It’s a month away from this year’s Superbowl!  While my “thing” is more college football, we always watch the Superbowl and enjoy some great food.  And let’s face it, half of those (maybe more) who tune in to watch the Superbowl (Cam Newton vs Peyton Manning) are watching because of the halftime show (Beyonce and Coldplay are this year’s entertainment) and the commercials.  And even though it’s 4 weeks away, I’m planning early to get my ducks in a row, so there’s no stress come game time.

Here’s what I’m serving that day:




(Adapted from Closet Cooking)
closet cooking
Here’s another (better) version of the old standby.  It’s outstanding!  I got it from one of my favorite bloggers – Closet Cooking.  
1 cup chicken, cooked and shredded (I use a rotisserie chicken)
1/4+ cup hot sauce (such as Frank’s Red Hot)
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (plus a bit more for sprinkling on top)


Mix everything (I mixed it all in a food processor), and pour it into a baking dish.



Sprinkle some cheddar cheese on top:


Bake in a preheated 350F degree oven until bubbling and golden brown on top, about 20-30 minutes.

ALTERNATELY – can cook in a Slow Cooker: Mix everything, place it in the slow cooker and cook until the cheese is nice and melted about 1-2 hours on high or 2-4 hours on low.

Recipe can easily be doubled for a large group.


(courtesy of Closet Cooking)

Photo Credit: Closet Cooking

I love love love this taco dip recipe – I think it’s the best out there!  Easily can be made a day or two ahead and then popped in the oven right before guests arrive.

(makes 2-4 servings)
I doubled the recipe here and cooked in a larger dish to accommodate a crowd.

1/2 pound ground beef
4 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 green onions (sliced)
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup jack cheese (grated)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese (grated)

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Brown the meat in a pan and drain the grease. Mix everything in a large bowl, reserving some of the cheese. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and top with the reserved cheese. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until it is bubbling on the sides and golden brown on top, about 20 minutes. 


(All Recipes)


This cole slaw recipe is fabulous – love that there’s no mayo in it!  The oil, vinegar and honey/dijon combo is delicious, and it’s a crunchy addition to your menu.

2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 TBSP honey
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper

3/4 head green cabbage, shredded (about 5 cups)
1 large carrot, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 bulb fennel, finely shredded (about 1 cup)
1/2 jicama, cut into thin strips (about 1 cup)
1 cup snow peas, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 medium Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into thin strips (about 1 cup)

Dressing: Whisk together oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, shallot and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss together cabbage, carrot, fennel, jicama, snow peas and apple.

I ended up shredding the carrot finer than I wanted, but no matter, it still tastes amazing!

Pour dressing over and mix well. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours before serving.

(Adapted from All Recipes)


2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained/squeezed dry thoroughly
2 cups Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 green onions, finely chopped
4 eggs, lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a medium bowl, mix the chopped spinach, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, butter, green onion, eggs, salt and pepper.

Shape the mixture into 1 inch balls. Arrange the balls in a single layer on a large baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned.



I found this recipe over 20 years ago in the Atlanta Journal/Constitution.  It’s a hearty, flavorful stew that is even better a day or two after you’ve made it.  Perfect for a cold weather football game.

1/2 lb. bacon, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup flour
Salt and pepper
2 1/2 lbs. beef stew meat, cut into cubes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cups chopped onion
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 cup red wine
3/4 cup crushed tomatoes
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 bay leaves
3-4 medium turnips, cut into chunks
3-5 medium carrots, cut into chunks
2 TBSP chopped parsley
Sour cream, for topping


In large kettle or pot, saute bacon until crispy. Remove from heat and set aside.


Combine flour, salt and pepper, and dredge meat in the mixture.  Brown meat in the bacon fat over high heat, a few pieces at a time.  Remove to a plate and set aside.




Add olive oil and heat.  Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft.  Add orange juice, wine, tomatoes, bouillon cubes, salt, pepper, nutmeg and bay leaves.  Return bacon and meat to the pot.  Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.




Add turnips and carrots, and cover.





Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 hour, or until vegetables and meat are tender.


Remove bay leaves, and sprinkle with parsley. Top with a dollop of sour cream if desired. 


(Adapted from Michael Kramer)

1 – 1 3/4-pound flank steak
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 large garlic cloves
1/2 tsp finely chopped thyme
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 rosemary focaccia or other rolls, split
1/2 lb sliced imported provolone or Fontina cheese
8 lettuce leaves or a bunch of arugula

Brush the flank steak on both sides with the mustard. Put the steak in a sturdy resealable plastic bag, and add the wine. Seal the bag, pressing out any air, and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

After the steak has marinated, drain, pat dry and bring to room temperature before grilling.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the olive oil and garlic and cook over low heat until the garlic is golden and soft, about 15 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to a small bowl; reserve the garlic oil. Add the thyme to the garlic and mash to a paste.

Stir in the 1/2 cup of mayonnaise and teaspoon of lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.

Light a charcoal grill or preheat a cast iron grill pan. Brush the steak with the reserved garlic oil, season liberally with salt and pepper and grill over moderate heat for about 15 minutes, turning once, for medium-rare meat.

Transfer the steak to a cutting board to rest for 5 – 10 minutes. Thinly slice the meat across the grain on the diagonal.

Spread the garlic mayonnaise on the rolls and top with the flank steak, cheese and lettuce. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve.

(Adapted from
Photo Credit:
These dessert bars are British Columbia’s best known dessert.  According to wikepedia, “The Nanaimo bar /nəˈnaɪmoʊˌbɑr/ is a dessert item of Canadian origin popular across North America. It is a bar dessert which requires no baking and is named after the west coast city of Nanaimo, British Columbia.”

Bottom Layer:
1/2 cup of butter
1/4 cup of sugar
5 TBSP of cocoa powder
1 egg, beaten
1 3/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs
1 cup of coconut flakes
Middle Layer:
1/2 cup of butter, room temberature
3 TBSP of heavy cream
2 TBSP of instant vanilla pudding powder
2 cup of confectioners sugar
4 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate
2 tsp of butter

On top of a double boiler, combine 1/2 cup butter, sugar and cocoa powder. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth.

Beat in the egg, stirring until thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in the graham cracker crumbs and coconut.

In a 8×8 inch pan, put parchment paper (enough to overlap on all 4 sides). Press the batter down in the pan to form the first layer.

For the middle layer, cream together 1/2 cup butter, heavy cream and the vanilla pudding powder powder until light and fluffy.

 Mix in the confectioners sugar until smooth.

Spread over the bottom layer in the pan. Chill to set.

While the second layer is chilling, melt the semisweet chocolate and 2 teaspoons butter together in the microwave or over low heat. Spread over the chilled bars.
Let the chocolate set before cutting (so, place in the fridge for half an hour or so). When the chocolate has set, lift the whole thing out of the pan by lifting with the parchment paper. Cut about a centimeter trim on the four sides and then cut squares, making sure you clean your knife frequently so the bars are clean.

COOK’S NOTE: Once you remove the bars from the fridge, allow to sit a bit before cutting.  Otherwise, you have cracked chocolate – still tastes great, but it’s not as pretty.