I find it hard to believe that we are now in the month of February. Wasn’t it just last week that I was sharing recipes for Christmas, closely followed by tips on how to be healthier in the new year?
And now that February is heart month — and we’ll be sure to explore that soon — there are two really big celebrations coming up that require a hometown food columnist to dig deep for some great ideas. I believe the Super Bowl will happen on the 12thth this year, perhaps eclipsing Valentine’s Day, arriving two days later. And many hosts and flight attendants will be caught trying to plan parties and celebrations for the crowd and quiet intimate dinners for two. Perhaps.
So over the next few weeks, we’re going to make an effort to feature favorite game day snacks for the big one, with a focus on something a little more elegant as we approach Valentine’s Day.
(And how about this mom who has two sons playing on different teams this year? Bless her heart. I can’t imagine.)
Cordon Bleu Minis with a twist
2 chicken breasts, cooked and sliced very thinly
8 slices deli ham
8 slices of Swiss cheese
1 box of crescent roll dough
2 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Preheat oven to 375. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray or cover with parchment paper. Remove the crescent roll dough from the box and arrange it into a long rectangle. Press the seams tightly. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Arrange cheese, ham and chicken. Begin rolling the dough like a cinnamon roll; cut into 8 equal slices. Place each baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes until lightly browned.
Mix honey and mustard together to use as a dipping sauce.
Slow Cooked BBQ Ribs
1 cup of water
1 cup of ketchup
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
2 tbsp. ready mustard
1 tbsp. salt
2 pounds beef back (short) ribs
Combine water, ketchup, tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard and salt in a slow cooker, stirring to dissolve the brown sugar and salt.
Place ribs in sauce and toss to coat. Set heat to low; cover and cook 8 hours.
Barbecue Beef Muffins
1 box of refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1 lb ground beef
½ cup ketchup
3 tbsp. Brown sugar
1 tbsp. Apple vinegar
½ tsp. Chili powder
1 cup (4 ounces) grated cheddar cheese
Divide the biscuits into 10 pieces and flatten into 5-inch rounds. Press into greased muffin tins (bottom and sides). Brown beef in pan and drain. In a bowl, mix ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar and chili powder. Blend until smooth. Add the meat and mix well. Divide (about ¼ cup each) into muffin cups. Sprinkle with cheese and bake at 375° for 18-20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and remove from pan and serve.
French Dip Sliders
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped or finely chopped
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
12 sweet mini rolls
10 slices of provolone cheese
14 oz sliced roast beef
½ cup unsalted butter
1½ tbsp. dried onion soup mix
1 dot or sauce mix
3 cups of water
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish, if desired
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 3 tbsp. butter. Add the onion and cook until the onion is translucent. Mix with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Remove the rolls from the package and, using a large serrated knife, carefully slice the rolls, keeping the top and bottom intact. Place bottom half in large baking pan; layer with half the cheese, all the roast beef, onion and then the remaining cheese. Add the top layer of rolls.
In a small bowl, mix together ½ cup unsalted butter and the onion soup mix, brushing the top of the rolls or pouring gently and spreading to cover. Wrap in foil. Bake for about 25 minutes. Remove the foil and heat for another 5 minutes to lightly brown the rolls.
Peanut butter soccer balls
1 lb box powdered sugar
3 oz package cream cheese
12 oz jar of peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
½ stick of butter
Icing of decorator’s choice
Mix the first five ingredients well with clean hands. Shape into miniature “soccer balls” and place on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Chill for ½ hour.
12 ounces of semisweet or milk chocolate chips
½ bar paraffin
Melt the paraffin and chocolate in a double boiler. (Or gently melt in microwave, being careful not to burn it.) Coat footballs with chocolate; garnish as desired and refrigerate.
Note: Football “stitches” can be added using a small tube of frosting or decorator gel in colors of your choice to reflect your team.