It’s Game Day: When we as a state come together to cheer for our boys and hope they will beat those other birds and make it to the NFC title game next week, and then the Super Bowl in February. You DISH Network subscribers can even finally watch the game in the comfort of your living room, as Fox was returned to us Saturday night.
But this game starts at 10 a.m., which is pretty early for the usual fare of beer, chips, salsa, etc. What we need is a brunch football menu, one that can transition into a lunch football menu as football stretches on before us into the afternoon.
And this is sports, so we need finger foods, preferably.
To capture the midpoint between breakfast and lunch, I think we first need tiny quiches. Tiny quiches are great: You can eat them in two bites, with your fingers, and you can fill them with anything you like. Biscuit dough squished into muffin pans makes a great base for your quiches, then just whip up a filling of eggs, veggies (diced green peppers, red onions and spinach work great), meat (sausage or bacon bits, if you’re in to that) and cheese, fill your cups and bake.
This recipe from Betty Crocker uses Bisquick for the base.
1 1/4 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 tablespoons boiling water
6 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 medium green onions, thinly sliced (2 tablespoons)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese (2 oz)
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Generously grease 24 mini (1 3/4x1-inch) muffin cups with shortening or cooking spray.
In small bowl, stir Bisquick mix and butter until blended. Add boiling water; stir vigorously until soft dough forms. Press rounded teaspoonful of dough on bottom and up side of each muffin cup. Divide bacon evenly among muffin cups.
In small bowl, beat half-and-half and egg until well blended. Stir in onions, salt and red pepper. Spoon 1 1/2 teaspoons egg mixture into each muffin cup. Sprinkle cheese over tops.
Bake about 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown and centers are set. Cover; refrigerate any remaining appetizers.
• This next recipe can keep you going all day. It’s for apple dip and comes from my former coworker Emilie Rusch. It is just great with slightly tart apples, such as Granny Smiths, but experiment to what you like. And try other fruits, too. Plus it’s super easy, so if you run out, you can make more.
Caramel Apple Dip
8 oz. block of Neufchatel cheese, softened
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp Watkin’s caramel extract
4 large Granny Smith apples
Before starting, let the cream cheese soften on the counter. If it’s too cold, nothing will mix in right and you’ll get frustrated. Once the cream cheese is soft, add the brown sugar and the vanilla and caramel extracts. Mix with a spoon until smooth — all the clumps of sugar should be gone. If you can’t find Watkin’s caramel extract, you can leave it out, and the dip will taste fine. But it’s much better with it.
Cut each apple into 12 slices. Dip the slices into a mixture of water and lemon juice to prevent browning.
OK, so we have a sweet and a savory, how about a salty snack to go with our brunch? The easiest thing is Chex mix, of course, but up the ante on yours by incorporating local flavors. So for this recipe, add a handful of locally made pretzels from It’s All About Pretzels (you can grab them at Deep Sea Deli and other local markets). They’re pre-seasoned, which will add a boost of flavor.
3 cups Corn Chex® cereal
3 cups Rice Chex® cereal
3 cups Wheat Chex® cereal
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup bite-size pretzels
1 cup garlic-flavor bite-size bagel chips or regular-size bagel chips, broken into 1-inch pieces
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
In large microwavable bowl, mix cereals, nuts, pretzels and bagel chips; set aside. In small microwavable bowl, microwave butter uncovered on High about 40 seconds or until melted. Stir in seasonings. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated.
Microwave uncovered on High 5 to 6 minutes, thoroughly stirring every 2 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool. Store in airtight container.
Oven Directions: Heat oven to 250°F. In large bowl, mix cereals, nuts, pretzels and bagel chips; set aside. In ungreased large roasting pan, melt butter in oven. Stir in seasonings. Gradually stir in cereal mixture until evenly coated. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool, about 15 minutes. Store in airtight container.
Now don’t forget a drink: Mimosas (champagne and OJ) and Screwdrivers (OJ and vodka) are a great option, but the good ol’ Bloody Mary will get you there, too. And those usually have vegetables in them. You can also just have red beer: Beer and tomato juice. Which I personally think is disgusting, but whatever gets you to halftime.