Dip-a-dee-doo-dah, dip-a-dee-ay.
Credit: Raymond Hom; Styling: Pamela Duncan Silver

The Super Bowl is this weekend, and while plenty of people are looking forward to the game for, you know, the actual game, I am focused on another winning aspect of this most American of celebrations: dip. It's not fancy, and it's not flashy, but a good dip can be the anchor of a party platter. It's communal, it's versatile, and it's less involved than attempting to make your own buffalo wings.

One of my favorites is Spinach Artichoke Dip, because it's relatively easy to do—it's mostly putting cheese in a dish and putting that dish in the oven—but party guests are always excited to have it and party hosts look impressed when you bring it to their houses. Plus, it's is gluten-free, provided that no one's dipping their toast points into it

This crazy easy, crazy delicious Spinach Artichoke Dip recipe calls for three kinds of cheese and sour cream, but lowers the fat content by using reduced-fat and no-fat cream cheese. You can, of course, use whatever cream cheese you want and it'll work just fine, but it's nice to have the option. You could also add more parmesan or mozzerella, depending on what tastes good to you, or up the number of garlic cloves if you prefer. Play around with spices you like to add to the dip. Unlike football, the rules for dip aren't all that strict. There are no dip referees.

Basically you mix everything except for half a cup of mozzerella and two tablespoons of parmesan into an oven-safe dish, throw it in the oven until it gets all bubbly and the whole house smells like melted cheese. Then you put the rest of the cheese on top and put the dish under the broiler for just a few minutes—really watch it since the line between pleasantly brown and oh-no-its-very-burned is easy to cross in this application—until it gets that slightly browned melty crust. Serve with chips or vegetables or pita or whatever else your heart wants. Could you dip more cheese into it? I'm not going to try to stop you.