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Saturday, January 5, 2013

BOWL GAME TIME - 2012-13!

It's BOWL TIME!!!!  Sort of bittersweet, as I know football season is winding down,  but we're excited for the bowl games and always plan something fun to eat.






MENU:
BUFFALO STUFFED CELERY STICKS
CHICKEN ENCHILADA DIP WITH CHIPS
BOWL GAME CHILI
SWEET AND SPICY CORNBREAD SQUARES
DEEP DARK CHOCOLATE COOKIES
TAILGATE PUNCH


BUFFALO STUFFED CELERY
(Adapted from Weight Watchers)

Photo Credit: Weight Watchers
1/2 cup low-fat cream cheese, softened
2 TBSP crumbled blue cheese
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt
5 ribs celery, cut into 4 pieces
2 1/2 tsp hot sauce, such as Tabasco, or more, depending on your taste.  Could also use Buffalo sauce.
1 TBSP chopped chives

In a small bowl, stir together cream cheese, blue cheese, garlic and salt until smooth; spoon about 1/2 tablespoon cheese mixture into each piece of celery. To serve, arrange stuffed celery on a plate, drizzle each with about 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce  Sprinkle with chives if desired. 



CHICKEN ENCHILADA DIP
(Adapted from My Plate blogspot)


Photo Credit: My Plate blogspot

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and shredded (I season my chicken with Montreal Steak Seasoning prior to grilling.)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonaise
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chili peppers
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced (use more is you like more heat)
In a medium bowl, combine shredded chicken, cream cheese, mayonnaise, shredded cheese, green chile peppers and jalapeno pepper.
Transfer the chicken mixture to a medium baking dish.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.


It's FREEZING temperatures in Atlanta, GA right now, so I was looking for something new to serve.  I chose Chili - yes, it's an obvious football fare, but this recipe is something special.  It has bacon, ground sirloin and ground pork, along with red and yellow bell peppers, green chiles and even a cup of Budweiser!  You will love it!

BOWL GAME CHILI (OR BEEF AND PORK CHILI)
(Adapted from At Home with the Neely's)
Photo Credit: Mission Delish

6 slices thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
 1 -2 teaspoons salt and some freshly ground black pepper
1 pound  ground sirloin
1 pound ground pork
1 cup beer (recommended: Budweiser)
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 - 28oz cans plum tomatoes, crushed
1 4oz can, chopped green chiles
Lime wedges, for garnish
Sour cream, for garnish
Shredded Cheddar, for garnish
Sliced scallions, for garnish


Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

In large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until lightly crisp, stirring occasionally.

Once the bacon is browned,  drain off at least half the bacon fat and add the garlic, onions, bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, ancho chili powder, oregano, and smoked paprika and season with salt and pepper, to taste.


Cook until the vegetables are tender and seasonings are aromatic.

Add the beef and break it up with a wooden spoon. Once beef is broken up and beginning to brown, add the pork. Break up with wooden spoon like the beef, and brown, until no longer pink, roughly 4 minutes. Stir in the beer and beans.


Toss together, then add the crushed and diced tomatoes.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if necessary. Transfer the chili to serving bowls and garnish with lime wedges, sour cream, shredded cheese, and sliced scallions.  DELISH!!!

SWEET AND SPICY CORNBREAD SQUARES
(Adapted from A Taste of Home)
Photo Credit: A Taste of Home

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. In another bowl, beat the egg, buttermilk and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened; add pepper flakes. Pour into a greased 9-in. square baking pan.
Bake at 425 degrees for 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Cut into squares. Serve warm. Yield: 6 servings.
DARK CHOCOLATE COOKIES
(Adapted from Divine Cooking)
Photo Credit: Divine Cooking

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (about 9 ounces), divided
3 large egg whites, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided (I used 2 cups)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 2 large baking sheets with nonstick spray. Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in glass bowl in microwave, stirring twice, about 2 minutes. Cool slightly.
Using electric mixer, beat whites in large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually beat in 1 (I halved the sugar here) cup sugar. Continue beating until mixture resembles soft marshmallow creme.

TAILGATE PUNCH
Photo Credit: Chow.com

This punch serves a crowd and goes great with chili!

18 ounces (2 1/4 cups) naturally sweetened pineapple juice, chilled
6 ounces Yellow Chartreuse, chilled (Yellow Chartreuse is a French liqueur made by Carthusian monks. It has a milder and sweeter flavor and aroma than green chartreuse.)
6 (12-ounce) bottles amber ale, such as Fat Tire, chilled

Place the pineapple juice and Chartreuse in a 3-quart container or punch bowl and stir to combine. Add the beer and gently stir to combine.  ENJOY!!!!

***COOL GADGET ALERT

How cool is this carrier?  It allows you to transport piping hot foods to your tailgate without the mess.
Photo Credit: ThePicnicBasket.com
It's called The Entertainer Food Carrier (thepicnicbasket.com), and is an expandable food carrier with 2 separate food sections.  The lower allows you to bring hot foods and is large enough to hold an 11x15" dish. The upper sections comes with 2 plastic food containers to keep food and drinks chilled. Awesome!





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