Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

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These Buffalo Cauliflower Bites taste so much like traditional chicken wings, but are a healthy vegetarian version perfect for a light snack.

These Buffalo Cauliflower Bites taste so much like traditional chicken wings, but are a healthy vegetarian version perfect for a light snack.I’ll admit, cauliflower has not been one of my favorite foods, but much like beets, broccoli, and squash, I have grown to like it throughout my adult years. After I made this recipe, I would actually dare to say that I loved it.

These Buffalo Cauliflower Bites taste so much like traditional chicken wings, but are a healthy vegetarian version perfect for a light snack.I really wasn’t sure how this recipe was going to taste but I found myself having to hold back because I just wanted to keep eating more!

These Buffalo Cauliflower Bites taste so much like traditional chicken wings, but are a healthy vegetarian version perfect for a light snack.I paired my spicy and flavorful buffalo cauliflower bites with a rich and creamy blue cheese dressing as well as some cool, crisp celery sticks that helped mellow the heat from the hot sauce.  Overall, it made a healthy snack. I’m not going to lie – I love a good chicken wing. But, when you think about all that delicious skin that makes the chicken wing so wonderful, replacing it with something like cauliflower is often a good choice.

These Buffalo Cauliflower Bites taste so much like traditional chicken wings, but are a healthy vegetarian version perfect for a light snack.This snack would be a huge hit at any game day celebration.  

These Buffalo Cauliflower Bites taste so much like traditional chicken wings, but are a healthy vegetarian version perfect for a light snack.I prefer them to be served slightly warm, however I had some after they cooled to room temperature and they were still super tasty. Even if you don’t like cauliflower (like, for example, my husband), you might be surprised to find how much you love this recipe!

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
 
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These Buffalo Cauliflower Bites taste so much like traditional chicken wings, but are a healthy vegetarian version perfect for a light snack.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Yields: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup (5ml jar) hot sauce (I prefer Frank's Red Hot)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Heavily grease baking sheet with butter. Divide cauliflower into bite sized chunks.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, water, olive oil, garlic powder and salt until well combined. Add cauliflower and gently toss to coat each piece evenly. Transfer coated cauliflower to prepared baking and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking time. Remove from oven.
  3. In large bowl, combine hot sauce and melted butter. Add partially cooked cauliflower and gently toss to evenly coat. Return cauliflower to baking sheet and continue cooking for an additional 20-25 minutes, turning once, until pieces start to turn golden brown.
  4. Remove from oven and serve warm with blue cheese dressing and fresh celery sticks.

These Buffalo Cauliflower Bites taste so much like traditional chicken wings, but are a healthy vegetarian version perfect for a light snack.
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Superbowl Party Menu Plan

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Planning a party for the big game? I’ve got the best Superbowl Party Menu Plan, complete with appetizers, drinks, main dishes, and drinks!

Planning a party for the big game? I've got the best Superbowl Party Menu Plan, complete with appetizers, drinks, main dishes, and drinks!

I talk about game day food all the time on my blog. Do I ever watch football?  Nope. Not ever, you ask? Nope. Not interested. There are two things I absolutely love about having football on the tv, however.  First is the food (so obvious, right?). What’s not to love about cheese, barbecue, dips, and drinks?  Nothing.  I love every single thing about game day food. I beg you have to know what the second thing I love about having football on tv, right?  Well, its the really cool overhead shots and the fact that they move that line on the ground with each play. Or each down.  Whatever.  I don’t know how it works.  It just blows my mind that they can make that line move under their feet.  I know its digital, but it sure looks real.

I have no idea who’s playing in this year’s superbowl.  I don’t know if its even been determined yet. The only thing I know is that good food and football watching go hand in hand.  Below you’ll find recipe ideas that will make any game day watching experience grand. Enjoy!

Appetizers

Planning a party for the big game? I've got the best Superbowl Party Menu Plan, complete with appetizers, drinks, main dishes, and drinks!
Crispy Baked Parmesan Ravioli from Kleinworth & Co.
Bacon Bombs from Love Bakes Good Cakes
The Best Chile con Queso from Around My Family Table

Salads & Sides

Planning a party for the big game? I've got the best Superbowl Party Menu Plan, complete with appetizers, drinks, main dishes, and drinks!
20-minute Greek Couscous Salad from Plated Cravings
Baked Bacon Cheeseburger Eggrolls from Liz on Call
Buffalo Chicken Tortilla Pinwheels from Home Cooking Memories

Main Dishes

Planning a party for the big game? I've got the best Superbowl Party Menu Plan, complete with appetizers, drinks, main dishes, and drinks!
Crock Pot White Chicken Chili from The Gingered Whisk
Bourbon Brown Sugar Barbecue Ribs from Cooking with Curls
Game Day Beer Chili from Self Proclaimed Foodie

Beverages

Planning a party for the big game? I've got the best Superbowl Party Menu Plan, complete with appetizers, drinks, main dishes, and drinks!
Peach Raspberry Moscato Punch from Bread Booze Bacon
Bacon Bourbon Apple Jello Shots from Bread Booze Bacon

Desserts

Planning a party for the big game? I've got the best Superbowl Party Menu Plan, complete with appetizers, drinks, main dishes, and drinks!
Club Cracker Bars from Cooking on the Front Burner
Peanut Butter Cheeseball from Like Mother Like Daughter

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Warm Turkey Sliders

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These easy Warm Turkey Sliders made from a frozen turkey breast cooked in the slow cooker or an electric pressure cooker make for some great game day food!

These easy Warm Turkey Sliders made from a frozen turkey breast cooked in the slow cooker or an electric pressure cooker make for some great game day food!

There’s just something about biting into a warm cheesy meat filled roll while you’re watching the game with friends. This is one of those recipes, in my opinion, that is so much better when you cook a whole turkey breast and then slice the meat yourself. I always cook a whole turkey on Thanksgiving and only on Thanksgiving. The turkey breast? That’s a regular staple in our house. Its just so easy to prepare and then we have the meat for our family dinner, to chop up for lunch salads, or for sliders like these.

Making Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with one night's quick meal preparation can provide enough flavorful turkey for several busy weeknight dinners ahead.

There are two ways I like to prepare turkey breast. The first is in the slow cooker, and the photo above is from an older post of mine. For this recipe, I went to Fred Meyer (aka one of my favorite places to shop), bought a frozen turkey breast, can cooked it in my electric pressure cooker. Whichever method you choose, the turkey will turn out moist and tender… its just a matter of preference.

These easy Warm Turkey Sliders made from a frozen turkey breast cooked in the slow cooker or an electric pressure cooker make for some great game day food!

My sliders are super simple and I even bake them up in a disposable aluminum tray for easy transport. Good sliders start with amazingly soft rolls. I picked these potato rolls up from the Fred Meyer bakery.

These easy Warm Turkey Sliders made from a frozen turkey breast cooked in the slow cooker or an electric pressure cooker make for some great game day food!From there, my sliders are super simple. You can get as creative as you’d like, but I like to split the rolls, use some kind of spread (you can find something tasty in a jar or use something from the olive bar), cover it with those perfectly cooked pieces of turkey breast, and then top it with cheese. I chose provolone for these sliders but you can’t go wrong with so many different varieties.

These easy Warm Turkey Sliders made from a frozen turkey breast cooked in the slow cooker or an electric pressure cooker make for some great game day food!

You’ll notice that my once plain rolls are now covered in poppy seeds and garlic. That, my friends, takes these sliders from good to amazing. Enjoy!

These easy Warm Turkey Sliders made from a frozen turkey breast cooked in the slow cooker or an electric pressure cooker make for some great game day food!

Warm Turkey Sliders
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These easy Warm Turkey Sliders made from a frozen turkey breast cooked in the slow cooker or an electric pressure cooker make for some great game day food!
Author:
Recipe type: main dish
Yields: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 frozen turkey breast (I used a 2lb. breast)*
  • 1 (16 ounce) package soft rolls
  • 6 tablespoons of desired spread (anything from bacon onion jam, cranberry sauce, or mustard)
  • 6-12 ounces sliced provolone
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon poppyseeds
Instructions
  1. To cook the turkey breast, use either a slow cooker or an electric pressure cooker.
  2. If using a slow cooker, follow the directions here.
  3. If using an electric pressure cooker, add one can chicken broth, one whole yellow onion (peeled and quartered) and two stalks celery (chopped) to the bottom of the electric cooker. Place completely thawed turkey breast on top. Cook on high pressure for 22-30 minutes (for 2-6 pound breast) and allow to release the pressure slowly once done. Insert an instant read thermometer and if it is not yet at 165 degrees F, continue to cook for several more minutes on high pressure.
  4. Once turkey has finished cooking, slice against the grain to desired thickness.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Set the rolls in a baking dish and split the rolls with a knife and remove the tops. Cover with spread, turkey, and cheese. Replace the tops of the rolls.
  7. Melt butter in microwave and add garlic and poppy seeds. Brush mixture on top of rolls.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes until heated through.
Notes
* Additional ingredients required depending on cooking method. See instructions for details.

These easy Warm Turkey Sliders made from a frozen turkey breast cooked in the slow cooker or an electric pressure cooker make for some great game day food!
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Cheesy Bacon Ranch Jalapeno Poppers

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These spicy and zesty Cheesy Bacon Ranch Jalapeno Poppers make the perfect two bite appetizer for any game day celebration.

These spicy and zesty Cheesy Bacon Ranch Jalapeno Poppers make the perfect two bite appetizer for any game day celebration.

Jalapeno poppers come in all shapes and sizes. I haven’t consulted wikipedia on the subject yet, but I think the traditional jalapeno popper is breaded and deep fried. The thought of that sounds absolutely tantalizing, but also a lot of work. Plus, boiling grease scares me – a fear that I hope to someday get over. Thus far, I have only made wrapped jalapeno poppers, jalapeno popper potato bites, and jalapeno popper chicken flautas – all baked and of course made with bacon.

These spicy and zesty Cheesy Bacon Ranch Jalapeno Poppers make the perfect two bite appetizer for any game day celebration.

A good popper starts with fresh jalapenos. I have no idea how to know whether they are spicy or mild until I cut into them and find out when my fingers start to burn. If you can tell whether one is spicy before you cut into it, please let me know.

These spicy and zesty Cheesy Bacon Ranch Jalapeno Poppers make the perfect two bite appetizer for any game day celebration.

The second component to a popper is the cheese. This particular version uses both cream cheese and cheddar.

These spicy and zesty Cheesy Bacon Ranch Jalapeno Poppers make the perfect two bite appetizer for any game day celebration.

Then, to make your popper unique, you must add a little pizzazz.  Like I said before, I never leave out the bacon. But this time, I added some ranch dressing mix. That addition really kicked up the flavor and added that zing that my taste buds were craving. If you love the flavor of ranch, be sure to check out these ranch inspired game day recipes here!

These spicy and zesty Cheesy Bacon Ranch Jalapeno Poppers make the perfect two bite appetizer for any game day celebration.

Cheesy Bacon Ranch Jalapeno Poppers
 
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These spicy and zesty Cheesy Bacon Ranch Jalapeno Poppers make the perfect two bite appetizer for any game day celebration.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Yields: 20 poppers
Ingredients
  • 8-10 medium jalapeno peppers, halved with stems and veins removed
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons Ranch Seasoning Mix
  • 8 ounces bacon (okay to use ends and pieces), cooked & crumbled
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheese, shredded and divided
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix together cream cheese, seasoning mix, bacon, green onions, and half of the shredded cheddar. Mix well to combine.
  3. Fill each well of the halved jalapenos with the mixture and then top with additional shredded cheese.
  4. Place on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or just until the tops start to turn golden brown and the cheese mixture starts to bubble.
  5. Serve warm.

These spicy and zesty Cheesy Bacon Ranch Jalapeno Poppers make the perfect two bite appetizer for any game day celebration.
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Green Chile Cheddar Queso

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This spicy and creamy Green Chile Cheddar Queso made with real sharp cheddar cooks up in just minutes and is the perfect cheese sauce for nachos or tacos.

This spicy and creamy Green Chile Cheddar Queso made with real sharp cheddar cooks up in just minutes and is the perfect cheese sauce for nachos or tacos.

I went out to a work dinner the other night and we ordered nachos for the table. Sometimes a girl just needs nachos, amIright? Well, I couldn’t believe what they brought out. It was a huge plate of greasy chips and all the nacho toppings you’d expect, but the cheese was just plain old cheese that looked like it had been microwaved to stick to the chips. I mean, that’s how I made nachos when I was 12. No. An excellent cheese sauce is what’s required. This one? Spicy and perfect.

This spicy and creamy Green Chile Cheddar Queso made with real sharp cheddar cooks up in just minutes and is the perfect cheese sauce for nachos or tacos.

You know I’m a food snob. That being said, I refuse to microwave a block of processed cheese and call it cheese sauce. Its just unnatural. This one is made from real sharp cheddar cheese. I even grated it myself. Then, the additional flavor and loads of spices come from the diced green chile and the taco seasoning.

This spicy and creamy Green Chile Cheddar Queso made with real sharp cheddar cooks up in just minutes and is the perfect cheese sauce for nachos or tacos.

It is the perfect compliment to chips. Dip it or pour it over to make a nacho plate. Either way, you will be quite happy.

This spicy and creamy Green Chile Cheddar Queso made with real sharp cheddar cooks up in just minutes and is the perfect cheese sauce for nachos or tacos.

And because everyone is talking football these days because of the big game that’s just around the corner, of course my mind is stuck on amazing game day recipes. I was in Albertsons the other day (lucky for me we have one just around the corner) and I saw all sorts of good stuff from Old El Paso™ that would be perfect for any game day party. You’ve got everything from chiles to sauces to seasonings to taco shells. This kit, however, really caught my eye because not only does it come with the sauce and seasoning, but it comes with two shells that I’ve really been wanting to try!  

This spicy and creamy Green Chile Cheddar Queso made with real sharp cheddar cooks up in just minutes and is the perfect cheese sauce for nachos or tacos.

I think both these shells are pure genius. Genius, I tell you!  Their corn shells are flat on the bottom so your tacos actually stand up. Why, oh why, have we been settling for taco shells all these years that don’t make sense? Then we have these awesome flour tortilla soft taco bowls. Once again – genius. Every try to eat a soft taco and everything falls out? Not with these. Cool, right?

This spicy and creamy Green Chile Cheddar Queso made with real sharp cheddar cooks up in just minutes and is the perfect cheese sauce for nachos or tacos.

As I was making the queso my husband was pacing back and forth wondering when he was going to get to eat it. He was thrilled when I let him try my new game day creation as a complete taco. His response: “so good” (stated multiple times – he’s a man of few words). As the maker of these tacos, I was thrilled that the hard taco didn’t fall over and the soft taco held the contents.

This spicy and creamy Green Chile Cheddar Queso made with real sharp cheddar cooks up in just minutes and is the perfect cheese sauce for nachos or tacos.

Imagine yourself watching the game and biting into this. Oh yeah.

This spicy and creamy Green Chile Cheddar Queso made with real sharp cheddar cooks up in just minutes and is the perfect cheese sauce for nachos or tacos.

Green Chile Cheddar Queso
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Yields: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) Old El Paso™ chopped green chiles, drained
  • 1 tablespoon Old El Paso™ taco seasoning
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk flour into butter until smooth. Allow to cook for a couple minutes until the flour becomes fragrant.
  2. Pour milk into butter mixture and whisk to combine. Cook and stir until mixture thickens, about 3 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to low and add Cheddar cheese, green chiles, and seasoning. Stir until cheese is melted, about 1-3 minutes more.
  4. Serve hot with chips or tacos.

This spicy and creamy Green Chile Cheddar Queso made with real sharp cheddar cooks up in just minutes and is the perfect cheese sauce for nachos or tacos.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Albertsons. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Spicy Ranch Chicken Wings

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Everyone knows fall off the bone wings are one of the best finger licking game day snacks, and these Spicy Ranch Chicken Wings are fantastic.

Everyone knows fall off the bone wings are one of the best finger licking game day snacks, and these Spicy Ranch Chicken Wings are fantastic.

If there’s one thing that totally grosses me out, its a chicken wing where the skin doesn’t completely melt into the meat. You know exactly what I’m talking about. We’ve all been to a sports bar and ordered wings. You have such high hopes when the land on the table and your first bite not only has one big fatty chunk of skin, but the meat has to be gnawed and pulled from the bone. Disgusting.

Everyone knows fall off the bone wings are one of the best finger licking game day snacks, and these Spicy Ranch Chicken Wings are fantastic.

I’m happy to say that not only are these wings super easy to make, but they completely dissolve. Its impossible to tell where that spicy crispy skin ends, and the delectable wing meat begins. It slides right off the bone. The spicy from the Tobasco leaves your lips tingling and the flavor of the ranch leaves your taste buds singing.

Everyone knows fall off the bone wings are one of the best finger licking game day snacks, and these Spicy Ranch Chicken Wings are fantastic.

If you’re getting together with some friends to watch the Superbowl, or in my case the Superbowl commercials, but a TON of these wings, get them soaking overnight, and throw them in the oven to enjoy during the game! If you want a variety of wings, be sure to check out my damn good chicken wings made with my very own dry rub concoction or my chipotle butter beer wings. YUM! If you love the flavor of ranch, be sure to check out these ranch inspired game day recipes here!

Everyone knows fall off the bone wings are one of the best finger licking game day snacks, and these Spicy Ranch Chicken Wings are fantastic.

Spicy Ranch Chicken Wings
 
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Everyone knows fall off the bone wings are one of the best finger licking game day snacks, and these Spicy Ranch Chicken Wings are fantastic.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Yields: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 pounds chicken wings, whole or cut into drummettes and wings with tips discarded
  • 2/3 cup hot pepper sauce (Tobasco)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ranch seasoning mix
  • 1 teaspoon (roughly) paprika
Instructions
  1. Combine wings, Tobasco, melted butter, and cider vinegar in a plastic freezer bag. Squeeze to mix and evenly distribute ingredients. Allow to marinate in refrigerator at least 4 hours to overnight, occasionally squeezing the bag to ensure the chicken is fully coated.
  2. To cook, heat grill or oven to 350 degrees F. If baking in oven, a grill rack set atop a baking dish is ideal to give the bottom of the wing a nice dry finish, but not necessary if you don't have one. If using just a baking dish without a rack, be sure to grease the baking dish. Arrange chicken in a single layer on grill or baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle wings with dressing mix and paprika. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 50-60 minutes until the skin starts to crisp and the meat is pulling away from the bone.

Everyone knows fall off the bone wings are one of the best finger licking game day snacks, and these Spicy Ranch Chicken Wings are fantastic.
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Spinach Artichoke Fondue Dip

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Unlike warm cheesy dips made with cream cheese or mayonnaise, this Spinach Artichoke Fondue Dip is made with Gruyere, Parmesan, and mozzarella.

Unlike warm cheesy dips made with cream cheese or mayonnaise, this Spinach Artichoke Fondue Dip is made with Gruyere, Parmesan, and mozzarella.

Last month I went to an ugly sweater Christmas party. My friends, Malcolm & Elissa, not only throw a great party, but they put out an awesome spread. My husband and I got to the party right when it started because we’re fuddy duddies and can’t stay up late, but that allowed me to be there as the kitchen prep was happening. I made a batch of my brown butter brownies to share and was waiting for oven space to finish them off. You see, I doubled the recipe but used the same size pan and just could not get them to set. Gooey brown butter brownies still taste pretty damn good, but you can imagine that party goers might not be too inclined to grab a brownie if they can’t actually pick it up. Note to self: if doubling the batch, increase the size of the pan.

Unlike warm cheesy dips made with cream cheese or mayonnaise, this Spinach Artichoke Fondue Dip is made with Gruyere, Parmesan, and mozzarella.

Anyway, while waiting for my turn in the hot oven, Elissa pulled out the most delicious looking spinach artichoke dip. This warm cheesy dip is a staple on any good recipe blog and I had yet to make it. The first thing she said when she described it was that she hated cheesy dips full of cream cheese and mayonnaise and that this one had neither. I was intrigued so I had to try several, okay – many, bites to see what she was talking about because, well, you can’t be certain if you only try one or two bites, right?

Unlike warm cheesy dips made with cream cheese or mayonnaise, this Spinach Artichoke Fondue Dip is made with Gruyere, Parmesan, and mozzarella.

She was right! The flavors were subtle and sophisticated. It was more like a fondue than a greasy dip. The gruyere and parmesan gave it that hearty and robust flavor while the mozzarella gave it that ooey gooey cheesiness you want in a warm dip. The fact that she made the crusty bread bowls to go along with the dip didn’t hurt either. You can certainly bake this dip in a dish and serve it alongside chips, but we all know bread is best.

Unlike warm cheesy dips made with cream cheese or mayonnaise, this Spinach Artichoke Fondue Dip is made with Gruyere, Parmesan, and mozzarella.

recipe from http://www.itsnoteasyeatinggreen.com/

Spinach Artichoke Fondue Dip
 
Prep time
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Unlike warm cheesy dips made with cream cheese or mayonnaise, this Spinach Artichoke Fondue Dip is made with Gruyere, Parmesan, and mozzarella.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Yields: about 4 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1 1/2 cups lowfat milk
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 2 ounce Gruyere Cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 2 ounce Parmesan Cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1 pound frozen spinach, thawed with all the liquid squeezed out
  • 1-14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained (not marinated or packed in oil)
  • 4 ounces mozzarella, shredded
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium heat and add flour. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the flour just starts to change color and turn fragrant, about five minutes. Do not let the flour brown.
  2. Add the garlic and cook until very fragrant, about 30 seconds longer.
  3. Combine milk and half and half in a measuring cup and add about a 1/2 cup at a time to the flour mixture, whisking after each addition until smooth. Reduce heat to medium-low and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Add the Gruyere, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir until the cheese has just melted, then remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Working over a bowl or the sink, squeeze the liquid out of the spinach. Chop the artichokes fine and then fold both the spinach and the artichokes into the sauce.
  5. Pour the sauce into an oven safe baking dish (or multiple dishes) or a hollowed out bread bowl. Top with the shredded mozzarella.
  6. Bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven for about 30 minutes until the edges are bubbly and the cheese on the top is dark golden brown. Serve with bread cubes or chips.

Unlike warm cheesy dips made with cream cheese or mayonnaise, this Spinach Artichoke Fondue Dip is made with Gruyere, Parmesan, and mozzarella.
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Pumpkin Beer Chili

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I transformed my popular beer chili by adding the best fall has to offer and created Pumpkin Beer Chili, made with pumpkin ale, pumpkin puree, and cinnamon.

I transformed my popular beer chili by adding the best fall has to offer and created Pumpkin Beer Chili, made with pumpkin ale, pumpkin puree, and cinnamon.

I transformed my popular beer chili by adding the best fall has to offer and created Pumpkin Beer Chili, made with pumpkin ale, pumpkin puree, and cinnamon.

I’m not gonna lie. I’m pretty damn confident that I have perfected my chili making techniques and would put money on winning the next chili competition I enter. Yeah, its that good. There are a few good tricks, in my opinion to damn good chili. For this particular version, I wanted something fall inspired. I had heard of pumpkin chili before, and it just sounded weird to me. If you’re doubtful like I was, have no fear – the end result does not taste like pumpkin pie. It tastes like fall. There’s really no other way to describe it other than spicy savory delicious fall chili.

I transformed my popular beer chili by adding the best fall has to offer and created Pumpkin Beer Chili, made with pumpkin ale, pumpkin puree, and cinnamon.

I normally stick with red and white kidney beans, but for this version I swapped out the red kidney beans for black beans. Not just any black beans, but Trader Joe’s Cuban Style Black Beans because they’re really tasty. I started putting beer in my chili quite some time ago, but instead of a traditional amber ale, I used pumpkin ale. And, you guessed it, I added that entire can of pumpkin puree. I also through in a teaspoon of ceylon cinnamon to really bring out the fall flavor. Everything cooks on low in your slow cooker for six to ten hours, so its the perfect meal to make on a busy weekday morning before rushing everyone off to work and school, and its also perfect tailgating food because you can make it the night before, let it slow cook while you sleep, and then you reheat it before the game starts.

I transformed my popular beer chili by adding the best fall has to offer and created Pumpkin Beer Chili, made with pumpkin ale, pumpkin puree, and cinnamon.

Besides the beer, my trick to making this chili really quite wonderful is to mash it up with a potato masher before serving. I don’t know about you, but there are only so many whole kidney beans I like to eat in one sitting. By mashing half of them up, you not only thicken up your chili, but all that wonderful fall flavor mixes in so much better. Enjoy!

I transformed my popular beer chili by adding the best fall has to offer and created Pumpkin Beer Chili, made with pumpkin ale, pumpkin puree, and cinnamon.

Pumpkin Beer Chili
 
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I transformed my popular beer chili by adding the best fall has to offer and created Pumpkin Beer Chili, made with pumpkin ale, pumpkin puree, and cinnamon.
Author:
Recipe type: dinner, main dish
Yields: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground meat (I use grass fed/finished)
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle pumpkin ale
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes, unsalted
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pureed pumpkin
  • 1 (15 ounce) can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (more if you want your chili spicier than mild)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. In large skillet over medium high heat, brown ground beef with chopped onion and bell pepper until meat is slightly browned and crumbly, about 10 minutes. Add minced garlic, stir, and cook for a couple more minutes. Add pumpkin ale to meat mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to allow any browned bits at the bottom of the pan to release. Add mixture to large slow cooker.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to crockpot. Set slow cooker to low and cook for 6-8 hours.
  3. Before serving, use a potato masher to mash up some of the beans and continue to mash until your chili is as thick as you like. Garnish with freshly grated sharp cheddar and cornbread.

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Five Alarm Steak Chili

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This spicy Five Alarm Steak Chili is the best recipe you'll ever find, plus slow cooking it in the crockpot makes it perfect game day tailgating grub.

This spicy Five Alarm Steak Chili is the best recipe you’ll ever find, plus slow cooking it in the crockpot makes it perfect game day tailgating grub.

This spicy Five Alarm Steak Chili is the best recipe you'll ever find, plus slow cooking it in the crockpot makes it perfect game day tailgating grub.

This, by far, is the best chili I’ve ever made. Can you believe I’ve only ever made my chili with ground beef? Turns out, I’m all out of ground beef, but I did have a couple of sirloin steaks in the freezer. I combined those with my favorite cooking hot sauce along with some other ingredients… and pure magic happened. Everyone knows (or should know) that browning your meat first does amazing things for the flavor. I covered my cut up steak pieces with a light dusting of flour and then I cooked them for a couple minutes on each side in some screaming hot oil. There were all sorts of good things stuck to my pan so I did what any reasonable cook would do and I cracked open a can of amber ale beer and poured it in to loosen up all those delicious bits, then I added all of that into the slow cooker.

This spicy Five Alarm Steak Chili is the best recipe you'll ever find, plus slow cooking it in the crockpot makes it perfect game day tailgating grub.

You have all of your basic chili components in here – beans, tomatoes, onions, and chili powder among a few other things. When you really want to call your chili Five Alarm Chili, then you add in 5 tablespoons of this hot sauce. If you’re not brave enough, you can make four alarm chili and add four tablespoons. And if you really like to sweat, you can make six alarm chili and… you get the idea.
This spicy Five Alarm Steak Chili is the best recipe you'll ever find, plus slow cooking it in the crockpot makes it perfect game day tailgating grub.

This chili is downright perfect for tailgating. Just get everything in the crockpot the night before, let it cook while you sleep, and then take it to the parking lot bright in early to get it warmed up. It also works great during a busy work week. Just imagine doing the prep work in the morning, slaving all day at work, running back and forth between football and soccer practice, and coming home to a hot bowl of THIS!

This spicy Five Alarm Steak Chili is the best recipe you'll ever find, plus slow cooking it in the crockpot makes it perfect game day tailgating grub.

Five Alarm Steak Chili
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This spicy Five Alarm Steak Chili is the best recipe you'll ever find, plus slow cooking it in the crockpot makes it perfect game day tailgating grub.
Author:
Recipe type: main dish
Yields: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2-3 pounds steak, cut in 1-inch chunks (you can use stew beef, I used two sirloin steaks)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons oil (I use avocado oil and use enough to generously coat bottom of pan)
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle of amber ale
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 5 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans unsalted plum tomatoes, with juice (break up tomatoes into pieces)
  • Garnish with freshly grated cheese, sour cream, and/or diced avocados
Instructions
  1. Add onion to the bottom of your slow cooker.
  2. Lightly coat steak with flour and shake off excess. Heat a heavy bottom large skillet or dutch oven over high heat and add oil. When oil is hot, add meat, ensuring enough space is in between pieces to properly brown. Allow to cook for just a couple minutes on each side to brown. I had to do this in two separate batches. Turn off heat when done. Transfer browned steak to slow cooker, placing on top of the diced onion.
  3. Add amber ale to pot and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to dissolve all that good stuff that stuck to the pot. Scrape it with a wooden spoon and then add entire mixture to slow cooker.
  4. Add remaining ingredients all the way up to the garnish, stir, and set slow cooker to cook on low for 8-10 hours. Before serving, use a masher to smash the chili to shred the meat and smash up some of the beans. This will thicken everything to perfection. Top with garnishes and serve hot.

 

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Game Day Punch

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Game Day Punch is an easy to make concoction of an amber ale, pineapple juice, and a citrus-y soda that makes for the perfect game day or tailgating drink.

Game Day Punch is an easy to make concoction of an amber ale, pineapple juice, and a citrus-y soda that makes for the perfect game day or tailgating drink.

I love me an easy-to-make drink. Portland has some majorly talented bartenders drink artists that use all sorts of weird ingredients and bitters. In fact, Portlandia did a great skit a few seasons ago that perfectly depicted this town’s bar scene. As much as I would like to put on a lab coat and look like a mad scientists when I’m making one of my tasty drinks, I just don’t have the time to extract my own black walnut bitters or candy the root of some foreign vegetable as garnish. I really like a drink that you can just pour into a glass and serve. I’ll even avoid shaking it in a cocktail shaker if I can get away with it, because one less dish to wash is one less dish to wash, wouldn’t you agree? This is one of those drinks. I just poured the ingredients into a glass and didn’t even stir it and it turned out perfectly.Game Day Punch is an easy to make concoction of an amber ale, pineapple juice, and a citrus-y soda that makes for the perfect game day or tailgating drink.

I’m not a beer drinker. I like some hard alcohol (vodka, tequila, gin… not whiskey), wine, and hard ciders. But, despite always wanting to have developed a love of beer, I just don’t like it. Perhaps my distaste developed when I drank way too much cheap and disgusting beer in my younger years which always led me to 1) do incredibly stupid things and then 2) barf. I can tell you that when I took a local Amber Ale (because almost everything we do here in Portland is to support local businesses) and mixed it with delicious pineapple juice and some Hansen’s Mandarin Lime soda (because its made with sugar and not HFCS), I was pleasantly surprised with how good it tasted. The juice and soda really lightened up the bitterness of the beer and I honestly think that other beer dis-likers like me would enjoy this drink. The fact that I found this really cool football glass made it taste even better.Game Day Punch is an easy to make concoction of an amber ale, pineapple juice, and a citrus-y soda that makes for the perfect game day or tailgating drink.

Game Day Punch
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Game Day Punch is an easy to make concoction of an amber ale, pineapple juice, and a citrus-y soda that makes for the perfect game day or tailgating drink.
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Yields: 1 drink
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) lemon lime or mandarin lime soda
  • 12 ounce beer (amber ale)
Instructions
  1. For a single serving, add pineapple juice and soda to a large glass, top with beer, serve.
  2. If tailgating or making for a crowd, increase ratio of ingredients to fill pitcher or punch bowl. Don't forget the red solo cups to complete the effect.

 

Game Day Punch is an easy to make concoction of an amber ale, pineapple juice, and a citrus-y soda that makes for the perfect game day or tailgating drink.
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