snacks

You know it’s all about that Game…

‘Bout that game, ’bout that game. No trouble!

Are you still looking for some fun ideas to serve your family and friends tomorrow? Because it’s time for the showdown of one of America’s favorite pastimes, Super Bowl LI! And let me start by giving credit to Hosting & Toasting for the watermelon cut-out of a football helmet. I love it! And they have some other cute ideas too.

We are a house divided this year. Two of my sons and I are rooting for the Patriots; my husband, daughter and baby boy are cheering on the Falcons. (To be honest I really don’t have a lot emotionally invested in the game.) Even though I am rooting for New England, I can appreciate how my husband has got my two-year-old going around doing the “dirty bird.” It’s fan-tastic. (Get it?)

Something we can all agree on are the snacks… not really. But we do all like to eat, so there it is! There are a few foods that seem to coincide with game day. I like to stay classic, but still venture into new flavors. However, I can say with confidence that finger food is the way to go! (Naturally, my very first food suggestion breaks the rule. Back and forth, back and forth…) Because people want to watch the game, not sit at a table!

But this table from Kara’s Party Ideas is pretty cute, am I right?

Almost everyone likes a game day chili and it really doesn’t get much easier. “Chop chop in the pot,” as Nancy Fuller would say. (I watch way too many food shows.) Here is my basic version of the classic, “Kid Friendly Chili“. It’s a family fave.

 

Last year I came up with a Yogurt Chicken Chili for a Chobani challenge. It was an instant hit at home. But if my chili dreams came true, this year I’d make Pat’s Famous Beef and Pork Chili recipe from Food Network. It’s got 5 stars out of 449 reviews… and bacon. Did you catch that? Bacon!

Pizza is a football watching staple. Of course ordering from your local “pie shop” is the easiest. Next, you’ve got some frozen options. I don’t judge. My kids love Annie’s organic pizza bagel bites. We like to make our own Pizza Bagels too.

But if I had my pizza way, I’d have something like this Chipotle Candied Bacon and Smoked Blue Cheese Pizza from How Sweet Eats. Now that’s a game day to remember!

Chicken wings are almost synonymous with Game Day food. You can buy them ready to bake. You could dip chicken tenders in buffalo sauce. Eating tasty food isn’t really complicated. Southern Fried Chicken is about as exotic as my kids will venture with chicken on the bone. But for the mature people out there, there are thousands of Buffalo style chicken wing recipes. Furthermore, this is what I consider “finger licking good,” Sticky Honey-Soy Chicken Wings from Tyler Florence. (I wish these were available with delivery.)

Loaded potato skins are up there with all things you eat while watching football. I like mine crispy and traditional. I think The Pioneer Woman nailed it.

Of course you need to wipe your hands (and face) after handling all of this food. I love this idea from HGTV:

Really you can make things as detailed or keep them as simple as you want. This year I’m keeping it pretty low key, but that’s not to say that next year I won’t be busting out my football field replicated party dip… like this one from everydaygoodthinking.com:

The key is to have fun with your family and friends! Have a great weekend! And Go Patriots! (Unless you’re rooting for the Falcons) 😉

Seriously Delish’s BBQ Roasted Chickpeas

I love seasoned & lightly salted snacks. Specifically popcorn, potato chips, roasted nuts & seeds, pretzels… actually it’s not specific to anything- just season & salt it. But for a period of time I almost lost that passion. I was on a train in Alaska when my husband brought me a thoughtful and highly seasoned snack pack, because he knows me so well… that I could never eat because just the smell of the unopened package made me sick (like many things on that trip). Of course, when we got home, it all began to make sense because we found out I was pregnant (with who is now my daughter). I’ll admit it took a while to get past my little hangup, but let the good times roll and the seasoned snacks too! It’s nibbles like these that remind me of how good snacking can be. Did I mention they are healthy? Purely Coincidental! (Furthermore they are awesome tossed in a salad!)

As found in Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant:

1 Tbsp Smoked paprika

1 Tbsp Onion powder

1 1/2 tsp light Brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp Garlic salt

1/2 tsp Chili powder

1/2 tsp freshly ground Black pepper

1 1/2 cups canned Chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 Tbsp extra-virgin Olive oil

 

Preheat the oven to 425°.

In a small bowl, whisk together the paprika, onion powder, brown sugar, garlic salt, chili powder, and pepper.

Pat the chickpeas completely dry with a towel and remove any of the skins that become loose. Add the chickpeas to a bowl and toss them with the olive oil and three-quarters of the spice mixture. Mix well to coat the chickpeas and spread them out on a nonstick baking sheet. Bake the chickpeas for 20 minutes, toss them with a spatula, and bake for 15 minutes more. Remove the pan from the oven and let the chickpeas cool on the baking sheet.

Taste the chickpeas and season them with the additional spice mix if needed… Roasted chickpeas are best the day they are made- after a few hours they can lose their crunch. However, you can store them in a container with a sheet of plastic wrap lightly covering the top for 2 to 3 days.

 

 

Spicy Pork Nachos

Are nachos like one of the best food creations ever? It’s this pile of complimentary flavors and contrasting textures that together make for one awesome combination of a bite. Salty, savory, cheesy, creamy, fresh… Like an orchestra playing a symphony- for your mouth. And it’s so easy to cater to your own taste. If you want it on there, well go ahead and put it on the stack. If you don’t like it, you know what (not) to do. We love making nachos. I’ve used beef, chili, turkey and now thanks to the inspiration of Whitney Miller’s New Southern Table, my very own spicy pork nachos.

As organic as possible:

1 1/2 cups Refried Beans (or 1 can)

1/2 cup Mild or Hot Taco Sauce (homemade or store bought)

1 bag Corn chips (you will probably have some leftover)

1 lb Fiesta Pulled Pork (or shredded pork of your choice)

2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese (or Manchego)

2 oz sliced or dices Jalapeños

4 oz Queso Fresco, crumbled

2 scallions, sliced

Optional toppings for serving include (but are not limited to) salsa, sour cream, pico de gallo…

Preheat the oven to 350.

In a medium sauce pan on medium-low heat, warm refried beans and taco sauce until beans are soft and pliable for easier spreading, and more flavorful for layers of deliciousness.

Using a large flat baking dish, pizza stone or baking sheet place the corn chips in a single to double layer, overlapping the chips so there is no space for toppings to fall through.

Start the layering process with the bean and sauce combination. Use a spoon the kind of drop and spread the beans in an evenly sporadic way on top of the chips until all of the mixture is used. (I’ve also used a canned organic vegetarian chili.) Next scatter the bite-sized pieces of tender and spicy pork in an covering over the beans and chips. Follow the pork with with a nice layer of cheddar cheese. Cheese is extremely important when it comes to nachos, so be generous. For a little heat and a splash of color, lightly and evenly sprinkle the jalapeños atop of the cheese.

Place that dish of loaded goodness in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, and gooey, about 15-20 minutes. Carefully remove the nachos from the oven and top with crumbled queso fresco, sliced scallions… and salsa. Enjoy!

 

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