Recipes deliver flavor for football season

College football season has finally arrived and that means tons of great tailgates and couch-sitting with the gang. Yet it’s easy to get sick of the old game-day grub. Here are some easy-to-prepare and delicious recipes inspired by the web to cover all of your game day needs. This week, the Trojans have an away game at Hawai’i, so unless you’re reading this from the Aloha State, chances are you’ll be watching this game from the comfort of your couch. Here are some recipes to get you game-day ready for a home viewing party:

Cherry Limeade

An ice cold glass of tart cherry limeade is a perfect cold drink to help cut through even the heaviest of game day foods, especially considering the hot weather that lingers through September in L.A. “Bakingdom” has a great cherry limeade recipe that uses enough sweet maraschino cherries to help balance the acidity of limes.


1 cup lime juice

3/4 cup sugar

1 16-ounce jar maraschino cherries and juice

1 2-liter lemon lime soda (I prefer Sierra Mist)

To make a full batch: Chill all of the ingredients thoroughly. In a large pitcher or jar, combine sugar, lime juice and maraschino cherry juice. Swirl or stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the soda. Garnish with the cherries and several thinly-cut lime slices.

To make a single serving: Chill all of the ingredients thoroughly. In a 12-ounce or larger glass, combine sugar, lime juice and maraschino cherry juice. Swirl or stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the soda. Garnish with cherries and lime slices.

Bacon-Wrapped Blue Cheese Stuffed BBQ Chicken Bites

The following recipe by “Lauren’s Latest” is a guilty pleasure and an excellent midnight snack. The bacon-wrapped, blue cheese-stuffed pieces of BBQ chicken are a hit at any party. It’s a pub-food twist on the usual bacon-wrapped “victory dogs” you smell from the cart vendors on the way to the Coliseum.


2 large chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)

5 slices hickory smoked bacon

1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles

3 tablespoons BBQ sauce and a splash of water to thin it out

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice bacon strips into four sections and then cut the chicken into 20 small slices. Scatter the blue cheese on top of the chicken. Place a strip of bacon on top of the blue cheese and stretch it around each piece of chicken. Use a toothpick to secure it. Don’t worry if the bacon doesn’t stretch all the way around.

Mix the BBQ sauce with a little water to thin it out before basting the chicken pieces. Place into preheated oven and bake them for 15 minutes.

Ancho Lentil Tacos

Though these tacos don’t contain any meat or gluten, the “Post Punk Kitchen” tacos taste just like the real deal, and have a kick in every bite. The savory ancho chiles are a great addition to this would-be “normal lentil tacos” recipe, and make it easy for someone who’s not gluten-free to think twice about their usual eating habits. These tacos are a healthier alternative to the usual beef or pork tacos, and are a memorable dish to enjoy.


2 teaspoons olive oil

1 small onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 1/2 cups cooked lentils (from about 1 cup dried)

3 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons hot sauce (preferably Cholula)


Spice mix:

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons ground ancho chile

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon salt

First, combine all of the ingredients for the spice mix and set aside.

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, garlic and a pinch of salt in oil for about three minutes, until lightly browned. Add spices and let them cook for approximately 30 seconds. Lower the heat to simmer and add lentils, a few teaspoons of water, tomato paste and hot sauce. You can use a fork to mash them a bit until they hold together. Add splashes of water as necessary if the mixture gets dry.

Potato Chip Brownies

This sweet and salty treat inspired by “A Beautiful Mess” is great for those who quite literally fall into the category of football “couch potatoes.” Though at first glance one might think combining potato chips with chocolate brownies seems strange, the texture and flavor of this dessert might just score that elusive touchdown among your friends.


1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup butter

10 ounces dark chocolate chips

1 tablespoon cocoa

2 1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 eggs

3 cups crushed potato chips

Mix together flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa. In a different pot, melt together the butter with eight ounces of chocolate and sugar. Once melted together, remove from heat and set aside. Add eggs and extract to the flour mixture and stir.

Pour in the chocolate butter mixture and stir. Pour into a baking pan. Top with potato chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 28-32 minutes. When you remove the potato chip brownies from the oven, drizzle approximately two ounces of melted chocolate on top. Let cool and serve.


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