March Madness!! The month that all basketball fans gather around the big screen TV in hopes that their team will make the Final Four and be the winner of the tournament. That is just the basics, although there may be a little science and mathematical logic side of the tournament which deals with brackets. I’m going to let those who are more into that sort through that technique and I will guide you through a few recipes that will get you a few 3 pointers with your own personal fans.
Pepperoni Pizza Dip
2 1/2 cups shredded whole-milk mozzarella (about 8 ounces)
2 ounces pepperoni slices (about 26 thin slices), quartered
8 ounces cream cheese, cut into large pieces
7 ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 ounce)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 pounds toasted ciabatta, soft breadsticks, or garlic bread, for serving
- Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
- Place half of the mozzarella, half of the pepperoni, the cream cheese, ricotta, Parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes, salt, oregano, and red pepper flakes in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until smooth, about 45 seconds (there may still be a few small bits of pepperoni).
- Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch pie plate and smooth the top. Evenly sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and pepperoni.
- Bake until the dip is heated through and bubbling around the edges and the cheese on top is melted, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately with the ciabatta bread, breadsticks, or garlic bread for dipping.
Brown Sugar Smokies
1 pound bacon
1 (16 ounce) package little smokie sausages
1 cup brown sugar, or to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Cut bacon into thirds and wrap each strip around a little sausage. Place the wrapped sausages on wooden skewers, several to a skewer. Arrange the skewers on a baking sheet and sprinkle them liberally with brown sugar.
- Bake until bacon is crisp and the brown sugar melted.
Nuts and Bolts Party Mix
1 pound chopped peanuts
1 pound mixed nuts
1 1/2 cups puffed wheat cereal
6 1/2 ounces crispy rice cereal squares
10 1/2 ounces toasted oat cereal
6 ounces pretzel bits
6 ounces slim pretzels
2 cups vegetable oil
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon seasoning salt
1 tablespoon celery salt
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9×13 inch baking dishes.
- Combine peanuts, nuts, wheat cereal squares, rice cereal squares, toasted oat cereal, pretzel bits, and slim pretzels in prepared baking dish. Mix together, and spread out evenly in dish.
- In a medium bowl, combine oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, seasoned salt, and celery salt. Mix together, and pour mixture over dry ingredients. Place mixture into the 2 prepared baking dishes.
- Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until toasted and crispy, stirring with a wooden spoon every 15 minutes.
Not only are these great March Madness snacks, but any party snack!
Which team will you be rooting for?
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