Wednesday, February 10, 2010


We decided to host a Super Bowl party. Not so much because I'm crazy about football or that my team even had a chance of making it, but because we like an excuse to have a dozen people over and eat a lot!

Our recent Costco purchase doubled the action and there was no delay with our regular TV because they were both hooked into the same satellite box. This also meant we could switch to the internet feed during half time to watch Peyton Manning's United Way Ad on - possibly my favorite SNL digital short.
On to the food - the real stars of the show. Starting with the appetizers and leading into a sandwich spread, we were setting folks up for a full day of eating. Although I know it isn't what I should be spending the party budget on, we couldn't resist the plates and football napkins from Target shown in the header picture.

Here's the starting line-up (how many football themed phrases will I be able to squeeze into this post?).

Pre-made and easy to set out snacks like pretzels, a veggie tray and Lipton onion dip were overshadowed by a few new undertakings. Per usual, I relied on to point me in the right direction. Add to these a bowl of shrimp with cocktail sauce one of the guests brought and our little dining room table was close to toppling over.

These Bacon Tomato Cups turned out pretty well, I doubled the recipe but should have put even less mayo in than the reduction I already made based on comments. Between the bacon, biscuit dough and cheese, the added mayo makes these way too greasy to be good.

Bacon and Tomato Cups
8 slices bacon
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
3 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 (16 ounce) can refrigerated buttermilk biscuit dough

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a mini muffin pan. In a skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until evenly brown. Drain on paper towels. Crumble bacon into a medium mixing bowl, and mix with tomato, onion, Swiss cheese, mayonnaise and basil. Separate biscuits into quarters. Place each piece into cups of the prepared mini muffin pan. Fill each biscuit piece with the bacon mixture.Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven , or until golden brown.

Our cheese plate was pretty simple this time around - one big ole block of Bondost. Bondost is a Swedish farmer's cheese spiced with caraway seeds and is a table fixture at Bob's family's get-togethers.
Speaking of cheese, this next one is a little cheeseball, and I mean that literally. Mine was not as dark as some of the pictures on, but all the comments pointed to less taco seasoning so I settled for a lighter color.

18 servings
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 package taco seasoning mix
1/2 slice American cheese

Mix together the cream cheese, shredded Cheddar, green onion, Worcestershire sauce, and taco seasoning mix in a large bowl. Press the cheese mixture into a ball, turn it out onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Use the plastic wrap to press the cheese ball into the shape of a football by flattening the ball and rounding each end. Place the cheese football on a plate, arrange strips of American cheese like laces on the top of the cheese football. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Remove the cheese ball from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.

Finally, Bob's Big Project was the Wings! Using Guy Fieri sauce recipes and a 40 pack of wings, he got to work, starting the day before with baking the wings.

Prep the Wings
Preheat the oven to 350°F Season the wings with salt and pepper and arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer. Cook until just brown and crisp, about 45 minutes.
With sauces including Tequila-Lime, BBQ and Hot Sauce at the ready, he grilled the wings for about 10-15 minutes during the party before drenching them in the marinades.

This tray that I got for Christmas from my sister and brother-in-law worked out perfectly to display them. Although we did not need them for this spread, I love how the smaller tray has toothpick holders! Don't you just want to take a big bite of celery drenched in blue cheese?
Drink-wise, We couldn't pass up the Heineken Mini Keg, set out with our brewery themed pint glasses. We found the perfect pour was elusive though - foam central! Good thing we had plenty more choices in the fridge: everything from Miller Lite to Stella to 2 Below.
At halftime, we set out Round 2. Along with my Mom's pulled pork kept warm in a crockpot, we set out deli meats, cheese, lettuce and tomato in case folks wanted a lighter sandwich. A side of tasty coleslaw and King's Hawaiian Sandwich Rolls made the meal.

Pulled Pork
10 servings
Dry Rub:                               BBQ Sauce:
3 Tbs chili powder                1 Tb vegetable oil
2 Tbs paprika                       1/2 cup minced onion
1 Tb oregano                        1 bottle chili sauce (12oz)
1 Tb cumin                           1 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1 Tb sugar                           2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tb salt                              3 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp white pepper                3 Tbs hot pepper sauce
1 tsp salt

1 lean pork shoulder arm roast or pork shoulder arm picnic (5-6 lbs)

Combine all rub ingredients in large resealable plastic bag. Trim excess skin and fat from pork leaving a 1/8 inch thick layer of fat. Place meat in bag with rub. Seal and toss to coat meat. Refrigerate overnight. Make BBQ sauce by heating oil in 3 qt. sauce pan over medium heat; add onions and cook 4-5 minutes until softened. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes until slightly thickened. Makes 2 cups.

Heat oven to 325. Arrange roast in 9x13 pan; pour sauce over top. tightly cover pan with foil. Bake 3.5-4 hours until tender. Pull meat off of bone with a fork, discard bone. Return pork to pan with sauce and bake uncovered 25 minutes more. Serve on bread slices or buns.
Room for Dessert? I made a batch of Chocolate Mint Bars from Cooking Light. Better results than last time when my green food coloring jar leaked and I turned into the Wicked Witch of the West/Shrek for a few hours.

Chocolate-Mint Bars
20 servings

Bottom layer:
1  cup  all-purpose flour (about 4 1/2 ounces)
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1  cup  granulated sugar
1/2  cup  egg substitute
1/4  cup  butter, melted
2  tablespoons  water
1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
2  large eggs, beaten
1  (16-ounce) can chocolate syrup
Cooking spray

Mint layer:
2  cups  powdered sugar
1/4  cup  butter, melted
2  tablespoons  fat-free milk
1/2  teaspoon  peppermint extract
2  drops green food coloring

3/4  cup  semisweet chocolate chips
3  tablespoons  butter

Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare bottom layer, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and salt; stir with a whisk. Combine granulated sugar, egg substitute, 1/4 cup melted butter, 2 tablespoons water, vanilla, eggs, and chocolate syrup in a medium bowl; stir until smooth. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture, stirring until blended. Pour batter into a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 23 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
To prepare mint layer, combine powdered sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, and next 3 ingredients (through food coloring) in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer until smooth. Spread mint mixture over cooled cake.
To prepare the glaze, combine the chocolate chips and 3 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until melted, stirring after 30 seconds. Let stand 2 minutes. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over top. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut into 20 pieces.

As if 20 chocolate bars weren't enough, our lovely guests contributed even more! We all nearly fell over after trying this Tiramisu Layer Cake from

Tiramisu Layer Cake

12 servings (photo source:


1 (18.25 ounce) package moist white cake mix

1 teaspoon instant coffee powder

1/4 cup coffee

1 tablespoon coffee flavored liqueur


1 (8 ounce) container mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

2 tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur


2 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

2 tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 3 (9 inch) pans. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions. Divide two thirds of batter between 2 pans. Stir instant coffee into remaining batter; pour into remaining pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. In a measuring cup, combine brewed coffee and 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur; set aside.

To make the filling: In a small bowl, using an electric mixer set on low speed, combine mascarpone, 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur; beat just until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
To make the frosting: In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the cream, 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur until stiff. Fold 1/2 cup of cream mixture into filling mixture.

To assemble the cake: Place one plain cake layer on a serving plate. Using a thin skewer, poke holes in cake, about 1 inch apart. Pour one third of reserved coffee mixture over cake, then spread with half of the filling mixture. Top with coffee-flavored cake layer; poke holes in cake. Pour another third of the coffee mixture over the second layer and spread with the remaining filling. Top with remaining cake layer; poke holes in cake. Pour remaining coffee mixture on top. Spread sides and top of cake with frosting. Place cocoa in a sieve and lightly dust top of cake. Garnish with chocolate curls. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.

To make the chocolate curls, use a vegetable peeler and run it down the edge of the chocolate bar.

I found the commercials to only be so-so, although the Google Search and David Letterman ads won me over. Post-game analysis was skipped in lieu of Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl. I can't get enough - there is a Kitty Half-Time Show, Bunny Cheerleaders and Hamsters in an aerial blimp. In 2008 they ran the Puppy Olympics and I'm hoping to see a sequel coming up as our heads turn towards Vancouver. (photo source: Animal Planet)
Whew. That's a lot of recipes. Thinking ahead to posts on a Valentine's Day Flashback and A Ribs Recap, I think its about time to update the Index so all of the good stuff is easier to find!


  1. Can we please live closer so I can come to your parties?!

    Also, I'm surprised you didn't have the Superbowl on one tv and the Puppy Bowl on the other! :)

  2. I should have checked to see if Animal Planet had a live internet feed, but unfortunately we can't watch 2 different TV channels at once because they are both plugged into the same sat box!

    Yes, move to Chicago :-)