Searching for that quick and easy recipe for the big football weekend?

Check out the Times/Review staff recipes for a big football weekend.

We know the story. A big football weekend that includes Giants/Packers is upon us and you still haven’t figured out what will you be cooking up for the big games. Here are a few last-minute ideas and recipes from Times/Review staff members:

Slow-Cooker Bacon Jam
Submitted by photographer Barbaraellen Koch
(Adapted from Everyday Food, December 2010)

2 pounds sliced bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 medium yellow onions, diced small
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup brewed coffee
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons molasses

• In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until bacon is lightly browned. Cook between 20 to 25 minutes.
• With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel covered plate to drain.
• Pour off all but one tablespoon bacon fat (reserve for another use).
• Add onions, cook until translucent.
• Add garlic, cook until fragrant.
• Add coffee, vinegar, sugar, syrup, and molasses. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, scraping up brown bits with a wooden spoon.
• Add bacon, stir to combine.
• Transfer mixture to a large slow-cooker (5-6 quarts). Cook uncovered on high for 4 hours or until syrupy.
• Transfer to food processor and pulse to coarsely chop.
• Cool, then refrigerate in airtight containers, up to 4 weeks. Also freezes well.
Makes about 3 cups.

Pigs in a Blanket
Submitted by reporter Samantha Brix
(Adapted from

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup onion, chopped fine
1 package mini hot dogs
4 tablespoons barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons cherry jelly
2 packages refrigerated crescent rolls
36 slices sharp cheddar cheese, thin sliced about 1/2 inch long

• In a medium skillet, heat the butter and oil on medium heat.
• Add the chopped onion and sauté for 5 minutes.
• Add the mini hot dogs.
• Stir to combine and heat through.
• Add the barbecue sauce and cherry jelly.
• Stir occasionally until the jelly is blended and heated through.
• Unroll the crescent rolls and lay them out onto a cutting board.
• Cut down the center of each triangle to form two triangles.
• Starting at the wide end of each crescent, place a small slice of cheese, one mini hot dog and a teaspoon of sauce.
• Roll the mini hot dog up to the point of the crescent.
• Place on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with a nonstick cooking spray.
• Bake in a 375°F oven for approximately 10 minutes or until the crescent is puffed and nicely browned.
• Serve warm.
Makes 12 servings.

Taco Bean Dip
Submitted by graphic artist Kendra Berry

Ingredients and directions:
• Take a package of cream cheese and spread it evenly along the bottom of a Pyrex or glass deep dish.
• Layer a can of chili with beans over the cream cheese.
• Add layers of American cheese on top.
• Throw in the microwave and heat until cheese is melted.
• Cheddar works too, but I find it gets very oily.

Spicy Cheddar-Jack Cauliflower Dip
Submitted by reporter Jennifer Gustavson
(Adapted from

Florets from 1/2 head cauliflower (about 2 1/2 cups), steamed until very soft and cooled
4 ounces 365 Everyday Value® Neufchâtel cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 to 2 fresh jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 ounces (about 3 1/2 cups) 365 Everyday Value® Cheddar-Jack Shreds
3 lightly packed cups (about 5 ounces) baby spinach leaves

• Heat oven to 375°F.
• Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until very smooth.
• Add Neufchâtel, mayonnaise, jalapeño, garlic, salt and all but 1/2 cup of the cheese shreds and pulse until very smooth.
• Add spinach and pulse until chopped.
• Scrape into a 1-quart ovenproof baking dish or casserole, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake until hot and bubbling, about 35 minutes.
• Serve with pita chips or toasted baguette.
Makes 12 servings.

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