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Scrumptious Super Bowl Snacks

Super Bowl Sunday is just around the corner and whether you’ll be watching for the commercials, for the halftime show, or for the football, one guaranteed way to enjoy the game more is snacks. There is no reason to spend a bunch of money on premade cookies and fruit trays when you can make your own. Here are some easy recipes to impress the girls (or the guys!). 

Pregame:

The game starts at 6:30pm (on FOX) so odds are you won’t eat beforehand. If you want to graze all game, here are some great options that you can serve and leave out.

Victory Veggie Tray:

Need:

-large tray

– veggies

-dip

Prep:

-rinse all veggies

-artfully arrange

-put a bowl of ranch in the center

Yes, it’s that easy. Bonus points if you make your own ranch (hint: Hidden Valley sells seasoning packets you can put with sour cream and ranch to make your own). As far as veggies go, I recommend broccoli, carrots, celery, grape or cherry tomatoes and cucumber. If you want to go slightly more exotic, add radishes or cauliflower. This one is all in the presentation, a large round tray works best.

Coin Flip Cheese Plate:

Need:

-assorted cheeses

-crackers

-baguette (optional)

-large tray

Prep:

-slice your favorite cheeses (cubes or slices are fine)

-artfully arrange

-arrange crackers by type (you can use a plate or throw them in a basket)

The best part of planning the food for a party is that you can pick whatever you like. So if you want to go with a classic cheese tray (cheddar, American, Swiss and pepper jack) you can! However, if you happen to be a cheese addict, like me, feel free to go with a more upscale cheese plate. Some of my favorites are brie, goat cheese (THE BEST!), Gouda, aged cheddar (it has a sharper flavor) and gorgonzola (similar to bleu cheese but tastier). Remember, if you go the fancier route, be sure to have at least one or two classic cheeses for any less adventurous eaters. I recommend serving thinly sliced baguette with the fancier cheeses, but plain crackers work really well too!

Seahawks Spinach Artichoke Dip:

Need:

-mayonnaise

-artichokes in seasoned oil

-1 bag of baby spinach

-parmesan cheese

-medium sized microwave safe bowl (should hold about 2 cups)

-covered container (for steaming the spinach)

-measuring spoons

-spoon (for stirring)

-pita bread or thinly sliced baguette

Prep:

-rinse and steam the spinach (with a little bit of water) in a covered container until it is droopy (normally takes 2-3 minutes, but continue adding time until it is done)

-chop spinach and set aside

-drain artichokes, chop into bite size pieces and set aside

-combine half a cup of mayo (feel free to use lite you will not be able to taste the difference and it will save you a bunch of calories) and half a cup of parmesan cheese in microwave safe bowl

-stir in artichokes and spinach until well mixed

-cook for about 6 minutes (stir every 2) or until done

-serve with warm pita triangles (cut pitas into 6-8 pieces) or baguette slices

All times are approximate, as microwaves vary. Basically, cook everything until it’s done. You can use regular canned artichokes, but the ones in seasoned oil that come in jars definitely taste better. This recipe is super easy, just make sure you cook the spinach properly. It will give off some oil (from the mayo and artichokes) so feel free to drain this off or dab with a paper towel. This is my favorite spin dip recipe and puts restaurant ones to shame. 

Touchdown Taco Dip:

Need:

-1 package or tub or light cream cheese

-1 jar of salsa

-1 head of lettuce

-1 bag of shredded cheese (cheddar, colby jack or pepper jack work best)

-guacamole (optional but recommended)

-taco meat (optional)

-canned black beans (optional)

-jalapenos (optional)

-olives (optional)

-tomatoes (optional)

-flat pan (9×9 or smaller recommended)

-spatula

-tortilla chips

Prep:

-leave cream cheese out to soften

-spread cream cheese onto bottom of pan with spatula

-spread a layer of salsa

-add layer of drained beans (optional)

-add layer of taco meat (optional)

-cover with lettuce

-cover with cheese

-add jalapenos, olives, tomato (optional)

-make shamrock with guacamole in the center (non-optional, both teams have ND grads on them!) 

The key to a good taco dip is adding what you like and excluding what you don’t. I’m not a big beans person, so I leave them out, meat is also totally optional. If you want to make your own taco meat, get a seasoning mix and combine with 1/3-1/2 pound of 90% lean ground beef. Season the beef to taste and drain. I would recommend medium salsa (so that it’s not too spicy). As for jalapenos, unless you know people like them, put them around the edges so that they’re easy to avoid. Enjoy with tortilla chips!

I don’t believe in prepackaged guacamole, so here’s my bonus recipe for guac:

Golden Tate Guacamole:

Need:

-1-2 ripe (but not over ripe) avocados

-garlic powder

-garlic salt

-season salt

-cilantro

-lime juice

-tomato (optional)

-slice of red onion (optional)

-fresh garlic (optional but recommended)

-bowl

-garlic press (optional)

-knife

-masher or fork

-spoon

Prep:

-cut avocado(s) in half and de-pit

-scrape out insides and mash until desired consistency

-chop cilantro finely and add to taste

-add 3 squirts of lime juice (to taste)

-peel and press or finely chop garlic (optional but trust me fresh garlic is the way to go)

– add garlic powder, garlic salt and season salt to taste

-chop tomato and add (optional)

-chop one slice of red onion and add

-stir together and add more lime juice, garlic or seasonings as desired

Broncos Buffalo Wing Dip:

Need:

-1 bottle of Frank’s hot sauce

-1 package of light cream cheese

-1/2 cup of light ranch dressing

-1 large cooked chicken breast

-1 bag of shredded cheddar cheese

-1 baking pan (8×8 or 9×9)

-1 medium size bowl

-spatula

-knife

-spoon

-1 small pan

-celery and carrots or tortilla chips

Prep:

-preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

-soften cream cheese

-cut chicken breast into small cubes

-cook in small pan (you can use water or hot sauce for moisture)

-combine softened cream cheese, ½ cup of ranch and ½ cup of Frank’s in a bowl

-stir mixture until relatively smooth (the cream cheese may still be a little chunky)

-add in chicken and stir (add more hot sauce if too mild)

-pour mixture into pan and top with cheese

-bake for 20 minutes or until evenly heated (if the cheese hasn’t melted, it is not done)

The key with this dish is to make sure the chicken is cut small enough, you can shred if it you prefer, but that can be a lot of work. I like my dip spicier, so I often add a little more hot sauce. If you’re a big cheese fan, you can add some shredded cheese to the mixture, but it will be chunkier. I’m from buffalo and this is one of my favorite party recipes. You can serve this with tortilla chips or celery and carrots.

You’ll notice that this recipe has a lot of “add to taste,” because everyone likes their guac to taste differently and in my house, we just kind of eye everything up. I’m a big fan of garlic, so I usually go heavier on it. Lime juice will help preserve your guac, so be sure to add enough. The seasonings can be overpowering if you add too much, so be careful with them. When in doubt, add more garlic powder over garlic salt. If you’re putting the guac on top of your taco dip, you can definitely leave out the tomatoes and onion. Getting guac to taste just right is an art, it takes practice and every avocado is different, don’t get discouraged if your first go isn’t quite restaurant quality! To check the ripeness of an avocado, give it a squeeze. It should give a little, but not too much; hard means it’s under-ripe, squishy means it’s overripe. 

Post-Game:

Every good party should conclude with something sweet. Here are a few great ways to end a Super Bowl party!

Final Score Fruit Kebabs:

Need:

-fruit

-wooden or metal kebab sticks

-donut holes (optional)

-13×9 cake pan

Prep:

-put the fruit (and donut holes) on sticks

-stack in cake pan

I recommend using wooden kebab sticks for a party, because you can just throw them out, but if you want to use metal ones, Target has some super cheap ones depending on the season. As it’s the middle of winter, I’d recommend wood. The donut holes are a fun twist to your traditional fruit kebab, but if you want to keep them healthy, fresh fruit will work wonders. A fruit salad (simply cut up the fruit and throw in a bowl) or fruit tray (artful arrangement is key, are you seeing a pattern?) are also good options.

If you want to attempt to make team colored kebabs, the Broncos are orange, navy and white. A good way to pull this one off would be powdered donut holes, oranges or clementines, and blueberries. For the Seahawks, whose colors are navy, neon green and grey, I recommend blackberries (almost navy right?) and kiwis or melon. Unfortunately there are not any grey fruits, so these may be have to be monochromatic. Don’t forget to make a few with strawberries, raspberries, and bananas, which are just too good to be missed. Stack the finished kebabs in a cake pan to keep them from rolling away.

Super Sundae Bowl Buffet:

Need:

-2-3 tubs of ice cream

-sprinkles

-whip cream

-cherries (optional)

-chocolate and strawberry syrup

-candy

-bowls

-spoons

-ice cream scoop

Prep:

-lay out items left to right

-start with bowls, spoons and ice cream

-next put out syrups and candy

-end with whip cream, sprinkles and cherries

I think ice cream is best served DIY. You can feel free to add caramel and hot fudge if you like and any of your favorite candies. If you’re lacking inspiration, I recommend a visit to Let’s Spoon! This is the perfect ending to a great game. Happy cooking, game watching, commercial critiquing, and eating!

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Maria Fahs

Notre Dame

Maria is finishing her Masters in English at Notre Dame. She has read many good books and several bad books, but she usually tries not to finish those. Her current favorites are: 1984, The Book Thief, The Tragedy Paper, Code Name Verity, Dr. Copernicus, I Am the Messenger, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and of course, Harry Potter. She is writing her second thesis on Harry Potter, exploring notions of authorship and reader agency in the digital age. She even managed to write her Capstone on British Children's Literature and designed her own Directed Readings Course on Notre Dame history during undergrad. Her favorite way to read is with a mug of tea and scented candles. When she doesn't have her nose stuck in a book, she can be found binging on the BBC (Downton Abbey, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Merlin [RIP]). Her favorite color is purple, she studied abroad in London, and she enjoys being an amateur painter. She harbors a not-so-secret dream of one day writing a children's book, but until then, she is likely to be found reading them and writing letters whenever she gets a chance. She hopes to teach English or work in a university sharing her love of education.
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