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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

NFL PLAYOFF PARTY!!!



Sunday, January 19

                                   3:00PM
PATRIOTS
vs
                               BRONCOS

6:30PM
                                   49ERS
vs
                               SEAHAWKS

Well I'm a college football fan far more than an NFL fan, and MY NFL team (the Atlanta Falcons) didn't have their best season this go around, BUT football is football, so we're having a party before football season is completely over!  Here's the menu:

REUBEN DIP
BUFFALO CHICKEN POTATO SKINS
BACON WRAPPED CHICKEN BITES
CUCUMBER BLACK EYED PEA SALAD
I WANT TO MARRY YOU COOKIES
WINTER SUN COCKTAIL

REUBEN DIP
(Adapted from Closet Cooking)
Photo Credit: Closet Cooking

1/2 cup cooked corned beef, shredded
1/4 cup sauerkraut, squeezed and drained
1/4 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup either Russian dressing or Thousand Island dressing
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
I doubled the recipe since I'm serving a big group.  Mix everything, and place it in a baking dish.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Bake at 350 degrees F until bubbling on the sides and golden brown on top, about 20 minutes.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
If you like a Reuben sandwich, you will absolutely love this dip!
Slow Cooker Option: Mix everything, place it in the slow cooker and cook until the cheese is nice and melted about 1-2 hours on high or 2-4 hours on low.  Great with chips, crackers or pumpernickle bread.

BUFFALO CHICKEN POTATO SKINS
(Adapted from Closet Cooking)
Photo Credit: Closet Cooking
4 medium baking potatoes such as russet, scrubbed clean
oil for brushing
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded and warm (I used one Rotisserie chickent)
1/2 cup hot sauce (such as Frank's Red Hot)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup blue cheese dressing
celery and carrots to serve alongside
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Prick the potatoes a few times with a fork and bake at 400F until tender, about an hour.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Let the potatoes cool, cut in half and scoop out the middle leaving about 1/8 inch of potato on the skin. Reserve the scooped out potato for another use like mashed potatoes. Brush the potato skins all over with the oil and bake at 450F for 10 minutes on each side.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Mix the hot sauce and the melted butter and then mix in the chicken.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Season the inside of the potato skins with salt and pepper. Fill with the chicken, and then sprinkle on the two cheeses.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Broil until the cheese has melted, just a few minutes.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Serve while still warm, garnished with green onions and with celery and carrot sticks and blue cheese dressing for dipping.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
BACON WRAPPED CHICKEN BITES WITH DIPPING SAUCE
(Adapted from Jam Hands)
Photo Credit: Jam Hands
4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
1 (1-pound) package sliced bacon or prosciutto
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 TBSP chili powder

Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp dried chives
1 TBSP dried minced onion
2 drops or so of Tabasco (or your favorite hot sauce)
1 tsp Lemon Pepper
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes. Cut each bacon slice into thirds. Wrap each chicken cube with bacon and secure with a wooden pick.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Stir together brown sugar and chili powder.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Dredge wrapped chicken in mixture. Coat a rack and broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken wrap on rack in broiler pan. Bake 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until bacon is crisp.  I used thick bacon so it actually took a bit longer.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
These are yummy!  Serve with dipping sauce.

CUCUMBER BLACK EYED PEA SALAD
(Adapted from Eating Well)
Photo Credit: Eating Well
3 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
2 TBSP lemon juice
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 diced hot house cucumbers
1 14-ounce can black-eyed peas, rinsed
2/3 cup diced red bell pepper (I used orange, because it's what I had on hand)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Whisk oil, lemon juice, oregano and pepper in a large bowl until combined.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Add cucumber, black-eyed peas, bell pepper, feta, onion and olives; toss to coat.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Allow time for flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

I WANT TO MARRY YOU COOKIES
(Adapted from the Cooking Channel)
Photo Credit: Cooking Channel
It's entirely possible these are the world's greatest cookies!  These cookies are amazing - really buttery and chewy and yummy!  Head's up though - they do take a bit longer than other chocolate chip cookies as there is chill time before cooking.  But,  trust me, it's so worth the wait!!!

1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 cup uncooked rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup chocolate chips
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until melted.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Remove from the heat.
Add the dark brown sugar and granulated sugar and stir until sugars are incorporated and smooth.

Chill the mixture for 10 minutes.
Remove from the refrigerator and stir in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cinnamon and mix together.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Then add in the butter/sugar mixture and stir.  Finally, stir in the white chocolate chips and chocolate chips.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Roll by hand into 24 medium-size balls or use a scoop, and place on a light-colored cookie sheet.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Remove the cookies from the refrigerator and bake for 12 to 14 minutes.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
PERFECTION!
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
DISCLAIMER: The creator of these said that these cookies are a sure thing to get someone to fall in love with you...Apparently you may need to be prepared for a marriage proposal on the spot. 

WINTER SUN COCKTAIL
(Adapted from Two Tarts)

Thought this drink would be nice, as we are craving some sun and Vitamin D this winter already!

Photo Credit: Two-tarts
juice of 2 clementines (about 1/4 cup)
juice of 1/2 small lemon (1/2 oz)
1/2 oz triple sec
1 1/2 oz vodka
sprig of rosemary
lemon zest
sugar
Moisten the rim of your glass with some fruit juice. (The juice helps the sugar to adhere better than water does.) Combine zest and sugar in a shallow bowl or plate. Turn the glass over onto plate and coat with sugar. Pour juices, triple sec, and vodka into a shaker. Shake and then pour over ice. Garnish with rosemary sprig. (Makes 1.)

THE LATEST IN FAN GEAR!

How about these for gameday?  They are little gloves for your first two fingers to be able to support your team and give the VICTORY sign!  Go to Victory Fingers and order your favorite college or pro team's "fingers" today!  I think they are adorable!!!!
Photo Credit: Victory Fingers

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