Friday, September 14, 2012

Game Day Hits

It is football season so I thought I would give you a couple of new ideas I have found or make that make great finger food for watching that Iowa game or Bears game.  I’m sure some of you will disagree with me on who you will watch, but I had to get da Bears and Iowa in. 
Brat Bites

My love of bacon always keeps me on the look out for great recipes with bacon.  This has to be terrific in that it is double pork with bacon and brats.  Depending on how many are watching with you, you may need to double this recipe.

2 12 oz. beers (optional)
1 pkg. uncooked bratwurst
8 slices bacon
⅔ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. dried mustard
Honey mustard dipping sauce (1/2 cup honey and 1/2 cup yellow mustard)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed pan with nonstick foil.

Pour beer into a skillet over high heat. Pierce each bratwurst in several places with a fork. Place in skillet with beer and heat until very hot, but not boiling. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes or until brats are no longer pink inside, turning brats after 10 minutes. Remove brats from skillet and let sit until cool enough to handle.  You may use water if you don’t have beer.

When cooled, cut each brat into 3 equal pieces. Wrap each brat with one bacon half.

In a mixing bowl, stir together brown sugar, cayenne pepper and dry mustard until well combined. Coat each bacon-wrapped brat in sugar mixture. Lay coated brats in the foil-lined pan with the seam of bacon firmly down so it won't curl. Bake brats for 20-25 minutes, carefully turning at the halfway point, until bacon is crispy. Remove to paper towels to drain briefly.   Arrange brats on a serving platter with a honey mustard dip. Serve hot with toothpicks for dipping.

Chocolate Football Strawberries

I saw these on line yesterday and had to share them on my FB, but decided to add my own recipe for chocolate covered strawberries and take their idea for decorating them.  Thought it was a beautiful idea.

8 oz. whipped creamed cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbs strawberry jelly
1 Pound of fresh strawberries, washed and dried well
12 oz. chocolate chips
12 oz. white chocolate

Clean strawberries and let dry well.  Slice strawberries into quarters (keeping the stem on to hold) but be careful not to cut all the way through0 the berry.  You will want to open it up just enough to stuff them.

Mix the creamed cheese, powdered sugar, strawberry jelly and vanilla well with hand mixer.  Pour into a small baggy and seal.  Cut a small hole in the corner of your baggie so you can pipe the cheese mixture into the strawberries.  Pipe the cream cheese mixture into the middle of the berry and pinch the berry back into shape carefully.  Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave (30 seconds and stir and then another 30 seconds).  Put the melted chocolate in a cup for dipping.  While the chocolate is still creamy, dip your stuffed strawberries into the chocolate. 

Let it cool and when the chocolate is hard melt your white chocolate in the microwave.  Put it in a baggie and cut a tiny tip off to draw your lines on the football. You do not need to fuss with the back side.  Just decorate the top side.

There will not be any of these left over after the game.

Spicy Nuts 

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups mixed nuts

These nuts have a sweet bite to them. You may pick what ever nuts you would like or just use a can of mixed nuts.  You might want to try walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts and/or almonds.  

Mix spices and set aside. You can play with the spices and add or delete anything you like.

Heat nuts in a dry skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to toast, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

Add the butter, sugar, water and spices into the hot skillet and cook, stirring, until a glaze forms, about 1 minute. Return the nuts to the skillet and toss to combine with the glaze. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until the nuts are glazed and golden brown.

Remove from the heat and transfer to a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, separating with a fork. Let rest until cooled and the sugar has hardened, about 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container.

Get out your favorite chips, dips, salsa and you are ready for some football.  Enjoy what ever game you watch this weekend. 

Be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

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