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Brian is not a couch potato, but he loves to watch football. I am rather understanding. As long he massages my feet while he watches tv, he can watch tv. That seems to be a deal made in heaven.

While he was taking some aspirin for sore fingers the other day, he announced a big calculation. I’ve known Brian for 25 years. We watch other things, besides football, so we average a couple of hours a night on the couch. Seven days weeks. Fifty-two weeks a year, for those 25 years. My God, he’s got two years spent massaging those feet. No wonder his fingers hurt. No wonder I can bounce around the loft like a ballerina. The football season has just started. Brian is already talking about a contract rewrite.

For the occasional afternoon game when Brian wants some chips and dips — when his fingers get their contractually-mandated hourly five minute break — he’d like to nosh on something familiar yet different. Brian loves onion dip, and I’ve already posted a great one using those ingredients stuck on the back of your shelf: https://cookingbythebook.com//blog/recipes/simple-shelf-onion-dip/

Here’s an alternative onion dip that takes some roasting time but has very fragrant benefits. Joyce O’Neill, Suzen’s Executive Chef at Cooking by the Book, uses roasted garlic, onions and shallots to produce a deeply “oniony” dip that has a rich, real flavor. And that flavor is never boringly constant because of the natural variations in the ingredients. The dip is never quite the same, which we both like.

That really good onion dip made with onion soup mix? It’s lovely, and I wouldn’t turn my chip away. But its soooo uniform that it has the “wow” factor of corn flakes. Plus the salt and other preservatives do contribute some flavor elements that Joyce has eliminated.

You’re free to adjust the amount of each ingredient. So you can hold back on, say, the sour cream, and add just the right amount.

Go grab some onions. Get some chips. Create some flavor. Flash your husband your feet.
Joyce’s Real Onion Dip

Yield: serves 6


  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 shallots
  • Olive oil
  • 1 package cream cheese [4 to 6 ounces depending on your taste]
  • 1 cup sour cream


Roast the garlic heads in foil at 400°F for 1 hour.

Skin and slice the onions and shallots. Put on a half sheet pan covered with foil. Sprinkle with olive oil and roast at 350°F for 40 minutes.

Allow the roasted garlic and roasted onions to cool to room temperature. Put into the bowl of a food processor. Add half the cream cheese and half the sour cream. Process until smooth. Taste test and add additional cream cheese and sour cream to achieve the consistency and flavor you desire.

Source: Joyce O’Neill