Game Day Food!

Game Day – the perfect excuse to eat all of your favorite foods and not feel guilty about it! In preparation for the big game, here are some of our favorite appetizers and comfort foods to enjoy while watching football! 

Jalapeno Poppers are great, and we took these up a level with bacon… Try these Cheesy BLT Stuffed Jalapenos
 

Favorite appetizers and comfort food perfect for game day! Hot and cold appetizers, burritos, sliders, pizza and more! BLT Stuffed Jalapenos
Chips and dip are probably my #1 guilty pleasure. You can’t go wrong with this 5-minute dip that tasted like a loaded baked potato. Loaded Baked Potato Dip

Loaded Baked Potato Dip  Favorite appetizers and comfort food perfect for game day! Hot and cold appetizers, burritos, sliders, pizza and more!

I must have something for loaded baked potatoes! These hot Loaded Baked Potato Bites really are the perfect bite. Make your mashed potato a day ahead of time to make assembling these cute little bites a breeze! 

Favorite appetizers and comfort food perfect for game day! Hot and cold appetizers, burritos, sliders, pizza and more!
Pinwheels are perfect little bite-sized appetizers and can be hot, using Crescent rolls, or cold, using flour tortillas. Try these Baked Pinwheels or these cold Tortilla Pinwheels

Favorite appetizers and comfort food perfect for game day! Hot and cold appetizers, burritos, sliders, pizza and more!

I think deviled eggs always belong when having an appetizer party. Try these Western Style Deviled Eggs with ham, onion, green peppers, topped with pickled mustard seeds. 

Favorite appetizers and comfort food perfect for game day! Hot and cold appetizers, burritos, sliders, pizza and more!

You might want to eat the entire tray after trying one of these Sweet Ham and Swiss Sliders (say that 10 times fast!). Gooey melted cheese and baked ham on a toasted roll, all topped with a sweet and spicy Dijon and brown sugar butter glaze – perfection. 

Favorite appetizers and comfort food perfect for game day! Hot and cold appetizers, burritos, sliders, pizza and more!

You’ll want to make these just for the creamy and cheesy roasted jalapeno sauce! Smothered Chicken Burritos – the chicken cooks in your crockpot all day, and then assemble and bake when you are ready to eat! 

Favorite appetizers and comfort food perfect for game day! Hot and cold appetizers, burritos, sliders, pizza and more!




Crisp, buttery grilled bread stuffed with creamy melted cheese and a hot and bubbly spinach artichoke spread. It’s like everybody’s favorite party dip in a sandwich. Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese – 

Favorite appetizers and comfort food perfect for game day! Hot and cold appetizers, burritos, sliders, pizza and more!

Finally, making pizza at home can be a lot of fun. This pizza combines a Philly Cheesesteak with a make-at-home pizza – Philly Cheesesteak Pizza

Favorite appetizers and comfort food perfect for game day! Hot and cold appetizers, burritos, sliders, pizza and more!

Enjoy!! 

Favorite appetizers and comfort food perfect for game day! Hot and cold appetizers, burritos, sliders, pizza and more!

Favorite appetizers and comfort food perfect for game day! Hot and cold appetizers, burritos, sliders, pizza and more!

 

Originally posted at Maryellens Cooking Creations

Mussels Roasted in Almond Garlic Butter

Think back to your favorite meal or dish that you ever had. The one you dream about. The one you can taste if you just close your eyes and remember. The one that reminds me of the best tagline I have ever seen – “You only live once, but if you dine well once is all you need.”

I’ve asked my husband his favorite meal and he consistently says “the mussels from Fore Street.”
Fore Street is a cozy and rustic restaurant in Portland, Maine that has been on many lists, including landing a spot in the top 100 in the world! And after finally getting there myself several years ago, the restaurant is now in my top 5.

My husband has been lucky enough to get back there a few times when traveling and of course he orders the mussels.

So what’s a girl who loves to cook to do when she wants to really take care of her man? Recreate his favorite dish, of course! My husband has been traveling non-stop over the past 10 months, only coming home for quick 40 hour weekends. He deserved some spoiling.

I knew if I was making mussels it would have to be the Fore Street recipe. Luckily I found it without any trouble.

Having tasted them before I knew they were roasted in a garlicky butter sauce, but was surprised to read that almonds were the main ingredient in the sauce. I guess that explains the richness in the sauce.

Now, I have never prepared mussels at home and wasn’t sure what was meant by debearding the mussels (and honestly I was a bit scared to find out!!). Turns out it is simply removing the tag, or the beard, from the side of the mussel. Click here for a great demo.

This is a very easy dish to pull together – all you need is a food processor, an oven-safe skillet (or cast iron pan), 25 minutes of prep-time and 12 minutes of cook time. 

Making the sauce is simply combining the almonds, butter, garlic and other ingredients in your food processor until creamy. Dollop that over the mussels, roast the mussels (while you cut the bread and pour the wine), and that’s it. Sometimes the most amazing and sophisticated things you eat really are the most simple. Back to basics, true, good food. 

Mussels Roasted in Almond Garlic ButterAdapted from: Food and Wine (via Fore Street Restaurant)Notes: the original recipe called for 4 pounds of mussels for this amount of sauce. I used 2 pounds of mussels and the same amount of sauce – we definitely wanted extra for sopping it up with bread. Also, I used a lot more garlic at my husband’s request. Glad I did! 
Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1/2 c salted roasted almonds
  • 1 stick unsalted butter quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp minced jalapeno 
  • 1 tsp finely ground pepper
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1/2 c dry white wine 
Directions
  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees farenheit
  • In a food processor, grind the almonds until they are mostly fine with some larger pieces. Add in the butter, minced garlic, parsley, shallot, lemon juice and lemon zest. Process until blended. Season with salt. 
  • Place the mussels in a large, oven-proof skillet. 
  • Pour in the wine and then dollop the butter all over the mussels, making sure each area of the pan has some of the butter. 
  • Roast the mussels for 12 minutes, stirring once and shaking the pan a few times. Discard any mussels that did not open after 12 minutes.
  • Serve with crusty bread.

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Originally posted at Maryellens Cooking Creations

Grilled Bread Salad with Spinach, Tomatoes and Blue Cheese

This salad may be my favorite thing about grilling, and it’s all because of the bread.

Charred bread – crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and tossed with oil and balsamic. It’s seriously the perfect bite. If you haven’t grilled bread for salad before, you need to do it ASAP.

I first made this salad several years ago. It has changed a bit over the years so I am sharing this updated post.

When making this bread, you don’t want soft, fresh bread. Buy day old bread, or buy your bread the day before. The best bread for this salad is day-old ciabatta bread. Slice it open down the middle, brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and char it as little or as much as you want.

Once charred, you chop it into bite sized pieces and let it soak in an oil bath with cilantro and red onions for 15 minutes before finishing the salad.

At this point I guarantee you will be stealing pieces of the bread to eat!

The salad is finished with baby spinach, chopped tomatoes, blue cheese, balsamic vinegar, and a touch of sea salt and black pepper.

Grilled Bread Salad with Spinach, Tomatoes and Blue Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 c good olive oil plus more for brushing the bread
  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread, sliced open (see pics above)
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 c baby spinach
  • 2 juicy red tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp blue cheese
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Directions
  • Pre-heat your grill
  • Put the onions and cilantro in a large bowl with the oil; let sit in the fridge while you prep the bread
  • Brush both sides of the bread with oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place on the grill for 4-7 minutes per side, depending on how charred you want it. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into bite sized pieces. Add the bread to the bowl with the oil/onions/cilantro and toss. Let sit 15 minutes.
  • Add the spinach, tomatoes, blue cheese, and balsamic vinegar. Toss. Adjust oil/vinegar/salt/pepper.
  • Serve immediately.

Originally posted at Maryellens Cooking Creations

Grilled Flank Steak Crostini

An elegant appetizer for entertaining – crusty, toasted bread topped with creamy melted cheese and thinly sliced grilled flank steak. 

Our friends were in town on business recently so we were lucky to spend a fun night with them over good food and of course, lots of good wine. We definitely don’t get to see them enough so this midweek visit was a special treat. 
As soon as the visit was planned I started to discuss the menu with my friend Jeff who shares my love of food and cooking. My husband tried to contribute (I’m lucky he loves to cook, too!), but whenever Jeff visits the food is always our thing. 
I knew our menu would include several courses. We ended up with three appetizer courses an an entree. Honestly, but the time we were done with apps I didn’t even need an entree, but after an hour break we got back to cooking. 
Our favorite appetizer was this grilled flank steak crostini. I love crostini with different toppings, so for this one we decided on melted cheese and thinly sliced grilled flank steak. From there I just winged it and made several kinds of crostini with different toppings. 

Look how beautiful!!! 
Half of the crostini had melted provolone and steak, while the other half were topped with blue cheese and the steak. Toppings I used were chopped grilled red onions and sliced roasted red peppers. Once the crostini came out of the oven I topped some of them with cold tomato bruschetta topping and fresh arugula. 
I can’t even pick which combination of ingredients were my favorite – they were all good!! They were so good that the next night my husband and I made more for dinner with the few leftovers that we had, and I plan on making them for a girls’ night I am hosting next week (as long as the blizzard doesn’t mess up my grilling plans!!). Yes, THAT good!


Grilled Flank Steak CrostiniOriginal Recipe by Mary Ellen of Mary Ellen’s Cooking Creations
Ingredients

  • 1 baguette sliced into 3/4 inch pieces on the bias (a slight diagonal slice)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 1 flank steak
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Cheese (I used sliced provolone on half and crumbled blue cheese on the other half)
  • Other toppings, such as:
    • 1 roasted red pepper, sliced
    • 2 rings red onion, grilled and chopped
    • Fresh arugula
Directions
  • Heat grill to high. Season flank steak liberally with salt, pepper and dried thyme. Cook __ min per side, flipping only once, to medium rare (or medium, depending on your liking). Let rest 10 minutes before slicing into very thin slices.
  • In the meantime, heat your oven to 400 degrees. 
  • Place the baguette slices on a cookie sheet and brush with olive oil. Put in the oven for 5-7 minutes, until crispy.
  • Remove from the oven and rub each baguette with the raw garlic. Top each baguette with cheese, steak, and other toppings, except the arugula (optional: put some more cheese on top). Return to the oven and turn your broiler on high for 2 minutes or until the cheese has melted. 
    • NOTE: if you don’t want your steak to cook any more under the broiler, only top the baguettes with cheese and other toppings and broil. Top with the steak after removing from the oven.
  • Optional: top with some fresh arugula and drizzle with olive oil before serving. 

Originally posted at Maryellens Cooking Creations