I have made my fair share of chips and dips over the years, every which way and for just about every occasion.
From appetizers to party take-along to afternoon snacks, the versatile chips and dip dish strikes a satisfying balance of keeping us just the right amount of being full before a big meal (or in-between them)!
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
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!
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.
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!!
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!
I must admit, I was captivated by this book from the first sentence. After all the main character’s first name is Morgan.
Her surname is Christopher (name of my middle son) and her boyfriend’s name is Trey (name of oldest son). There’s a Jon in there somewhere, I’m sure!
The extra pull is that the novel is set in my adopted state of North Carolina jumping back and forth from the early forties and to the present. But it is the writing that really captures the reader. You feel like the characters are your peers. You find yourself dancing in a time warp while you are cheering for the heroine(s).
This is my next pick for our Super Supper Book Club. Gather your readers, give them the title and dole out the recipes for what will be a roller coaster discussion and meal.
Morgan Christopher’s life has been derailed. Taking the fall for a crime she did not commit; she finds herself serving a three-year stint in the North Carolina Women’s Correctional Center. Her dream of a career in art is put on hold―until a mysterious visitor makes her an offer that will see her released immediately. Her assignment: restore an old post office mural in a sleepy southern town. Morgan knows nothing about art restoration, but desperate to leave prison, she accepts. What she finds under the layers of grime is a painting that tells the story of madness, violence, and a conspiracy of small town secrets.
After a year, you get your hands on a cell phone for the first time. Who do you call?
Was it brave or crazy for Jesse’s family to aid Anna?
Does Morgan ever come to accept that alcohol is a problem for her, or does she simply comply with her parole requirements?
My Southern inspiration for this Super Supper Book Club menu is Jesse’s family’s Sunday dinner. I take the liberty of substituting Anna’s least favorite vegetable (collard greens) with my delicious recipe for Swiss chard. I exchange corn on with cob for creamed corn. In place of stewed tomatoes liberated from the family’s root cellar, I substitute slow roasted cherry tomatoes.
The author didn’t mention a dessert, but I bet the farm, there was strawberry shortcake somewhere, sometime on Sundays. My swaps are allowed, because all these recipes are rooted in my love of the South. Lest there be controversary during the discussion, keep those paintbrushes close to allow everyone to express themselves.
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Super Supper Book Club Menu: “Big Lies in a Small Town” by Diane Chamberlain
Make and take this effortless side, or get it going while your main course is on the grill or stovetop! It’s all about grilling and chilling this Memorial Day Weekend.
Whether it’s burgers, brats, ribs, or steaks, the sides are just as important as the main course when you’re planning your Memorial Day bash. There’s lots of planning and lots of dishes to prepare. Here’s a way for you to make things just a little bit easier on yourself this year.
Start with grilled veggies!
Any veggie will work here. My favorites are thick asparagus spears, bell peppers, red onions, zucchini and yellow squash, eggplant and portobello mushrooms. For the asparagus, break off the tough ends and trim. For the mushrooms remove the cap and inner gills. Slice the eggplant and red onion into ½-inch circles. Cut the squash diagonally into ½-inch ovals.
As you slice your veggies lay them onto a baking sheet. You can use parchment paper to layer everything on top of each other. Brush both sides with vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Now you are ready to grill.
Use an open flame or your trusty grill pan to cook each slice turning once so that you have grill marks on both sides.
Make sure you do not over-cook. You want firm veggies, not mushy ones. Remember things keep on cooking after you remove them from the heat. Transfer the veggies from the grill to the baking sheet. You can cook these the day before your barbecue. Cool to room temperature and cover with plastic wrap. Chill ‘til you are ready to serve.
Now, here is where we get creative!
1: Layer the veggies onto a platter. Drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Shave thin slices of Parmesan cheese over top and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.
2: Stack the veggies, beginning with eggplant and layering from largest slices to smallest. Layer in a slice or two of mozzarella cheese and add a few leaves of fresh basil on the top. Drizzle with olive oil.
3: Layer the veggies onto a platter and add slices of tomato and watermelon. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out circles of the watermelon that are about the same size as the tomato slices. Add a sprinkling of blue cheese and drizzle with balsamic reduction.
4: Chop the veggies into similar size pieces and stir into rice for grilled veggie pilaf.
5: Slice the veggies into thin strips and pair them with your grilled beef or chicken for fajitas, enchiladas, or quesadillas.
The secret here is that you can grill the veggies in advance and with little effort assemble the dish while the main course is sitting on the grill. What a great plan!