on so tightly and not sure I’ve laughed or screamed that hard since), and futile attempts at water skiing (that would be me, not Loren, who’s a pro), and I’m pretty sure we tore into this dip like we hadn’t eaten in weeks. It’s been a tailgate staple ever since! We’ve played with the recipe over the years, and even come up with some variations. Here’s the recipe the way I started making it, which I think is close enough to the original.
8 oz package cream cheese (full fat or 1/3 less fat – just don’t use fat free), at room temperature
1 can corn, drained
1 can Rotel tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon chili powder
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, transfer to an oven safe baking dish (small one), and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir to combine, then heat for another 10 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips.
Original Corn Dip: I think the actual recipe calls for a can of yellow corn and a can of white corn, which also means you should use more than 1 8 oz package of cream cheese. But, I started short-cutting a long time ago, and the single can version of this dip works fine. Oh, Loren also used dried cilantro in her dip.
Cilantro Corn Dip: add a handful of fresh cilantro to the mix, stirred in after baking. I left out cilantro, obviously, because some people think it tastes like soap.
Cold Corn Dip: Lindsey makes this version all the time, and I actually like it better, especially in the summer. She just combines everything together once the cream cheese is at room temperature, then sticks it in the fridge. It’s delicious cold on hot days!
Corn Bean Dip: add a can of drained black beans to the mix. Now you’ve got yourself a “healthy” snack with the addition of fiber!
I hope you enjoy whatever variation of corn dip you choose to make this football season.