Tag Archives: Football Food

GameDay Jalapeno Popper Piggies

Break out of your typical, grilled jalapeno-popper rut and try this out for size!  It has all of the flavors we love, fresh and spicy jalapenos, creamy cheeses and crisp bacon, BUT it also has another level of smokiness with the beef sausage while all wrapped in a warm, pretzel like pastry dough.

So whether your an avid football fan, need a new Thanksgiving appetizer or you just want to curl up on a cool day with a movie and snacks…these rock, my friend!

The Starting Lineup

  • 3 sheets puff pastry dough, thawed
  • 1 package (36) Lil Smokies
  • 18 jalapeno peppers, halved
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Flour (for dusting); Kosher salt (garnish)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees; line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cut off each jalapeno pepper top; halve and discard the seeds.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine the cream cheese, shredded cheddar and crumbled bacon.  Fill the halved peppers with the cheese and bacon mixture.  Press a “Smokie” on top of the filling.
  4. Lightly flour a clean surface and unfold the thawed puff pastry dough.  Cut each dough rectangle into 6 equal strips vertically and then in half crosswise, to create 12 pieces.  *you may have to gently roll out each dough piece a bit to wrap around filled pepper.
  5. Wrap each stuffed pepper in one of the cut puff pastry strips and seal with a bit of egg wash; seam on the bottom.  Place on prepared baking sheet.  Once finished with all, brush the remaining egg wash overtop and sprinkle on a bit of the kosher salt.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, till golden brown; serve warm.

 

JalapenoPiggies2

 

Shredded Buffalo Chicken (Crockpot)

Just about everyone I know enjoys eating a plate of buffalo wings every now & again.  For me, the hotter the better really…but unfortunately, I’m usually still a bit hungry after.  Here you get that exact same great flavor, but in a fat and tasty sandwich form!  It’s filling for your entire family, kiddos included!!

Now if you’re eating on the lighter side these days or are perhaps gluten-free, you can simply stuff the buffalo chicken into some crunchy celery sticks alongside your favorite dipping sauce!  

Seriously, there is A LOT that can be done with this fantastic chicken filling!  Quesadillas, tacos, made into a dip with cream cheese, on grilled cheese, stuffed into an avocado…the options are almost endless!

The Starting Lineup

  • 4 boneless, skinless Chicken breasts
  • 12oz bottle Franks Red Hot (original)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste*
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • Garlic powder, to taste
  • Onion powder, to taste
  • Pinch of salt

*to taste: I used about 1/2 tsp of each

To Make Sandwiches (optional)

  • Large kaiser rolls or slider buns
  • Blue cheese crumbles 
  • Ranch dressing
  • Thick cut dill pickles
  • Red onion slices

Keeping light (optional)

  • Celery sticks
  • Ranch/blue cheese dressing for dipping  

Simple.  Simple.  Simple.  Spray your crockpot with a bit of nonstick spray and place the chicken breast in the bottom.  Sprinkle the 5 seasonings over the chicken (cayenne & black pepper, garlic & onion powder, pinch of salt). 

 Next pour in 3/4th of the bottle of Franks Red Hot Original sauce, cover, and set to low for 8 hours or high for about 5 hours.

Times up!!!  Add the butter to the now cooked chicken and using two forks, shred away!  Next, add in the remaining 1/4 cup of wing sauce and toss to coat.  Done!  Easy right?? 

     Now if you’re making these into sandwiches, here’s how we like them!  I toast the buns first and place a heaping portion of the shredded buffalo chicken on top (depending, I’ll lather on a bit of ranch dressing onto the inside of each toasted bun before adding the chicken).  Then I top with a bit of the blue cheese crumbles and a few slices of thick cut dill pickles and red onion!  Delish!! 

 Lighter fare??  Clean and cut up some celery and simply stuff full of the shredded buffalo chicken.  Serve alongside either ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping!  *The blue cheese fanatic that I am, I also like to add the crumbles to the top of these

 

Buttery Soft Pretzels w/ Serrano Bacon Cheddar Sauce

Soft pretzels have to be one of my favorite snack foods ever. As a child, I would stand in line at the “snack bar” of my k-8 school every lunch with the 75cents I somehow managed to find that morning for one. Sorry mom, I wasn’t eating the lunch line’s green beans and hamburger steak..  

As an adult, it’s what I nosh on at every sporting event, fair or concert…and don’t even get me started on how many I quite frankly inhaled during the pregnancy of my second son. I’d load my first child up (who was about 8 months old) in the car and take him and my fat butt up to Target just to buy 1 or 2 warm, large pretzels at their snack bar. I’d then put my baby in a cart and walk around aimlessly stuffing my also fat face while contemplating on buying just one more. Yes, I may indeed have a soft pretzel problem.

Now some may argue it’s a bad idea that I can now make my own. I’d normally tell them to be quiet but..well….my mouth is so full of soft pretzel that I physically can’t ;).

*Hey, if you’re going to do it right, serve it alongside my homemade spicy cheese sauce and save the mustard for the baseball game!

The Starting Lineup

Pretzel Dough

  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast 
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 rounded Tbsp brown sugar (dark or light)
  • 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt 
  • 2 cups bread flour 
  • 2 cups all purpose flour

Baking Soda Bath

  • 2 Tbsp baking soda
  • 2 cups warm water

Garnish

  • Kosher/rock salt
  • and/or cinnamon and sugar mix
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted 

Serrano Bacon Cheddar Sauce (optional)

  • 2 Serrano peppers, seeded and finely diced (I, of course, kept the heat in mine 😉
  • 6 strips bacon, cooked & crumbled (reserve 1 Tbsp of the grease)
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • Pinch each of salt, pepper & garlic powder  

To start your pretzel dough, combine 1 1/2 cups of warm water and the yeast into the bowl of your mixer. Gently mix together and allow to sit for about 5 minutes till it starts to foam up a bit.  

   Next, add in the brown sugar and the salt to the yeast mix. Stir together until it’s dissolved. Now add in both types of flour (all 4 cups), and using the paddle attachment mix on low for about 15 seconds to combine. Switch the attachment to the dough hook and mix in high for 5-6 minutes to knead the dough. 

     Lightly oil a large bowl and place the kneaded ball of dough into it. Cover and let sit in a warm spot for 1 hour to rise. 

 Immediately after setting your dough to rise, make the baking soda bath. This part is easy, simply combine 2 cups of warm water with 2 Tbsp of baking soda. Stir often throughout the next hour. 

 After the dough has risen, cut off about 1 cup of dough at a time and roll into a 1/2″ thick rod shape. (*do not flour the counter here, damp hands work best). 

   Now here you can either cut that long strip of dough into 1-2″ pieces OR shape into your traditional pretzel shape. Once to your liking, carefully give each a quick dunk into the baking soda bath and set onto a greased baking sheet. Repeat till dough is gone. 

 Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and let the pretzels rise again for about 15 minutes (while the oven gets to temp). Bake for 10-12 minutes. While these are baking you can melt the 4 tbsp of butter. Remove from the oven and brush the pretzels/pretzel bites with the melted butter and either sprinkle with kosher or rock salt OR toss in a large ziplock bag with a cinnamon-sugar mix. 

   Serve immediately with a dipping sauce and enjoy!! 

 

Serrano Bacon Cheddar Sauce (optional)

In a sauté pan fry up the bacon, remove to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Drain all but 1 Tbsp of the bacon grease…that stuff’s good as gold! 

 Add 1 tbsp of butter to the reserved bacon grease and melt. Once melted stir in the flour to form a rue and then quickly whisk in the milk. Whisk Whisk Whisk till smooth! Now slowly whisk in the two cups cheese till creamy and then fold in the cooked, crumbled bacon and the finely diced Serrano peppers. Pour into individual ramekins and serve alongside some warm, soft pretzels!  

           

Loaded Breakfast Potato Skins

So I was making loaded potato skins for a gathering last night and thought, “Hey, these have potatoes (check), cheese (check), bacon (check)…why not just add the missing component of eggs and make this into a breakfast??!”  Genius I tell ya!!

A great thing about the breakfast potato skin is that you can change up the flavors everytime you prepare them!  How about a chorizo & green chili with sour cream & salsa?  Or perhaps use a sweet potato, egg whites, spinach and feta!  Yes to both of those for me!  Hey, if you’re a fan of runny yolks, why not top with an over-easy egg??  Being creative has suddenly made me hungry all over again!

…and much to my husband’s happiness, I served this with a side of cream gravy to complete this most perfect brunch….

*The ingredients below do not have specific amounts due to the number of people being served.  Any questions, please ask 🙂

The Starting Lineup

  • Potatoes, baked, scooped & halved
  • Bacon, cooked & chopped
  • Breakfast sausage, cooked
  • Eggs, scrambled
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Green onion, chopped

Extras (optional)

  • Extra virgin olive oil & kosher salt (potato skins)
  • Butter, milk, salt & pepper (scrambled eggs)
  • Flour, milk, salt & pepper (cream gravy)
  • Salt, pepper, chili flake (breakfast sausage)
  • Sour cream  

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Meanwhile, cover a baking sheet in foil and place on the bottom rack of the oven *to catch any drippings from the potatoes. Now scrub the potatoes, prick a few times with a fork and coat in extra virgin olive oil and a decent amount of kosher salt.  Set the potatoes DIRECTLY on the top rack, over the baking sheet.  Allow to bake for about 40 minutes or until the flesh is soft but the skins are crisp. 

 While the potatoes are baking away, you can fry up the bacon.  Once it’s cooked till crispy, transfer to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. 

 In that same pan, now add in the breakfast sausage and cook through.  *Here I like to add in some seasonings if needed.  Like the bacon, once finished transfer to a dish and set aside. 

   Ok….if you’re feeling ambitious you now can use the grease from the sausage and create the cream gravy!  Add in a 1/4 cup of flour and whisk in the grease to create a rue.  Follow that with 2 cups of milk while constantly whisking to incorporate the rue.  Season to taste. 

 Around now the potatoes should be finished baking.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool just slightly.

Egg time!  Crack the eggs into a bowl with a splash of milk and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Whisk together and pour into a buttered sauté pan and scramble away! 

   While the eggs are doing their thing, cut each potato in half lengthwise.  CAREFULLY scoop out a bit of the inner flesh of each halve.  Make sure to leave enough of the flesh/skin on the outer edges so that it doesn’t fall apart on you.  *Depending on how hot the potatoes still are, you may need to wear an oven mitt to handle them.  Once scooped, place each onto a foil lined baking sheet (I just use the same sheet from when we baked the potatoes earlier). 

 Follow this up by first spooning in a good amount of the cooked breakfast sausage into the potato shells.  Top that with scrambled egg and then a heaping helping of shredded cheddar cheese. 

  

    

  
Place these bad boys BACK into the oven (top rack) under the broiler setting.  Watch closely as it only takes about a minute or two for the cheese to melt.

Remove from the oven and top with the cooked, crumbled bacon and green onions.  Serve with either gravy, hot sauce, sour cream or salsa alongside..enjoy!! 

 

Trashy Tot’chos

Yes, I said the word “trashy” to a delicious recipe.  This isn’t something you want to make for an elegant dinner party, but it’s fantastic for your game day crew of friends!!  This has all the flavors one craves while watching the big game, it’s easy to share and more importantly it involves Velveeta and pickled jalapenos…which reminds me of the state fair, small town football or baseball games, backyard all-American grill outs, drive-in theatres.  Basically all good memories that are completely UNpretentious!

Now I’m not claiming to be a nutritionist or dietician, but in moderation (aka Sunday Funday) this can be enjoyed with a few cold ones!  This is “trashy” after all ;)!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 bag frozen tater tots
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • Velveeta cheese sauce (16oz), plus 2 Tbsp milk
  • Taco seasoning packet (or your own blend of mexican seasonings)

Garnish

  • Sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Black olives
  • White onions, diced
  • Green onions, sliced
  • Pickled jalapeno slices
  • Bacon, cooked & crumbled  

Preheat the oven to the tater-tot package instructions (mine was 425 degrees).  Add the package of tots to a large baking sheet and cook till crispy (about 25 minutes). 

 Once you add the tater-tots to the oven, you can start the ground beef and heat up the pinto beans.  Here is where you can add the taco seasoning mix (or you own spices i.e I used cumin, ground new mexican chili powder, salt & pepper, coriander, etc) to the ground beef.  You can also doctor up the pinto beans as well, if you wish.  Cook the beef through.  (*If you chose to also garnish with bacon, make sure that you’re frying it up now 🙂 

 Once everything is heated up and ready to eat it’s assembly time!! 

  First heat up the new Velveeta’s Cheese Sauce in the microwave according to package directions (*also whisk in 2Tbsp of milk to the two packets of cheese to thin out a bit), and have all of the other garnish’s in small bowls for everyone to top to their taste.

Alternatively, I chose one LARGE platter that everyone can share while watching the game!  I first layed down the crispy tater-tots and topped those with a generous amount of beans and spiced ground beef.  Then poured that gooey, cheesy sauce over top and sprinkled on black olives, onions, pickled jalapenos and finally a few dollops of sour cream and a salsa drizzle.  

Grab a couple plates, a few forks and a LOT of napkins!!!  Go Cardinals!! 🙂


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