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Football season is the time to plan to have plenty of snacks around. Whether tail-gating at the game, or watching on TV at home with friends, there is something about the crisp fall weather and the excitement of the games that wets one’s appetite. Many of the “munchies” can be made well ahead of time so everyone can be free to enjoy the games and socializing.

A DIP TO DIE FOR

2 cans black beans, undrained

1 tablespoon dried onion flakes

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons oil, or lard

In a medium skillet heat the oil or lard, add all the ingredients and cook, stirring and mashing the beans with a fork, or potato masher. Cook until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Puree in food processor until mixture is smooth and set aside.

3 ripe avocados, spooned from peel and mashed

2 tablespoons lemon juice

dash of garlic salt

dash of pepper

dash of hot sauce

1 cup sour cream

1 cup good mayonnaise

1 pkg. taco seasoning mix

1 cup chopped green onions

3 ripe tomatoes, peeled seeded and chopped

1 6oz. can pitted black olives, sliced

8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

8 oz. shredded monterey jack cheese

In a small bowl mix together the avocado, lemon juice, garlic salt, black pepper and hot sauce. Set aside.

In another bowl mix the sour cream, mayonnaise and taco seasoning. Set aside.

In a wide, shallow bowl or platter, spread the black bean mixture; layer next the avocado mixture, then the sour cream mixture. Do not stir to mix - keep layers separate. Sprinkle onto the sour cream the chopped onions, then the tomatoes, then olives. Sprinkle the cheeses on top. If desired top with a few slices of fresh jalapeno pepper; but be sure it is not shipped in from Mexico. Serve with Frito Scoops and tortilla chips.

EASY CHICKEN STRIPS

9 chicken breast fillets, cut into 1/2 inch strips

3 cups finely crushed sour cream and onion potato chips

2 small eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons buttermilk

1/2 cup butter, or oleo, melted

Beat the egg and milk together in a shallow container. Pour the crushed chips into a pan or onto waxed paper. Dip the chicken strips into the egg mixture then coat well with the crushed potato chips. Line a baking sheet with foil, spray foil with Pam or other cooking spray. Place chicken strips in one layer onto foil. Drizzle with the melted butter. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and juices run clear when tested with a tooth pick. Serve with barbecue sauce or ranch buttermilk dressing for dipping.

QUICK CRUSTY

BROWNIES

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup melted butter

1 pkg. fudge brownie mix

1/2 cup hot water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 egg, beaten

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine crumbs, sugar, nuts and butter. Mix well. Press onto bottom of greased 9 inch square baking pan.

Combine brownie mix, hot water, oil and egg. Mix with a wooden spoon by hand until well blended. Pour batter over the crumb crust. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on rack. When cold, cut into 18 small squares.

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