Hi, I'm Rachel.

A few years ago I could barely boil water.

True story.

Determined to be a kick ass wife, I developed a love for football and learned to cook in my tiny Jersey City kitchen. I spend my days working in Manhattan, my nights and weekends chasing after a rambunctious toddler, and the hours in between cooking with my husband and feeding my TV habit...oh, and I blog about it all! 

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Entries in game day (14)

Monday
Nov212011

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?

Thursday
Nov172011

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!

Tuesday
Oct112011

Game Day Eats: Warm Spinach & Artichoke Dip

I so enjoyed having the day off yesterday. I'm still working on my quilted table runner, and I spent the day with my mom getting it done! Of course I'm feeling sleepy and overall not ready to tackle work today. I get so spoiled when I have a day off! I must have snoozed my alarm like 5 times this morning. Are you a snoozer?

Moving on to something happy. Like this:

There are like...1 billion spinach and artichoke dip recipes out there. Seriously, I've counted.

I came across a Martha Stewart recipe a while back and had saved it in my recipe binder. When we were at a loss as to what to make for this past football Sunday, I pulled out the binder, came across this recipe and decided to give it a go. I'm sooooo happy I did. I made a few changes and added artichokes. I think it adds a little more texture and flavor. Artichokes rule!

Once I pulled the browned and bubbly dip from the oven, Shaun and I settled in with the Giants and Jets. Since both games were so bad that it felt like we completely wasted a large chunk of our lives, I was psyched that at least we had this delicious dip to make the day a bit better :)

Warm Spinach & Artichoke Dip
*Adapted from Martha Stewart
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed & drained very well
1 can artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup milk
1 8oz pkg reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
3 dashes Frank's Red Hot
1 C shredded mozzarella, divided
kosher salt
ground pepper
cooking spray
tortilla chips, crackers or baguette slices, for dipping

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and sautee the onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sautee 1 minute more. Mix in the spinach & artichokes and heat through. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Meanwhile, add milk to the saucepan and warm over low heat (don't boil). Whisk in the cream cheese. Mix the spinach mixture back into the milk mixture. Add 1/2 C mozzarella, Worcestershire, Red Hot, salt and pepper. Mix well and pour into a baking dish lightly greased with cooking spray (I used a pie plate). Top with 1/2 C mozzarella cheese and bake for 20 minutes until lightly browned and bubbly.

Serve with tortilla chips, crackers, baguette slices, pita chips or your left arm. This dip is delicious on anything!

So there you have it. An easy and delicious dip, perfect for football Sunday or any day!

Questions of the Day:

Do you have a go to dip recipe?

Are you a snoozer in the morning?