Dip into March Madness with these recipes

Wisconsin State Farmer
California Guacamole

As March Madness grips college basketball enthusiasts across the country, it's time to find a few quick snacks to appeal to hoops fanatics glued to the television set during marathon-like tournament.

Chips and dips are a reliable go-to. A good dip won't break your cracker, chip or pita triangle; a really good dip will have bacon in there somewhere.

Even though dips aren't seasonal, there's something about an afternoon or evening of basketball watching that just begs for a good dip. Here are a few to try.

Chips and dips are a great go-to snack during March Madness basketball viewing.

Mexican Dip

1 pound hamburger, browned, finely crumbled

1 pound Velveeta

1 can Ro-Tel (diced tomatoes with green chilies)

1 15 oz. can Manwich sauce

1 can refried beans

Warm on low until cheese is melted, stir thoroughly. Best with tortilla chips, ridged potato chips or bagel chips.

Dump Dip

This cold dip recipe is as easy as dumping a few ingredients in a bowl.

1 envelope Lipton Beefy Onion Soup Mix

16-ounce container of sour cream

1 pound of bacon, fried and crumbled

1 medium tomato, diced

Combine first three ingredients in a bowl. Top with tomato. Serve chilled. Serve with raw veggies or pieces of crusty bread that have been toasted with butter.

California Guacamole

2 ripe avocados, about 1 pound

1/2 cup (2 oz.) finely crumbled, chilled, fresh, white goat cheese

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 T. chopped, toasted pistachios

1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes

2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

Coarsely mash (do not puree) avocados. Fold in remaining ingredients. Makes about 2 cups.

Hot Reuben Dip

1 16-oz. can or package chopped sauerkraut (rinsed & drained)

3 pkgs. dry corned beef (finely chopped)

1 pound Swiss cheese (grated)

1 16-oz. bottle thousand island dressing

Mix all ingredients together. Heat in slow cooker on low for 30 minutes or until cheese melts (be careful not to burn). May also be heated in a microwave. Serve on party round rye breads or rye crackers.

Sun-dried Tomato Dip

1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (drained, not rinsed)

1 T. oil reserved from tomatoes

6 cloves garlic, chopped

2 t. chopped fresh oregano

3 eggs

16 oz. cream cheese (bring to room temp)

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup green onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place tomatoes, oil, garlic and oregano in food processor. Chop finely. Add eggs and cream cheese; blend until smooth. Add sour cream and mix until well-blended. Fold in green onion. Transfer to lightly greased casserole dish and bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until mixture is golden brown. Serve warm with crackers or bagel chips.

Baked Southwestern corn dip

1 (15-oz) can yellow corn kernels

1 (2 1/4 oz) can sliced black olives

1 (4-oz) can chopped green chilies

1 medium fresh jalapeno pepper (for about 2 T. chopped)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 roasted red peppers, optional

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Colby-Jack cheese

1 cup mayonnaise

Cooking oil spray

Tortilla chips, for serving, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Drain the corn, olives and green chilies. Place the drained vegetables in a medium-size mixing bowl. Cut the jalapeno pepper in half, and remove the ribs and seeds. Finely chop the pepper, and add it to the bowl. If using the roasted peppers, finely dice them and add them to the bowl. Add both cheeses and the mayonnaise. Stir well.

Spray a 2-quart baking dish lightly with cooking oil spray. Place the dip into the dish, and smooth the top. Bake until the top is bubbly, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve with tortilla chips, if desired. Makes about 3 cups