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Lifestyle change? What lifestyle change? This weekend we’ve totally fallen off the wagon. If there was one weekend to give up the diet lifestyle change, it would be this one: Super Bowl weekend. And, you should know by now, when we fall off the wagon, we fall hard. Sorry for all of you weight watchers, but this Super Bowl Sunday we are going all out.

We’re scoring big with our jalapeño popper dip (thanks, Pinterest!), baked buffalo chicken bites, Cindy’s hammie sammies and for dessert, (yes, we said dessert!), we’re having the cutest football cake pops you’ve ever seen. These dishes are so good, you should probably prepare your touchdown celebration dance – everyone is going to be applauding you (and your fabulous food) after the big game.

Jalapeño Popper Dip Closet Cooking | March 23, 2009
To us, Super Bowl food must include something with a little kick. This jalapeño popper dip spices up our Super Bowl menu just the right amount.

Our advice: fill your cup (with milk!) before you start eating this – you will need a drink. Don’t let the creaminess fool you – it’s spicy! – but you’ll find yourself going back for seconds. And thirds. And okay, maybe tenths. This dip was even enjoyed by non-jalapeño popper lovers (cough cough Big Peter cough cough.) This was super easy to put together and can be made ahead of time to make entertaining easier.

Serve it with buttery Ritz crackers or crunchy tortilla chips – you won’t be able to stop munching!

The yumminess starts here: parmesan, cheddar and cream cheeses, panko bread crumbs, pickled jalapeños, fresh jalapeños and mayo. Yum.

Measure half a cup of shredded cheddar cheese.

And another half cup of parmesan cheese.

Clean the seeds out of a fresh jalapeño and dice it.

Measure out 3 oz of pickled jalapeños and 1 oz of the pickled jalapeño liquid.

Mix all ingredients together in one large bowl.

Spread dip into baking dish.

Mix together panko breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese to create a crispy crust for the dip.

Top the dip with the breadcrumb and parmesan mixture before sticking it into the oven.

Bake jalapeño popper dip until golden brown on top. Serve immediately.

We liked the dip with buttery Ritz crackers, but it’s also good with tortilla chips.

Here’s the recipe:
Ingredients
For the dip:
1 (8-oz) package cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup cheddar cheese (grated)
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
3 oz pickled jalapeños
1 oz pickled jalapeño juice

For the topping:
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano

Directions
Mix the cream cheese, mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, parmigiano reggiano and jalapeños in a bowl. Pour mixture into baking dish.

Mix the panko bread crumbs and parmigiano reggiano. Sprinkle over the top of the dip.

Bake in the oven at 375° oven until bubbling on the sides and golden brown on top. This will take about 10 to 20 minutes.

Serve immediately with Ritz crackers or tortilla chips.

Baked Buffalo Chicken Bites Pennies on a Platter | 2010
One of our favorite appetizers ever is buffalo chicken dip. Lindsey could literally eat dish upon dish of anything buffalo chicken, so when she spotted these little bites on Pinterest, she knew Blended Kitchen had to try them out. The corn flakes coating gives the buffalo chicken bites a fabulous crunch, while the hot sauce kicks these little balls up a notch. Don’t be afraid to add a little extra hot sauce to these buffalo chicken bites – spice it up!

Serve these bites just like you’d serve buffalo wings – with both ranch and blue cheese dressing. And a little celery on the side, for those brave enough to maintain their diets lifestyle changes.

Another spicy, cheesy dish? To us, cream cheese and hot sauce just scream Super Bowl.

Combine shredded chicken, cream cheese and hot sauce until the chicken is completely coated.

Add cheddar cheese and green onions to the chicken mixture and stir everything together.

Roll the chicken and cheese mixture into bite-sized balls.

Using a food processor, chop up three to four cups of cornflakes to use for the crispy coating. Place cornflakes, lightly beaten eggs and flour into three separate bowls. Dip each buffalo chicken bite into flour first, then eggs and then roll in cornflakes until covered completely. Place each bite on a foil-lined cookie sheet and bake in a 350˚ oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.

Look at that cheese oozing out…

Here’s the recipe:
Ingredients
3 cups shredded cooked chicken (About 1 store-bought rotisserie chicken, skin discarded)
1/4 to 1/2 cup hot sauce (or more to your taste)
3 1/2 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 cups sharp or medium shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3 – 4 cups Corn Flakes cereal, crushed

Directions
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix the chicken, cream cheese and hot sauce until combined. Stir in the cheddar cheese and green onions.

Using a small cookie or ice cream scoop, spoon out the chicken mixture and roll into about 1 1/2 inch balls. Place on a plate or separate baking sheet (not lined) until ready to dip.

In three separate bowls, set out the flour, eggs and Corn Flakes. Dip each chicken ball first into the flour, then the egg and ending with the Corn Flakes. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm with ranch or blue cheese dressing.

Hammie Sammies
When discussing what we wanted to make for the Super Bowl, Cindy immediately thought of these oven-baked ham sandwiches. They bring back warm memories of her childhood and are the perfect sandwich for Super Bowl Sunday. The gooey, melty cheese, the butter and the warm yellow rolls take these ham sandwiches from childhood treat to football fanatic food.

Bake a ton of these sandwiches, they’ll fly off the platter! Our recipe makes about 15 sammies, but you can increase or decrease it to accommodate your needs.

Simple ingredients combine to make these sandwiches the MVP of Superbowl Sunday. Make sure to buy high quality ham from the deli, not just the processed stuff you find in lunchables.

Sauté onions in butter. Once onions are tender, add mustard to the mix.

Stir in the mustard to create a tangy, buttery sauce.

Spread the sauce onto sandwich rolls.

Place a slice of cheese on each bun. We used two different cheeses: American and Swiss.

Pile on the ham and assemble the sandwiches. Wrap each sandwich in separate pieces of foil. If you want to tell which sandwich has which type of cheese on it, it can help to wrap one type with the shiny side of the foil out and the other with the matte side of the foil out.

Bake the sammies for 20 minutes at 350°, until cheese gets gooey and melty, then dig in!

Here’s the recipe:
Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds good quality ham sliced thin for sandwiches. You can buy this from the deli of your grocery store. Don’t go with maple, mesquite or flavored hams, just stick to the classic ham for the best results.
Slices of American and Swiss cheese (or whatever kind of cheese you like! Pepperjack is also fabulous on these!)
3/4 stick butter
1 small onion, chopped small
1 1/2 tbsp of yellow mustard
15 half-size rolls (we found ours at our local Schnucks)

Directions
Melt butter and add onions until softened. Then add mustard and stir together.

When mixed together and warm, spread mustard, onion and butter mixture on the bread.

Top buns with ham and cheese. Wrap in foil and bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven°.

Football Cake Pops
The best way to score extra points after the Super Bowl is with our football-shaped cake pops. Your guests will love this cute dessert, but you better make extras – people will be stuffing their faces with these before the coin toss is even over.

This recipe makes about 25 to 30 cake pops. But, depending on the size of your pops, it could make more or less.

We started with a cake from (gasp!) a box. We prefer devil’s food cake, but you can choose whatever kind of cake you’d like. Crumble the cake into pieces.

Make your own buttercream frosting by combining one stick of butter, one 8-oz package of cream cheese, one 1-lb box of confectioner’s sugar and one teaspoon vanilla extract. Store bought frosting will work just fine, but the buttercream will make these cake pops absolutely delectable.

Add about 3/4 cup of buttercream icing to cake mixture, using your hands to mix in the icing until it becomes easily moldable.

Roll the cake mixture into football-shaped balls.

Roll out the cake mixture into your desired shapes and put them on a plate. Stick the plate in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, or until cake pops are chilled.

While the cake pops are firming up in the freezer, put together a double boiler to melt the candy coating in.

Melt chocolate candy coating slowly over hot – but not boiling – water.

Pour the melted candy coating into a mug and pull the cake pops out of the freezer. Dip the tip of your cake pop sticks into the candy coating.

Insert the dipped cake pop stick into each cake pop, letting the chocolate set. (It will go from shiny to a little bit matte.)

Once the chocolate candy coating has set on the cake pop stick, submerge each cake pop into the candy coating to cover the entire pop.

Remove pop from the candy coating and let the excess chocolate drip off.

When all the excess coating has dripped off, prop the cake pop up and let the candy coating set. We used an old shoe box and poked holes into it so that the cake pops could stand on their own.

Once the candy coating has dried, it’s time to decorate the pops. We just piped the rest of our buttercream frosting into a ziploc baggie and cut a tiny hole in one corner of the bag. The buttercream frosting won’t harden like the chocolate will, so be careful when transporting the pops. If you want a more lasting decoration, use white candy coating and pipe it out of a ziploc.

You’ll be the MVP with these adorable pops.

Here’s the recipe:
Ingredients
1 box devil’s food cake mix, prepared according to box’s directions
1 (8-oz) package cream cheese at room temperature
1 stick butter at room temperature
1 (1-lb) box confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 (1-lb) bag candy coating (we get ours from Karen Ann’s Supplies in St. Louis)
Paramount crystals (to thin the candy coating – also from Karen Ann’s – don’t go to Michael’s for these!)
Lollipop sticks (also available at Karen Ann’s)

Directions
Prepare devil’s food cake according to box directions. Let cool completely.

In stand mixer, use paddle attachment to combine cream cheese and butter until smooth.

Gradually add in box of confectioner’s sugar, mixing sugar into icing completely.

When sugar, butter and cream cheese have been mixed together, add vanilla extract and stir until combined.

Crumble the cooled devil’s food cake until it reaches a dirt-like consistency. Begin by adding 1/2 cup of buttercream frosting.

Mix together frosting and cake crumbles, until it holds its shape when you roll it into balls. Mold your cake pops into whatever shape you’d like them to be in.

Place all cake pops onto plate or tray. Stick pops into freezer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until chilled and firm.

While cake pops are chilling, assemble a double boiler and melt candy coating over hot (but not boiling) water. Pour melted coating into mug for easy dipping. When you are finished with the candy coating, it is important that you DO NOT put it down your disposal. It will clog it completely.

Pull cake pops out of the freezer. Dip one end of each cake pop stick into the candy coating, then insert into the cake pop. Let the candy harden (it will turn from shiny to not-so-shiny when it’s set.)

Dip each cake pop into mug of candy coating, covering the pops completely. Let the excess coating drip off of the pop (you may have to tap it a few times to get it to come off) and let pop dry (like we did with our old shoebox.)

If cake pops get too warm, they will start to fall off the sticks. It would be a good idea to take a few cake pops out of the freezer at a time while dipping so that they don’t get too warm.

Spoon buttercream frosting into ziploc bag. Seal bag and cut pin-sized hole into one corner of the bag. Pipe frosting out onto dried cake pops to decorate.

Leave the cake pops out at room temperature – do not put them into the refrigerator. The candy coating will crack.

Spiral one of these into your mouth!

Next week: We’ll be heating up the kitchen with our ideal Valentine’s day meal, so get ready for something sweet and sumptuous!

Nom. nom. nom.