It is my opinion that you can’t go wrong with what to serve while watching a football game. Unless it’s stupid cupcakes that are shaped like helmets, or something. Nobody wants to mess around with a cupcake. (Also, do you want to risk getting cake crumbs and frosting on your sofa?? Just serve cookies, for heaven’s sake!) I do, however, think it’s fabulous to arrange a stadium replica of snacks. SO COOL. Just be sure to get up at the ass-crack of dawn and put it together. Let’s hope there’s nothing that requires to be served hot (SORRY TAQUITOES.)
But, if you already know that the creative feat of arranging an edible stadium is beyond your capacity, you’ll settle for the more traditional (and let’s admit it, NORMAL) game plan of setting out a spread on a side table. Ideally, you’d like to offer a variety of finger foods AND DIPS. Dips are the backbone of entertaining, aren’t they? However, if you want to watch ALL of the game, and not miss kickoff while you are in the kitchen, making sure the last items are served hot, do yourself a favor and order a deli tray and put out some napkins. I can’t pretend that there is some magical itinerary to preparing “make ahead” items and just setting them out exactly three minutes before the game starts. Even with the T.G.I. Friday’s assorted frozen products, you will be in the kitchen AT LEAST A LITTLE BIT.
Unless you are a freak and serve only gazpacho and crudités. I bet you make your own non-GMO, almond milk, fish oil baby food, too. Weirdo.
I’ve hosted my fair share of football “parties”, where all our friends come over and watch the game because we have the most seating and the biggest TV. It’s a get together by default, but I don’t mind it. In fact, I’m such a trooper about our house being the landing pad for these things, that one Sunday, when I had a severe headache, I wore earplugs the whole time. That’s dedication, ok? If only they didn’t leave my counters so sticky… ANYWAY.
In the beginning of the season, last fall, I pretty much took on full responsibility of making food and being sure there were some snacks to eat. I’m not claiming that I prepared this big lunch of anything; sometimes it was just Velveeta and Rotel dip, and maybe 8 deviled eggs (because I needed to use up the eggs.) Lately, (well, before football season officially ended), our friends started to volunteer to bring over dips or some baked goods and share. IT WAS GREAT! I hope at some point that they each will give me the recipes for the things they brought over (like J’s Pinterest-found “Cowboy Caviar” or whatever it was called), but until then, I’ll share mine with them. Or, at least the tasty ones.
“Game Day” Menu: Buffalo Chicken Dip, Vegetarian Pizzas, Roast Beef Sliders and Butterscotch & Chocolate Chip Cookies
Buffalo Chicken Dip (makes about 5 cups)
Everyone asks me for this recipe, and I gladly tell them the recipe. Then, when they ask me to write it down, I tell them that IT’S ON THE FREAKING HOT SAUCE BOTTLE! I do stray slightly from the exact recipe on the bottle, but it’s essentially the same outcome.
Note: I like to serve this with regular tortilla chips, pretzel
crackers crisps and also celery sticks.
- 1 lb (2 chicken breasts), cooked and shredded
- 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened, and cubed
- 1/2 cup (+ 3 tbsp*) Frank’s RedHot Buffalo sauce
- 1/2 Ranch dressing
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Combine all ingredients in oven-safe baking dish and bake at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly (about 20 minutes)
- *Add 3 tbsp of Frank’s RedHot sauce, stir well, and serve hot
Dear Friends: please stop asking me for the Buffalo Chicken dip recipe now. It’s here, for all to use. THANKS 🙂
Vegetarian “Flatbreads” (makes 2 pizzas, each yielding 12 small square slices)
It’s pretty simple to make vegetarian pizza. I’ve used both Pillsbury refrigerated pizza dough, and naan bread as crust. I’d like to eventually try out the whole wheat fresh dough that Trader Joe’s sells, and also make my own from scratch. But I’ll get there when I get there. I never turn down an opportunity to cut corners and save time.
Note: THIS RECIPE WILL CALL FOR A LOT OF CHEESE, OK? CHEESE IS THE BEST
Note 2: you can mix and match whatever toppings you want, this is just the way that I make it.
- 2 cans of Pillsbury Classic pizza dough
- 1 can/jar of any pizza sauce you like
- 2 cups (one 8oz package) shredded mozzarella cheese
- 8 0z fresh mozzarella cheese “pearls” (or sliced from a “log”, such as this)
- 1 (10 oz) clam-shell of baby heirloom, cheery or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- Pizza 1 Toppings
- 1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles
- ~1 cup fresh spinach (or arugula), chopped or whole leaf
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- Pizza 2 Toppings
- 1/2 cup sliced zucchini (or sliced yellow squash, or 1/4 cup each of both)
- 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions strips (or diced, whatever)
- Spread dough onto two (greased) baking sheets (1 can dough per sheet)
- Using a spoon, spread 1/2 can of pizza sauce onto each dough form
- Pizza 1
- add sun-dried tomatoes * important that these are UNDER the first layer of cheese, so they do not get burnt
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- goat cheese crumbles
- a handful of tomato halves
- 4 oz (half) of fresh mozzarella pearls
- Pizza 2
- sprinkle 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- add sliced zucchini (and/or yellow squash)
- red onion strips
- the remaining fresh mozzarella pearls
- a handful of tomato halves
- Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and vegetables are tender (you’re going to have to look at them… sorry, no timer will tell you if your vegetables are tender)
- Rotate pans half way through for even cooking
Roast Beef Sliders (makes 12)
These are a crowd favorite. I kind of feel bad that I haven’t made them in a looonnngg time because of, you know, the whole “vegetarian” thing.
- 1 (12 count) package King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls, carefully cut in half
- 6 slices (~1/2 lb) deli-sliced roast beef, cut in half, totaling 12 sheets of meat
- 6 slices deli-sliced Swiss cheese, cut into quarters, totaling 24 baby squares
- 12 (each) BIG CHIP Dill pickles (as big and round as you can find – I buy Ovals)
- Horseradish sauce
- 1 tbsp butter, melted + a big dollop spicy mustard
- Spray a 9 X 13 cake pan with non-stick spray
- Layer pan with bun bottoms
- Add one slice of cheese to each
- Fold 1 piece of roast beef on top of cheese
- Add additional slice of cheese to each
- Top with one pickle slice each
- Using a small spoon, dollop a heap of horseradish into bun top (lid?)
- Place bun tops, horseradish side down, onto each sandwich, pressing lightly to “spread” horseradish sauce
- Using a pastry brush, “paint” the tops of sliders with the melted butter and mustard mixture
- Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is gooey
Butterscotch & Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 pouch Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix
- 1 egg
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1/2 cup butterscotch morsels
- Prepare according to package directions
- Add 1/2 cup butterscotch morsels
THAT WAS EASY, WASN’T IT??