Welcome back to a brand new year with fresh, new recipes. If you’re new, this is a column for those who have shit to do, people to see and places to go, but still need to eat. If your cooking abilities are lackluster, have no fear. I intend to teach you how to make quick, easy, affordable and, most importantly, good tasting food.

My name is Jonathan and I’ll be your guide.

For those of you who don’t know, I came from the great state of Minnesota to attend this fine institution we’ve all come to love: the University of Wisconsin. I’m sorry to say this, but the state of Wisconsin gets the short end of the stick when it comes to the reciprocity deal — I’m not complaining.

My car has a split personality between its Minnesota license plate and the Bucky Badger sticker that adorns my back window, but I like to think I avoid malicious comments with the sticker.

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Though I’ve come to accept and love some of the oddities of the state of Wisconsin, I will not compromise on my affiliation to the Vikings.

As my friends know, I do not follow sports. I barely watch games, couldn’t tell you who’s on what team nor could I name more than a few positions on a football team. I couldn’t tell you anything about the Vikings season beyond the fact that they had to have been doing well to make it as far as the playoffs.

So when it comes to the playoffs, I am a true bandwagoner either for the Vikings, or against the Packers.

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Over the past few weeks, the Vikings put fans and bandwagoners alike through the wringer. After a miraculous win against the Saints, they got destroyed by the Eagles in the NFC championship game the following Sunday. My short-lived, Vikings-in-the-Super-Bowl-in-Minneapolis dreams were crushed, and I hopped off the bandwagon. Next week, the Eagles will play the Patriots in Minneapolis, and I will be cheering against the Eagles.

Here are some chips and dips for your game-viewing endeavors.

Thrice Dipped – Easy Dips for Chips

The three dips we’ll be making this week are roasted tomato salsa, easy guacamole and hot cheddar-jalapeno dip. The salsa and hot cheddar-jalapeno dip mix can be made ahead of time, while the guacamole should be made right before serving. Don’t serve these to your friends to resolve arguments unless you want green and red splotches all over your living room.

Ingredients (4-6 servings, 1 hr prep)

Hot Cheddar-Jalapeno Dip

  • 1 lb. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 jalapenos
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt

Roasted Tomato Salsa

  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 Serrano pepper
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, as needed
  • Vegetable oil, as needed

Easy Guacamole

  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. Cut Roma tomatoes in half and place on a sheet tray facing down.
  3. To the tray, add 1/2 yellow onion facing up, garlic cloves, jalapenos and serrano pepper. Lightly coat with oil, salt and pepper vegetables.
  4. Broil on top rack until pepper skins begin to blacken – about 5-7 min. Remove, flip the peppers and broil for another 5 min. Remove tray from oven and allow to cool until peppers can be handled.
  5. Remove the skins from the tomatoes and the peppers. Cut the tops off the peppers.
  6. To make the roasted tomato salsa, place roasted, peeled tomatoes and serrano pepper in a blender with the garlic. Blend until smooth. Finish by adding lime juice, cilantro and salt to taste. Place in a refrigerator to cool until serving.
  7. Reduce oven temperature to 375 F.
  8. To make the hot cheddar jalapeño dip, remove seeds from roasted jalapeños and dice into small pieces.
  9. Sauté the diced onion until translucent. Mix jalapeño and onions with cream cheese, mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. If the mix seems too thick, add more mayonnaise.
  10. Store until ready for baking. Bake at 375 F for about 15 minutes, or until the top begins to brown.
  11. To make guacamole, mix avocado with lime juice and cilantro, but do not over mix. Add salt to taste.
  12. Serve dips with your choice of chips.


As always, hit me up with questions, comments or concerns.

Go Patriots.

Chef Sogs

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