Archive for the ‘Dine Alfresco’ Category

Football shaped brownies

I don't care what anyone says. Football shaped brownies are NOT easy.

Pinterest makes me feel like I am uncreative with my cooking. Blogs about food make me feel like I am lazy. And articles about “super easy super bowl snacks” make me question whether or not I actually know the definition of “easy.”

i. am. not. a. foodie.

I don’t like following recipes and I don’t like watching a clock.

My scale of “easy” is dependent upon:

  • the time it takes
  • the mess it creates
  • the number of ingredients
  • the math it requires

I am the girl who doesn’t care about the Super Bowl. Not because I am a Stepford wife, but because I’d rather be throwing an actual football in the front yard than watch it being done on TV.  No one will do that with me on Super Bowl Sunday though, so I become the chef. And since those dining (or inhaling) at super bowl parties do not appreciate a chef’s hard work, I’m not going to work hard.

Without further adieu, I have compiled a list of

6 super easy super bowl snacks that really are easy

and present well too! With little to no recipe to follow.

They are my go-to recipes when I need something easy that the crowd will enjoy (all can be easily made vegetarian!), so I have first hand experience at the true ease of preparation. And on MY scale…they are EASY.

Make one, make all. Just remember to share. 🙂

1. Sausage BallsSausage Cheese Balls

Time (30ish)  ~ Mess (kinda) ~ Ingredients (3) ~ Math (none)

Scale of Ease: SUPER EASY


  • 1 lb sausage (which is 1 package)
  • 3 cups Bisquick
  • Half a bag or so of extra sharp, shredded cheddar cheese
  • A little bit of tabasco or bbq sauce if you are feeling saucy.

Heat the oven to 350. Grease or parchment paper (I’m using it as a verb because it should be, like paper mache) a cookie sheet. Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mash everything together with your hands. Gross. But easy. When its all mixed together, separate and roll them into balls. Place balls on cookie sheet. Bake until golden brown. And done. Vegetarian Option: Replace the sausage with delicious Gimme Lean Sausage. Recipe shared with me years ago by the beautiful Abby Lipshie

2. Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rodseasy chocolate pretzels

Time (15ish) ~ Mess (kinda) ~ Ingredients (3) ~ Math (none)

Scale of Ease – SUPER EASY


  • Snyder’s Pretzel Rods
  • Any kind of chocolate
  • Sprinkles if you are feeling sprinkly

Put your chocolate in a double-boiler or just a glass bowl over a pot of heated water. When it melts, dip as much or as little of the pretzel rod (this step will make the mess scale go up or down) into the chocolate and lay them down on a plate that will fit in your fridge. Sprinkle sprinkles all over and then refrigerate. And done. Recipe stolen from the renaissance woman Ashley Colclasure.

3. Pimento CheeseEasy Pimento Cheese

Time (10-15ish) ~ Mess (hardly) ~ Ingredients (4) ~ Math (none)

Scale of Ease – SUPER EASY


  • Extra sharp shredded cheddar
  • A large jar of pimentos (because I like them A LOT)
  • Crushed pecans
  • Mayo
  • Salt and pepper to taste (or whatever you feel like trying)

Cheese and pimentos go in bowl first. Then slowly add small amounts of mayonnaise until you achieve the consistency you want. Then add as many pecans as you’d like. Salt and pepper to add more flavor…or try some tabasco or worcestershire sauce. Chill. And done. Recipe discovered on a beach trip with Samantha Bradshaw (this was the first time I had ever enjoyed Pimento Cheese)

4. Ritz Cracker Pizza BitesRitz Cracker Pizza

Time (10ish) ~ Mess (only if you’re a toddler) ~ Ingredients (3) ~ Math (none)

Scale of Ease – SUPER EASY


  • Ritz Crackers
  • Any cheese
  • Pepperoni Slices
  • Optional tomato sauce
  • 1 baby

Heat oven to 350. Place lots of Ritz crackers on a cookie sheet. No grease of parchment paper needed. Place a pepperoni on each cracker. Sprinkle cheese (or place it if you have squares) on top. Cook in oven until cheese begins melts (not burns). You can use a microwave for this but the taste doesn’t compare to good, old fashioned baking. And done. Vegetarian Option: In lieu of pepperoni, spoon a dollop of tomato sauce on each cracker, and prepare the same. Recipe conjured up from the genius within my brain when kids I babysat for wanted pizza.

5. Saratoga ChipsPete's sweet potato chips

Time (30ish) ~ Mess (kinda) ~ Ingredients (3) ~ Math (none)

Scale of Ease = SUPER EASY


  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Canola Oil
  • Mandoline Slicer (I’m saying this is an ingredient because I don’t think this is a super common kitchen utensil. If you don’t have this, a knife will do. The chips will just be thicker.)

Cut the sweet potatoes with your slicer or a knife. Heat the oil in the biggest skillet you have. Place one chip into the oil to check the heat. If the chip begins to fry, continue adding chips. If not, turn the heat up. Remove chips when they have turned a delicious, crispy color. Place on paper towels to dry and cool. Sprinkle some sea salt and pepper if you’d like. Serve warm. And done. If the oil starts to smoke, turn it down or it will catch fire! Recipe first enjoyed in the home of the amazing mom, doctor and friend, Jenn Wheeler.

6. Santa Fe SoupSanta Fe Soup

Time (20ish) ~ Mess (Hardly) ~ Ingredients (5 minimum) ~ Math (none)

Scale of Ease – SUPER EASY (even with a lot of ingredients)


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 4 cans any beans you want (I like kidney, black, great northern, black-eyed peas)
  • 1 can white corn
  • 1 large tomato (or a can if you don’t want to slice)
  • Packet (or 2) of Ranch Seasoning
  • Packet (or 2) of Taco Seasoning

Brown the ground beef. Place all ingredients in a crock pot or the largest pot you have. Cover it. Simmer it. Check it. Taste it. When it is delicious, take it off the burner. And done.

You can heat it faster than a slow simmer if you are in a rush and it will be just fine. If not, let the soup relax on the burner and fill your house with delicious smells of winter. Serve with cheese, sour cream, Fritos or whatever else you would like. Vegetarian Option: Simply disregard the ground beef. Recipe shared with me after I ate more than my share of this soup at the wonderful home of Claire Gentry.

So there you have it. 6 super easy super bowl snacks that really are easy. Really.

If you try some of these out, let me know how they go! Or if you have an easy go-to recipe, share it with me! I am always looking for more! I will be taking a few to a Folly beach party I am going to…super bowl party ON THE BEACH. This is why I moved to Charleston. Have a fun Sunday all!

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Charleston was voted the Top City in the United States by the 2011 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards! Congrats Charleston!

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Goodbye Publix. Hasta Luega Whole Foods. The Mt. Pleasant Farmers Market has opened its gates once more to offer the city dwellers a slice – or 10 – of locally grown produce, made from scratch breads and preserves, organic dairy products and more. There is nothing I look forward to more than Tuesday evenings in the Spring, Summer and Fall. However this year I might just say Summer and Fall because we said goodbye to Winter but never said hello to Spring…after this past week, it is clear that Summer was too excited and skipped his place in line.

Mt. Pleasant Farmers Market on Tuesdays
I’ve made a ritual of sorts out of Tuesday nights, and last night was no exception. I strolled through the market deciding what I would cook (or throw together) with the seasonal options offered.  A local musician strummed her guitar, dogs walked their owners, and babies teethed on wild cucumbers and juicy peaches.

Wild Cucumbers from Johns Island SC

Baby Food at Farmers Market SC

Farmers boasted why their produce was better than the next guys’ – and I’m all about self-promotion. If a farmer doesn’t love his product, chances are I won’t either.

Produce at Mt. Pleasant Farmers Market

I went home with 4 cucumbers, a crate of peaches and a Farmer’s Market staple of mine, Nicole’s Nutty Goodness (more on this must-have snack in a future post). And for dinner, I went for something light, cool and easy (since it was 90 degrees when I got home). I sliced and chilled the cucumbers, tossed them with feta cheese crumbles, toasted almonds and a few tablespoons of Greek dressing – bon appetit!

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