Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fall, Football and Finger Foods

Sometimes, Fall is my favorite season. It would be my favorite season all the time except where I live, the seasons seem to skip from Summer to Winter back to Summer with very little transition (like Spring or Fall). Most years, the calendar tells me what season I'm in, not the weather. The last 2 Saturdays have been spent watching the kids play soccer. The 1st Saturday, it was freezing. The temperature was warm but the wind was cold so I spent both games wishing I had gotten out the winter coat instead of just the hoodie. The 2nd Saturday was hot. Before I left home, I debated with myself about whether I should grab my hoodie in case it was another windy day. I should have debated whether wearing shorts and a tank top was appropriate for the end of September! 

Fall also means football. Now if you have ever lived in the South, you know that football is king. And if you've never lived in the South, well bless your heart. So football is king. You either play along or get left out. I'm not a *huge* football fan but I can appreciate a good game and I love the social part of it. It is so much fun to sit in a crowded stadium with tons of other fans and yell and scream and do the wave. Unfortunately, unless it's high school football, I only manage to get to the crowded stadium games once or twice a year. To make up for that, I like to have people over to watch the game. I don't do anything fancy for snacks and we always have finger food. A couple of my favorite finger food recipes are below.

*Both of these recipes are original in that I have never seen them published anywhere and they came to me by either word of mouth or by experimenting in the kitchen. If you recognize either of them from a cookbook or website, let me know and I will be happy to credit the publisher.

Apricot Dip

2 containers whipped cream cheese
1 jar apricot jam or jelly
1-2 packages real bacon pieces
1 bunch green onions, sliced

Spread the cream cheese in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Spread the jam over the top of the cream cheese. Top with bacon pieces and green onions. Serve with crackers. 

This is really delicious. You may be tempted to double the recipe so you can eat more but I advise against that. It doesn't last but a day or so in the refrigerator before it starts getting watery and gummy. 

Crunchy Chicken Strips

1-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup mustard
1/2 box corn flakes

If you are using chicken breasts, cut them into strips. Mix the mayo and mustard in a bowl. Crush the corn flakes. Dip the chicken in the mayo/mustard mix, then roll in corn flakes until it is well coated. Place on a well-greased baking pan. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Turn all the chicken over and cook for 15 minutes more. *Cooking time may vary depending on your oven.* 

One of the best parts of this recipes is the gooey crunchy corn flakes that stay on the bottom of the pan when all the chicken is gone. When you are eating that off the pan with your fingers, you will appreciate having greased the pan.

I don't have pictures of either of the recipes. My cooking is never pretty and my phone doesn't take great pictures. Someday, I will cook pretty stuff and get a camera that will let me edit my ugly food. Until then, you will have to try the recipes to see what they look like.

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