Are you ready for some football..... food?
Who says women can’t enjoy football food? Or even football, for that matter. Okay, I’m just bluffing. I’m not really that into football, but I stand by my statement that good football food is not just for the guys. Last night, I hosted a Ladies Night for 8 friends with a pre-Super Bowl football theme, and we turned traditional game day snacks on their ear. Forget what you’ve heard about dude food. This one’s dedicated to the ladies.
To start, there was the usual line-up of raw veggies and ranch dip.
Crispy, crunchy veggies with homemade Ranch = yum!
Want to know a secret? That ranch dip is fat free. I stirred one envelope of dry Hidden Valley Ranch dip mix into a 16-ounce tub of Fage 0% fat free Greek yogurt. And the kicker is that you’d never know it wasn’t made with full-fat sour cream. I’m not kidding. You can’t tell the difference. At all.
Of course, it’s not a party without a good layered nacho dip, am I right?
Nacho Dip - so many layers, so little time
And I don’t know about you, but come game day – I hafta get my queso on.
Heart be still - it's a big vat of ooey gooey cheese
This is my recipe for easy Queso Blanco. In a large saucepan, brown one pound of hot breakfast sausage, mashing it into little pieces as it cooks. If it’s too greasy, drain it. Throw in 2 cans (4 ozs. each) of roasted mild green chilies, 2-3 diced jalapenos (depending on how much heat you can take), a one-pound box of Velveeta (cubed) and one pound of white American cheese from your grocer’s deli (sliced thin works well since it melts faster). Put a lid on the pan and let it simmer over low heat until the cheese is mostly melted, then add enough milk to bring it to your desired consistency. I like mine in the medium range. For me, runny queso is no bueno and queso that’s too thick makes me think of my colon and the prune juice I’ll be shopping for tomorrow (sorry for the visual).
Next up, my take on buffalo wings. Here’s my take – they’re too dang messy.
Buffalo Chicken Rolls - much easier to eat, ladies.
Taking inspiration from my phobia of dirty hands and the blog ‘Can You Stay for Dinner?’, I made Buffalo Chicken Rolls instead. Andie’s version is fancier than mine, but she inspired this treat. To start, I simmered 6 boneless/skinless chicken thighs and 2 boneless/skinless breasts until they were fall-apart tender, then I let the cool and chopped them into tiny bits. I threw them in a bowl and tossed them with one 16-ounce jar of Hooter’s Wing Sauce and 1 1/2 cups of grated Monterrey Jack cheese. I stirred it all together until it formed a cohesive ball, then I scooped it one tablespoon at a shot onto wonton wrappers. Using a little water around the edges so they would stick, I rolled each wonton wrapper into a miniature eggroll. Once they were all wrapped, I placed them onto wire racks set over rimmed baking sheets (because the oil from the wing sauce WILL find a way to leak out), sprayed them lightly with cooking spray to help them crisp up, and baked them for 30-40 minutes at 350F until they were golden brown and crispy on the outside. Served up with a bottle of Frank’s Red Hot wing sauce and a bowl of creamy blue cheese dip, these had all of the flavor and none of the mess of traditional hot wings. It was a total win/win.
Next up, my friend Kaki’s award winning championship chili with all the fixins’.
The chili station. I want to live here.
I can’t give you the recipe for Kaki’s chili. Seriously, it’s her competition chili. And when I say competition chili, I am NOT. MESSING. AROUND. She travels the U.S. with her new cutie patootie husband competing in state and national chili championships. She doesn’t have a sash, but she is a former Arizona state champion. Her husband competes, too, using his own special recipe. He’s a former Tennessee state champion. No foolin. They’ve been to nationals, y’all! So while I can’t share the recipe, I can tell you that Kaki’s chili is thick and beefy and has just the right amount of burn that radiates through your entire palate when you eat it. It’s perfection. Please don’t ask if she puts beans in it, or I’mma hafta hurt you. Sorry, but it’s a Texas thing.
If you’re like me you’re already thinking ‘yeah, that’s great… but where’s dessert?’ Did you miss it? I’ve already shown it to you. Let’s take a closer look.
That's not layered dip. It's Nacho Average Cheesecake!
That’s right. That pan of layered nacho dip is not dip at all. It’s a cheesecake. Go ahead and take a minute to be blown away. Give me your best E-Trade baby ‘surprised face.’ This clever little beauty came from the Food Network Magazine. Not only is it the most adorable football game day dessert ever, but it was also a ton of fun to make. Basically, it’s a simple cheesecake topped with various candies and pie crust ‘tortilla chips’ that so closely resemble the real deal, most of the ladies walked right up to it and had no idea it was dessert. So not only is it fun to make, and extremely clever, but it also serves as an awesome ‘I just punked my guests’ surprise that no one will ever see coming.
I can’t share the recipe since it’s copyrighted material, but Food Network has it posted online here. I will tell you that I made one substitution. Instead of using sour cream, I used an inexpensive tub of store brand cream cheese frosting. Half the tub went over the top of the cooled cheesecake to mimic sour cream, and the other half of the tub was tinted orange to mimic the melted cheese poured over the top. I left off the black licorice fake olives. Eeesh… can’t stand black licorice!
Best. Game Day Dessert. Ever.
You have to try this one. Please promise me you’ll try it. It will put the fun back in Super Bowl Funday. So Dude Food? It’s a total myth. And we just debunked that sucker. Booyah, boys!