Savory bites to end the season with


Super Bowl Sunday Feb. 3 calls for snacks to cheer for. This adaptation of Trisha Yearwood’s recipe for a cheese boat with corned beef, green onions and bell peppers is a contender.

Super Bowl Sunday Feb. 3 calls for snacks to cheer for. This adaptation of Trisha Yearwood’s recipe for a cheese boat with corned beef, green onions and bell peppers is a contender. Photo by:


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Smoked gouda-chorizo poppers deliver a mild bite and can be amped up by increasing a few ingredients to your liking.

Smoked gouda-chorizo poppers deliver a mild bite and can be amped up by increasing a few ingredients to your liking.
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Wonton tacos are easy pick-ups for game day.

Wonton tacos are easy pick-ups for game day.
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This jalapeño popper cheese ball is an eye-catcher flavored with sharp cheddar cheese, green onion and garlic powder.



Jan Swoope



It's hard to miss that Super Bowl LIII (53) is fast approaching. Perhaps you've noticed a bit of hype, even if only to spot the football-themed paper plates at the big box, or soft drink displays made to look like goal posts. Yes, Sunday is the big day. I confess, I've moped since Jan. 20, when neither conference championship game -- which determined Super Bowl contenders -- went my way. It put me in a bad mood for far longer than a grown-up should admit to. That said, even without the Saints to pull for, I still recognize that Super Bowl Sunday is a great time for a gathering of friends or family. It's a perfect excuse for grazing the afternoon away as we give the season a proper send-off -- and check out what the Clydesdales have been up to. 


Just as on the gridiron, there are always winners and losers when it comes to party snacks. It's been fun rounding up what looks like a roster of savory game day winners you may want to try out.  


In addition to the recipes below, here's an extra nibble -- Parmesan cheese crisps from Put piles of fresh grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 tablespoon each) on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Bake at 450 F until golden and crisp. Keep an eye on them; they start to brown fast after about five minutes. If you want to add extra flavor, top the cheese with thinly-sliced jalapenos, dried herbs, garlic powder or cooked bacon bits before baking. 


No team in the hunt Sunday? Never mind -- enjoy the eats, commercials and company. And remember, there's always next year. 






Total time: 50 minutes (20 active) 


Makes 10 servings 




1 loaf French or Italian bread 


Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature 


10 ounces sharp cheddar, grated (about 2 1/2 cups) 


6 ounces corned beef, finely chopped 


1 bunch green onions, finely chopped 


1 medium tomato, finely chopped 


1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped 


1/2 teaspoon chili powder 


Large corn chips, for serving. 




  • Preheat oven to 350 F. 


  • Cut an oval in the top of the loaf of bread, scooping out bread in center to make a "bread boat." Place bread on a cooking sheet. 


  • In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, cheddar, beef, green onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, hot sauce and chili powder until fully combined. Spoon mixture into the hollow center of bread loaf. Bake 30 minutes, until bubbling, and serve warm with corn chips.  


    (Source:; recipe adapted from "Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood"/Clarkson Potter 2010) 






    Prep time: 20 minutes 


    Total time: 1 hour 


    Makes 24 poppers 




    2 links Mexican chorizo, casings removed 


    1/2 pound smoked gouda, shredded 


    1/4 cup finely chopped red onions 


    1 egg 


    1/2 cup cream cheese 


    3 tablespoons sour cream 


    1 tablespoon hot sauce 


    Salt and freshly ground black pepper 


    12 large jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded and halved 




  • Preheat oven to 375 F. 


  • Brown chorizo in a skillet over medium-high heat, about 8-10 minutes. Drain and place into a large mixing bowl. 


  • Add the cheese, red onion, egg, cream cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, and salt and pepper, to taste. 


  • Press into jalapeno halves and assemble on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 20 minutes. 


    (Source: foodnetwork/Sunny Anderson) 






    Prep time: 15 minutes 


    Total time: 35 minutes 


    Makes 36 servings 




    1 package square wonton wrappers 


    1 pound ground beef or chicken or 3 cups beans Or even a mixture of both 


    2 tablespoons taco seasoning 


    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 


    Desired toppings: avocado tomato, onion, sour cream, etc. 




  • Preheat oven to 350 F. 


  • Shape wonton wrappers in mini-cupcake liners and bake for 8-10 minutes or until browned. 


  • While wrappers are baking, cook ground meat and taco seasoning over medium high heat until meat is cooked through. 


  • Scoop 1 tablespoon of meat mixture into each wonton cup. Top with cheese and return to oven 4-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve with desired toppings. 








    Prep time: 15 minutes 


    Cook time: 2 minutes 


    Makes about 30 servings 




    16 ounces cream cheese softened 


    8 ounces grated/shredded sharp cheddar cheese 


    1/4-1/3 cup chopped green onion divided 


    1/2 cup diced pickled jalapenos extra, as desired 


    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 


    Pinch of salt 


    3 slices of bacon 


    1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs 


    2-3 tablespoon fresh parsley 


    2-3 fresh jalapenos (approximately 1/4 cup finely chopped) 


    1 slice mozzarella or white cheddar cheese 




  • In a medium bowl, combine softened cream cheese, cheddar, pickled jalapeno, garlic powder, salt and around 2-3 tablespoons chopped green onion. 


  • Using a hand mixer or a fork and some elbow grease, mix well. Use a silicone spatula to scoop out the cheese mixture and shape into a ball with your hands. 


  • Place on a sheet of parchment paper or a cutting board and flatten the top of the ball, pinching and shaping it into a football. Press down on the middle and sort of pinch the sides while you press it into an edible football.  


  • If cheese ball is too soft, cover with plastic and pop it in the fridge for 15-60 minutes. (Mine was still firm yet soft enough to coat with toppings after 15 minutes so I went with it.) 


  • While cheese ball chills, chop bacon into pieces and cook until crispy in a hot pan or skillet. Remove bacon from pan and wipe clean, leaving a teeny bit of bacon grease behind. Add your panko and lightly toast it, stirring frequently for about a minute or two until golden. 


  • Remove the seeds, veins and stem from jalapeno and finely chop/mince. 


  • Sprinkle/cover cheese ball with panko, the remaining green onion, parsley, fresh jalapeno and bacon and press firmly into the cheeseball to coat. 


  • For the laces, snag a slice of mozzarella cheese (or any cheese) and use a sharp knife to cut into thin slices. Cut one long slice for the center of the football and smaller slices for laces. Place long slice horizontally along the center of the football, then arrange the small slices horizontally on top. Serve with pretzels, veggies, apple slices, crackers, etc. Leftovers are delicious spread on pretty much everything in sight the following day, especially buttery whole grain Ritz crackers. 




  • Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.


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