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GAME DAY SNACKS

Football fans: this Sunday is the Super Bowl. Fans gather not just for the football game, but the snacks that are being served. So load up with chips, dips, appetizers and snacks. Here are a few favorites at our house.  – Pat

BACON WRAPPED SMOKIES

1 pound of bacon

1 pound smokie links

1 stick of butter

2 cups brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the bacon into thirds and wrap each smokie. Place all the wrapped smokies in a single layer in a baking dish. Then melt the stick of butter and add 1 cup  of brown sugar and stir until mixed well. Pour the butter and brown sugar mixture on the smokies and bacon. Then take the other cup of brown sugar and sprinkle evenly over the smokies. Bake them for about 15 to 20 minutes and then turn the heat up to 400 degrees for about 5 minutes or longer until the bacon becomes crispy.

CHICKEN NACHO DIP

2 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken

1 can (16 oz.) refried beans

1 cup salsa

3/4 cup chopped onion

2 cups (8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese

tortilla chips

In a large saucepan, combine the chicken, beans, salsa and onion; heat through. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the cheddar cheese. Serve with tortilla chips. Note:  I mix 1 cup cheddar cheese into the chicken mixture and then top with the last cup of cheese.

SWEET AND SPICY SAUSAGE

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tablespoon minced garlic

12 ounces chili sauce

12 ounces grape jelly

1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

32 ounces fully-cooked smoked sausage, cut into half-inch pieces

Pour oil in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Then add the chili sauce and grape jelly and mix together. Cook for 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring frequently. Place the sausage in your slow cooker. Add the spices to the sauce mixture, stir and then pour it over the sausage. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the sausage is hot and the sauce is bubbly. Stir once after 1 hour.

WARM AND CREAMY BACON DIP

1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

2 cups sour cream

3 ounces bacon bits

2 cups shredded cheddar chees

1 cup chopped green onion

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Place the mixture in a 1-quart baking dish. Cover. Heat the dip for 25-30 minutes or until hot. Serve with assorted fresh vegetables, crackers or chips.

CRAB FILLED CRESCENTS

1 8 oz. tube crescent roll dough

3 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup mayonnaise

3/4 cup cooked crabmeat, chopped

2 green onions, chopped

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Unroll dough on work surface. Pinch seams to seal and roll with a rolling pin to create an even rectangle. Cut into 6 rows by 4 rolls to make 24 squares.  In small bowl, mix cream cheese, mayonnaise, crabmeat, onion, and red pepper. Salt and pepper to taste. Divide crab mixture evenly among the squares, dropping it by spoonfuls that are one-half inch from one corner of each square. Starting with same corner, fold dough over filling, and tuck end tightly underneath filling. Continue rolling to with one-half inch of opposite corner. Roll opposite corner of dough over roll; press to seal. Place on cookie sheet. Brush with egg white if desired. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

Food facts

• If you buy sweet potatoes and you’re not going to use them right away, store them in a cool dry place instead of the fridge.

• Mayonnaise mixed with salsa makes a great salad dressing if you’re tired of the usual ranch dressing

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