Monday, September 7, 2009

Football Food Frenzy

This weekend we celebrated two exciting events in my family -
1. My mom's birthday (Friday)
2. Opening day of MSU football

Since it was a weekend full of celebratory happenings, my entire family came to visit. Saturday morning I welcomed 6 adults, a two year old, a 3 month old, and a dog. Needless to say, it was a FULL house!

The game you can read about on my other blog later ( But here, you can read about the menu for our big birthday/football/Labor Day cookout.

On the menu:
Appetizers - Cowboy Caviar with Chips & homemade Chex Mix
Hamburgers with pepperjack cheese
Mixed Vegetable Salad (Recipe in a previous entry.)
Baked Beans (canned)
Mom's Potato Salad (Prepared by my sister)
German Chocolate Cake (Box mix) with MSU Cookies and Cream Ice Cream (YUMMMMM!)


We always have to have at least one, and normally two, appetizers to snack on while cooking the main meal. This week my sister-in-law and I split snack duty and each provided a homemade treat.

Homemade Chex Mix (which I am munching on while writing this blog)

3 cups Corn Chex cereal
3 cups Rice Chex cereal
3 cups Wheat Chex cereal
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup Cheez-its
1 cup bite-size pretzels
1 stick margarine
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons hot sauce (Tabasco)
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon onion powder

Directions: Heat oven to 250°F. In large roasting pan, mix cereals, nuts, pretzels and cheez-its; set aside. Melt butter in microwave. Stir in seasonings. Gradually pour over cereal mixture and toss until evenly coated. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Store in airtight container.

Also see previous entry on Sweet & Spicy Chex Mix.

Cowboy Caviar
1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can whole kernel corn (drained)
2 tomatoes (seeded and diced)
2 avocados (diced)
3 green onions (diced)
1/2 cup. salsa
freshly chopped cilantro (to taste)
salt & pepper to taste

Directions: Mix all ingredients together in a large box. Chill for 1 hour and serve with corn or tortilla chips. (Tostitos or Fritos scoops work best!)

Main Course

Hamburgers - There's nothing really special about the way I fix my hamburger patties. Typically I mix Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt, Tony Chateries Cajun seasoning, Dale's, salt & pepper, or really whatever is I feel like adding. However, this time I added a bit of cheese to the mix. I formed the patties it balls, and them made an indention in the center and placed two cubes of pepperjack cheese. Then I reformed the balls, and flattened into patties. When you bite into the burger, you get a surprise burst of cheese in the center. It was actually really good, and I would recommend trying with different types of cheese.

Mom's Potato Salad

My mother has perfected her potato salad recipe. Through the years, she has taught my sister and I how to imitate her creation.

**This is for about 8-10 servings of potato salad. If you increase the ingredients in increments, you can make much larger portions. We make four large roasting pans each Christmas for my dad's company party. Tastes just as good if you get the proportions right!

3 Yukon Gold potatoes
2 eggs
3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
salt & pepper

Directions: Peel & chop potatoes in cubes. Add to pot and boil for about 10-15 minutes. Drop eggs in potatoes to boil at the same time. Potatoes will be done when they are tender and can be pierced with a fork. Be careful not to cook too long because they will mash when mixing. Drain completely, remove eggs to cool, and pour potatoes in a large bowl. Mix in relish, about 4-6 tablespoons of mayonnaise, and 1 tablespoon of mustard. The mayonnaise mixture needs to be eyeballed. Start with 4 tablespoons of mayo, and keep adding until you get desired consistency. Chopped boiled eggs and add to mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle finished mixture with paprika for a little color.

Our first little football cookout of the season was a great success. We ate way too much food and had a lot of fun while doing it! All in all, good times with the fam!

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