7 Touchdown dishes for your Super Bowl party

New England Patriots vs. Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m.

Super Bowl 52 featuring the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles will be played in U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota Sunday. You may not attend the game, but you might need some snacks.
Whether you’re hosting a party or going to someone else’s party, here are seven dishes that will score big on game day.

The Seven-Layer Dip

1 ½ cups sour cream
1 package (1 oz) Old El Paso™ taco seasoning mix
1 can (4.5 oz) Old El Paso™ chopped green chiles
1 can (16 oz) Old El Paso™ refried beans
1 package (8 oz) refrigerated guacamole
1 ½ cups finely shredded Cheddar cheese (6 oz)
1 cup pico de gallo
1 can (2.25 oz) sliced ripe olives, drained
¼ cup sliced green onions
Tortilla chips, as desired

First, spread refried beans out along the bottom of a bowl or casserole dish. Then, mix together the sour cream, taco seasoning mix and green chiles in a separate bowl. Once mixed, spread over the beans.
For the next layer, put guacamole over the beans and sour cream mix. Top with cheese, pico de gallo, olives and green onions.
Serve with tortilla chips.
Refrigerate before and after serving. Recipe courtesy of Pillsbury.com.

By Sunil.verma84 (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Buffalo Chicken Dip

2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup Ranch dressing
3/4 cup pepper sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 bunch celery, cleaned and cut into 4 inch pieces
1 (8 ounce) box chicken-flavored crackers

First, combine the chicken and pepper sauce together and heat until warm. Then, combine the cream cheese, ranch dressing and half of the shredded cheese with the chicken in a crockpot (if you have one) and cook on low for 40 minutes or until bubbly.
May be served with the chicken-flavored crackers, crackers of your choice or different vegetables. Recipe courtesy of Allrecipes.com


PiccoloNamek at English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Dip

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup semi sweet mini chocolate chips
8 oz pkg Reese’s peanut butter cup Minis (or about 1 1/2 cup chopped Reese’s cups)

Over medium heat, melt the butter and mix in the brown sugar and peanut butter. Mix until the sugar dissolves and immediately remove from heat to cool.
Then, in another bowl, beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar for around 4 minutes or until creamy.
Once the brown sugar and peanut butter mixture cools, mix into the cream cheese on a low setting.
Lastly, fold in the chocolate chips and peanut butter cups. Your dip is then ready to be enjoyed with pretzels, animal crackers, vanilla wafers or whatever else you would like.
Put in the refrigerator before and after serving.  Recipe courtesy of shugarysweets.com

Walking taco ingredients/ Photo by Jodimichelle:Flikr Creative Commons

Walking Tacos

1 Tablespoon butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 small jalapenos, seeds removed, diced
1 lb. ground beef
2 1/2 Tablespoons homemade taco seasoning or 1 packet of taco seasoning
1 14 ounce can tomato sauce
1 14 ounce can kidney beans
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
4 Frito bags-make sure they are all corn if you’re gluten free
Shredded lettuce
Shredded Mexican Cheese blend
Sour Cream

Over medium heat, melt butter and saute chopped onions until softened. Then add jalapeños and saute for 2-3 minutes.
After the onions and jalapeños are cooked, add the ground beef to the pan and brown. Drain excess fat and mix in taco seasoning.
Then, combine tomato sauce, kidney beans and drained diced tomatoes to the pan. Cook and stir until heated through.
Finally, add mixture to Frito chip bag and top with cheese, sour cream or whatever else you like. Recipe courtesy of neighborfoodblog.com

Pigskins in a Blanket

By Photo credit: stef yau [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
48 cocktail-size smoked link sausages or hot dogs
Yellow Mustard

First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and open each package. Separate the dough. After separating, cut each piece into three triangles.
Starting from the point of the dough, roll one sausage and dough until reaching the end. Place them seam down on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 11-14 minutes or until golden brown. Change the position of the cookie sheet halfway through baking.
Remove from oven and transfer to serving tray and let cook for 2 minutes.
Once cooled, use the mustard to create football laces on top of the crescent dogs. Recipe courtesy of Pillsbury.

Oven Baked Chicken Wings

By RM Bulseco from Davao City, Philippines. (Singapore Night Life.) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
3 lb. chicken wings, split at the joint, wing tips removed and discarded
4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
3 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, dry chicken thoroughly with paper towels and toss in oil. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and baking powder.
Grease rimmed sheet pans with olive oil and spread chicken in a single layer. Bake for about 20 minutes, then broil until golden brown – 7 to 10 minutes. Recipe courtesy of Delish.com

Sloppy-Joe Sliders

1 lb. of ground beef
½ chopped onion
1 package of King’s Hawaiian rolls
1 ½ cup of Ketchup
1 Tbsp of Mustard
½ cup of BBQ sauce
Garlic powder
Seasoned salt

In a medium pan, add the chopped onion and ground beef. You’ll want to season the ground beef with garlic powder and seasoned salt. Cook over medium heat until the meat is completely cooked. Drain the excess fat.
Then, pour the ketchup, mustard and BBQ sauce into the meat and onions. Mix until everything is combined evenly.
After mixing, slice the Hawaiian rolls horizontally so that there are bottoms and tops. Put the bottom section of rolls in a casserole dish and then layer the meat on top. Place the top section of the rolls on the meat and gently press the layers together.
You can serve them as is, or you can heat them up in a oven set at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

No matter where you are, enjoy the Super Bowl with some easy and delicious treats!

Featured Image obtained from creativecommons.org 

Edited by Lexie Little

The Ultimate Fall Bucket List

October may be coming to a close this week, but fall technically isn’t over until late December. That leaves plenty of time for anyone and everyone to mark off everything from their fall bucket list.

Here are a few ideas for what to do before the season ends.

Corn Maze

There is nothing like getting dizzy with a group of your friends while surrounded by miles of corn. Some options close to Knoxville are Oakes Farm, Deep Well Farm and Kyker Farms Corn Maze. All are relatively low-cost, and feature other activities such as a pumpkin patch, hay rides and petting zoos. Be sure to check this activity off of your bucket list soon, since most of these farms close their fall events at the end of the month.

Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream

My grandmother always said to eat ice cream when it gets colder so that it takes longer to melt. Which is a great ideology, in my opinion. If you haven’t had the chance to visit Cruze Farm’s new permanent location, you now have a great reason to go. Cruze Farm is offering a pumpkin spice flavored ice cream in celebration of fall. It pairs nicely when swirled with the cake batter ice cream the restaurant also offers. All of the ice creams at Cruze Farm are made fresh daily, so check their website to see what flavors they are offering that day. You can also take a pint of your favorite flavor back to your dorm to help get you through late night studying.

Carve a Pumpkin

Pumpkin carving should not be an activity reserved strictly for Halloween. Why not Thanksgiving pumpkins? Find a cute pattern like this one or this one.  Fall is also a popular season for elections, so remind your roommates to vote with this pumpkin pattern. There is honestly so much artistic and creative freedom with pumpkin carving, so feel free to run wild with the idea.

Relax with a Show

On campus, there is almost always a production running at the Clarence Brown Theatre. Currently, The Blue Window is showing at the Lab Theatre until Nov. 12. Beginning Nov. 22, the annual production of A Christmas Carol will begin at the Clarence Brown. Students can see shows for $5 or free on Preview Days (the first Wednesday and Thursday of a show’s run).

Want something to remind you of your childhood? Disney On Ice is coming to the Knoxville Civic Coliseum with their Reach for the Stars show beginning Nov. 1. If you go on the opening night, you can score tickets for just $14!

Go to a U-Pick Patch

Knoxville is full of different agricultural joys. One of the many is U-Pick patches where you can pick your own fruits and veggies. Some popular choices of the season are apples, apricots, brussel sprouts and carrots. You can spend an afternoon picking your own produce, and then spend the evening making apple pies and warm soups. Learn more about picking your own produce on Pick Your Own’s website.

Take a Hike

Right in UT’s backyard are the Smoky Mountains, and fall is one of the best times to visit. The 816-mile state park has plenty to offer to any outdoors enthusiast. Try the Andrews Bald Trail, a 3.5 mile hike in the Clingmans Dome area with a marvelous view of what nature has to offer. Cades Cove is also fun to drive though to see different types of wildlife. If you’re feeling up for it, try biking Cades Cove’s 13 mile loop. You will have a better chance at spotting any bears at close distances (and you’ll be able to brag to your friends about biking 13 miles for fun).

Root for the Vols

Nov. 4 is UT’s homecoming football game against Southern Mississippi. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. in Neyland Stadium. Get a group of friends together and cheer on the Vols. It is also a perfect wrap up to homecoming week, which began on Oct. 29.

 

Hopefully this list of fall activities has something for everyone. Fall is one of the most magical times of the year, so why should we stop celebrating at the end of October?

 

 

Featured image by Randall Billings, courtesy of Creative Commons

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

Arab Fest celebrates diversity, showcases Middle Eastern cultures

Over the weekend, the Arab American Club of Knoxville and the Religious Studies department at the University of Tennessee held its fourth annual Arab Fest on pedestrian walkway.

The two day festival showcased food, dancing, crafts and various demonstrations of Arab and Middle Eastern cultures.

Erin Darby, assistant professor in the Religious Studies department at UT, is the co-coordinator of the event.

“It began when my students came back from their study abroad tour [in Jordan] in 2013, and they were frustrated that they didn’t have the ability to share their experience with the rest of the UT community,” Darby said. “So, between UT and the Arab American Club of Knoxville, what was a tiny, little baby idea sort of jumped forth into this crazy festival, and it’s gotten bigger every year.”

“It’s basically a way to share the best of Arab culture, not just with UT students but the whole community,” Darby said.

There were several booths lining the circle of pedestrian walkway. Authentic Middle Eastern food from Yassin’s Falafel House, Mirage and other individuals were available to attendees. People could also smoke hookah, get a henna tattoo or purchase authentic beaded home decor and clothes.

In the middle of all of the vendors was a stage for people to sing, dance and play Arab music. On Friday, there was a musician playing a doumbek, which is a style of Middle Eastern drum. Students were encouraged to come up and learn the Arab group folk dance dabke. There were plenty of smiles in the chain of individuals dancing around to the music both days of the festival.

Among guests at the event was the City of Knoxville Mayor, Madeline Rogero. When speaking to the attendees of the festival, Mayor Rogero admitted to this being her first year attending the festival.

“I love coming to our ethnic festivals in our city,” Rogero said. “Thanks to UT, and Tennessee Valley Authority, and Oak Ridge National Lab and a lot of our businesses here we are a very diverse city and I think it’s really important that we celebrate the diversity we have here.”

Some students like junior Jasmine Parks attended the event as a volunteer for extra credit.

“I just love cultural things,” Jasmine said. “Professor Darby asked that we all come out, and I did, and it is a lot of fun.”

For future Arab Fests, Darby would like to see more people come out and learn about Arab and Middle Eastern cultures.

If you have any interest in being involved with or helping plan future Arab Fests, you can email Darby at edarby1@utk.edu.

Featured image by Nima Kasraie, obtained through Creative Commons

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

Knoxville Chef Simon Hall opens new Whole30 café

Knoxville Chef Simon Hall will host a grand opening for his new restaurant, Simon’s, this Monday, Oct. 9 in the Bearden area. The restaurant is a Whole30 café.

The Whole30 diet program focuses on eating whole foods while eliminating certain foods such as grains, dairy and sugar.

Simon’s is Knoxville’s first Whole30 approved restaurant, meaning every menu item has met Whole30 dietary standards.

Simon’s will open in the Bearden Hill area Monday, Oct. 9, 2017 and feature Whole30 approved dishes. Photo: simonhallprivatechef.com

The menu features classic foods with healthy twists. Customers may enjoy a variety of dishes including the Walnut Pork Tenderloin or the Chipotle Apple & Kale Turkey Burger. The menu centers around Southern-style cooking familiar to Tennessee.

Simon’s will be located at 5032 Whittaker Drive, Suite 3 and will be open Mondays-Fridays for lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Simon’s will also offer “grab’n’go” options.

Chef Simon Hall, a personal chef, will open a new Whole30 restaurant in Bearden Monday, Oct. 9, 2017. Photo: Simon Hall/simonhallprivatechef.com

 

For more information on Simon’s and Chef Simon Hall, click here.

For more information on the Whole30 program, visit their website.

Featured Image: simonhallprivatechef.com

Edited by: Lexie Little

Easy and creative desserts for the holiday season

Thanksgiving is over and Christmas time is finally here! Holiday parties, family dinners and Santa Claus are on there way. Don’t know what to bring to your next event? Here are a few recipes that are guaranteed to be a big hit! Not only are they easy to make, they are fun for the entire family to do together.

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Peppermint Brownies

What you need:

  • Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines Brownies
  • Eggs
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Peppermint extract
  • Vanilla icing
  • Peppermint sticks
  • Red & green food coloring

Directions:

Start off by making the brownies exactly like the box says. Before you put the brownies into the pan, add two drops of peppermint extract into the batter. Once the brownies are done, let them cool for 20 minutes. Second, separate the icing into two bowls. Put two drops of red food coloring into one bowl and two drops of green food coloring into the other bowl. Mix until you get the color you want. Then put three drops of peppermint extract into each bowl. Next, , icing the brownies with as much icing as you prefer. Finally, crush peppermint sticks into small pieces and sprinkle them onto the brownies.

Tips:

  1. Fudge brownies work the best!
  2. Taste the icing as you add the peppermint extract to make you its the amount you want.
  3. Let the brownies fully cool because adding icing because it will run off and get messy.

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Decorative Christmas Cookies

What you need:

  • Betty Crocker sugar cookies
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Assorted icing flavors
  • Sprinkles
  • Christmas shape cutters

Directions:

Make the cookie dough exactly like the instructions explain on the pack. Use the cookie cutters to form the dough into shapes. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, let them cool for at least 15 minutes. Spread a light layer of white icing onto the cookies. Then use colored icing to make designs on the cookies. Put sprinkles on it if you prefer!

Tips:

  1. Make sure to spray the pan with non stick spray.
  2. Take your time when making designs!
  3. Don’t let the cookies get too dark in the oven, no one wants to eat hard cookies!

Featured Image by Jada Blackwell

Edited by Katy Hill

3 Simple and Cute Treats for Halloween

As Halloween is only two days away, it’s that time to Google late-minute costume ideas, run to the grocery store for candy and most importantly, look for some fun treats to make for your festivities.

But, who really has the time to sit on Pinterest for hours looking for the best sweets the internet has to offer? I have gathered three simple and festive treats for you that will charm your guests and get them in the spooky spirit!

recipe3Pumpkin Cheesecake

This is a delicious dessert that feeds into all of our inner pumpkin spice dreams! You can either put it in plastic cups and serve it as a dessert cocktail, or put it in a pan and serve it for a nice dinner.

Estimated Time: 20 minutes to make and 2 hours to chill in the refrigerator.

Ingredients:
Jello No-Bake Cheesecake and Crust Mix
Pumpkin Puree (15 oz. can)
1 teaspoon of all spice
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup of milk
3 teaspoons of sugar (Or a sugar substitute)
1 tablespoon of butter
Cool Whip (optional)
Plastic cups (optional)

Steps:
1. To begin, mix the crust mixture with the two tablespoons of butter and 1 teaspoon of sugar. You can add more butter if you like. The Jello box suggests 5 tablespoons, but for this recipe, you don’t have to have the crust moist if you don’t prefer. (I enjoyed the consistency of the dry graham cracker mix with the texture of the pumpkin cheesecake.)

2. Mix the cup of milk with the cheesecake mix. After you have thoroughly mixed those two ingredients, add the pumpkin puree.

3. Add the 1 teaspoon of all spice, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 teaspoons of sugar to the cheesecake mixture.

4. Lastly, gather the plastic cups or whatever you would like to put the cheesecake in, and layer the crust at the bottom and cheesecake mixture on top. For reference, I put two tablespoons of crust on the bottom and then two tablespoons of cheesecake mixture on top; but, if you like a less even ratio to crust-cheesecake, then add more or less of the crust and cheesecake! Then place it into the fridge for a couple hours to let it chill.

 

Pumpkin Patch Dirt-Cakerecipe1

Reminiscent of my elementary school years, this is a must-have for my friends and I at all of our Halloween parties. This is the quickest and cheapest of the three recipes, but the taste is still as heavenly. Good for Halloween parties for five-year-olds and college students, this recipe is a win-win all around.

Estimated Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
Oreos
Chocolate Pudding (You can either make your own or buy pudding that is already made.)
Pumpkin Candy Corn
Green Sour Patch Straws (optional)
Plastic Cups

Steps:
1. If you decided to make your own pudding, then you would just need to prepare it first so it has time to chill in the refrigerator or freezer.

2. Crush the Oreos. If you can find pre-crushed oreos at the grocery store, this will save you a lot of time as this is the most time-consuming step. What I initally did was put the oreos in a ziplock bag and used the end of a screwdriver to crush them, but I found if I put the Oreos in the plastic cups and used the end of a utensil to crush them that it was quicker. There are other methods on the internet to crushing oreos if neither of these work for you!

3. Layer the oreos and pudding in an order and ratio that you like. I layered the oreos first, at the bottom, and then the pudding with a ratio of 2:1 oreos and had two layers of each. Lastly, after layering your oreos and pudding, just place your pumpkin candy corn on top and add the green sour patch straws!

 

recipe22Halloween White-Chocolate Bark

I vote this one as the most fun and frustrating to make. The decorating part is very gratifying, however, the waiting for the chocolate to melt part is quite the opposite. If you are trying to challenge yourself and work on your patience, this is perfect as that is exactly what you will need for when you are melting the chocolate. If you also just want a cute treat to sit on your counter at your party, this is perfect, as well. Easy to make look good and simply delicious, this is definitely one of the best Halloween treats out there!

Estimated Time: 30 minutes to make and 20 minutes to chill in freezer.

Ingredients:
White Chocolate Chip Morsels
Orange Food Coloring
Candy Corn
Assorted Chocolate Candies (I used Snickers, M&M’s and Kit-Kats)
Sprinkles

Steps:
1.  Heat the white chocolate. This is a tedious step and you will have to keep a watchful eye. Take a glass bowl and place it on top the pot on the stove. This creates a double barrier for the chocolate to warm and making it less likely to burn. Set the stove on medium heat and put the chocolate in the glass bowl. Stir the chocolate throughout the entire process, like I said, you will need to keep a careful eye on the chocolate as it can burn very easily. It will take 15-20 minutes for the chocolate to fully melt. You can add a dash of milk to help the chocolate to melt, but add the tiniest bit because adding too much will make the chocolate difficult to freeze.

2. Add the orange food coloring to the chocolate while it is still on the stove. It is important that you do not remove the chocolate from the stove before you are prepared to do the future steps, as the chocolate will harden very quickly. Add as much food coloring as you wish, the more food coloring the darker the orange of the bark will be.

3. Once the chocolate is melted and the food coloring is added, prepare what you will lay the chocolate on. I put wax paper down on a plate, but you can also use Pam to spray a plate or baking sheet.

4. Take the glass bowl off of the stove and pour the chocolate onto your platter. Smooth the chocolate out into any shape you would like, but I will warn you that the bark does not cut off clean so your shape may not remain.

5. Lastly, the fun part! Decorate your bark any way you like, just try and do it as quickly as you can! I added chocolate sprinkles, Kit-Kats, Snickers, M&M’s and candy corn to mine! Make sure to press your decor down hard into the chocolate so it will not fall off later, and then place your bark into the freezer for twenty-thirty minutes!

Images by Kayla Marcum

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo