Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: February — A Little Month with A Lot of Personality – High Country Press

By Sherrie Norris

To be such a short month, February can sure pack a punch — and this year is definitely no exception. It’s Heart Month — when we should be made more aware of heart-healthy foods and cooking tips in a column such as this. It’s also a big month to remember a couple of notable presidents, or at least, it used to be. I will always associate cherries with George Washington, February, heart month and love month because cherries and hearts are red, right? So, bring on the yum-yum.

But the big question I have this go ‘round is, who really decided that the Super Bowl should fall on what would typically be considered Valentine’s weekend? Really? Who do you think will be spending the majority of the day in the kitchen on February 13 preparing the game-day spread when otherwise, an intimate dinner out on the town would be almost expected and greatly appreciated? I bet it ain’t happening for many this time. (I really don’t want to go out on a Monday night.)

But, hold on to your apron. I’ve also discovered a few other interesting celebrations for February, which include National Dark Chocolate Day (Feb. 1), National Ice Cream for Breakfast Day (Feb. 5), National Pizza Day (Feb. 9).  And that, folks, is just through the first week.

How in the world do we try to accommodate all these celebrations into four weekly columns? I think I’ll just throw out a hodge-podge of recipes in the next few weeks and you decide when and how to use them. Sound fair? Thanks. That will make it easier on me since I just can’t promise a healthy heart month guide one week, followed by a combination of sappy love treats and football snacks the next. So, happy February, ya’ll. You are on your own.

Appetizer Kabobs: 

An inexpensive and colorful finger food and as versatile as what you have on hand. Have fun with it and put your favorite flavor combinations together on bamboo shish kabob skewers or party picks. Examples:<…….

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By Sherrie Norris

To be such a short month, February can sure pack a punch — and this year is definitely no exception. It’s Heart Month — when we should be made more aware of heart-healthy foods and cooking tips in a column such as this. It’s also a big month to remember a couple of notable presidents, or at least, it used to be. I will always associate cherries with George Washington, February, heart month and love month because cherries and hearts are red, right? So, bring on the yum-yum.

But the big question I have this go ‘round is, who really decided that the Super Bowl should fall on what would typically be considered Valentine’s weekend? Really? Who do you think will be spending the majority of the day in the kitchen on February 13 preparing the game-day spread when otherwise, an intimate dinner out on the town would be almost expected and greatly appreciated? I bet it ain’t happening for many this time. (I really don’t want to go out on a Monday night.)

But, hold on to your apron. I’ve also discovered a few other interesting celebrations for February, which include National Dark Chocolate Day (Feb. 1), National Ice Cream for Breakfast Day (Feb. 5), National Pizza Day (Feb. 9).  And that, folks, is just through the first week.

How in the world do we try to accommodate all these celebrations into four weekly columns? I think I’ll just throw out a hodge-podge of recipes in the next few weeks and you decide when and how to use them. Sound fair? Thanks. That will make it easier on me since I just can’t promise a healthy heart month guide one week, followed by a combination of sappy love treats and football snacks the next. So, happy February, ya’ll. You are on your own.

Appetizer Kabobs: 

An inexpensive and colorful finger food and as versatile as what you have on hand. Have fun with it and put your favorite flavor combinations together on bamboo shish kabob skewers or party picks. Examples:

  • Strawberries, honey dew melon and/or pineapple chunks
  • Cubes of cheddar cheese and salami
  • Small cocktail wieners, (heated) pineapple chunks, small green olives, cheese cubes 

Creamy Chicken & Jalapeno Nachos

2 chicken breasts, baked or grilled, then diced

12 oz. cream cheese at room temperature

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced

3 Tbsp. chopped red onion

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

1 ½ cups grated Monterey jack cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Tortilla chips

Combine cream cheese, jalapeno peppers, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder and grated cheese in a large mixer bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on a low speed until blended. Stir in diced chicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon filling over chips that have been spread out on a cookie sheet. Bake until puffed and bubbling – about 8 minutes. Serve while hot. Top with sour cream, guacamole, etc.

BBQ Beef Cups

1 can refrigerator buttermilk biscuits
1 lb. ground beef
½ cup ketchup
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
½ tsp. chili powder
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese

Separate biscuits into 10 pieces and flatten into 5-inch circles. Press into greased muffin cups (bottom and sides). Brown beef in skillet and drain. In bowl, combine ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar and chili powder. Stir till smooth. Add meat and mix well. Divide (about ¼ cup each) into muffin cups. Sprinkle with cheese and bake at 375° for 18-20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and remove from pan and serve.
 

Easy Cheeseburger Dip

16 oz. Velveeta cheese product, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 can (10 oz.) Rotel diced tomatoes & green chilies, undrained

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

½ lb. ground beef, cooked, drained

4 green onions, sliced

Mix all ingredients except onions in microwaveable bowl.

Microwave on high 5 minutes or until cheese is melted, stirring after 3 min. Stir in onions.

Serve with crackers and assorted cut-up fresh vegetables.

Peanut Butter Footballs (or Hearts)

1 lb. box powdered sugar

3 oz. pkg. cream cheese

12 oz. jar peanut butter

1 tsp. vanilla

½ stick butter

Mix ingredients well with clean hands. Shape into footballs (or hearts )and place on cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Chill for ½ hour.

Coating:

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

½ bar of paraffin

Melt paraffin and chocolate in a double boiler or a large pan filled with boiling water and a smaller one inside of it. (Careful not to let water get into the chocolate.) Coat footballs (or hearts) with chocolate and chill.

 (Football “stitching” may be added by using a small tube of decorator’s icing or gel in color of your team/choice.) 

Crockpot Chicken Chili

2 cans Great Northern or Navy beans

1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice

2 tsp. chicken base or bouillon

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

1 can (4 oz.) chopped mild green chilies

1 cup corn kernels, optional

2 cups cooked chicken

Combine all ingredients in crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours. Serve with corn bread or crackers. Double as needed, using two crockpots.

Source: https://www.hcpress.com/front-page/sherrie-norris-lovin-spoonful-cooking-column-february-a-little-month-with-a-lot-of-personality.html