Our Favorite Recipes For The Big Game

On the opening day of the NFL season in 1998, I wasn't a poor young professional.

I was a BROKE young professional.

Still, we wanted to do something to commemorate the occasion. So, we went rummaging through the kitchen in a long-ago apartment. We'd had a party the night before, there was leftover onion dip, so that was the appetizer/snack for the day. When we got a little hungrier, we searched a little more. We found three very specific things: Stove Top stuffing, Velveeta shells and cheese, and a smoked sausage link.

Football snacks. Dinner.

And it's been dinner every NFL opening day since. You don't mess with tradition, although the fortunes of our favorite NFL teams might argue otherwise.

Now, on the eve of the Big Game, we're going to do a little more than that, and we're going to help you as well. We asked a few of our team members for their favorite football snacks. If you're going to a party, or if you're just stuck for an idea, you've still got time to shop for one of these ideas and pull it off pretty easily.


Tonea in our Mooresville store loves this sausage dip:

1 lb hot sausage
1 lb regular sausage
Large can of Rotel
2 lbs of velvetta cheese
2 blocks of cream cheese
Cook sausage until browned pour in crock pot (do not drain)
Cut cheese and cream cheese into cubes.
Add cheeses and Rotel to sausage.
Cook on low until all cheese is melted. 
If in a hurry this can be made on stove top but needs to be stirred frequently while cheese is melting.  After cooking keep warm in crock pot.
Serve with Tostitos Scoops
Kali in Spartanburg responded in minutes with this recipe for Jalapeno Boats:
This recipe makes 40 jalapeno boats
20 nice sized Jalapenos
1 roll of sausage, can use hot for more of a kick
1 8oz block of cream cheese, softened
1 6 oz. bag of shredded parmesan cheese
-preheat oven to 350
-cut jalapenos in halves, clean out seeds and rinse
-cook sausage on stove until fully cooked
-mix sausage, cream cheese and shredded parmesan together in a bowl
-line a cookie sheet with wax paper
-put sausage mixture into jalapenos and line on the cookie sheet
-cook in the oven until all cheese is melted and a little light brown on top
-let cool and enjoy
Both Kennedy in Mauldin and Kevin picked Buffalo Chicken Dip. Kevin actually included amounts for a HUGE portion in his recipe, so that's the winner:
One of our family favorites - Buffalo Chicken Dip. It's so easy to make.
6-8 cans of chicken
2 blocks of cream cheese
1 bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's Buffalo Sauce
1 bottle of Ranch dressing
1 bag of shredded cheese
Mix all together in a crockpot. Cook on high for 30 minutes. If you're looking for an easy party dip of something to snack on for a couple of days, this is it!
(Kennedy's recipe adds green onions to some variation of the above, which we think is a fabulous idea.)
Mine's for an easy but delicious cheese ball. I stole it from my friend Joey, and it's one of the only recipes that I haven't modified in any way.
2 blocks of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 jar of dried beef
1 bunch of green onions, green parts only
Obliterate 3/4 of the dried beef and the green onions in a food processor. Put that mixture and the cream cheese in the biggest bowl you have. Grab some gloves, and mix everything together with the best kitchen tools there are - the ones on the end of your arms. Form the mixture into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour. Serve with crackers. And be warned, this goes QUICK.
Whatever you're snacking on for the Big Game, we hope you'll enjoy it. And if you get a little careless and drop something on your shirt, we know where you can get a replacement...