Thursday Night Football Party Snacks Are HERE!

Thursday Night Football Party Snacks Are HERE!

Are You Ready for Some Football??

This is the time of year that ALL football fans are most confident. This is THE year….the year we’ll make the playoffs…the year to GO ALL THE WAY…this is it.

We’ve signed the best new quarterback, drafted the top receiver, firmed up the defense, and how about the new coach!

It’s all there. This is it…the year!

Let’s celebrate the kickoff of the new season with some well-established football fav snack foods. Because, after all…the season is probably not going to go the way we want. And when all else fails….the food still TRIUMPHS!

Take a look at these tried and true winners!

Hot Garlicky Wings Recipe for Football Season

Hot Garlicky Wings

If you are craving a game-day wing experience, make a great dish with my Sunday Best recipe for Hot Garlicky wings. Whether your team is winning, or on the verge of winning!

Couch Potato Fan Food for the Super Bowl

REALLY GOOD TURKEY BURGER SLIDERS WITH CRISPY SHALLOTS AND PIMENTO CHEESE

They’re bite size and couch perfect. Use sharp cheddar and do NOT forget the pickles. Oh, and good news, the recipe makes enough pimento cheese to entertain your game-watching pals twice in one week!

Draft Day… Baby! NFL Party Ideas + Best Loaded Nachos Ever!

Sausage and Refried Bean Nachos

The dish that tames the angry fantasy football beast and totally scored in overtime is my sausage and refried bean nachos. I mean, these are truly a punched-up bit of nacho cheesiness. I serve these on every game day, regardless of the success of my quarterback.

how to make easy grilled veggies for memorial day

Potato Fries with Crispy Buffalo Chicken, topped with Blue Cheese Gravy

I’m just in in time for football pre-season tailgating! You may have heard of a dish called “poutine”. It involves fries, gravy and cheese curds. My version kicks it up a notch!

Shhh! I snuck a few veggies in these fab meatballs...

Seared Tuna Nachos with Roasted Garlic Cream + Charcuterie Board Ideas!

Whether you prepare your own fan-favorite appys or arrange store-bought (and there are tons of them) items on your board, the secret is to be surprising. Mix and match your favorites and be creative with your choices. After all, you never want to be bored with your board!!

Shhh! I snuck a few veggies in these fab meatballs...

Game Day Dip

There’s just something about this that is super spicy but not hurtful! I use deli chicken as a shortcut, but you can use leftover chicken if you have it. Boar’s Head has a Blazing Buffalo chicken that just adds a little bit of somethin’ somethin’ to the dip, and Fritos corn chips bring the whole experience to critical addiction levels!

Snack Attack!

Bacon Bows

This should be a year-round snack starter! Bacon bows involve melting pimento cheese wrapped in bacon for an irresistable snack.

Brownie Bars for Kiddos and Grandparents

Nana’s Caramel Toffee Cookie Dough Brownie Bars

Cooking an ooey gooey cookie dough bar for game day always makes the house smell delicious and provides an awesome activity when the grandkids come over!

Get on BOARD With This Charcuterie: Tuna Steak Nachos

Get on BOARD With This Charcuterie: Tuna Steak Nachos

Mix and match your guests’ favorite meats, treats, and cheeses and never be bored with your charcuterie board! Start with these Tuna Nachos, perfect for tailgating at home. Click to skip to the recipe

 

There are lots of reasons to entertain family and friends these days, as long as your family and friends have maintained their social distance while trying to live their lives amid craziness!

We’re all living in our reduced social circles these days, but that still leaves us room to gather safely. And gather, we do!

One of my favorite ways to entertain is to set out individual bites onto a lovely charcuterie board.

Now, by its very definition, a charcuterie board is made up of prepared, cured meats (usually pork) and varieties of cheeses.

The very word charcuterie comes from the French words chair (flesh) and cuit (cooked).

But meat and cheese can be boring, so I veer towards combining charcuterie with an antipasti platter. Olives and pickled veggies are so yum.

But then I have a couple of crudité tray ideas and well, before you no it, I create a board full of appetizers that is unlike any other.

Just like I like it!

My recent board was created for my fellow book club pals. It was packed full of individual appys that by themselves would be perfect for a first-course nibble, but when combined could serve a crowd for a cocktail party or game day (stay-at-home) tailgate party.

The appys assembled on my board included roasted shrimp on a stick, chunks of Parmesan cheese, whole roasted garlic, salami and cream cheese “flowers”, margarita sausage on baguettes with lime mustard, gouda and sun-dried tomato “pimento” cheese with candied bacon, hummus and Parmesan stuffed tomatoes and the fan-favorite, seared tuna nachos with roasted garlic cream.

Whew! Sounds like a lot and it was…..but it was also FUN to prepare and wonderful to watch as they were devoured in no time.

Whether you prepare your own fan-favorite appys or arrange store-bought (and there are tons of them) items on your board, the secret is to be surprising. Mix and match your favorites and be creative with your choices. After all, you never want to be bored with your board!!

Seared Tuna Nachos with Roasted Garlic Cream

These nachos are a big hit. You can easily make them in advance, and they look divine on your appy board.

Ingredients

For tuna:

1 (8-ounce) tuna steak:

½ cup rice wine vinegar

4 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)

4 green onions, thinly sliced (about ¼ cup)

1 (1-inch piece) ginger, grated

1 tablespoon olive oil

For roasted garlic cream:

Cloves from 2 whole heads roasted garlic, about ¼ cup, mashed

½ cup sour cream

¼ cup heavy cream

Juice of 1 medium lemon (about 2 tablespoons)

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

For nachos:

Large, sturdy tortilla chips

2 cups tender green leave, washed, dried and thinly julienned (I used frisee, baby kale and butter lettuce leaves)

Serves:   A Crowd

Time:   60-Minute Cuisine

glazed lemon cake with berry sauce
glazed lemon cake with berry sauce
glazed lemon cake with berry sauce

Place the tuna steaks into a shallow dish. Whisk together the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, onion, and ginger.  Reserve 2 tablespoons of the marinade.  Pour the rest over the tuna steak.  Marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours in the fridge.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Remove the tuna from the marinade.  Shake off the excess.  Sear the tuna in the skillet turning once, about 2 to 3 minutes per side for very rare.  Remove the tuna to the freezer and chill for 5 to 10 minutes.

Place the roasted garlic cloves, sour cream, heavy cream, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine into a smooth thick cream. Season with salt and pepper. The cream should be thin enough to drizzle.  Pour into a squeeze bottle and set aside.

Place the tortilla chips on a platter. Toss the greens with the reserved marinade.  Place several shreds of lettuce over the tortilla chips.

Remove the tuna from the freezer.  Use a very sharp knife to cut very thin slices (across the grain) of seared tuna.  Place 1 to 2 slices (depending on how thin you can cut) onto each chip.  Drizzle with garlic cream. 

 

Street Corn Caesar Salad on Today’s Menu ‘Board’

Street Corn Caesar Salad on Today’s Menu ‘Board’

I am board obsessed. More and more ideas for food you can beautifully display on wood cutting boards are showcased every day. I just saw a pancake board that looks delicious! For this week’s board idea, I deconstructed my favorite salad into what I call hand salad. Yes, this is salad you can eat with your hands. Think lettuce cups and endive spears filled with salad ingredients.

I merged my classic Caesar salad with street corn filling. Grilled corn is combined with shredded Parmesan cheese and butter cracker crumbs that add the texture of croutons. Truth here; I found a packet of cornbread crisps and crushed those for crumbs in another version of this dish, and it was also delish! Actual cornbread crumbs, toasted in butter, would be yummy too!

I’ve served this dish as a salad first course, and as a hand salad on an appy board. Both were well received. Hand salads open the doors to your creativity. Check out your fridge and pantry to see what you can stuff into a leaf of Romaine lettuce. Let me know what you come up with!

Street Corn Caesar Salad

Serves 4

30 minute cuisine

For Caesar dressing:

5 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled

½ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup red wine vinegar

Juice of 1 medium lemon, about 3 tablespoons

1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 (2-ounce) tin anchovies, packed in oil, drained

½ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 teaspoon coarse black pepper

For corn filling:

4 ears corn

20 butter crackers, smashed, about ½ cup crumbs

4 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded, about 1 cup

For salad:

2 heads Romaine lettuce

Place the garlic, vinegars, lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and anchovies into the bowl of a food processor (or blender). Pulse to emulsify. With the machine running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Taste and season with some of the salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing into a re-sealable container. You will have more than you need. The dressing will keep in the fridge for two weeks (or more).

Place the corn onto a grill and cook, turning until the kernels are golden brown. Depending on the grill type, this will take several minutes. Remove the corn and cool until you can cut the kernels from the cobs into a bowl. Add the cracker crumbs and half of the cheese. Drizzle two tablespoons of the dressing over the corn filling and toss.

Cut each head of lettuce in half. Lay the lettuce onto a platter. Spoon the corn dressing over the cut side of the lettuce, stuffing it into the leaves. Drizzle with additional dressing, just moistening the leaves (you don’t want to drown the salad in dressing). Top with the remaining cheese and additional black pepper.

Overboard Tip:

Turn this salad into a finger food by separating some of the inner leaves from the romaine head of lettuce. Place these leaves onto your board. Spoon some of the corn filling into the center of the leaves. The Romaine leaves act as cups to hold the filling. Perfect finger food! Can you find it on the board depicted above? I gotta tell ya, my guests sure located it and ate it gone in no time flat!

 

So Not Bored with My Board

So Not Bored with My Board

Extravagant cheese boards are all the rage right now. I love the pics from The Miami Larder Cheese Shop posted all over my Facebook feed. It’s inspiring. Rather than stack cheese and crackers alongside slices of apple and pear (like we’ve done forevah…) these pics show boards with every inch covered with some edible yummy.

I also use my wooden cutting boards to create board sauces for grilled goodies. My board is sprinkled with herbs, spices, garlic, and olive oil. The grilled meat or poultry is taken off the grill and immediately placed onto the board, rolled around in all those yummy herbs, and tented to rest and absorb the flavors. The board functions as the main serving dish.

I use my boards to entertain. Recently, I created a bruschetta board with three different toppings, roasted garlic bulbs, whole olives, chunks of cheese, roasted shrimp and so much more!

 

I admit my brain automatically goes to utilizing my boards for appys, allowing guests to dig in while we sip wine in advance of a seated supper. My bruschetta board is an extension of a cheese board, but still limited to the first course.

But things have changed! My super talented and creative daughter-in-law, Kimber has taken board entertaining to the next level. She uses her boards not only to creatively display food, but also to serve her casually elegant meals family-style.

It all started with the board. For Christmas a couple of years ago, Kimber added a wooden board to her wish list. Ever the over-achiever, I took the opportunity to purchase the largest board, I could find.

It’s over three feet long! Here’s my gift in use, and I see that Kimber’s hubby, my son Trey, couldn’t look happier!

I think I may have overwhelmed her, because it hid in the garage for some time. But things have changed. Her creative dinner parties now feature the board as the centerpiece for everything from a steakhouse supper to a baked fish and roasted veggie extravaganza.

There is a real advantage to entertaining in this manner.

 

First, it’s attractive. The food is displayed directly on the board, or in small dishes that fit onto the board and then are surrounded by placed items.

Second, it supports your picky eater pals. Often, people talk to me about their resistance to entertaining, because of our peculiarities. Are we allergic to seafood, in carb denial, gluten free, sugar resistant? It goes on and on. By putting all the food onto one board in the center of the table, your guests can pick and choose, as much or as little as they want from your offerings.

Third, serving your meal on a board in the center of the table is a conversation-starter. What’s on the board, how was it prepared, where did ya get that recipe. Did you pick this up at Trader Joes? Entertaining in this way is less formal, but even more attractive than a traditional, sit down, plated dinner.

And, finally using a board to serve your meal is easy! Instead of serving several courses and carrying dishes back and forth, all you carry is the board! Plates are pre-set and guests serve themselves. The dinner is what it is meant to be, relaxed and unhurried.

A pic from 2019 and Yet…So Not Bored with My Board

There are lots of ways to use boards to entertain for large groups and small. For my large parties I use several boards. You can be as creative as you want, because there are no restrictions. And you know what? I find that I’m not bored when I entertain with my board. (How da like that one?)