Super Mom Wins the Super Bowl

Superbowl.jpg

Who else gets super excited when it’s crisp and cool outside (in the Midwest)? (And no.. I don’t mean below freezing. I’m talking brisk, light jacket weather.)

While the cool weather means football season is coming to an end…we all know it won’t cease before the Super Bowl.

Don’t kid yourself though. I am NOT the world’s biggest football fan. But I am a lover of entertaining. You as well as I know that scrolling through Pinterest (and Instagram) can spark inspiration, but also anxiety! I will literally stumble across pictures of gorgeously plated dishes, vibrant in color and perfectly themed, and think to myself, ‘Ugh. I wish I had the time to do that!’ However, with three kids (under 5) it becomes near impossible to create Pinterest-worthy dishes to bring to Super Bowl parties, nowadays.

While I never want to sacrifice taste (or presentation) there are DEFINITELY dishes that busy Mom’s can create to please an entire crowd, without spending hours (‘ain’t nobody got time for that!’) in the kitchen!

Take a tip from me, a Mom of 3, this CAN be done. Here are my top appetizers to make and bring to your next Super Bowl party.


Veggie Basket

One of my MOST FAVORITE appetizers to bring to any party is a GIANT veggie basket. I love that it’s healthy, obviously, but also that I can arrange vegetables creatively and colorfully.

The hardest part about this appetizer? Finding the perfect basket. I have had the best luck finding baskets at: Pier 1, Michaels and Home Goods. I like to find (and collect) a variety of baskets, in various shapes and sizes. Determining which basket I want to use will depend on the number of guests.

In the basket, I typically include my favorite veggies: carrots, celery, sliced bell peppers, radishes, sliced cucumbers, raw broccoli, and cauliflower. I get two types of dip; usually a dill and a spinach dip, but you can use whichever dip you (and your guests prefer). I display the dips inside a bell pepper. Yep! You heard me! When I am shopping for the veggies, I typically try to find (and reserve) the two biggest peppers to hold the dips. I arrange those first when composing my veggie basket.

To prepare the peppers, I cut off the top of the pepper, making sure that I take off the stem plus a little more, to make sure I optimize the most of the pepper. Then I strip the inside of the peppers of their seeds, wash and dry them. After arranging the peppers in the center of the basket, I assemble the rest of the basket. It’s colorful. It’s tasty. It never disappoints!

 

Pigs-in-a-Blanket

Prior to having kids, I remember making my own dough to wrap hot dogs in for party appetizers. Those days are long gone! As an alternative and to save time but achieve the same delicious results, I use Pillsbury crescent rolls. Follow the simple recipe and wow your guests and fill their tummies!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of Pillsbury crescent rolls

  • 2 14 ounce packages of smoked sausage links or hot dogs (or, you can buy packaged hot dogs and cut them into thirds).

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll contents of both cans. Separate the dough into16 triangles. Cut each triangle, lengthwise, into thirds (long, narrow triangles).

  2. Place the hotdog at the flat edge of the triangle and roll up, to the point.

  3. Place the wrapped hotdog, point-side down, on an ungreased cookie sheet. Continue until all hot dogs are wrapped in dough.

  4. Bake the hotdogs 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. *switching the position of the cookie sheet in the oven halfway through baking, helps to cook evenly.

  5. Serve warm with mustard (or condiments of your choice)…or mustard!

Baked salami

When I think of sporty-comfort food, a baked salami is pretty much all that comes to mind. Warm, savory and incredibly yummy! Though this appetizer is easy to make, it requires a little more time than the other ‘quick’ appetizers.  Follow the directions below and you WILL NOT be disappointed.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole salami (usually 2 lbs)

  • 1, 12 ounce jar apricot preserves

  • 4 Tablespoons of yellow mustard

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Score the top of the salami (slice the top making ¼ inch cuts across the top without cutting through the salami).

  3. Place salami into a disposable baking tin. Bake salami for 30 minutes (each side). (60 minutes total)

  4. While salami bakes, combine the apricot mixture. Mix 12 ounce jar of apricot preserves with 4 Tablespoons of yellow mustard.

  5. Take salami out of the oven and drain the fat before coating it with the apricot mixture. Coat salami with apricot mixture, reserving a small amount.

  6. Bake the salami (with apricot mixture) for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

  7. After 30 minutes, baste the salami with the remaining apricot mixture and bake for another 15 minutes.

  8. Serve the salami with spicy mustard and toasted pumpernickel bread.

 

Kids + Cookies = Happy!

If you’re having a Superbowl party WITH kids, I suggest having a station for them…and who doesn’t like cookies? Pre-cut sugar cookies into football shapes ($2.00 cookie cutters at Sur La Table) and bake ahead of time. Set up a festive table with all of the cookie decorating necessities.

Pro tip: Take a 12 cup muffin tin and fill it with cookie toppings: chocolate chips, sprinkles, crushed pretzels, marshmallows, crushed graham crackers, licorice, m&ms, etc. Place the tin (or multiples depending on how many kids are at the party) on the decorating table at the cookie station. Kids can take premade toppings from the tins and add them to their cookies at their hearts content, without having to ask adults to open packages and help decorate. Additionally, open frosting containers ahead of time. Place multicolored popsicle sticks on the table for spreading so kids don’t have to use knives.