football is back

There's just something about football that I love so very much. If you've been a reader for a while, you may recall that I committed to becoming a football fanatic when I married Shaun 7 years ago. I grew up in a house where my dad always watched the Giants, but I never took an interest. Then the Giants won the super bowl in 2008 and I was hooked. I also made the decision that I could spend my life fighting my husband on the football Sunday ritual, or I could embrace it and enjoy it with him. I chose the latter.

And you know what? Some of my very favorite times are hanging on the couch watching both the Giants and the Jets (we are a two team household). Though it's not easy to settle in for 6+ hours of football with a two year old, we do the best we can.

Last night the Giants lost to the Cowboys, but it was fun to settle in for the evening game. There's something really exciting and comforting to me about Sunday night football. Call me crazy, and if I could psychoanalyze myself for a moment, perhaps this is why I love city living, but I love the excitement and bright lights late into the night. It's comforting to me to know that people all over the country and awake and watching the game...that maybe we aren't the only ones up late in the dark. Weird? Probably. But in any event, I love it.

I'm linking up today to some of my favorite football events and foods to celebrate game day!

pepperjack pimento dip
bacon jalapeno cheeseball
giants blue velvet cupcakes
salted caramel apple cheesecake bars

Secret Recipe Club: NY Giants & Jets Popcorn Party Mix

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was filled with sleeping in, hitting the gym and hanging out with my sister who is home for Thanksgiving. I'm ready for a short holiday week ahead, how about you?!

This is my first month participating in the Secret Recipe Club and I was completely thrilled when I got The Yummy Life as my blog for this round. I love Monica's blog because her recipes look simply fantastic and she is extremely thorough with her recipe instructions. I love that when trying new dishes! When I saw her recipe for Red Hot Popcorn Party Mix, I knew I had to give it a try.

Not only does the recipe look fantastic, but Monica is clearly a girl after my own heart in that she creates food based on her favorite sports team! Though she created this popcorn in honor of the World Series-winning St. Louis Cardinals, I adapted it just a bit to follow my own favorite sports team...the New York Giants!

And since we're a two team household (with Shaun rooting for the Jets), I thought it was only fair to make a batch honoring the Jets as well.

I really only adapted a couple of things from the original recipe. First of all, I didn't use Red Hots because I am not really into the hot cinnamon flavor. Instead, I used pretzel M&M's for a more sweet & salty flavor. I also need more colors than just red, and the M&M's made this easy peasy.

NY Giants & Jets Popcorn Party Mix
*Adapted from The Yummy Life
8 cups popped corn (I use air-popped without oil or salt)
1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts
1 bag pretzel M&M's for your colors of choice (I used a holiday bag for red & green, and a regular bag for the blue)
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 tsp canola oil
1 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
decorating sprinkles (red/white/blue/green coarse sugar, nonpareils, or similar)

Pop your popcorn. I have a fresh popcorn machine, but you can easily make fresh popcorn on the stovetop or in the microwave. Lay out the popcorn on a large baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Pour on half of the peanuts, sprinkles and M&M's. (At this junction, I just did one half with the red and blue M&M's and sprinkles, and the other half with green and white to delineate Giants and Jets). Mix the white chocolate and oil together and melt in the microwave...but don't overmelt it!

Drizzle the white chocolate evenly over the popcorn and immediately top with the sea salt and remaining M&M's, peanuts and sprinkles. Let harden completely and break up. Serve in bowls or individual baking cups.

Don't you want to just eat that up?! We did!

So there you have it. My little twist on The Yummy Life's Red Hot Popcorn Party Mix. I love this whole idea and just think it's so fun! Thanks Monica for this great recipe!

Questions of the Day:

Have you ever made sports-themed food?

What did you do this weekend?

Hosting a Football Party

I kind of stopped doing football recipes mainly because our weekends have gotten so busy and I just haven't had the time to get creative with game day eats. And I completely forgot to tell you about a little football gathering at our place a few weeks ago. My parents and Kimberly & Nick came over to watch the Giants and so Shaun and I got to work on delicious spread. I wanted to keep things light and easy but lunch appropriate since the game started at 1 pm.

If you're looking for an easy menu for any gathering, I highly recommend this one! It was fun making new-to-my-family dishes and everything turned out yummily.

First up, I made my Greek layer dip, which remains one of my favorite dips ever.

I also made my favorite chicken salad veronique. It's perfect on toast, on chips or simply eaten straight off of a fork. Halved green grapes and fresh tarragon really make this a special, sophisticated treat.

To keep things on the light side, I also wanted to include a whole lot of veggies for dipping and snacking. I made a little crudite with spinach dip and my favorite veggie dippers.

Shaun made a rich and creamy hummus, topped with kalamata olives. Absolutely delicious!

To add a little warmth to the table, I cooked up a little pepperjack & pimento dip, one of our favorites this football season.

And to make another, heartier dish, Shaun put together marinated beef skewers! My mom brought the most delicious peanut sauce, which was the perfect dipper for the skewers. We also paired them with hoisin sauce for an additional flavor twist.

My mom brought a big green salad with grilled chicken and homemade balsamic dressing which was the perfect green addition to the spread.

For dessert? We dined on Kimberly's pumpkin & raspberry turnovers and my chocolate caramel apple bars!

And that, my friends, is what I call a perfect football Sunday.

Question of the Day:

Do you have a go-to party food that you always make? Usually my go to is pizza dip, but I tried to branch out a bit for this party!