March 3, 2024


General Evolution

Column: Susan McClanahan: A few game-day recipes (2/4/21)

The biggest football game of the year is coming in a few days, and that means snacks, finger foods and treats in front of the television to enjoy the game.

Some football fans enjoy their own food traditions, such as chili, barbecue or loaded baked potato bar, but at our house, we usually do a few finger foods and appetizer type items to enjoy throughout the game.

Today, I have pulled together a few recipes for you to look over and see if any of these might make it onto your football game buffet.

May your favorite team win!

Pimento Cheese Sausage Dip

* 1 pound ground pork sausage, cooked and drained

* 1 (8 ounce) block cream cheese, room temperature

* 1 (10 ounce) can green chilies and tomatoes (Rotel), Do Not drain

* 1 (12 ounce) container pimento cheese (about 1 1/2 cups if homemade)

To a large skillet, add cooked sausage, cream cheese, pimento cheese and can of green chilies and tomatoes. Do not drain chilies and tomatoes. Cook on medium low heat, stirring often until cream cheese is melted. Serve immediately with tortilla chips and fresh celery.


Ham Biscuits with Apricot Mustard

For the Ham Biscuit Sandwiches:

* 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for work surface

* 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder

* 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

* 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

* 1 teaspoon kosher salt

* 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus 2 teaspoons melted

* 1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk

* Sliced ham

* Apricot Mustard (below), sliced extra-sharp Cheddar, and lettuce leaves, for serving

For the Apricot Mustard:

* 1/2 cup apricot jam

* 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard

* 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Ham Biscuit Sandwiches: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Cut in cold butter with a pastry blender or fork until coarse crumbs form.

Make the biscuits: Stir buttermilk into flour mixture until just combined. Turn out dough onto a well-floured work surface and knead lightly three or four times. Pat into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle. Cut into nine squares and transfer to a baking sheet, placing close together but not touching. Brush with melted butter. Bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Halve biscuits and top with ham. Serve with Apricot Mustard, Cheddar and lettuce alongside.

Make the Apricot Mustard: Whisk together apricot jam, whole-grain mustard, and Dijon mustard in a bowl. Makes 2/3 cup.


Sweet Vidalia Onion Dip

This hot, cheesy dip is made with just 3 simple ingredients and baked to bubbly perfection. The ideal appetizer for game days, parties, or anytime you’re craving something gooey and delicious!

* 2 cups diced Vidalia onion

* 2 cups Swiss cheese

* 2 cups mayo

Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Mix well. Spoon into an 8- x 8-inch baking dish.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.

Serve with crackers, rye chips, crostini, or veggies.

Recipe variations:

* Add 1 -2 tablespoons of fresh minced herbs

* Add 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or a couple dashes of your favorite hot sauce

* Add 1 teaspoon mustard powder for extra flavor

* Use a combination of Swiss and Parmesan cheeses

* Add 1/2 pound cooked bacon


Mexican Corn Dip

* 2 (15.25 ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained

* 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies

* 1/4 cup mayonnaise

* 1/4 cup sour cream

* 1 teaspoon chili powder

* 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

* 1 cup Cotija or Feta cheese, crumbled

* 2 tablespoons cilantro or parsley, chopped

* 1 lime, juiced

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

To a large bowl, add mayonnaise, sour cream, green chilies, garlic powder, chili powder, lime juice, salt, and half of the cheese. Stir to combine.

Add in the drained corn and stir. Sprinkle on remaining cheese and cilantro and toss. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to enjoy.


Instant Pot Pulled Pork Nachos

For the Pulled Pork:

* 1 (5-6 pound) pork, Boston butt

* 3 tablespoon paprika

* 1 tablespoon dry mustard

* 1 tablespoon garlic powder

* 1 tablespoon brown sugar

* 3 tablespoons kosher salt

* 1 tablespoon black pepper

For the Ultimate Nachos:

* 1 (13 ounce) bag tortilla chips

* 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

* 2 cups Monterrey jack cheese, shredded

* 1 cup tomatoes, diced

* 1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

* 1 (15.5 ounce) can corn, rinsed and drained

* 1 avocado, pitted and chopped

* 1/4 cup pickled jalapenos

* 1 cup BBQ sauce, your favorite

* 1 cup sour cream

* 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro if desired

For the Pulled Pork: In a small bowl, mix together paprika, mustard, garlic powder, brown sugar, kosher salt and pepper. Place pork in a glass baking dish and sprinkle over dry rub and pat into meat on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Remove pork from glass container and place in Instant Pot. Set to pressure cook — high. Set time to 15 minutes per pound of pork. When timer sounds, turn Instant Pot off and allow steam to release naturally, approximately 20 minutes. When valve drops, remove lid and carefully remove pork from pot. Shred meat with two forks.

For the Ultimate Nachos:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Using a large cast iron skillet or oven proof pan, layer on tortilla chips covering bottom. Add a layer of pulled pork then sprinkle with cheddar and Monterrey jack cheese. Repeat with another layer. Place skillet in oven and cook for 10 minutes or until cheese has melted and chips are hot.

Remove skillet from oven. Layer on tomatoes, beans, corn, avocado and jalapenos. Drizzle on BBQ sauce and sour cream. Top with additional pulled pork and cheese.


Pineapple Bacon Cheese Ball

Crushed pineapple, smoky bacon, and loads of cheese are all turned into a sweet, savory cheese ball that’s irresistible.

* 2 (8 ounce) blocks of softened cream cheese

* 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained

* 1/2 cup cooked chopped bacon

* 2 tablespoons chopped chives

* 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

* 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

* 1 teaspoon garlic powder

* 1/4 teaspoon salt

* 1/4 teaspoon pepper

* 1 cup chopped pecans

* 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Place all ingredients into a medium-size bowl. Using a hand mixer or wooden spoon, mix until well blended. Divide mixture in half and form into balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator.

Before serving, coat cheese ball with chopped pecans and parsley.

Note: Cheese ball can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw, then roll in chopped pecans and parsley then serve.


Sweet Heat Pickles

Sweet Heat Pickles will leave you wondering why you haven’t made them before. These pickles are delicious on a sandwich or BBQ, but are also good nibbled on as a snack or on a cheese and snack board.

* 1 large jar (about 46 ounces) plain Dill pickles , about 6 cups sliced (not kosher dill – they do not work with this recipe – this is important)

* 2 cups sugar

* 6 cloves garlic, minced

* 2 teaspoons fresh jalapeño, chopped, less depending on how much heat you like

* 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

* 2 teaspoons parsley, chopped

Drain pickles and discard juice. Save the jar to store pickles in later. Slice pickles into 1/4 to 1/2 inch.

Begin layering into a larger jar: 1-1/2 cup of pickles per layer. Top the pickles with 1/2 cup sugar, 2 cloves of garlic sliced or chopped, 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon of chopped jalapeño.

Repeat layers until all pickles are used. Pour any remaining sugar on top.

Cover jar and store on the counter for about an hour, or until the sugar begins to liquefy.

Stir, turn jar over and upside down, or simply shake to mix the pickles well, and pull any undissolved sugar up from the bottom.

Cover and leave on the counter for several more hours, or overnight. Stir and refrigerate 1 to 2 additional days.


Spicy Cheese Cracker Snack Mix

Spicy Cheese Cracker Snack Mix is a homemade treat that’s perfect for parties, game day, or movie night! It’s crunchy, salty, cheesy, and full of flavor with a kick of heat. It’s so much better than store-bought and super easy to make.

* 4 cups square cheese crackers

* 4 cups Goldfish Cheddar crackers

* 4 cups Fritos

* 3 cups mini pretzels

* 8 tablespoons (1 stick) melted butter

* 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

* 1 teaspoon dried dill

* 1 teaspoon dried parsley

* 1 teaspoon garlic powder

* 1 teaspoon onion powder

* 1 tablespoon dried chives

* 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Line 2 baking pans with parchment and set aside.

To a small bowl, add melted butter, Worcestershire sauce, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, dried chives, salt, and cayenne pepper. Mix to combine.

Add cheese crackers, Goldfish crackers, Fritos, and pretzels to a large bowl. Pour seasoned butter over crackers and toss to combine. Divide seasoned cracker mix between 2 prepared baking pans and place in oven. Bake for 10 minutes then toss mixture. Cook an additional 10 minutes then toss a second time. Continue baking for 10 minutes.

Remove pans from the oven and let cool 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.


Crock Pot Mississippi Chicken Sliders

With only 5 ingredients, Mississippi Chicken cooked in the slow cooker is tender, juicy, and packed with spicy flavors. When this mouthwatering chicken is turned into sliders, with melted cheese then you’ve got something irresistible for a weeknight meal. This scrumptious recipe is great to serve as an appetizer, for parties, and perfect for game day.

* 6-8 skinless chicken thighs (you can use bone-in or boneless)

* 3 tablespoons dry ranch seasoning (about 1 and 1/2 packets)

* 8 tablespoons butter

* 1/2 of a 16 ounce jar whole pepperoncini peppers, with juice

* 1 teaspoon red chili flakes

For The Sliders:

* 2 packages Hawaiian dinner rolls, sliced in half horizontally

* 1/2 cup mayonnaise

* 1/4 cup spicy mustard

* 24 slices Gouda cheese (substitute provolone if desired)

* 3 tablespoons butter

* 1 tablespoon dry ranch seasoning

* 1 tablespoon dried parsley

Place chicken in the crock pot. Sprinkle over ranch seasoning. Place pepperoncini peppers and half the juice from the jar around the chicken. Add butter and sprinkle on red chili flakes.

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.

When chicken is done, remove from crock pot and shred with 2 forks.

How To Make The Sliders: Slice Hawaiian dinner rolls in half, horizontally. Spread spicy mustard and mayonnaise on the cut side of the bottom and top of rolls.

Place shredded chicken evenly on the bottom of dinner rolls. Layer on cheese and place top of rolls over the chicken and cheese.

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter and add 1 tablespoon of ranch seasoning along with 1 tablespoon of parsley. Brush mixture over top of rolls. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove foil, brush with any remaining butter, and place in the oven for 5 additional minutes.

Remove sliders from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Cut rolls into individual portions and serve warm.


Game Day Crock Pot Meatballs

Game Day Meatballs are a crowd pleasing appetizer perfect to enjoy while cheering on your favorite team! Tender meatballs cooked low and slow in the Crock-Pot in a tangy, sweet sauce are super easy to make giving you more time to join in the fun.

* 1 (28 ounce) bottle BBQ Sauce

* 1 (10 ounce) jar apricot preserves

* 1/4 cup whole-grain mustard

* 1 (32 ounce) package frozen meatballs (2 pounds)

Add meatballs to the Crock-Pot.

To a medium-size bowl, add BBQ sauce, apricot preserves, and mustard. Whisk together and pour over meatballs. Place cover lid on slow cooker and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours.


Loaded Nachos

* 2 teaspoons olive oil

* 3/4 pound fresh chorizo, casings removed

* 1 small onion, chopped

* 2 cloves garlic, chopped

* 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed

* 8 ounces tortilla chips

* 10 ounces sharp Cheddar or pepper Jack cheese, grated (about 2.5 cups)

* 1/2 small head iceberg lettuce, shredded

* 3/4 cup fresh salsa

* 1 avocado, chopped

* Fresh cilantro

* Pickled jalapenos

* Sour cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chorizo, onion, and garlic and cook, breaking chorizo into pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in beans and cook until warm, 2 to 4 minutes.

Spread chips on prepared pan. Spoon chorizo mixture over chips and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and chips are toasted, 10 to 12 minutes.

Serve topped with lettuce, salsa, avocado, cilantro, jalapeños, and sour cream or the toppings of your choice.


Texas Sheet Cake Bites

Texas Sheet Cake Bites have all the delicious flavor of the classic dessert in a perfect little bite sized package. Whip up a batch of these little cakes covered in homemade chocolate frosting and enjoy them for an afternoon snack, a party treat, or a fun dessert.

For the Cakes:

* 2 cups all-purpose flour

* 2 cups granulated sugar

* 1 teaspoon baking soda

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1 cup butter

* 3/4 cup water

* 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

* 1/2 cup buttermilk

* 2 eggs beaten

For the Frosting:

* 1/2 cup butter

* 1/3 cup buttermilk

* 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* 1 pound powdered sugar

For the Cakes, Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray mini muffin pan generously with non-stick cooking spray or line with mini muffin liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, water, and cocoa powder and heat over medium heat until boiling, stirring often. Pour into the dry mixture and mix just until combined. Gently stir in the buttermilk and beaten eggs. The batter will be quite thin.

Scoop the batter into the prepared mini muffin pan, filling each well about 2/3 full. Bake at 325 degrees for 10-12 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool the cake bites in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

For the Frosting, in a medium saucepan, combine the buttermilk, butter, and cocoa. Heat over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil, whisking often. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract and powdered sugar until smooth.

Spoon the frosting over the cake bites and allow a few minutes for the frosting to set.


Red Velvet Earthquake Cake

Earthquake cakes are usually made with a German chocolate cake mix, however this one uses red velvet and is prepared it in a different way. Instead of putting the coconut on the bottom, mix with the cream cheese, toss in some chocolate chips, and skip the nuts. This cake was so moist and delicious. Don’t forget to try Chocolate Fudge and Pumpkin too!

* 1 box Red Velvet Cake Mix (plus the ingredients needed to prepare the cake)

* 1/2 cup butter

* 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

* 1 teaspoon vanilla

* 2 cups powdered sugar

* 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

* 1 1/2 cups coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease a 9- × 13-inch pan.

Melt the butter either in the microwave or on the stove. Mix in the cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Fold in the chocolate chips and coconut; set aside.

Prepare cake mix according to the package directions. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Spoon dollops of the cream cheese mixture onto the batter leaving a 1-inch edge. Lightly swirl the batter around continuing to leave a 1-inch edge.

Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing.


Have a great week, and until next time, happy cooking.