Thursday, January 30, 2014

Super Bowl Sunday!!!!

Growing up I was not a fan of the Super Bowl. Despite being a cheerleader for a few years, I just could never get into the game. Then in college (and for some years after) the Super Bowl conflicted with my birthday - some years being the same day. That is not the best way to turn me into a fan! Finally the NFL wised up and pushed it back a week. Now I can enjoy my birthday weekend AND top off two months of gluttony with a big greasy finish.

Of course you don't have to go crazy on the calories for the Super Bowl. My contribution to the festivities in 2012 was a wonderful Jalapeno Popper Dip. I found the recipe on Pinterest and then changed a few ingredients to lighten it up. It was delicious!

Last year's dish was a take on the classic sliders and the calorie content was not as closely monitored. If you are hosting a large party, this particular dish is great because it stays warm in the slow cooker so people can help themselves!

Cheeseburger Bites
From Pillsbury Fast Slow Cooker Cookbook

This recipe includes my changes. One the major changes was that I doubled the recipe. The existing recipe only called for 1 lb of meat for 24 burger bites. This was just over a tablespoon per bite. I couldn't imagine anyone (especially guys) that would use so little! I also changed the cooking time thanks to the reviews on the website. 3 to 4 hours sounded crazy!

Bites
2 lb lean (at least 80% - I used 90 or 95% lean) ground beef
4 tablespoons ketchup
4 teaspoons instant minced onion (I didn't have minced onion so I finely chopped some onion and sauteed it before adding the meat.)
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
16 oz (2 blocks) cheddar cheese, or whatever cheese you like (the recipe called for American and I used 1 block of cheddar and 1 Monterey Jack), cut into 2 inch cubes
24 miniature burger buns

Toppings
Dill pickle chips
Sliced plum (Roma) tomatoes
Shredded lettuce (I used butter lettuce from a bag of salad.)
Additional ketchup and mustard
Other toppings you enjoy - I also provided relish, sauteed onions, and mayo.

1. In 10 inch skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in ketchup, onion (unless you cooked fresh onion with the meat), and mustard.

2. Spray 3 1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Spoon beef mixture into slow cooker. Top with cheese.

3. Cover; cook on Low heat setting for 1 - 2 hours. Check at one hour to see if the cheese is melted. It may still look "cubed" but if you start to stir it the cubes fall away. I found that mine was ready in a little over an hour. With occasional stirring, this dish will hold on Low heat for several hours. Eventually I did turn off the slow cooker and with the lid on it stayed warm. It can burn if left on for too long.

4. Serve with the buns and toppings. Either assemble yourself or create a buffet for guests to top as they desire.

Photo courtesy of Pillsbury as I forgot to take one.

Looking for some more great recipes for the big game? Thrillist posted some great recipes earlier today. You can find them here.


So now that you have your food squared away, you need to think decor. Here are a few easy ways to dress up your Super Bowl party.

Free Signage
There are a number of free Super Bowl printables available online. You can do a simple search via search engine or Pinterest. This set from A to Zebra Celebrations is both simple and cute. Here is a sample of what you will find.



Make Easy Signage
I made this little sign to fit the Tolsby frame from IKEA. A simple font was used so that anyone attending the party could make one for their dish. Just pulled the Super Bowl logo online and added a border and a text box in Word. Super simple!





Double Duty Decor
Get this great cylinder set from IKEA and fill with a variety of items including football shaped chocolates and plastic football or helmet rings. Guests can snack on the chocolate and wear the rings!








Hope you have a great Super Bowl Sunday and that you win your score square! If you have some favorite dishes for the Super Bowl, be sure to share them below!

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