Saturday, January 8, 2011

Are you ready for some Football?

I grew up in a house where each Sunday during football season we piled in the living room.  The TV was on to cheer for our favorite team and then watch most of the other games so my parents could keep on eye on the competition.  I will say that as a child, especially in my teens, I did not love football.  So I would read, sleep, or sit and maybe whine a bit.  But something about this tradition still appeals to me.  There is something about the cold of January and play-off talk that makes me want to sit and watch the games on Sunday.

My Mother did an amazing job of having  food ready for the whole day.  We snack and this Sunday event is something my parents have perfected.

So, I thought I would put together a couple recipes that would be perfect if you are planning on hanging out on the couch to watch the game, cheer on your favorite team, or heaven forbid the rivals if they made it in instead!

This Basil Cheesecake is amazingly simple and a fun take on cheese and crackers.  It also is prepped ahead of time.  This could make you look like a rock star.  "Oh, I'll go get some snacks."  Then you reemerge with this platter....rock star status achieved!

Basil Cheesecake
by Giada De Laurentiis

1/2 cup of ricotta
1/2 cup of cream cheese
4oz of goat cheese
1 TBS of sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/8tsp of salt
1/2 cup of loosely packed basil leaves
1 TBS of olive oil

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the ricotta, cream cheese, and goat cheese.  Add in the sugar, egg, egg yolk, and salt then pulse until smooth.  Add the basil and pulse until incorporated.  Slightly grease a 41/2"springform pan.  Place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom and wrap the outside in a piece of aluminum foil.  Pour the cheesecake mixture into the prepared pan and place in an 8"inch square baking dish. Add hot water to the baking dish so that it comes halfway up the sides of the spring form pan.  Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees or until the center moves slightly when shaken and the sides are golden brown.  Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for 1 hour.  Remove the springform pan from the baking dish and unwrap the foil.  Cover the springform pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.  Chill for 3 hours to 2 days.  Before serving, let the cheesecake come up to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the spring form pan and brush the top with 1 TBS of olive oil.  Serve with crackers, fruit, or bread.  Enjoy!

This tex-mex dip is very simple and is a healthy take on a crowd favorite.  It boasts 80 calories per 1/4cup serving.  I love that it is served in a skillet and that it is a recipe from a cookbook I received from my nephews and brother-in-law. This is a recipe they would love as they cheer on their favorite team!

Hot Tex-Mex Beef Dip
adapted from Skinny Dips

1 TBS of olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp of kosher salt
1 lb of lean ground beef
1 TBS of ancho chili powder
1/2 TBS of chipotle chili powder
1 TBS of cumin
1 tsp of oregano
3 TBS of tomato paste
1/2 cup of vegetable broth
1/2 cup of water
1 15oz can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 15oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes (Muir Glen)
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup of shredded cheese
3 scallions, sliced

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  Add the onions and salt.  Saute until soft and then add the garlic.  After 2 minutes, add the ground beef and break up well.  Once the meat is almost brown, add in the chili powders, cumin, oregano, and tomato paste.  Be sure to combine well.  Add in the broth and simmer until the liquid is reduced to 2 TBS.  Add in the tomatoes and water, simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.  Stir in the beans and jalapeño then simmer for another 10 minutes.  Stir in the lime juice, then top with the cheese.  Place under the broiler for 3 minutes to melt the cheese.  Top with the scallions.  Serve with chips and carrots.  Enjoy!


  1. Wish that we could hang with you guys tomorrow and watch some football... and of course have these yummy appetizers. That basil cheesecake looks A M A Z I N G!!!

  2. what a fun tradition! i love the cheesecake, it's so pretty and a unique twist on a game snack.

  3. Ohhhh that dip....ohhhhhhhh...I might have to watch some football for some of this! LOL...but I guess it would do when we watch hockey!


I love reading your comments, especially if you tried any of the recipes. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your insight!