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Game day treats to make bowl-watching more fun

January 30, 2019

Father Jack from Coventry, UK/Wikimedia Commons
Looking for game day foods to serve family and friends? Try some ham and cheese sliders.

Even though I am not much of a sports fan, I still do enjoy a few baseball, basketball and football games, especially when I watch them at my mom’s house. It’s always more fun when you are with some real enthusiasts; their excitement is catching.


Added to the fun of watching a game, such as the Super Bowl coming up on Feb. 3, is having some delicious food to eat.


Some people serve finger foods and some serve a full dinner. Others have a pot-luck with various casseroles, salads and sandwiches. The best part is it all works and you have the freedom to serve anything you want.


Choose a team to root for and one to boo, load up a plate, take a comfy seat and enjoy.

Crock pot Tex-Mex dip


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


1 small onion, coarsely chopped


1medium green bell pepper, coarsely chopped


1/2 teaspoon ground cumin


1/2 teaspoon paprika


1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


1 can (14.5-oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained


1 block (16-oz.) pasteurized cheese product (such as Velveeta)


1/4 cup whole milk


1 can (15.5-oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained


1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro, plus more for serving


(15.5-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained


4 teaspoons bottled hot sauce


8 ounces shredded Mexican-style cheese


2 avocados, diced


Tortilla chips, for serving

1. In a large skillet, place olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cumin, paprika and garlic powder and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute.


2. Scrape the onion mixture into the slow cooker and add diced tomatoes, pasteurized cheese and milk.


3. Cook on high for 1 hour or low for 2 hours, until bubbly. Stir in the black beans, cilantro, and hot sauce until well combined. Stir in shredded Mexican-style cheese until just melted. Top with avocado and garnish with cilantro. Dash generously with hot sauce. Serve with tortilla chips.

Chili cheese dog cups


1 can refrigerated biscuit dough


Cooking spray, for pan


1 can of your favorite chili, with or without beans


8 hot dogs, sliced


1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


1 egg, whisked


1/2 onion, finely chopped


1 teaspoon chives, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease 2 muffin trays with nonstick cooking spray.


2. Carefully slice biscuits in half and press into the inside of the prepared muffin cups.


3. Spoon heaping tablespoons of chili into the biscuit cups and top with 4 to 5 slices of hot dog and a sprinkling of Cheddar cheese.


4. Brush overhanging biscuit dough with beaten egg and bake in preheated oven until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Top with onion and chives and serve. Makes 16 chili cups.

Ham and cheese sliders


1/4 cup mustard (any kind)


1 tablespoons honey


1/4 cup butter, melted


1 tablespoon poppy seeds


1/4 cup mayonnaise


12 slider buns (or any soft, pre-baked dinner rolls) *See note.


12 slices deli ham


12 Slices Swiss cheese


*Note: You can use ready-to-bake dinner rolls, but do adjust oven time.


1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine mustard and honey; whisk to combine.


2. Make poppy dressing: In a medium bowl, combine butter, poppy seeds and 1 tablespoon of the honey-mustard mixture. Whisk to combine.


3. Split slider buns in half horizontally and place bottom half on baking sheet. Spread mayonnaise in an even layer on the bottom layer of slider buns, then top with an even layer of ham and cheese. Spread top buns with honey-mustard mixture, then place on top of cheese layer. Pour poppy seed dressing on tops of buns (using a pastry brush to spread if necessary) until all buns are coated.


4. Place in preheated oven and bake until cheese is melted and buns are golden, 10 to 12 minutes, if using ready-to-bake rolls. If using pre-baked ones, just heat the sandwiches up until the cheese is melted. Do not overbrown the rolls. Slice and serve hot.

Chili beef corn bread casserole


This can be doubled if you like.

1 pound ground beef


1 tablespoon cornstarch


1 tablespoon dried minced onion


1 teaspoon chili powder


1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


1 can (15-oz.) tomato sauce


3/4 cup flour


3/4 cup yellow cornmeal


3 tablespoons sugar


2 teaspoons baking powder


2 large eggs


1/2 cup milk


3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil


1 can (8 1/4-oz.) cream-style corn


1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


Sour cream and salsa, optional

1. Preheat oven to 375. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles; drain. Stir in cornstarch, onion, chili powder and garlic powder. Stir in tomato sauce. Cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat.


2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk eggs, milk and oil until well blended; stir in corn. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Stir in cheese.


3. Spread half of the batter into a greased 2-quart baking dish (larger, of course, if you are doubling the recipe). Top with beef mixture. Spread remaining batter over filling.


4. Bake, uncovered, until a toothpick inserted in corn bread portion comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. If desired, serve with sour cream and salsa. Makes 6 servings.

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