American Football & My Awesome Super Bowl Dip Recipe

Whether you love football or not, it’s hard to escape the excitement that surrounds the big NFL championship every year. Not having grown up with American football (we play football that actually involves feet back home…) lots of people are surprised by how much I have gotten into football (the American version). What started out as a game of two lines of dudes wrestling, then falling down, then getting up again only to wrestle some more has turned into something that gets me excited quite a few Sundays and even Saturdays on occasion. I love going to games and tailgating and I’ve been an avid fantasy football coach for a few season now, too. Basically, you pick players and their performance in real life gives you a score in your fantasy league. It’s really fun (or equally as agitating) playing with my friends.

Me roarrrring during a Panthers game

So, while I was sad our Carolina Panthers did not make it very far in the playoffs this season (sooo proud they made it to the playoffs at all though!), I am excited about this weekend’s match-up. We watched “The Book of Manning” (you can watch the whole Book of Manning here! How cool!) the other day and after that I am now totally rooting for the Broncos. It’d be nice for their former Panthers coach, too.

My traditional thing to bring to Super Bowl parties is my “Green Bay Packers Hot Bean Superbowl Dip”. I named it after the winners of that year’s Super Bowl… Go figure now I’m getting married to a Green Bay fan. This year I am also bringing fun bingo sheets that you can download for free here.

Sandra’s Hot Bean Super Bowl Dip

– 8oz cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
16oz refried beans
0.5 packages of taco seasoning
a few drops of hot sauce
2 TBS parsley
0.25 cups cut green onions
16oz Mexican shredded cheese mix

1. Heat your oven to 350F (175C)2. First mix sour cream and softened cream cheese.
2. Then mix everything except for half of the shredded cheese in.
3. Put mixture into a baking dish (I use an 8x12in dish).
4. Top with remaining half of the shredded cheese.
5. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the cheese is starting to brown.
6. Serve with corn chips!

I always have to take a ton of lactaid to eat this but it’s sooooo good, totally worth it! Nom nom!

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I Declare Pimento Cheeseypendence!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHappy Independence Day! One of my fondest Independence Day memories is a trip to Pawley’s Island with two of my girlfriends a few years back. It was the weekend  the bartender got fired for giving us too many free drinks. Wonderful beach time, fun shopping and frat boys asked us what year we’d graduate from college (thank you SPF for keeping us looking fine and young).

It was the weekend I was introduced to pimento cheese. I’d eat a sandwich for lunch, one for snack and maybe one for dinner. I was totes hooked! Later that year I discovered I was lactarded and the worst thing for any lactose intolerant person or people in their vicinity 😉 is soft cheese. Sayonara pimento cheese. 🙁

Untillllll I found a recipe in Rachael Ray magazine the other day that didn’t use any cream cheese at all. Hey hey, fancy that!! It asked for cheddar cubes, which I can easily get lactose free (thank you Cabot’s Cheese!!!) I added some jalapeños for good measure and always have some pickles as a side.

Pimento CheesePimento Cheese
● 3/4 of a block of cheddar, cubed
● 1/2 a glass of pimentos, drained & chopped (ca 4oz)
● 3 heaping table spoons of mayo
● ca 10 jalapeño slices, chopped (optional)

Throw cheddar into food processor and process until somewhat of a paste. Add rest of ingredients and pulse until everything is mixed well.
I like mine best on fresh bread but it should be awesome on burgers, too. Guten Appetit y’all!

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Express Stuffed Peppers – (You Might Be A Foodie If….)

… the first thing that comes to your mind after cooking an amazing dish is to preserve the memories recipe in a blog post for future reference.

I was craving stuffed bell peppers tonight but honestly after a stressful day at the office and shopping at Target (9 more days until our cruise!!) I really didn’t want to wait an hour and a half until I could pull a meal out of the oven. Seriously, like that’s a week night option!! Sure I could have gotten some frozen instant version of stuffed peppers but I’m trying really hard to avoid Barely-There-Cuisine type uber-engineered meals with a 55 ingredients chemicals list.

So if you are looking for an easy, somewhat healthy and most importantly fast stuffed peppers recipe, you might like what I came up with. I cooked the following in under 30 minutes and even had my living areas vacuumed and the kitchen cleaned up before I sat down with my plate and a glass of Shiraz.

  • Always a good staple on hand, I freeze ground beef/pork in quarters of the rectangular packs. Defrost 2 of them or use fresh if you specifically shop for this meal. (I think that would equate to ca 1/2 lbs of ground meat)
  • I had a set of three bell peppers ($1.99 at ALDI, $3.99 at Target (Just saying)) and I washed and beheaded them and got rid of the seeds.
  • Place the peppers open side up in a microwavable dish and add a cm of water to the dish. Microwave on high for 3 minutes.
  • Combine raw ground beef, ca 1/2 cup or instant rice (the one that takes 5 minutes to boil), 14oz of tomato sauce (1/2 a big can), garlic powder (I used ca 1 tablespoon but you could easily crush 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic and use those), red crushed pepper flakes (I used way too much! Hello mouth on fire! Try 1 tablespoon or substitute with paprika and black pepper), a bit of salt and a dash of sugar. Now, I’m thinking if you don’t have enough ground meat or rice on hand you could also easily use bread crumbs as filler.
  • Fill the now a little softer bell peppers with the mix. Cover and microwave for 10 minutes. Ding! Food is done! Don’t burn your hands or lips!

I’m going to unstuff the left-over peppers and add some more sauce so they’ll heat up better for lunch. Definitely making them again!

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In Which I’m Whipping up Some Dinner

Living alone and having an active social life makes my dinners mostly unpredictable. I see tons of Pinterest posts about printable meal plans and Rachael Ray always has a weekly shopping list that lasts a whole week’s worth of dinners. I always think “Ohhh so pretty! Ohhh so practical!” Well, I’m not Rachael Ray nor am I feeding a family so a pre-planned dinner list for the week is not my style. Plus what if you’re not in the mood for what you thought you’d be in the mood for on Friday when you planned your meals on Sunday?! Tsk. Not for me.

Instead I find myself hungry with random ingredients at home and am left to whip up something. Sometimes dinner turns out horrific (like that elderberry syrup drenched chicken breast with grapes and onions– yuk!!). Sometimes I surprise myself though and surpass my mother’s cooking skills…

Tonight’s challenge: Will be going on a 5 day business trip and have 1/4 broccoli head, a lemon and two potatoes that look more like orange peel crispness wise. Definitely destination trash can if I didn’t use them tonight. Hmmmm. Further digging in my fridge produced a long ago opened bottle of white wine, some garlic, a glass of marinated artichokes and frozen shrimps. A half hour later I am eating a frickin’ amazing dinner. Sandra 1. Waste 0.

Proud chef that I am, I posted a pic on FB and my friend C was so enthralled she asked for the recipe. Here goes:

Shrimps with Artichokes & Broccoli in Lemon White Wine Sauce and Potatoes

  • Start cooking your potatoes – they’ll need the longest
  • Defrost shrimps under running water and pat dry. Season with garlic powder (I was thinking, aww shucks I don’t have time to marinate them but I want them somewhat garlicy – garlic powder to the rescue!)
  • Chop broccoli and garlic – I used two cloves
  • Heat olive oil in pan and add garlic. A little later the shrimps and finally the broccoli
  • Squeeze out half a lemon and pour juice into pan
  • Let simmer a few minutes then add a handful of marinated artichoke segments and white wine (don’t drink the wine, it’ll taste sourrrr)(ignore content of last parentheses if fresh bottle)
  • I added some white pepper and a pinch of sugar to season. Add more wine if things should dry rub against the pan
  • After it’s been simmering until your potatoes are almost done, mix some cornstarch with cold water (you’ll only need a little bit) to thicken the sauce. Stir into shrimp wine mix and bring back to a boil
  • Guten Appetit!

I made this with potatoes because they weren’t going to survive my absence and I’m German – we love potatoes (and The ‘Hoff). I could see this work at least as well with pasta, couscous or rice, too, though. Let me know how yours turned out and happy cooking!

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