Best Super Bowl Appetizers

Super bowl appetizers

With one of the most highly-anticipated sporting events on the horizon, I have learned that an arsenal of finger food recipes is a necessity for a successful viewing party.

I’ve put together a round up of my favorite appetizers from the blog that are reliable crowd-pleasers (healthy or not)!

Oh, and as a prerequisite, they’re EASY to make too.

Hope you enjoy:

 

Judy’s Baked Brie

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A deliciously warm and sweet appetizer to compliment any party. No one expects the “kick” provided by the honey mustard and ginger snap combination. Mom made this all the time and graduated from using little wheels of brie to one large wheel since it’s gobbled up so quickly. You can also top the brie with anything from brown sugar to raspberry jam. Make sure when you’re baking the brie, you place a cookie sheet underneath the cheese. If there are any holes in the crescent crust, the cheese will ooze out, making a mess.  So, best if you buy smaller wheels of cheese.

Click here for brie recipe.

 

Seven-Layer Dip

mexican bean dip

Offer a big bag of tortilla chips to help scoop up all seven amazing layers of this dip. There’s no heating or reheating involved, just add the layers and serve immediately. If you’re an olive fan, top it off with some sliced olives too!

Click here for seven-layer dip recipe.

 

Hot Crab Dip

Crab dip fresh from the oven.

Crab dip fresh from the oven.

A must for all crab lovers! This dish tastes best if you splurge for the lump crab meat– don’t used imitation pasteurized meat.   It’s best served very hot (until it’s literally bubbling in the oven) with Crostini rounds and lots of Old Bay spice sprinkled on top. Feel free to leave out the slivered almonds if you aren’t a nut fan. Bet you just can’t have one.

Click here for hot crab recipe.

 

Spicy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

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These Spicy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are not only easy to make, they’re not greasy and quite tasty too.

If you’ve made turkey burgers or chicken burgers, you’re in luck, you’ve essentially made a version of meatballs. I used ground chicken breast for the base and some generous portions of Panko bread crumbs combined with egg, butter to help bind the meatballs, and lots of hot sauce to help give it that KICK. Serve with Blue Cheese and they’re perfection.

Click here for Spicy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs recipe.

 

Slow-Cooked Drunken Meatballs

slow cooked meatballs

If you want to do as little work as possible—Slow Cooked Drunken Meatballs fit the bill. These meatballs are DELICIOUS and quite unique due to the addition of whiskey, which provides a nice lingering subtle smoky flavor (obviously reduce the amount if you’re serving minors). All you need is a slow cooker and you’re set.

These meatballs were gobbled up immediately. You’ll be surprised at how quickly 60 meatballs can vanish!

Click here for Slow-Cooked Drunken Meatballs recipe.

 

Jambalaya Stir

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Use the rice bowl as your canvas and allow your guests to add their own toppings.  This dish is perfect for a more filling and potentially healthier option. #CreateAStir!

 

Broccoli Cheese Dip

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My family loves Mom’s broccoli casseroles so I figured this would be another hit. It’s brilliantly cheesy with just a mild hint of broccoli. I serve the dip with pieces of sliced fresh Italian bread or flat bread.

Click here for Broccoli Cheese Dip recipe.

 Slow Cooked Pulled Chicken

BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders -Photographed on Hasselblad H3D-39mb Camera

This recipe only requires a few basic ingredients that you should have in your stocked pantry and fridge.  And, you’ll also need a slow cooker to do all the work for you. All that’s required of you, the cook, is shredding the cooked chicken breasts and adding BBQ sauce; the hard work is up to your slow cooker. That’s it!  No culinary skill required— my favorite type of recipe.

Click here for Slow Cooked Pulled Chicken recipe.

Artichoke Squares

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The prep for this dish is very easy. And, the finished product tastes amazing, almost like an artichoke egg quiche. I added an ten minutes the original cook time, and, next time around, I would definitely sprinkle breadcrumbs over top the mixture before baking. Otherwise, this recipe is near flawless and the squares are a perfect addition to your appetizer selection.

Click here for Artichoke Squares recipe.

Super Bowl Jambalaya #CreateAStir

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I am thrilled to be a StirMaker for the #CreateAStir campaign sponsored by Della Rice.

To be properly armed and ready to make a tasty Stir, I  received an Aroma rice cooker for hassle-free cooking ( you have an opportunity to win your own rice cooker)  and many flavors of Della Rice.

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So, what’s a Stir?

A Stir is a dinner creation (think about your favorite rice bowl). The canvas (or bottom of the bowl) consists of delicious Della rice, and the toppings can include a variety of proteins, vegetables, and sauces. You pick. You decide. Create your own Stir and dinner is served in 20 minutes or less! Click here to watch these great videos on how to Stir Up Dinner:

A Stir has many benefits but, most importantly, any novice home cook can easily assemble a Stir with the myriad ingredients found in the refrigerator or pantry. It’s that easy.

Given that the Super Bowl is this weekend, I figured some Stirs would be the perfect addition to the party. Hosting a Super Bowl viewing party should be easy. They’re unpretentious, casual parties where you can serve a bevy of not so healthy appetizers–from Buffalo wings to cheese balls–relatively guilt-free. It’s a night overflowing with simple portable dishes since it’s assumed that the television (not the food) is the focal point of the evening. However, creating Stir can offer a healthier alternative to the free-flowing fried food. Simply choose a Protein + Vegetables + Sauce and set it atop a delicious bowl of Della rice and your Stir is served!

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Making a Stir in a rice cooker for your Super Bowl party is a wise option. Most importantly, it avoids keeping you tethered to the kitchen all night (you don’t want to miss the half-time commercials). And, if you’re bringing a Stir to a party, the portability of the rice cooker allows the freshly-cooked dish to be transferred from one kitchen to another, hassle and mess-free. Then allow your guests to add their desired toppings and everyone is happy.

Aside from the traditional Super Bowl finger foods– that leave your stomach begging for substance (pyramids of chips and guacamole, cheese spreads galore, mountains of pigs-n-blankets)– I’m always looking for a main course option, besides pizza, that’s easy to make and equally tasty.  Your Super Bowl Stir is ideal as a buffet option or served in a single-serve bowl. Because, let’s be honest, nobody is going to want to sit down at a table and eat a civilized meal when they can be eating (and screaming) at the television.

My Super Bowl Stir is inspired from a Seafood Jambalaya dish that I’ve slow cooked in the past (which includes cut vegetables and shrimp, with a tomato base).

jambalaya

This particular Stir was much easier to make as it didn’t require anywhere near the 6 ½ hours in the slow cooker. Rather, the entire stir took only 20 minutes to make. For this Super Bowl version, I used only meat (white meat chicken and chorizo sausage). I purchased a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken and pre-cooked sausage (which cut the prep time by at least 15 minutes). I filled the rice cooker with chicken broth in lieu of water, added some delicious Della Jasmine Rice, sprinkled in the meats (chopped into pieces) and then set the timer. That’s all!

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The finished Stir packs a hearty punch. The rice combined will all that protein is nothing short of AMAZING.

In fact, it’s so good, I doubt you’ll have any left overs.

Inspired yet?

You can enter to win your very own Rice Cooker from Della:

  1. Simply create a unique rice bowl Stir and snap a photo.
  2. Complete the entry form here.
  3. Share your Stir on social media and tag #CreateAStir and @CookDellaRice
  4. Enter as many unique stirs as you want for more chances to WIN!

Can’t wait to see what you Stir up!!!!

Disclaimer:  As a stir maker, I was gifted a rice cooker, samples of Della Rice, and was compensated for writing this post.  However, all opinions are, as always, my own.

 

 

 

Slow Cooked Steel Cut Oatmeal

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Whether or not you’re bracing for an epic snowstorm like we are in the north east, or, you’re simply looking for a hearty dish to serve for breakfast, Steel Cut Oatmeal should be your go-to dish.

Steel Cut Oats is oatmeal at its very best. The nutty flavor is unparalleled, as is its risotto-like texture, especially when slow-cooked overnight.

Steel Cut Oats are the healthy, unrefined form of oats that aren’t sold with added sugar or artificial coloring and flavoring like its sibling, Rolled Oats. They’re whole grain oats (inner portion of the oat kernel) which have been cut into only 2 or 3 pieces by steel rather than being rolled. Because of this, Steel Cut Oats take longer to digest and therefore create less of an insulin response (which is good). They’re an amazing source of complex carbs (this is also good) and soluble fibers (yup, good too). Despite their heightened nutritional benefits, Steel Cut Oats are most commonly known as the “oats that take forever to cook.” And, for anyone harried with kids, to spend time cooking them seems downright inconvenient.

But, all you need is just a smidgeon of planning. I promise it’s worth it, nutritionally and from a pure taste perspective.

I know what you’re thinking. If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, their Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats are tasty and you can cook them on the stove top or in the microwave in 8 minutes.

And, Trader’s Joe’s also sells a Frozen Steel Cut Oats package where you get two pucks of cooked-then-frozen steel cut oats that you can defrost and cook in under 3 minutes. But, I promise, the taste just isn’t the same. There’s something to be said for being invested in your food and actually taking the time to cook it. Waiting for Steel Cut Oats to cook on the stove top for 20 minutes during the early morning rush when everyone is trying to get dressed and prepared for the day isn’t relaxing to me. I’d rather know that, when everyone is seated at the table, all I have to do is lift off the lid to the slow cooker and I’ve got a fresh, voluminous bunch of warm oats ready to be served.

With a slow cooker, there’s literally no stress involved when making steel cut oats. Most likely you’ll already have the ingredients in your pantry or fridge (milk, water, brown sugar, butter, oats, cinnamon, apples). Then, just dump everything in the slow cooker before you go to bed and in the morning, you’ll awake to the aromatic smells of the cinnamon and apples and fully-cooked oats.

While it looks like mush but tastes like heaven!

And, get adventurous. Add any toppings desired (blueberries, bananas, more cinnamon or sugar) and you’ve got a very hearty, high-fiber, nutritious, hassle-free meal for your family.

Any leftovers? Throw it in the fridge and reheat and serve for the next couple days. I know that’s what I’ll be doing when we’re socked in from the snowstorm.

Try it. You won’t be disappointed.

Notes: Feel free to alter the amount of brown sugar, cinnamon, and honey. I actually added two teaspoons of honey and only added in 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. When finished, I served the oats with dried apricots and blueberries but really, any fruit topping would taste great. For the apples, I used Rome apples since they bake well for long periods of time. Place left overs in the fridge and reheat in microwave 1 1/2-2 minutes, stirring halfway through. When reheating, I also added 1/4 cup of milk to the oats.

Also, check out the My Judy the Foodie Store where you can purchase a slow cooker! A % of the proceeds will be donated to breast cancer research. Go on, click over!

 

Lemon Bars

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I remember my mom baked incessantly in the wintertime. There’s something very soothing when your house is warm and toasty and full of aromas wafting from an oven that’s in constant use.   She truly loved baking. And, lucky for us, we were the proud beneficiaries of all of her baked masterpieces.

Mom had a Flour/Sugar Shaker so she could evenly sprinkle flour, powdered sugar or cinnamon over top her Viennese Crescent Cookies, Salzburger Nockerl, bread dough, or anything else requiring a powdery coating. She really had a flair for presentation and every brownie, every pie, every loaf of bread that was presented to her eager audience was gourmet quality in looks as well as taste.

While I am still mastering the art of baking, and learning the hard way that it’s an exact science with really NO room for error, I have slowly grown to LOVE baking. I love it for its predictability. If you follow the directions, and truly focus on the exact ingredients, the exact measurements and the exact time allocations, chances are, your final product SHOULD turn out as planned.

A few years back I made mom’s recipe for Lemon Squares. They were exactly as how I remembered them— tangy and cake-like with a nice dusting of powdered sugar on top. I was reminiscing about the squares the other day and found another recipe for lemon bars in the New York Times Cooking section (if you don’t subscribe to their email newsletter, you should!) using olive oil and sea salt. I knew I had to attempt to bake them and the weather was so dreadful last weekend, I felt as though it was my calling.  As I was carefully moving through each step of the recipe, I was thinking how exciting it is to witness the transformation of a recipe, simply by altering one or two ingredients.

lemonsquarebatter

While I’m still mastering the art of presentation (as you can see from my product shots above), you can’t always judge a book by its cover.  One of these days I’ll purchase a flour/sugar sifter like mom’s to evenly perfectly dust the top of the bars but right now, on a rainy weekend afternoon with kids running around, I’m fine settling with the powdered sugar clumps that fell from the spoon (see photo above).

This particular batch of Lemon Bars is completely different than my last one. The tart custard top layer overlays a crumbly shortbread base layer to create a refreshing and filling treat.

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My kids adored them but, they’re very filling. They could only eat one at a sitting. And, everyone preferred eating them after having been chilled in the fridge for a couple of hours. Otherwise the custard layer gets “soupy.”

Hope you enjoy!

 

 

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