Sideline Snacks

It’s time to get in the zone! This week, that well-worn team flag reappears out of storage and resumes its place of honor on the front porch. The season pass of “ESPN College Gameday” moves on up the DVR to-do list. You’re ready for some football! But are you ready for an impromptu house full of hungry fans? Try these tasty go-to recipes that are sure to make crowds cheer. And, here’s the kicker; the prep is so simple, you can whip them up faster than you can say “Kirk Herbstreit.”

Rosemary Sweet Potato Fries with Barbecue Ranch Dipping Sauce

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 – 20 minutes

5 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into strips
4 – 5 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh chopped rosemary, to taste

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1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Place sliced sweet potatoes in a zip-top bag. Drizzle olive oil over top. Close bag and shake.
3. Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread potatoes evenly on pan. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary.
4. Bake for 10 minutes. Flip potatoes; then bake for another 5 – 10 minutes, until edges are browned.
5. Serve with Barbecue Ranch Dipping Sauce. Serves 4 – 6. 

Barbecue Ranch Sauce

Prep time: 2 minutes

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons ranch dip mix
1/2 cup barbecue sauce

1. In a small bowl, combine mayo, sour cream and ranch mix.  Mix until well combined.  Add barbecue sauce and stir. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Corn Relish Dip

Prep time: 2 minutes

1 1/2 cups corn relish (We prefer Amish Wedding, available at Jimmy Lowe’s.)
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
tortilla chips or toast points

1. In a bowl, combine first three ingredients. Serve with tortilla chips or toast points. Serves 6 – 8. 

Goat Cheese-Pepper Jelly Tarts

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 – 15 minutes

1 (2-ounce) package frozen mini fillo pastry shells
1 (10-ounce) log goat cheese
1 (10-ounce) jar red or green pepper jelly (We use Priester’s Pecans.)

1. Bake cups according to package instructions (usually at 350 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes).
2. Place 1 teaspoon of goat cheese in each cup.
3. Top each with 1 teaspoon of pepper jelly. Serve immediately. Makes 15 tarts.

Warm Sausage Cream Cheese Dip

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 – 40 minutes

1 pound pork sausage
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, cubed
2 (10-ounce) cans Rotel tomatoes, drained
tortilla chips

1. Brown sausage in skillet. Drain fat.
2. Combine sausage and remaining ingredients in crockpot set to medium-high heat.
3. Stir frequently until cheese is melted, about 30 – 40 minutes. Serve warm with tortilla chips.
Serves 6 – 8. 

Chocolate Pretzel Bites

Total prep and cook time: 10 minutes

1 small bag square- or ring-shaped pretzels
1/2 (1-pound) bag Hershey’s Kisses
1 – 2 (8-ounce) bags M&Ms (Buy more than one bag if you want to only use your team’s colors.)

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with Pam. Lay pretzels in a single layer on pan.
2. Place an unwrapped Hershey’s Kiss on top of each pretzel. Place pan in oven for 2 minutes.
3. Remove pan from oven. Lightly press one M&M on top of each kiss until the melted chocolate is touching the pretzel. Repeat until all are topped.
4. Chill in refrigerator for 5 minutes. Makes approximately 36 pieces.

Text by Lawren Largue

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