Friday, September 30, 2016

Smashed Potato Bombs


What to do with leftover mashed potatoes? Turn 'em into Smashed Potato Bombs! With a few ingredients, you can repurpose last night's dinner into a Gameday treat.

I had a particularly large amount of mashed potatoes leftover recently. I knew I wasn't going to have them again the next day, but I knew that if I turned them into something else, I'd be able to freeze them and use them another time. Bingo! Smashed Potato Bombs! These little guys are crunchy and creamy and make perfect finger food for Gameday.

I have a muffin tin that makes only muffin tops, which was perfect for this. I placed spoonfuls into each slot, placed a small thumb indentation in each and sprinkled a little bit of grated cheddar on top. If you don't have one of those tins, you can certainly just drop spoonfuls onto a sheetpan like cookies.

Once they were done (and tested, of course!), I let them cool off and froze them. On Gameday, I just reheated them at 350-degrees and they were great!

Smashed Potato Bombs                                            

(serves 4-6)

4 cups mashed potatoes
2 Tbs finely minced scallions
2 tsp granulated garlic
1 1/4 cups grated cheddar (divided)
salt & pepper to taste


1. Pre-heat oven to 400-degrees.

2. Mix all ingredients, except for 1/4 cup of the grated cheddar.

3. Scoop a small amount of the potato mixture into a shallow muffin tin.

4. Create a small indentation on the top of each potato "coin" and then fill the indentation in with a little bit of the grated cheddar.

5.  Place in the oven and cook until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are golden - about 20 - 30 minutes.

It can't get simpler than that!  Let me know how you like it!

Enjoy your games this weekend and keep on Homegating!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Gameday Sweets: Peach Crostata!


Once in a while, you need to sneak some sweetness into your homegate menu. After gorging on spicy, savory and/or salty fare all Game Day, it's nice to have a little sweet treat to balance it all out.
I wanted to take advantage of the wonderfully sweet peaches that I've been enjoying these past few weeks and make a little Peach Crostata to serve on Gameday.

We're usually not big into sweets on Gameday, but once in a while someone will bring cookies or ice cream to have towards the end of the day. I always keep puff pastry in the freezer, so when I had an abundance of peaches not too long ago, I thought a crostata would be a nice way to go to use up those peaches and the puff pastry.

The filling is light and not too sweet, which is why I happen to be a fan of this. All it's comprised of are peaches, honey, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. You can't get any easier than that.

Peach Crostata                                
(serves 4-6)                                            

3 peaches, sliced thin
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 sett of puffed pastry


1. Pre-heat oven to 425-degrees.

2. Place the honey, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt in a small saucepan and heat through. Pour over the peaches and toss until thoroughly combined.

3.  Roll out a sheet of the puff pastry onto a sheet pan and dock (pricking holes with a fork) all around leaving a 1/2" border untouched.

4.  Arrange the peach slices on top of the pastry, leaving the 1/2" border.

5.  Place in oven for 20-30 minutes until the pastry puffs up and is golden.

6.  Bring to rom temperature and serve.

So there you have it! Something a little different this time, but I think your guests will like the change. If you try it, let me know how you like it.

Until next week, keep on homegating!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Green Wings!!


I don't know why I hadn't thought of these sooner. It's so simple - it was right under my nose. But you see? It takes something else to trigger a little culinary inspiration. During a day of recipe testing, I came up with:  Green Wings!!

On this one particular recipe test day, I was on a food processor rampage. I was pureeing and making various little sauces. I was on a roll and kept thinking of what else I can puree and make into a sauce. I opened the fridge and spied a bottle of pickled jalapenos. Yaaassssss!!!!! I dumped the entire jar (juice and all) into the processor and whizzed it up. After taste testing and adding a few other ingredients, I knew I had a tasty, but spicy sauce to play with. But what to do with it? Oh yeah - baste it on some wings and let 'em fly!

By the time the wings are finished roasting, they just look like roasted wings with a slight greenish tint. They have a nice bright flavor. They're not as hot as the red sauces, but they do have a little after-zing. I served the extra sauce on the side in case anyone wanted to add a little more to their wings.

Green Wings
(serves 4-6)                                              

3 lbs chicken wings
16 oz jar of pickled jalapenos
2 tsp grated onion*
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tbs fresh cilantro


1.  Pre-heat oven to 400-degrees.

2.  Place all ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth.  Reserve 1 cup of sauce.

3.  Baste wings with sauce and place in the oven. Continue to baste the wings every 15 minutes for 1 hour.

4.  Remove from oven and serve with extra sauce.

When I served these to the Gameday Gang, they were a little taken aback when they first looked at them. After all, people are used to seeing red wings. But of course they were psyched to check them out and they got some great reviews. Some liked them as is and some used the extra sauce to dip the wings into. Whichever way they ate them, the wings wound up disappearing, so I'm going to take that as a good sign.

And there you have it! Try these guys out one weekend and see how your crowd digs 'em.

Enjoy your games and I'll see you next week!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Opening Day Kickoff 2016: Spicy Orange Meatballs!!


Happy Kickoff 2016! Football is back!!!

While the season is never really over on the internet, it still seems like forever since we watched Peyton raise the Lombardi. It seems like so much has happened since that night. Hey, even he's become a Homegater! But we are finally getting ready to start off another season with high expectations for our teams. Each team is starting out anew.

For the Gameday Gang, Opening Day is cause for a double celebration this year. First of all, we're celebrating the first week of the season, and we're also celebrating the grand opening of our new Homegating101 Headquarters at the Garage Bar (aka: Fan Cave). While it's still a work in progress, it's been all prepped with the essentials: TV, seating, fridge, kegerator and various other accoutrements. We're psyched. It's going to be a fun gathering place for the gang to eat, drink and watch the games. So to start the season off in our new location, we're presenting: Spicy Orange Meatballs!

I picked up some orange marmalade at a farm stand this summer and wanted to incorporate it into one of my gameday dishes. I figured it would make a nice sweet and spicy sauce. A combination of the marmalade along with some sambal sauce, rice wine vinegar and soy gives the sauce a nice sweet, savory and spicy tang. The sauce can work on any meat you might want to prepare, but I went with meatballs. You've got the deep savory flavor of the meatballs playing off the sweet and spicy orange sauce. It's a nice combination.

Spicy Orange Meatballs                    

(makes 32)

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp ground garlic
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp brown mustard
2 tsp smoked paprika
salt & pepper to taste
16 oz jar orange marmalade
1 tbsp sambal sauce
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
1 cup water (you may not need it all)


1.  Pre-heat oven to 400-degrees. Mix all the meatball ingredients well and roll into golf-ball size balls. Place on baking sheets and put in oven for 25-30 minutes, or until meatballs are browned. Remove from oven and let cool. (NOTE: meatballs can be made ahead).

2. In a heavy saucepan on medium heat, melt down the marmalade until it become soft and liquidy. Add remaining ingredients and heat through until almost boiling. If the sauce is too thick, thin out with a little water. Place meatballs in sauce and stir to make sure all the meatballs get covered in the sauce. Heat through and serve.

I have a small crock pot that I'll use to keep these meatballs warm. We have a table in the garage bar where we'll put all the food so that everyone can help themselves throughout the day - and I won't have to keep running back and forth to the kitchen to heat something up! That's the beauty of having warming trays and crock pots. Your hot food will stay hot all day. I have a football-shaped crock pot (of course I would!) that I use for hots dogs in water (who doesn't love a hot dog on gameday?).

So there you have it. This recipe is easy to prepare. You can make the meatballs ahead. You can even freeze them and then thaw them out when you're ready to make the sauce. Hope you decide to try these. Let me know if you do and how you like them!

Enjoy the games and good luck to your teams!

See you next week!