Football and Good Food

It’s that time of the year where family & friends visit each other’s homes for football with the next main attraction which is the FOOD! My household is usually divided during the football season but all in good fun. I’m a Pittsburgh Steelers fan and my husband is a Dallas Cowboys fan which the grandkids decide to pick a side which leads to fun times.

We usually host several times during the football season with friends which I love to do and enjoy seeing everyone watch the game while munching on good food.

Here are a few favorites and also vegan snacks because by now everyone has a few vegans in the circle so don’t leave them out, there are plenty of things to accommodate the vegans in your life.

Shrimp Taco Bites with Cilantro Cream Sauce


20 shrimp (small, uncooked, peeled and deveined)

1 tbsp taco seasoning

1 tbsp olive oil

20 Tortilla “scoops”

1 c. cabbage finely chopped

cilantro cream sauce (see below)

1 avocado pitted and diced

cilantro (to taste),

Sriracha (optional, to taste)

Cilantro Cream Sauce

1 c. sour cream

1/2 bunch cilantro finely chopped

1/2 lime juice , salt to taste, pepper to taste


Caprese Salad Skewers


1 carton grape or cherry tomatoes

fresh mozzarella cheese, in mini-ball form

fresh basil leaves, cut in half if large

1cup balsamic vinegar



1. Over high heat, bring balsamic vinegar to a boil in a saucepan. Lower heat to medium and simmer for about ten minutes, or until it has slightly thickened.

2. Remove from heat and let cool.

3. On each toothpick, place one tomato, one basil leaf, and one mozzarella ball.

4. Using a spoon, drizzle cooled balsamic reduction on top.

Spicy Mango Salsa


3 ripe mangoes diced

1 red bell pepper finely diced

2 mini seedless cucumbers finely diced

3 green onions finely chopped

1 jalapeno pepper finely chopped

1/4 cup finely chopped mint

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

2 tbsp minced fresh ginger

the juice of 1 lime

2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp raw honey melted

3/4 tsp Himalayan salt

1/4 tsp ground white pepper


1. Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss delicately until well combined.

2. Serve immediately, or place in the fridge for a few hours to allow the flavors to meld.

3. This salsa will keep well for about 4-5 days if kept refrigerated in an airtight container.

Sweet Potato Bites With Avocado & Bacon


4 slices thick-cut bacon — about 3 ounces

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 sweet potatoes — scrubbed clean, peels on

1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt — divided

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 medium avocados — peeled, pitted, and diced

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro


Sweet Potato Wedges with Spicy Honey Mustard Avocado Dip


2-4 small sweet potatoes
Olive oil
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ripe avocado
2 tablespoons BRIANNAS Dijon Honey Mustard Dressing

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Pinch of smoked paprika


Preheat the oven to 450ºF. 

Cut sweet potatoes into wedges that are roughly the same size and place in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, then rub to coat completely. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake the sweet potatoes for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp on the outside, turning every ten minutes or so.

While the sweet potatoes are baking, start to make the dip by mashing the avocado. If you want it completely creamy you can use a small food processor or emulsion blender. Add the dijon honey mustard dressing, cayenne pepper, and a pinch each of smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

Serve baked sweet potatoes with spicy honey mustard avocado for dipping, or thin the dip with water and drizzle over the sweet potatoes.

Reuben Tortilla Pinwheels


8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)

1/2 cup Russian Salad Dressing

1/2 cup sauerkraut (rinsed and very well drained)

8 ounces Swiss cheese (shredded)

12 ounces corned beef deli meat (thinly sliced)

8 flour tortillas (9″ diameter)


Buffalo Chicken Tortilla Pinwheels


8 ounces cream cheese (softened)

1/2 cup hot wing sauce or cayenne pepper sauce

1/4 cup blue cheese (crumbled)

1 cup colby-jack cheese (4 ounces, shredded)

1/4 cup green onions (finely chopped)

1 pound chicken breast (cooked and shredded)

5 large flour tortillas (approximately 10 1/2″ diameter)


Cream Cheese Wontons with Chicken and Pepper Jack


8 ounces cream cheese (1 box)

1 1/2 cups Pepper Jack cheese grated

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

4 green onions sliced

1 cup finely diced COOKED chicken

1 package wonton wrappers (12 ounce)

Vegetable oil

3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon water

2 tablespoons mirin

1/8 teaspoon sesame oil


Quesadilla Crisps


2 packages of “street taco” sized tortillas

4 c grated cheese (I used cheddar)

2 4 oz cans diced green chilies, drained

1/2 c diced onion

4 T melted butter

Coarse Kosher salt


Toasted Ravioli


1 1/2 pound bag of beef ravioli, fresh or frozen*

1 cup buttermilk

2 eggs

2 cups Italian bread crumbs

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Vegetable oil

Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Marinara sauce


Brown Sugar Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Bites


12 ounces bacon 12 slices

15 ounces pineapple chunks canned or fresh, 24 pieces

¼ cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon smoked paprika optional


• Take a sheet pan and cover it with aluminum foil (this will help keep the drippings from sticking to the pan). Place a wire baking rack in the sheet pan on top of the aluminum foil. Set aside.

• Remove the bacon from its packaging and cut in half using kitchen shears or a sharp knife and cutting board. Set aside.

• Drain the pineapple (if using canned), and set on a paper towel-lined plate to soak up excess juice. Set aside.

• Measure out the brown sugar and pour it into a small bowl with a flat bottom. If using smoked paprika, measure it out and pour it in the same bowl, stirring to thoroughly mix.

• Take one piece of bacon and lay it out on the rack. Place one pineapple chunk at one end of the bacon strip, then use your hands to roll the bacon around the pineapple in a straight line until the pineapple chunk is enveloped by the bacon.

• Take the bacon-wrapped pineapple and carefully roll it around in the brown sugar mixture until all sides are covered. Make sure the bacon doesn’t become unrolled when doing so.

• Place the sugar-coated bacon-wrapped pineapple onto the sheet pan rack. Make sure to place it with the end of the bacon strip on the bottom so it doesn’t come undone.

• Repeat the process with the other pieces of bacon and pineapple, making sure to space the wrapped pieces on the rack so none are touching.

• Place in a cold oven and set the temperature to 400°F. Set the timer for 20 minutes. Once the timer goes off, turn the sheet pan 180 degrees (so the back of the pan is now facing the front of the oven) and set the time for another 20 minutes.

• Check the bacon bites to see if the bacon is starting to brown and get crispy. If not, put them back in the oven for another 5 minutes. At this point they should be brown. If they’re still not brown or crispy enough for you, turn the oven to broil (on low heat) and broil them for 1-2 minutes max. Check them after the first minute to make sure they don’t burn as it will happen quickly.

• Once cooked, take the pan out of the oven and carefully remove the bites from the rack with a set of tongs, making sure not to pull the bacon apart. Serve when hot!

Maple Walnut Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes


• 4 small ѕwееt роtаtоеѕ 

• 1/2 cup Grееk уоgurt 

• 1/2 tаblеѕрооn pumpkin ріе ѕрісе 

• 1 tаblеѕрооn maple syrup 

• Brown ѕugаr tо taste (орtіоnаl for a sweeter dіѕh) 

• Pіnсh of ѕаlt 

• 2/3 сuр сhорреd wаlnutѕ оr pecans 

• 2 tаblеѕрооnѕ butter 

• 2 tаblеѕрооn light brоwn ѕugаr 


Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Bites


3/4 cup water (more or less)

12 ounces pre cut packaged cauliflower
1 cup chickpea flour
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Himalayan pink sea salt
4 tablespoons vegan butter
8 tablespoons hot sauce