“Take Out” Food Ideas for Super Bowl Sunday

I was recently asked by the Editors of Magic City Post, to write a Super Bowl feature for their site on my favorite pick-up or to-go foods in Birmingham. I had many friends ask me to share this list on my site as well, so here you go. For those of you not in Birmingham, I am hopeful this will spark you top picks for buffalo wings, great appetizers and desserts in your home town. This list is great if you are short on time this weekend like I am. I am at my daughter’s dance competition out of town and won’t be back until right before game time. Go Steelers!

APPETIZERS

-Guacamole, fruits and vegetables, Whole Foods Market, Mountain Brook

-Queso dip and quesadillas, La Paz, Crestline Village in Mountain Brook

-Elkmont’s Belle Chevre goat cheese, shown at right, Whole Foods Market, Mountain Brook

-Mozzarella sticks, Mafiaoza’s Pizzeria and Neighborhood Pub, Crestline Village in Mountain Brook

-White pimiento cheese, Piggly Wiggly

MAIN DISHES

-Buffalo wings, Billy’s Bar and Grill, English Village in Mountain Brook and Liberty Park in Vestavia Hills

-Chicken fingers and cheese biscuits, Jim ’N Nick’s Bar-B-Q

-Mini-Reuben or any deli sandwiches, Max’s Delicatessen, Colonnade

-Marinated steak and chicken kebabs to grill, Fresh Market

-Pizza, Bongiorno Italian Restaurant, Crestline Village in Mountain Brook

-Friday-Sunday chicken penne pasta special, Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe

DESSERTS

-Pie (any flavor), Johnny Ray’s BBQ

-Baby Bites, Pastry Art Bake Shoppe, Homewood

-Strawberry Signature Iced Cake, Ashley Mac’s, Bluff Park in Hoover and Cahaba Heights in Vestavia Hills

-Cupcakes, Dreamcakes Bakery, Edgewood in Homewood

Super Bowl Appetizer and Party Tips: Brie with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil

One week from today is the Super Bowl, one of the most fun sporting events of the year. I filmed a Super Bowl television cooking segment for NBC “Daytime Alabama” which will air next week, making four easy appetizers. This 5 ingredient recipe for Brie with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil is a cinch, taking only 20 minutes to prepare. Here are some of my favorite Super Bowl tips for hosting your upcoming party.

Super Bowl Hosting Tips:

-Think “green” and make it easy. Send out E Invites or call or Facebook your friends

-Set up as many televisions as possible if you’re having a large party

-Plan simple and easy food to put out and refill. Also, think about servings foods that are easy to pick up and eat in your lap.

-Have one room planned for television watchers and another for those who just want to talk (okay…some of us women)

-If you’re inviting guests with children, have video games, movies, coloring pages, crayons and puzzles to keep them busy

-Offer healthy foods: such as serve fresh fruit and vegetables with hummus

-Have plenty of beverages and a variety for everyone

-Ask guests to pitch in and bring food (give them a task)

-Have a “faux betting pool” set up and a few prizes for the winners

Simple 5 Ingredient Creative Appetizer: Dirty Martini Cheese Ball

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My martini of choice is a Chopin Vodka or Ketel One Dirty Martini slightly dirty with blue cheese-stuffed olives (Satterfields or Flemming’s make the best in Birmingham). This recipe reminds me a lot of my favorite cocktail, hence its name: Dirty Martini Cheese Ball. Even my son, Zachary, who loves blue cheese and olives, begs me to make this. It’s great for a party, and it’s so simple. Just mold it together, let it chill for about 4 hours and then roll in nuts. It’s a sure hit, so cheers!

20 Minute Appetizer: Apricot-Glazed Brie

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With spring parties, graduations and celebrations this month, I thought I would share the simplest recipe for Brie that you can prepare in under 20 minutes. It’s so easy to prepare and makes a pretty presentation. Feel free to serve with some of your favorite fruits, crackers and breads. You may substitute your favorite nuts for the walnuts and other dried fruit. Just be sure to watch it carefully in the oven so you don’t over-melt it.

See me preparing easy, budget-friendly skillet meals today on NBC 13 Daytime Alabama today at http://www.nbc13.com/vtm/daytime/