Super Bowl Sunday Appetizers

Now that we know who will be playing in this year's Super Bowl; what food will you be making?  Here are some of our all time favorite appetizers to help you decide.
What can I say...I just love these. Whether you twist them into the traditional pretzel shape, make knots, or simply make sticks for dipping- these are always a crowd pleaser. You can also stuff them with ham & Cheese to make these delicious treats:
Ham & Cheese Pretzel Bites
Of course, no football party is complete with out some sort of Buffalo Chicken and we love our
Buffalo Chicken Dip.  It's easy to prepare in advance & always gets gobbled up.
 These Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls with Blue Cheese Dip are always a hit too!
While we are on the subject of Egg Rolls, these Pepperoni & Mozzarella ones are so good!  And, you won't believe how quick & easy they are to prepare! 
Blue Cheese & Bacon Chips are a cinch to make but always tasty!
This Jalapeno Popper Dip is a must- it really will amaze you. 
Or try this Chicken Enchilada Dip, make it in the crock pot & it'll stay warm the entire game!
This Layered Mexican Dip is a yummy classic too.
 Of course, you'll need some Homemade Tortilla Chips for the dips!
And last, but certainly not least- Stuffed Pizza Bites.  Just fill store bought dough with your favorite pizza toppings & enjoy!!   

Pan Seared Chicken Breasts with Caramelized Onions & Balsamic Vinegar

 This is my version of a recipe that I found on Cooking Light. I wish it photographed better because my pictures just don't do it justice.  It is so simple & with just a few ingredients it can easily be made in 30 minutes or less. Perfect for a weeknight meal but so tasty, I'd have no problems making this for guests too. The sweetness of the caramelized onion with the tangy balsamic vinegar are match made in heaven on top of chicken. It's one of my favorite combinations! It also goes great with some creamy mashed potatoes! I wrote this recipe for 2 servings (or 2 1/2 if your my family) but it can easily be adapted to feed 1 or as many people as you'd like!
2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 large Yellow Onions, Sliced
1/4 cup Chicken Broth
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 tbsp Butter
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Cut your onions in half, from root to tip then slice. Coat the bottom of a large chef's pan or skillet with olive oil & heat oven medium heat. Add sliced onions to the skillet & cook until golden brown (about 10 minutes) stirring frequently. 
Season the onions with a little salt & pepper & add in half (2 tbsp) of the chicken broth.  Cook until the liquid is evaporated, scraping down the bottom & sides of the pan.  Repeat with the other half of the broth.
Add in the balsamic vinegar & cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes.  Turn off the heat & keep warm until the chicken is ready. 
 Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat a little butter & a drizzle of olive oil over medium/ high heat.  I use about 1/4- 1/2 tbsp of each per chicken breasts. 
 Season the chicken breasts with a little salt & pepper. 
 When the pan is hot & the butter & olive oil have melted add the chicken.  
 Cook the chicken about 4-6 minutes per side or until fully cooked. 
 Plate the chicken, then generously top with the caramelized onions. 

Beef & Green Chile Taquitos with Queso Dip

These are a fun twist for Taco Night!  They are quick & easy, perfect for any day of the week.  Traditionally Taquitos are fried but we love them baked.  You can make them with corn or flour tortillas.  We make them both ways but flour is our favorite.  They are great for appetizers, snacks or for dinner!
(for the Taquitos)
1 lb Lean Ground Beef
7 oz can Chopped Green Chilies
2 cloves of Garlic
1 1/4 tsp Chili Powder
3/4 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp dried Oregano
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Paprika
3-4 dashes of Hot Sauce (optional)
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil
Small Tortilla Shells (corn or flour)

(for the Queso)
1 cup of Half & Half
2 cups White American Cheese
4 oz can of chopped Green Chilies
6-8 slices of Jalapeno, from a jar
3-4 shakes of Hot Sauce

Optional Toppings:
Lettuce, shredded
Tomato, chopped
Sour Cream

Drizzle skillet with a little bit of Olive Oil.  Heat to medium- high then add the ground beef.  Break up the meat with your spoon.  Add in all of the seasonings.
This is the hot sauce that I used.  It's my hubby's favorite. 
When the meat is fully cooked, add in the can of chopped green chilies & stir to combine.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Spray a sheet pan with nonstick spray. 
Wrap a few tortilla shells (3-5) in a damp paper towel & microwave for a few seconds to warm.  Fill each tortilla with 1 tbsp of the beef & green chili mixture, roll tightly, & place seam down on the greased sheet pan.  Spray the taquitos with cooking spray & sprinkle a little bit of kosher salt on the top. 
Repeat until all the filling is gone.  We did some with corn tortillas & some with flour.  Both my husband & I preferred the flour ones but were both good!
Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until they are golden brown. 
In a small sauce pan, add the half & half.  Heat over medium heat.  (I usually do this first, so we can snack on the dip while the taquitos are cooking.)
When it is heated, add the cheese & reduce the heat to medium-low. 
Stir frequently, until all the cheese is melted. 
Add in the hot sauce, green chilies, & jalapenos.
Serve immediately with tortilla chips, preferably my Homemade Tortilla Chips.  :) 
I like to top my taquitos with some of the Queso Dip & some salsa. 
Serve taquitos with all the usual taco toppings, lettuce, tomato, salsa & sour cream.  We had these for dinner so I made some Mexican rice & Refried Beans too. 
This recipe makes approximately 20 Taquitos. 

Blue Cheese & Bacon Chips

It just doesn't get any simpler than this folks!  Store bought chips, dressing, bacon & cheese- all things that you can keep on hand for this go to appetizer, snack, or side dish.  Perfect when you have surprise guests pop in or for snacking on movie night!
1 bag Kettle Cooked Chips (Original Flavor)
Blue Cheese Salad Dressing
Crumbled Blue Cheese
3 pieces of Bacon, cooked & crumbled
Bacon isn't in this picture because it was an after thought...I just happened to have 3 pieces left over from breakfast so I crumbled it & tossed it in.  We loved the addition!  You can omit it if you want; we make it both ways.  You want to make sure you buy the kettle cooked, extra crispy type of potato chips.  Several different brands make them.  Regular potato chips won't work for this, they would be too mushy. 
 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Place 1/2 of the bag of potato chips on an oven proof platter or sheet pan.  Dollop some blue cheese dressing over the chips, sprinkle on some crumbled blue cheese & bacon.  Then repeat with another layer. 
Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes, just until the chips are crisp & the cheese is melty.
Enjoy immediately.

Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup

This soup is the cure for what ails you!  Just in time for cold & flu season too.  It's thick, creamy, and comforting; perfect for cold winter nights!  If you like you soup a little thinner, you can simply add more broth while cooking.  I use store bought noodles, one of the only things that I prefer to buy than make these days.  They help the soup come together easily without compromising any of it's homemade goodness!  Trust me, one spoonful of this soup & you'll never settle for the canned stuff again. 
2 Chicken Breasts
1 med/ large Yellow Onion, chopped
1-2 Carrots, sliced
1-2 stalk of Celery, sliced
1-2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 stick of Butter
2- 32 oz containers of Chicken Broth (plus more for thinner soup)
2 Chicken Flavored Bouillon Cubes
1/4 tsp Ground Turmeric
1/4 cup Flour
3/4 tsp dried Parsley
24 oz bag of Homestyle Egg Noodles (frozen)
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place the chicken breast on a baking sheet.  You can use what ever you have, it can be bone in & skin on or not.  Drizzle with olive oil & season with salt & pepper.  Roast at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked.
 While the chicken is roasting, start the soup.  Melt the butter in a large pot over low- medium heat.  I used a 5.5 quart dutch oven.
 Add in the chopped onion, carrots, & celery to the melted butter.  Season with salt & pepper & cook until tender.  Add in the minced garlic & cook another 1-2 minutes. 
 Add in the flour.
 Stirring frequently cook the flour for 2-3 minutes.  
 Add in the ground turmeric & stir.  Turmeric is what gives the soup it's beautiful yellow color as well as it's wonderful flavor! 
 Add in the chicken broth, bouillon cubes & parsley.  Stir to incorporate, cover & simmer while the chicken finishes cooking & cools.
When the chicken is cool enough to touch, shred with your fingers & add to the soup. 
 This is the brand of noodles that I use.  I love these!  Seriously, one of the best time savers in the grocery store!!
 Follow the directions on the bag of noodles for adding them to the soup.   
 This brand tells you to crank the heat to a boil & then add the noodles.
 Cook 20-30 minutes or until the noodles are done, stirring occasionally. 
 Check your seasoning, add more broth, salt or pepper to taste.
Serve in a large soup bowl & enjoy!
 Ummmmmmmm.  Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.  There's nothing like it!
 This recipe serves 6-8 people.