Sunday, September 1, 2013

Tailgating Hot And Cold

Football season is notorious for eating poorly and excessively.  It's one of those facts of life and being part of tailgating on a college campus, or anywhere for that matter.

Of course, no one ever wants to gain weight or fulfill the prediction of the "Freshman (or College) Fifteen", but that shouldn't prevent you from being social, having fun or contributing...right?

So here's a way around that--have it both ways! Bring two items to the party--one that's hot, spicy and "health-challenged":  Hot Jalapeño Cheese Dip--and the other, crunchy, simple and "better-for-you": Cool Cucumber MunchersNo need to stress. Don't be left out! Something for everyone!

To avoid confusion the recipes will be posted in sequence.

Hot Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Dip
(Original recipe calls for bacon.  I would recommend skipping that!)

8 x 10 Pyrex Oven-proof dish
Knife, for chopping
Mixing bowl

(3 slices of bacon, diced and cooked crispy)
2 8 oz packages of 1/3 reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
4-6 jalapeños, chopped and deseeded--leave some with seeds if you like it hot and fiery!
1 cup corn kernels
1 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar
1/2 cup of mozzarella 
1/3 cup of green onions, sliced

For the topping:
1 cup of crushed Ritz crackers
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 stick butter, melted

1. Wash your hands.
2. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
3. Make the bacon if you choose to use this.
4. Make the topping in a small bowl combining crushed crackers, cheese and butter. Set aside.

5. Combine the first 8 ingredients (bacon to green onions) into a bowl and mix well.

6. Transfer cream cheese mixture to the pyrex baking dish.  Choose size depending how thick you want the dip to be.  For thicker dip you will need to add extra baking time vs. thinner dip.

7. Sprinkle crumbled cracker mixture evenly on top.

8. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

9. Have your crackers waiting.

10. This is a great recipe to make the night before, put it in the fridge, and bake the next day when ready.

While that's baking, move on to your next success.

Cool Cucumber Munchers
Do not be deceived by the simplicity or that this entails cucumbers.


Oven or Toaster Oven
Baking Sheet
Mixing Bowl
Knife, for chopping and spreading

1 French Baguette, small diameter

1-2 English Cucumbers or Regular Cucumbers, sliced 1/4" thick to fit bread round
4 oz of goat cheese / Chèvre  
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 tsp of Fresh herbs, such as oregano, parsley and marjoram, chopped
Salt & Pepper
Tajin Chili Seasoning (optional and can be bought in Mexican / International Grocery stores.  Worth the investment since this is an ingredient used in several recipes that Jon has requested)

1. Wash your hands.
2. Alternately peel the cucumber and slice into 1/4" rounds.

2. Slice the baguette into 1/4" rounds and toast slightly.

3. Combine the soft goat cheese with garlic, herbs, S & P, and a pinch of Tajin (if available)

4. Spread cream cheese mixture on to bread rounds.

5. Top with a slice of cucumber and a dash of Tajin

6. Place on a platter or put them in a Tupperware to travel to the game wherever that may be.

7. Be safe and have fun!

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