Thursday, October 11, 2012

Score points with appetizers

What’s nice about watching a sporting event like the post-season baseball games or a football matchup between the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles is that it gives family and friends another reason to get together. 

Bad part is that if you’re the one with the big screen TV or the biggest basement, chances are you’re also the host of such an event and that’s a lot of work.

One solution is to make it a potluck gathering. Most people I know have no problem contributing a dish, snack or beverage. In some cases where you have a friend who loves to cook, you might even get more than just one dish. At the last football party I attended, everyone was told that chili would be the main dish and that our host would appreciate any side dishes that might go along such as taco chips and salsa or fresh bread and crackers. It turned out to be a football fiesta of grand proportions. 

Another idea for quick weekend gatherings is appetizers. Football, baseball, hockey or soccer -- no matter what the reason for the party -- you can stir up some fun with easy-to-make appetizers. Here are a few of the super-quick recipes from the online collection at Musselman's   All recipes make 6 to 8 servings.

Apple Butter Mustard Dip
This dip goes great with hard or soft pretzels. For a full spread add a plate of cheese cubes or mini egg rolls. Both complement the dip, created by mixing 1 cup of Musselman’s Apple Butter with a 1/2 cup of Dijon mustard. 

Michigan Caramel Apple Dip 
Apples are always delicious in this part of the country - especially during the fall football season. Rather than just caramel, combine 1 cup of Musselman’s Apple Butter with 1/2 cup of caramel sauce to create a dip with pizazz. Serve with apples of your choice. 

BBQ Sauce
Grill up some chicken wings or shrimp and just before they’re done, brush on this sauce created by combining 1 cup of Musselman’s Apple Butter with one cup of chili sauce.

Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie 
Not all occasions call for a full-blown meal. For those nights when it’s just a few friends, consider serving up a hot cup of Joe and a cool piece of this pumpkin ice cream pie. The following recipe courtesy of Spice Islands is sweet and easy to make:
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon Spice Islands
cinnamon, ground Saigon style
1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands
ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon Spice Islands
ground nutmeg
1 quart vanilla ice cream,
1 prepared pie crust, pastry
or graham cracker
Mix pumpkin, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Fold in softened ice cream. Pour mixture into crust. Freeze until firm, a few hours or overnight. Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving.
TIP: 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice can be substituted for the ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.

For questions or comments, contact gina.joseph@macombdaily.com.

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