It’s that time of year, when Sunday dinner is replaced by Sunday on the couch – with great treats that pair perfectly with a favorite football game. Snacks and dips rule the day. And, it’s not the time when most folks count the calories – it’s more about simply enjoying the day and game with delicious foods.
I’ve taken some of the favorite tastes of football food and made it a little more festive – because it seems to always be a party, doesn’t it? Even if it’s just you and your partner – football food has a personality all it’s own.
For starters, I brought out the ever reliable “pigs-in-a-blanket.” These are an old standby – a hot dog cut in half with a refrigerator biscuit wrapped around. Place seam side down on a baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees until golden brown (about 15 - 20 minutes).
The football field cupcake cake is just a simple assembly project. You’ll need at least 15 cupcakes. I made the mistake and thought I could do it with an even dozen – but when I went to draw on the 50 and 10-yard lines I realized I needed an odd number of cupcakes in total to allow a centerline down the middle of one row for the 50-yard line. Keep that in mind when you bake. I used the ultimate baker’s cheat – the cupcake frosting in a can because it has all the tips you’ll need also. You’ll need a can of green for the cupcakes to look like grass, and a red for the yard lines and numbers. I understand there’s a frosting tip that is called a “grass tip” if you really wanted to get authentic – I simply used the star tip provided.
For really, really quick bruschetta – I have relied on Trader Joe’s Bruschetta sauce for years. It’s delicious and is a great go-to appetizer solution. Here’s how I assemble:
Slice a baguette into slices about ½ inch thick. Brush on a little olive oil on each side and toast in the oven or on the grill. I use my convenient indoor countertop grill and toast both sides. Then I slice thin slices of mild cheese (I love Gouda with this) and place on top of the toasted bread – this keeps the bread from getting soggy along with adding great flavor. Then, top the cheese and toast with a spoonful of bruschetta sauce. I’ve even jazzed it up further with a small bit of Prosciutto.
And, finally the dip:
This Buffalo Chicken Dip is a hit. And, it’s a great alternative if you’re just a bit tired of the cheesy artichoke dip or seven layer that usually shows up. (Not to say those aren’t delish, you just might want to shake things up a bit!)
This recipe makes a lot! It can easily be cut in half - but trust me, if you make it – they will eat. And don’t be taken aback by the amount of hot sauce that you add (1 cup!) - it works – it’s a little spicy but it works to taste just like a bowl full of hot wings!
Buffalo Chicken Dip
You’ll need a casserole dish approximately 3.5 quarts.
2 store-bought rotisserie chickens, skinned, all meat removed and finely shredded
3 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4-cup ranch dressing
3/4-cup blue cheese dressing (the kind in the produce section tastes best!)
1 cup Buffalo wing sauce – I use Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
3 cups shredded Colby Monterey Jack cheese
Tortilla chips, crackers etc. for dipping
Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat the cream cheese, ranch dressing, blue cheese dressing, and hot sauce until creamy and fully blended. Fold in the shredded chicken and 1-1/2 cups of the shredded cheese. Spread the mixture into the dish and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove the dip from the oven and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Allow the dip to cool for 10 minutes, then serve it with tortilla chips, crackers, carrots, celery, or a combination thereof.
Can be cut in half.
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