Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fall Football with Friends

You know what goes well with football?  Friends and food.  Scott and I hosted a little party for the ND-Purdue and Nebraska-Wisconsin games last night.  It was a spectacular fall day--a bit chilly but the sun was out.

One of my former roommates (from college and our Melrose Street days) and her husband just moved into a gorgeous place practically around the corner from us (welcome back to the neighborhood!).  After grabbing breakfast with them and taking a peek at their new home, Scott and I hit the grocery store to stock up for the party.  We loaded down our cart with a couple of pumpkins and a squash for our fall decor, as well as some Oktoberfest and autumn-flavored brews (to add to our collection of beer and wine left over from my family trip to ND for the MSU game).

Earlier in the week, I had consulted my mom about what to make and decided on a couple old favorites plus some new recipes.  Everyone brought meat for the grill, and we served up side dishes, booze, and desserts.  After Notre Dame beat Purdue, a bunch of us watched "Bridesmaids" until 1 am.  The sign of a successful party: late night, not many leftovers, lots of empty bottles and cans and plates.  The ND victory didn't hurt either.



Menu
7 Layer Mexican Dip
Tortilla Roll-ups
Salad with dried cranberries, chopped pecans, goat cheese
Crockpot Mac & Cheese
Oatmeal Carmelitas
Pumpkin Bars

The 7 Layer Mexican Dip and Tortilla Roll-ups are favorites I've tried in the past, and the salad simply involved throwing everything into a bowl.


I previously served up Crockpot Mac & Cheese in my pre-blogging days, so I was excited to try it again--especially since most of us are addicted to the cheesy dish in general.  And the desserts were just right for fall (oats, brown sugar, caramel, pumpkin, cinnamon...) and--according to our party guests--tasted delicious.

Crockpot Mac & Cheese (Paula Deen's version minus the eggs)

Ingredients:
2 cups uncooked macaroni (I just poured in the whole 1 lb. box)
4 tbsp. butter
2 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
3 eggs (I omitted the eggs)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (10 3/4 oz) can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup whole milk (the small containers of whole milk were out, so I used 2%)
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1) Boil the macaroni for six minutes.  Drain.
2) In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese.  Stir until the cheese melts.
3) In slow cooker, pour in cheese mixture and add eggs (I left these out), sour cream, soup, salt, milk, dry mustard, and pepper.  Stir until combined.  Add drained macaroni and stir again.

4) Cook on low 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Oatmeal Carmelitas (from my mom--this is one of those recipes that keeps getting passed along from friend to friend)

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups butter, melted (don't substitute anything for butter)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 cups flour
2 cups oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 oz. chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups butterscotch-caramel topping (found with the ice cream toppings--the recipe recommends Mrs. Richardson's; I used Hersey's version)

 
1) Mix melted butter with brown sugar, flour, oats, baking soda, and salt.
2) Press 3/4 of the mixture into 13x9 inch baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
3) Sprinkle chocolate chips and pour caramel topping over crust.  Add reserved crumbled mix over the top.
4) Bake 15-20 minutes.  (It may not seem done after that time, but after it sits for awhile, it will firm up.)  Cut into bars for serving.


Pumpkin Bars (from Taste of Home.com)

Ingredients:
1 package (18-1/4 oz) yellow cake mix (my box only included about 15 oz)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg

Filling:
1 can (30 oz) pumpkin pie filling (or two 15 oz. cans)
1 can (5 oz) evaporated milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Topping:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1) In a large bowl, combine cake mix, butter and egg until crumbly.  Set aside 2/3 cup for topping.  Press the remaining crumb mixture into a greased 13x9 inch baking pan.

2) For filling, in a large bowl, combine the pumpkin pie filling, milk and eggs; pour over crust.

3) For topping, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon and reserved crumb mixture; sprinkle over pumpkin layer.
4) Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until top is golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.  Yields 12-15 servings.

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