Thursday, January 23, 2014

Super Bowl New Jersey!

Believe it or not, not everyone in New Jersey is excited to have the Super Bowl in our backyard. Especially if you live in northern NJ. Which I do. Fifteen minutes away from Met Life Stadium. Can you see the back-up (without any, a-hem, "bridge closures") on the major arteries in/out of the Meadowlands? Can you picture the rest of us average folks trying to go about our daily lives? Get the picture? I thought you would.

Now that we're all on the same page, the Super Bowl is a perfect excuse for a party and it's not too early to start planning. If you're having a house party or going to one, I've got two great recipes for the start and finish of your Super Bowl festivities!

We begin with my award-winning South of the Border Super Bowl Baskets. A few years ago, I entered a ConAgra Super Bowl snack contest and won! These little appetizers are perfect party food - they are easy to make, delicious, and can be held in one hand while balancing a beer or glass of wine in the other (not that I'm advocating drinking during the Super Bowl). Made with spicy chorizo, guacamole, refried beans, and shredded Mexican cheese, they really hit the spot!

When the party starts to wind down, that's your cue to brew some coffee and trot out dessert.  I'm a big fan of coffee cakes. Not only are they delicious, but they invoke a warmth not found in other desserts. And at the end of a long day and night of Super Bowl fun, you want to send your guests home feeling warm and cozy. And this cake does just that!  Epicurious' Pear Streusel Coffee Cake is baked in a 9x13 pan so you'll have enough for a crowd and it can be made a day ahead, which is always a plus. A moist, sour cream cake topped with a delicious streusel full of crunchy pecans, hearty oats, and sweet pears. A great combo! And a nice use of a lovely winter fruit.  It doesn't really need it, but if you want to dress it up a bit, add a dollop of creme fraiche.

So even if your favorite team doesn't win on February 2, your party contributions will definitely split the uprights!

South of the Border Super Bowl Baskets

Pear Streusel Coffee Cake

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