Big Flavor for the Big Game

When hosting a game-day party, you’d think the focus would be on the score or the award-winning commercials, but it’s actually a great reason to indulge in flavor-filled bites. When the big day rolls around, let your guests obsess over the game while you serve up ooey-gooey dips, saucy wings and football-themed desserts that can keep them happily glued to their seats.

Dip into delicious. No watch-party menu is complete without a cheesy dip. This over the top dip brings big flavor and is perfect for kicking the party up a notch as your team works to post that next big win.

Slow cook your cornbread. Not only does this recipe for cornbread amp up the flavor with paprika, garlic powder and cheese, you can set it, forget it then enjoy it with your favorite chili or ribs.

Go ahead and wing it. Wings and football go together like quarterbacks and touchdowns. This year, try a south-of-the-border version and rub wings in cheesy taco seasoning. For extra flair, serve them on a platter with taco fixings.

Fan-favorite desserts. Win or lose, there’s always room for dessert. It can be surprisingly simple to create fun and tasty football-themed treats. These bite-size truffles require just five ingredients and are the perfect finishing touch(down) for your game-day spread.

Find more flavorful game-day recipes and ideas for your party at McCormick.com.

Chocolate Raspberry Football Cookie Truffles

  • 4         cups crumbled chewy chocolate cookies
  • 1 1/2   cups marshmallow creme
  • 2         teaspoons McCormick Raspberry Extract
  • 12       ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1         ounce white chocolate, melted
  1. In large bowl, mix crumbled cookies, marshmallow creme and raspberry flavor until well blended. Shape mixture into 1-inch ovals. Set aside.
  2. Melt chocolate as directed on package. Using fork, dip one cookie truffle at a time into chocolate. Tap back of fork 2-3 times against edge of dish to allow excess chocolate to drip off. Place on wax paper-lined tray. Refrigerate 30 minutes, or until chocolate is set.
  3. Spoon melted white chocolate into small, re-sealable plastic bag. Cut small piece from one bottom corner of bag. Close bag tightly then pipe lines on truffles to resemble football stitching. Let stand until chocolate is set.

Note: Cookies can be stored in covered container at room temperature up to 5 days.

Texas Trash Dip

  • 1          package (8 ounces) cream cheese
  • 1          cup sour cream
  • 2          cans (16 ounces each) refried beans
  • 1          can (4 1/2 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
  • 1          package McCormick Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 4          cups shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • chopped cilantro (optional)
  • tomatoes (optional)
  • sliced olives (optional)
  • avocado (optional)
  • tortilla chips
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In large, microwavable bowl, heat cream cheese and sour cream on high 1 minute, or until cheese is softened. Remove from microwave. Mix with wire whisk until smooth. Add refried beans, green chilies, seasoning mix and 2 cups cheese; mix well.
  3. Spread bean mixture into 13-by-9-inch baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  4. Bake 25 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Top with cilantro, tomatoes, sliced olives and avocado, if desired. Serve with tortilla chips.

Cheesy Taco Wings

  • 2 1/2    pounds chicken wing pieces
  • 1          package McCormick Cheesy Taco Mix
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 3          cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1/4       cup finely chopped tomato
  • 2          tablespoons sliced green onion
  • 1       tablespoons crumbled queso fresco
  1. Heat oven to 450° F.
  2. In large bowl, toss chicken wings with seasoning mix. On large, shallow foil-lined baking pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, arrange wings in single layer.
  3. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and skin is crisp.
  4. On large serving platter, arrange lettuce. Top with wings, tomato, green onion and queso fresco.

Slow Cooker Cheesy Cornbread

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          cup milk
  • 3          eggs, beaten
  • 2          packages (8 1/2 ounces each) corn muffin mix
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Paprika
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1          cup frozen corn
  • 2          cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  1. Spray inside of 6-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. In slow cooker, mix milk, eggs, corn muffin mix, paprika, garlic powder and salt until well blended.
  2. Stir in corn and 1 cup cheese. Place clean kitchen towel over slow cooker and cover with lid.
  3. Cook 2 hours on high, or until toothpick in center of cornbread comes out clean. Uncover.
  4. Sprinkle cornbread with remaining cheese. Let stand, uncovered, 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
McCormick

Teen InFluential Presents Don’t Fumble This Watch Party

It’s one of the biggest nights of the year. Of the 20 most viewed broadcasted events in the United States’ history, this event holds 19 of those places. It was the most watched broadcast of 2016 with over 110 million views.

Well, when it comes to the U.S., seemingly nothing can top the Super Bowl. The night of the Super Bowl, records say over half of the American population are gathered at their televisions cheering on their pick to win. It’s tradition by many to have Super Bowl watch parties. If you’re hosting one this year on February 5 for Super Bowl LI, here are some fun party tips to make sure you don’t fumble this season and that you score big with your guests.

Nicole Glenn, Editor of Teen InFluential shares a few ideas to make sure our Super Bowl party rocks, Don’t Fumble This Watch Party.

 

Big Game Snacks for the Win

The big game is almost here: two teams, a room full of fans and a spread of fan-favorite foods to keep everybody going. Whether everyone’s at your place or you’re heading somewhere else to watch the game, you want to make sure the place is stocked with flavorful snacks that will wow the crowd.

This year, step up your game with clutch recipes loaded with bold flavor and plenty of heat.

One of the most popular party favorites is buffalo chicken dip. It is a must-have because it’s creamy, cheesy and loaded with great-tasting buffalo flavor. Serve it up with fresh-cut celery or bell peppers, baby carrots, crackers and pita bread, and you’ll add some kick to your sporty celebration. Plus, this recipe provides a way to include those traditional football flavors without the mess of hot wings.

A kick can make or break a game, and the right sauce can make or break your recipe. Not only is Frank’s RedHot a game-day staple, it was the key ingredient in the first-ever buffalo wings back in 1964. It’s an essential ingredient for any big game food lineup, so make sure you’ve got plenty on-hand.

Once you’ve got the dip prepared for kickoff, it’s time to turn to something a little more unexpected. Round out your game-day lineup with an amazing flavor combination they won’t see coming – something sweet, tangy and savory that brings just the right amount of heat: Sweet Chili Meatballs.

Bite-sized meatballs made with ginger, fresh cilantro, green onions and sweet chili sauce are baked before getting doused in even more sweet chili sauce, making them an irresistibly tasty addition to any game day spread. If the game heads into overtime, no need to worry because these meatballs will stay warm in the slow cooker all game long.

If you’re looking for more big game tips and recipes to dazzle the crowd, check out franksredhot.com/recipes.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 package cream cheese (8 ounces), softened
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce or Buffalo Wings Sauce
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup crumbled bleu cheese or other shredded cheese
  • green onions, chopped (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. In shallow, 1-quart baking dish, combine all ingredients.
  3. Bake 20 minutes, or until mixture is heated through. Stir.
  4. Garnish with chopped green onions, if desired. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers and/or vegetables.

Sweet Chili Meatballs

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey or ground beef
  • 1/3 cup Japanese panko crumbs or bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces Frank’s RedHot Sweet Chili Sauce, divided
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix ground meat, panko crumbs, cilantro, green onion, ginger, egg, salt and 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce. Form into one-inch meatballs.
  3. Place meatballs on lightly greased baking sheets.
  4. Bake 20 minutes, turning once halfway through. Put meatballs in slow cooker on warm.
  5. With slow cooker on low to keep meatballs warm, pour remaining sweet chili sauce over meatballs. Gently stir to coat.

(Family Features)

Touch Down in Houston for the Big Game

February is fast approaching, and with it the year’s largest football event. Fans will come from across the nation to experience the highly anticipated Sunday football game in Houston, Texas.

With mild weather, amazing city views, a walkable cultural district and delectable food, visitors will have plenty to keep them busy during their visit to the nation’s fourth largest city.

Check out the game (even if you don’t have a seat)

Snagged tickets to the big game? Make sure you check out the “know before you go” transportation details and plan accordingly. Once there, NRG Stadium will be ready, rain or shine. With pro football’s first retractable roof, the stadium is nearly as much of a spectacle as the game itself.

No tickets? No problem. There are some amazing events happening just outside of NRG, such as the Houston Touchdown Tour or LIVE Fan Festival in Discovery Green Park, which will feature concerts from various Texas artists over the course of nine days leading up to the event. Both events offer free admission and feature fun for everyone! Houston is also filled with restaurants, bars and breweries perfect for catching the game! Some local favorites include:

* Saint Arnold Brewing Company: As Texas’ oldest craft brewery, Saint Arnold is home to a passionate fan base of beer aficionados, along with people just looking for a fun place to hang out. You can take an official brewery tour or simply enjoy a pint while watching the game in the Beer Hall.

* 8th Wonder Brewery: Named for Houston’s infamous Astrodome, dubbed the eighth wonder of the world in 1965, 8th Wonder has taken over a “dome-like” warehouse in East downtown. The company explores various styles of beer from around the world, which you can try for yourself at the WonderWorld taproom.

* The Hay Merchant: Located in a remodeled building featuring worn brick from its original 1940′s structure, Hay Merchant offers a relaxed atmosphere complete with 80 types of beer on tap.

* West Alabama Ice House: Open since 1928, West Alabama Ice House means business. The cut and dry bar doesn’t serve food or liquor, only the usual beer standards plus Saint Arnold seasonal brews and a small wine selection.

* Pub Fiction: With a full selection of liquor, beer and wines and a heavy emphasis on sports with every inch of wall space filled by the latest HD screens, Pub Fiction is a great spot to catch the game. With a recently expanded patio, this spot will be an ideal accommodation for Houstonians and visitors alike come Feb. 5.

Explore the city

Paint the town your team colors! As the largest city in Texas, Houston is filled with so many entertaining things to do. Hit up Buffalo Bayou Park and “burp the bayou.” Built as part of a 1998 art project, you’re able to send a massive bubble to the water’s surface with the push of a small, red button. A great place to relax or take the kids and get a breath of fresh air, the park is also great to hike, canoe, bike and see bats under the bridge.

For the perfect photo opp to document your time in Houston, ride to the top of JP Morgan Chase Tower for an incredible view of the Houston skyline, snap a photo in front of the infamous biscuit paint wall or one of Houston’s many wall murals, and definitely make sure to visit Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park, featuring a 64-foot waterfall.

Visit the renowned Space Center Houston, an educational complex and space museum with more than 400 space artifacts. The center serves as a nonprofit gateway to NASA Johnson Space Center and is Houston’s only Smithsonian Affiliate museum.

Midtown Houston is the heart of Houston night life. Grab drinks and dance the night away with friends at the many bars and clubs the city has to offer in celebration or defeat. Houston is also filled with an underground society of secret bars, such as Last Concert Café and 13 Celsius. Beware, as some of these hotspots are password protected.

Stroll through the cultural district. Houston’s Museum District is comprised of 19 museums located within approximately one and a half miles of downtown, making it the country’s fourth largest museum district. Ten of the 19 museums always feature free general admission, including the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston Center for Photography and DiverseWorks.

Eat everything

Save the wings for Sunday, and explore the diverse food scene throughout Houston. As part of the Gulf Coast region, Houston is well known for its Cajun food. Get a taste of Louisiana at Zydeco Louisiana Diner, Brennan’s of Houston and Bernadine’s.

Like any big city, Houston also hosts a variety of global cuisines, including French, Indian and Pakistani, Japanese and Italian. However, when in Texas you can’t miss the barbecue, tacos and Tex-Mex. Local favorites include Goode Company Barbeque, Gatlin’s BBQ, El Tiempo Cantina, Texas founded-Torchy’s Tacos, Cuchara, Hugo’s and The Original Ninfa’s.

Extend your stay

Spending a few extra days in the Lone Star State? There are a number of incredible destinations that are quick drive or flight from Houston. San Antonio, Austin and Dallas are all within a three and a half hour drive or 50 minute flight from Houston. If you’re looking for a shorter drive but want to feel further away from city life, head 45 minutes south to Galveston Island. This beautiful beach town has everything from luxurious resorts to cottage-style beach rentals. Visitors can take advantage of the deep sea fishing, a family-friendly pleasure pier, and of course, all the fresh Gulf seafood you can handle.

Whatever you do for the big game, be sure to make your game plan early! For more information about travel experiences in the Lone Star State, visit www.TravelTexas.com and find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. (BPT)

Good Pluckin’ with Pluckers Wing Bar

By Ingrid Garner

Houston, Texas location.

Houston, Texas location.

Nothing goes more hand and hand with the Super Bowl, other than those infamous commercials, then a heaping mess of Buffalo wings. And who better to kick those Bowl parties into high gear then Pluckers Wing Bar. With favorite sauce choices like Baker’s Gold, Ranch, or Dr. Pepper (yeah you read that right), let Pluckers do the cooking so you don’t have to miss a second of the game…or those wacky commercials! Pre-orders are now being taken on a first-come, first-served basis so get your order in today.

20 Piece Wings.

20 Piece Wings.

No party plans? No worries! You can call your favorite location to reserve a table for you and your brood. Though not required, reservations are encouraged to guarantee there will be a spot for you for the big game. Reservations are $10 per person at the South Lamar, Research, Lakeline, Round Rock, and San Marcos locations.

Lemonade Hero

Lemonade Hero

Visit the official site of Plucker’s Wing Bar here.