I’m clueless about most sports, but what I’m not clueless about is snacking, appetizers, and munchies. This is a good thing in my household. In lieu of a painfully awkward post about me and football, I thought I’d just share the recipes to a few of my favorite (easy, quick, foolproof) party foods:
1.) Anything wrapped in puff pastry. It’s amazing what you can do with a package of fancy sausage (we like chicken-apple), a jar of dijon mustard, and a package of ready-made puff pastry (from the freezer section). Oh, and an oven. Thaw and then roll out the dough, cut it into squares, place a slice of sausage and a dab of mustard in the middle of each square, fold it into a bundle, and bake until golden. This works well with cubes of mozarella and slices of pepperoni, too.
2.) Pulled pork or BBQ beef sandwiches. There are a gazillion ways to make pull pork, and I might try to reconcile with my crock pot by slow cooking a whole bunch of meat and sauce in it.
3.) Mini pizzas. You don’t have to get all fancy -- even regular pizza tastes better when bite sized. (If you do want to get all fancy, though, my favorite Tandoori Chicken Pizza is a good one to try.) You can set out a toppings bar and have everyone concoct their own, making it a meal and an activity all in one.
4.) Sliders. My husband loves making these for parties. Tiny burgers with a nub of bleu cheese in the middle, topped with caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms, on teensy potato rolls. Mmmmm.
5.) Veggies that aren’t crudites. How many kids will munch on a platter of raw veggies? Try marinading some zucchini, summer squash, peeled eggplant, red onion, and grape tomatoes in Italian dressing, stringing them on skewers, and grilling them (indoors, on a grill pan, given that it’s barely above freezing where I live)? Serve it with couscous to make it a meal.
6.) Hummus and pita. This recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated is my favorite, because it makes a dense, creamy dip without a hint of grainy grittiness that you usually have in hummus.
7.) Brownies. Pick your favorite recipe and make a lot of them. I like this one, from Mary at Owlhaven. She has 10 kids and is writing a cookbook; this is a woman who knows a good brownie when she sees one. (If your family is gluten free — half of mine is — Bob’s Red Mill makes a good mix.)
There’s also a wealth of ideas in the Busy Chef group at Work It, Mom! -- check them out!