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Smokin' Almond Blue Cheese Dip
Mexi-Meatball Kabobs

(Family Features) - When March Madness tips off, I know it's time for some fun foods that will be slam-dunk favorites at game-watching parties.

Chips and other munchies are always good, but I thought I'd spice things up a bit with these two recipes - they're easy to hold and eat while cheering on our favorite underdogs.

Tex-Mex seasonings liven up these mini meatballs, which are great for dipping in salsa and sour cream. Putting them on skewers makes them fun for guests of all ages.

Smoked almonds team up with creamy Carnation to make a great blue cheese dip for wings, veggies or crackers. Be sure to have plenty of napkins!

For more ways to enjoy the hoopla of March Madness, including recipes, nutritional information and tips, visit www.TheCookingMilk.com.

Jenny Harper is Consumer Test Kitchen Project Manager for the Nestlé Test Kitchens and VeryBestBaking.com.

Smokin' Almond Blue Cheese Dip

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2/3 cup (5 fl.-oz. can) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Milk
  • 1/2 cup smoked almonds, chopped
  • 4 ounces blue or Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

    1. COMBINE sour cream, mayonnaise, evaporated milk, almonds, cheese, vinegar and black pepper in medium bowl; cover. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.
    2. SERVE with assorted cut up vegetables or chicken wings.

Preparation Time
5 minutes

Refrigeration Time
2 hours

Makes 20 servings (2 tablespoons each)

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Note: To use as a dressing, increase evaporated milk to 1 cup.

Mexi-Meatball Kabobs

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 can (12 fluid ounces) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 packets (1.25 ounces each) taco seasoning mix
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 large bell peppers (any color), cut into 60, 1-inch pieces
  • 60 4-inch wooden skewers
  • Salsa and sour cream (optional)

    1. PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Foil-line 3 baking sheets and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
    2. COMBINE ground beef, oats, evaporated milk, eggs, ketchup, taco seasoning and black pepper in large bowl until just mixed. Form mixture into 120, 1-inch meatballs. Place on prepared baking sheets.
    3. BAKE for 15 to 20 minutes or until no longer pink in center. Drain on paper towels, if needed.
    4. THREAD two meatballs and one piece of pepper on each skewer. Place on large serving platter. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Preparation Time
35 minutes

Cook Time
15 minutes

Makes 30 servings, 2 skewers each

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Tips: Meatballs can be made and baked ahead of time, refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen up to 3 months and heated prior to serving.

SOURCE: Nestlé

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