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It’s the time of year for football playoffs and what better way to celebrate a game of pigskin than with…you guessed it…bacon?! Chef, author and James Beard Award finalist Kevin Gillespie teamed up with Formula 409® and lifestyle experts Erin Chase of $5 Dinners, Christy Jordan of Southern Plate and Kami Bigler of NoBiggie to create some fun and easy tips and tricks to help throw a fun-filled (and bacon-filled) football game-watching party.
By Kevin Gillespie, Chef, Author, James Beard Award Finalist and longtime fan of the Formula 409® clean
• 12 small jalapeno peppers
• 1 package hardwood smoked bacon, regular thickness, extra fat
• ½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
• ¼ cup Philadelphia cream cheese
• 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
• 1 Tbsp minced pimento peppers
• 1 tsp finely ground black pepper
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 cup light brown sugar
Roast the jalapeno peppers over an open fire by placing a small wire rack over a burner on your stove and setting the peppers on the rack. If you do not have a gas stove this can be done on a grill, or under the broiler in your oven. Roast the peppers until they are lightly charred on all sides. Do not over roast as this will cause the peppers to be too soft. You only want the skin to be able to be removed. Remove the peppers from the heat once they are cooked lightly on all sides and allow to cool to room temperature. Once the peppers have cooled, remove the skin with a paper towel. Slice the top off each pepper and remove the seeds and pith. Reserve the roasted peppers while you make the filling.
To make the filling, mix together the cheddar, cream cheese, mayonnaise, pimento peppers, black pepper, and salt. It is easiest to work with this mixture if all of the ingredients are at room temperature. Spoon equal amounts of the mixture into the inside of each pepper. The filling should be approximately ¼ inch from the top of the pepper. Lay flat one slice of bacon and place the stuffed pepper, on one end of the slice. Wrap the pepper in the bacon, making sure to cover the entire pepper, and secure the bacon with a toothpick through the center of the pepper.
To finish the popper, preheat your oven to 400° F. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Sprinkle the bacon wrapped peppers with the brown sugar and line them up on the cookie sheet. Bake until the bacon has browned and the cheese has melted. Serve immediately.
By Erin Chase, mastermind behind $5 Dinners, busy mother of four and lover of the quick-clean (she’s got better things to do than clean…like chase those four kids around)
• Potato Skins
• 12 small russet potatoes
• Olive oil
• Salt and pepper
• Loaded Potato Dip
• 8 slices bacon: cooked, crumbled and divided
• 16 oz. sour cream
• 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
• 1 bunch green onions, sliced and divided
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• ½ tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Lay the potatoes on a baking sheet and cut a slit on the side of each one, where you would cut them to make the halves for the potato skins. Spray both sides of the potatoes with non-stick cooking spray and lightly season the outsides of the potatoes with salt and pepper. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until all potatoes are soft.
Meanwhile, cook the package of bacon in a skillet. Once cooked, place on napkin or paper towel to drain. Once cooled, crumble the bacon. Remove potatoes from the oven, let cool for a few minutes, then slice in half, lengthwise and lay the potatoes flat. Carefully (they are hot!) scoop out the insides, leaving about ¼ inch of potato flesh. Spray with non-stick cooking spray and season lightly with salt and pepper.
Return the potatoes to the oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly before serving. While the potato skins are in the oven, mix together the dip. In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, most of the crumbled bacon, the shredded cheese, most of the green onions, garlic powder and salt. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve the Loaded Potato Dip with bacon and green onion garnish, with potato skins on the side. You can also serve waffle fries or potato chips for dipping.
By Christy Jordan of Southern Plate, mother, wife, Southern cook and cleaning whiz
GARLIC CREAM BISCUITS
• 2 cups Self-Rising Flour*
• 1 ½ cup Heavy Cream
• 1 tsp granulated garlic
In medium bowl, stir together flour and garlic. Add in cream and stir until it forms a stiff dough. Pour out onto floured surface and roll into a ball with hands. Press out flat. Then bring it into a ball again. Repeat this four times to knead. Using a rolling pin, roll out to ½ inch thickness. Using a biscuit cutter or juice glass dipped in flour, cut out biscuits. Place on greased baking sheet and bake at 450° F for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Remove from oven and brush tops with melted butter, if desired. *To make your own self-rising flour, simply add 1 ½ tsp baking powder and ½ tsp salt for EACH cup of all purpose flour.
• 2 Tbs bacon grease
• 2 Tbs all-purpose flour
• 1 cup milk
• Salt and pepper to taste
Place grease in small skillet, add flour. Stir over medium heat until flour is browned. Reduce heat to low and whisk in milk. Stir constantly until gravy thickens and no lumps remain, 7-8 minutes. To assemble biscuits, cut each biscuit in half and top with freshly cooked bacon and a smear of thick bacon gravy. Serve warm.
By Kami Bigler, the brains behind NoBiggie, who’s favorite things include her family (#1!), crafting, cooking and cleaning made simple
1.) DIY paper cones that look like footballs are a simple, fun way
to get into the big game spirit no matter what team you’re
rooting for! You can fill them with fun snacks: popcorn,
pretzels, anything you’d like! To make them, cut out pie-slice
shapes from colored paper and roll the paper into a cone.
Staple it twice in two different spots to secure it. Cut a few
pieces of white paper and glue them to the cones to create
the “stitching” on the football.
2.) Use paper cups to create Football Play Cups. Draw out
classic football play symbols with sharpies on paper
cups. Let each guest choose and draw their own play, so
they won’t forget which cup is theirs. By stacking these
cups into a pyramid shape, these fun cups also double
as party decoration.
3.) Create football-shaped brownies so even your edibles match
the theme. Just cut brownies into football shapes and use a
toothpick to make white frosting lines on the brownies.
4.) Create your own football field table by placing some thin
sheets of peat moss give your table an astro-turf look. It’s a
great way to decorate the food table!