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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Superbowl Sunday

[My apologies for not posting this in advance. This blog entry is being created as food is served so is a bit delayed for the photo shoots.]

Well it is that time of year again. This year we are hosting a superbowl party of 20 to 30, mainly guys but some of the wives are coming out as well. They started arriving just before lunchtime. They are playing poker watching one game and waiting for the big game to start. The party will continue into the wee hours of the morning. The menu is rather a mish mash of finger food trying to keep things easy but interesting.

Appetizers: vegetable tray, bacon wrapped cocktail wieners, cocktail wieners with various dips
Dinner: homemade chili with nacho chips, rolls or crackers
Deserts: date squares, chocolate chip cookies
Snacks: stovetop popped pop corn, nachos with cheese & salsa, pretzels dipped in chocolate, pretzels with mustard

I made the chili Saturday , a huge pot so will fill the largest crockpot (about 1/4 of the chili) with enough to heat for about 5ish. After dinner I'll set it up again for a later evening snack. Everything else will be out except for the hot appetizers that I pass around on trays. Quite a few attending also bring snacky type foods even though I always say no so I'll have to work those into the day as well. For these types of events snacks are constantly out for those who want to nibble. I aim to serve a hot appetizer or snack about every 2 hours with dinner served about 5:30 PM. The last hot snack is served about 10:30 PM with finger foods left out for snacking after that.

Chocolate Pretzels

I came across the idea of chocolate dipped pretzels from a gift basket we received but apparently this is not a new idea. Something sweet, specifically chocolate nicely accents the saltiness of of the pretzels. The crunch is just a nice snack effect.

Sam's Club sells a 55 oz barrel of large pretzel sticks for $5.57. These pretzels are the perfect size for dipping in chocolate or other sauces. Chocolate wafers for candy making can be found anywhere they sell candy making supplies. Bulk Barn in Ontario sells them as does Goulda's KitchenI had about a half pound of white chocolate mint wafer's left over from Christmas candy making that I decided to use for dipping the pretzels in. I was a bit unsure of the mint but one taste of the combination told me it was fine. The guys loved the chocolate dipped pretzel sticks so this will be a snack I will be making again for these types of events.

Method: Bring water to boil in a double broiler or use a large sauce pan for the water and a smaller one for the chocolate. Place the chocolate wafers in the smaller pan letting the hot water from the larger pan melt the chocolate. Dip each pretzel about 2 inches into the chocolate. Swirl a little then place on a sheet of wax paper to cool. When the chocolate has hardened place the pretzels on a serving platter for serving.

Date Squares

The superbowl party much like the monthly card parties means finger foods even for desserts. Bars, squares and cookies are an ideal choice. Date squares are great because they go over well and left overs make great breakfast bars.

Date Squares

3 c chopped dates
¼ c organic sugar
1½ c water
¾ c butter, softened
1 c brown sugar
1¾ c unbleached flour
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp baking soda
1½ c quick-cooking oats

Mix the first three ingredients together in a saucepan. Cook over low heat while stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Allow the date mixture to cool. Place the remaining ingredients in the bowl of a KitchenAid® stand mixer or similar. Mix well. Grease a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan. Pour half of the flour mixture into the pan. Press it evenly in the bottom of the pan. Spoon the date mixture over this and spread evenly. Top with the remaining flour mix and press lightly. Bake at 400ºF for 25 to 30 minutes or until light golden brown. Cut into 1 x 3 inch bars while still warm.

Bacon Wrapped Smokies

I am always trying new appetizers so when I came across a recipe at Allrecipes for using smokies as an appetizer that was different from using a sauce so I just had to try it. I read through the recipe then decided it really was more of a method with no hard set amounts. So I went with that. These appetizers were a huge winner!

I bought a 3.5 lb package of Hillshire Farm's Lit'l Smokies for $7.73 (US) and a 500 g package of President's Choice bacon for $3.49 (CDN). I used about ⅓ of the package of smokies and almost all of the bacon.

Method: Cut across the bacon strips to form three sections. Wrap each smokie in a strip of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place the wrapped smokies onto a Silpat® lined baking sheet. If you do not have a Silpat® use parchment paper. Sprinkle brown sugar over the wrapped smokies. Bake at 325ºF for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and place on platter for serving.

I hope everyone enjoyed their superbowl Sunday :)


2 food lovers commented:

Stephanie said...

Some fun foods! I hope you enjoyed your party! :)

Garden Gnome said...

Thanks Stephanie! The party was a huge success.