If you live in the Chicago area, and there is someplace you have wanted to go but it’s always too crowded, go there today at 2:00 and you will have no problem. That’s because everyone else will be watching the Bears play the Packers. This game is being called “Epic. All-Time. Special. Historic. Can’t miss. Once-in-a-lifetime.” The mayors of Chicago and Green Bay made bets and the loser has to send the winner a truckload of food. If the Bears lose, Mayor Daley has to send Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt a giant 15-pound sandwich consisting of 5 pounds of rye bread and 10 pounds of corned beef, along with pierogi, barbecued turkey legs, stuffed pretzels, and deep dish pizza, to name a few. And if the Packers lose, Schmitt will send bear steaks, beer, a 3-pound chocolate football, and lots of cheese. If you decide to stay home and watch the game, here’s a couple of easy munchies to make and enjoy.
Potted Cheddar and Beer Spread
6 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 1-1/2 pounds)
1 can (12 ounces) beer
6 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. In a large bowl, combine cheese and beer. Let stand for 30 minutes.
2. In a food processor, blend cheese-beer mixture, butter, and remaining ingredients for 3-5 minutes or until smooth.
3. Pack cheese into crocks or decorative airtight containers and refrigerate until ready to use. To serve, let cheese stand a room temperature until soft enough to spread. Serve with crackers. Makes about 5 cups. (If you have leftovers, the spread will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month, or in the freezer up to 3 months, which means you could have it again for the Super Bowl!)
Easy Taco Munch
1/2 cup butter
1 Tablespoon taco seasoning mix
2 cups regular Fritos
2 cups pretzel sticks
2 cups corn chex
1 cup rice chex
1 cup peanuts
1. Put butter in a glass measuring cup and microwave on high for 1 minute, or until melted. Remove from microwave and stir in the taco seasoning mix; set aside.
2. Combine the corn chips, pretzels, cereals, and peanuts in a large microwave-safe baking dish. Drizzle with the butter mixture and toss to combine.
3. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Open door and stir mixture with a fork. Microwave on high another
1-1/2 to 2 minutes, until heated through.
4. Remove from microwave with potholders and let cool before serving. Makes about 8 cups.