Hello Superbowl

Or why I have no interest in football but I am dropping out of life to go to culinary school.

Okay so I’m not really going to culinary school, but I am discovering how much of a badass I am at cooking. Well, I don’t know about badass, but I have come a long way from my burning fish sticks incident. (Let’s just say I thought I ┬áhad to wait until the oil started “boiling.” I’m not proud of it.) I have AllRecipes to thank for a lot of my success. I have grown into the cooking role (although I there is a tiny part of me that hates the fact that I am a wife in the 50s). My most recent triumph was my spread for a friend’s Superbowl party. My portion of the menu included:

5 Layer Dip

Sausage Stuffed Jalapenos

Steelers Black and Yellow Cupcakes (Aka. yellow cake with chocolate icing =P and yes. I know they lost.)

Brown Sugar Smokies, otherwise known as crack Smokies.

I won’t go over all of the items, just my two favorites.

The 5 layer dip was awesome. I took a few pointers from this recipe. I used a pan that was a bit smaller than 13×9. The key to this dish’s success lies in mixing a tasty taco seasoning packet in with a can of refried beans. So good! Start with a layer of these beans. Then, mix 16 oz sour cream with 8 oz cream cheese and spread over the beans. This was a nice change from just sour cream. The rest of my recipe differs from the one linked. I mashed 3 large avocados and spread that over the cream. Next, I spread some home made pico de gallo over the avocado. Finally, I topped that with a mexican blend of shredded cheese. Do yourself a favor. To cut out some of the calories in this dish, use fat free cream cheese, reduced fat sour cream, and no fat beans. Trust me, you won’t lose any of the flavor- just the fat!

Brown Sugar Smokies!

These might as well be called crack smokies because you will get addicted to them. They are very time consuming to make but are soo worth the effort. I got the idea from this recipe. I started with 2 packages of Lil smokies, 2 packages of HEB center cut bacon, and 1 bag of brown sugar. I cut the bacon into thirds. Beware not to cut the slices too short to where one third doesn’t fit around the smokies. (Yes, this is from experience.) When wrapping the smokies, really coat both the bacon piece and the smokie with brown sugar. Then run a toothpick through it. I put 2 smokie wraps to 1 toothpick and that seemed to work out well. As I wrapped my smokies, I just let them pile up into my big bowl and kept sprinkling more sugar around them as I stacked them up. I had some time to kill before I could cook them so I let them sit in the fridge (still in the sugar bowl) Just fyi, I ended up using the entire bag of brown sugar. When I opened up the bowl to place them on my broiler pan, the sugar was all dissolved and tasty looking. =D There was obviously sugar still left in the bowl when I was done placing the smokies on the broiler pan. I baked them until the bacon was done and the sugar melted (about 30-40 minutes around 350-375 temp.) Be sure to turn them half way through the process so that they don’t brown too much on one side. I wish I had a picture to show of the final product but they went so fast I didn’t get a chance to snap one! Again, these take quite some time in prep but you will find the compliments are worth it.

About Caren

Creative writing professor, craft beer enthusiast, & general foodie- so basically a typical alcoholic poet living in London.
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