It’s Football Season – Spice Up Your Living-room Tail Gate Party!

This week for our tail gate party, we’ve got a couple of hot dishes; a couple of cold dishes and just to round things out a bit, some spicy brownies. Who said Football Snacks had to be beer nuts and a six-pack? A little zig, a little zag and a whole lot of fun.

I like to serve things up during half-time if possible. Nuts and chips are fine during the game – my guys grab handfuls of whatever is in front of them and never notice a thing. Whip out the good stuff during half-time and suddenly I’ve got their attention. Or at least what is being served has their attention. I can always count on Kiddo to be surprised with quick a “Wow, this is good!”

Spice It Up Menu

Lip-Smacking Good Finger Foods
Bacon-Cheddar Jalapeno Poppers (Served Warm)
Jalapeno Cheddar Roll Ups (Served Cold)
Mexican Cups (Served Warm)
Red Pepper-Feta Cheese Roast Beef Finger Sandwiches (Served Cold)

To Satisfy That Sweet Craving
Mexican Spiced Brownies

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bacon-cheddar-jalapeno-poppersBacon-Cheddar Jalapeno Poppers
12 large jalapeno
8 oz. of bacon
1 cup of cheddar cheese blend (½ cup sharp cheddar & ½ of smoked cheddar)
1 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

TO PREPARE JALAPENO PEPPERS: Remove the stems from the jalapenos. Cut jalapeno lengthwise and remove the membranes and seed.  You can rinse them off with cool water to help wash away the seeds if needed. (Leaving a few seeds here and there will bring a little more heat to the poppers). Set aside on a foil-lined baking sheet until ready to fill.

ON TO THE FILLING: Preheat oven to 450. Fry bacon crisp. When done, drain bacon of paper towels and let cool. When bacon has cooled, stack a few pieces up and dice into bits.

In a medium-sized bowl, add softened cream cheese, & cheddar cheese. Stir until creamy and then stir in bacon.

Stuff the jalapeno peppers with the cheese mixture and place on a foil lined baking sheet.

DOWN TO THE FINISH: Bake for 10-15 minutes. Let them cool off a bit and then get to popping!!!

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jalapeno-cheddar-roll-ups-c-img_8348-652x290Jalapeno Cheddar Roll Ups
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup Sour Cream
1 15-oz can Refried Beans
1 15-oz can Diced Tomatoes With Green Chilies, drained
8 oz Monterey Jack/colby Cheese Blend
2.25 oz sliced Ripe Olives, drained and patted dry
6 Green Onions, sliced thin
½ Red Bell Pepper, diced
⅓ cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
9 Jalapeno Cheddar Wraps or Large Tortillas

Soften cream cheese and place in large mixing bowl.
Add sour cream, refried beans, diced tomatoes with chilies, cheese, olives, green onions, bell pepper and cilantro and stir to combine.
Spread roll up mixture onto Jalapeno cheddar wraps to the edges.
Roll up very tightly, but carefully so the tortillas don’t tear and seal the edges.
Refrigerate a few hours or overnight.
To serve: Cut roll ups in 1 to 2-inch slices. Makes about 4 to 4 ½ dozen.

Helpful Hint: If you prefer, you can mix the cream cheese and sour cream with a mixer. Add refried beans and mix again. Then stir in tomatoes, cheese, olives, green onions, bell pepper and cilantro.

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mexican-cupsMexican Cups
1 box (9 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain
1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon taco seasoning mix (from 1-oz package)
40 to 45 nacho cheese-flavored tortilla chips
2 cans (12 oz each) Pillsbury® Grands!® Jr. Golden Layers® refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (20 biscuits)
1 cup finely shredded Mexican cheese blend (4 oz)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 30 mini muffin cups with Cooking Spray. Set aside until ready to use.

In large bowl, mix spinach, tomatoes, cream cheese, sour cream and taco seasoning mix; set aside.

Place about 20 of the tortilla chips in gallon-size resealable food-storage plastic bag; seal bag. Using rolling pin, finely crush to measure 1/2 cup. Stir crushed chips into spinach mixture.

Separate 1 can of dough into 10 biscuits; separate each biscuit into 3 layers. Place 1 layer in each of 30 muffin cups; using floured fingers, press dough on bottom and up side of each cup.

Fill each cup with about 1 tablespoon spinach mixture. Refrigerate remaining spinach mixture.

Sprinkle filling in each cup with about 1 teaspoon cheese. Bake 9 to 14 minutes or until edges of biscuits are golden brown. Cool in pan 5 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool 5 minutes longer.

Repeat with remaining biscuits, filling and cheese, cooling pans between batches.

To serve, break each of the remaining 20 to 25 tortilla chips into 3 triangular pieces. Insert 1 triangle into each cup. Serve warm.

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Hush – don’t tell the guys, but finger sandwiches are all the rage at tea parties. What they don’t realize won’t hurt them, right?

red-pepper-feta-roast-beef-finger-sandwichesRed Pepper-Feta Cheese Roast Beef Finger Sandwiches
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
¼ cup Feta cheese crumbles
¼ cup finely chopped roasted red pepper, divided
10 slices white sandwich bread
15 thin slices deli roast beef

In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and cream. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add feta cheese and roasted red pepper, stirring until incorporated. Set aside.

Using a serrated bread knife, trim crusts from all sides of bread slices. Cut each slice into 3 rectangles, approximately 3 x 1½ inches.

Spread approximately 1 tablespoon cream cheese mixture onto each bread slice. Ruffle a slice of roast beef on top of half of bread slices. Top with another bread slice, cream cheese side down.

Garnish:
15 blanched long fresh chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped roasted red pepper

Garnish each sandwich by tying a blanched chive around it and topping with a piece of red pepper.

Notes:
• Cream cheese spread can be made a day ahead and refrigerated in a covered container. Let come to room temperature before spreading. Sandwiches can be assembled earlier in the day, covered with damp paper towels, placed in a covered container, and refrigerated. Garnish before serving.
• When trimming crusts from finger sandwiches and canapés, save the bread scraps to make bread crumbs. Just pulse them in a food processor, and then store in the freezer.

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If the Mexican Spice Brownies seem familiar; they were featured in my Cinco de Mayo Three Course Celebration. So why feature these brownies again? We’re talking football and guys. Guys will never admit in front of other guys that a slice of cake is what they crave – but pass a plate of brownies and it’s “don’t mind if I do.” Add a little heat and suddenly these are Manly Brownies!

Mexican Spice BrownieMexican Spice Brownies
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
3 cups white sugar
6 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons ground Mexican cinnamon (canela)
1/2 teaspoon ground Pequin Chile pepper or Cayenne Pepper
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12×15-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving about 3 inches of paper overhanging 2 sides to use as handles. Set aside.

Place the butter in a microwave-safe bowl, and cook on Medium until the butter is about half melted, about 1 minute. Mash the butter with sugar until well combined, and stir in eggs one at a time, incorporating each one before adding the next. Mix in vanilla extract.

Sift the cocoa, flour, cinnamon, pequin pepper, salt, and baking powder into a bowl. Sprinkle in any salt caught in the sifter. Mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture, stirring to blend well, and pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan, and use parchment paper handles to remove the brownies for slicing.

4 thoughts on “It’s Football Season – Spice Up Your Living-room Tail Gate Party!

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