Cooking Corner

With the holidays behind us, the next big occasion at my house is Super Bowl Sunday. Every year, the family gathers in my living room, loft and anywhere else that we have a TV turned on to the big game. With playoffs beginning this weekend, it’s never too early to begin menu planning for the holiday that brings fans of the big game together under one roof. Veggie, meat and cheese trays are a given on Super Bowl Sunday, but at my house we always sweeten the pot a bit with tasty flavors of home. The following are just a few of my favorite Super Bowl recipes.

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No tailgate is complete without 7 Layer Dip in my house. You can add a layer of taco meat above the beans for a more filling treat on game day.

7 Layer Bean Dip


  • 1 can (16 oz.) refried beans
  • 1 package (1 oz.) taco seasoning mix
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can (4.5 oz.) chopped green chilies
  • 1 cup chunky salsa (any variety)
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese blend (8 oz.)
  • 1 can (2.25 oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained (1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium tomato, diced (3/4 cup)
  • Tortilla chips


1. In medium bowl, mix refried beans and taco seasoning mix. Spread mixture on large platter.

2. In another medium bowl, mix cream cheese and chilies. Carefully spread over bean mixture.

3. Top with salsa, lettuce, cheese, olives and tomato. Refrigerate until serving time. Serve with tortilla chips.

Brats is a staple in my house on game day. We make them just like they do up in Wisconsin, by boiling them in beer then throwing them on the grill to get a good char on them before serving on buns for a nice hand-held beefy treat.

Beer Brats


  • 6 Bratwurst
  • 6 Buns
  • 1 bottle of beer (You can use whatever brand you like, but we love to use a nice dark ale for a more robust flavor.)


1. Put the brats in a large saucepan and cover completely with beer.

2. Cook over medium high heat until the beer is almost completely gone, being careful not to burn the brats.

3. Place brats on a grill heated to medium and grill for about 10 minutes, turning frequently to prevent burning.

4. Place on a bun and top with your favorite topping. (We like to use mustard, relish or sauerkraut.)

At my house where we are trying to watch our intake of fried foods, we bake our chicken wings. They come out just as crispy as fried due to the two-step dredging process and taste just as delicious.

Baked Chicken Wings


  • 5 pounds chicken wing pieces
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Melt butter, add garlic and kosher salt.

3. Place wings in butter mixture and toss to coat.

4. Set coated wings on top of wire rack placed inside of large rimmed baking sheet (It usually takes two large baking sheets) in single layer.

5. Bake wings until cooked through and skin is crispy, about 45 to 50 minutes.

6. Toss in buffalo sauce and serve with celery and ranch or blue cheese dressing.

Buffalo Sauce


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup hot pepper sauce (I like to use Frank’s)

Mix first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl; let stand for five minutes. Whisk in hot sauce; keep warm. Buffalo sauce can be made up to one week ahead of time and reheated before using.

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