By Travis Finn, local Triad dad

In the spirit of putting some of my “Super Bowl” recipes to the test, I dug up some of my favorite crown pleasing, “easy” recipes that my kids and I make together. Before you dig into these recipes, let me warn you that I NEVER follow a recipe. I merely use them as guides for the basics of my dishes. I always have a “secret” version that ends up being served and my guest have fun trying to figure out what I did to vary from the original. With that said, you can use these as written and I am sure you will end up with a tasty dish, but if you are like me and like to get out of the box and break the rules, then have fun exploring and modifying these basic recipes. The easiest ones to “make your own” are the Chili and Guacamole. Enjoy!


~ 2 lbs Spicy Ground Italian Sausage
~ 2 small red onion, chopped 2 garlic cloves
~ 2 teaspoons chili powder (add more to taste)
~ 2 teaspoons Cumin
~ 2 teaspoons Salt
~ ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
~ 3 cups water (optional replace 1 ½ cup water with Beer/Any Flavor)
~ 2 (15.5 ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed, drained
~ 2 (15.25 ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained (can use frozen shoe-peg)
2 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1-1/3 cups fresh plicate sauce or chunky salsa

Brown sausage and drain grease. Sauté garlic and onion in olive oil until onions are soft (5 minutes). Mix all ingredients in large stock pot on medium low. Cook on medium temperature for about 30 minutes the simmer on low for 2 hours. Serve plain or top with “Fritos scoops”, Shredded cheese blend, sour cream, jalapenos or any other favorite topping

Extra Tip that I call – “Let the secret out” Corn Bread for the Chili
~ 1 box Jiffy corn bread mix
~ 1 box jiffy yellow cake mix
~ Prepare both mixes according to the instructions on the box with the exception of replacing the “Milk” with creamed corn.
~ Mix both batters together and cook according to the instructions on the box. I like to Add Jalapenos to the top of mine. This is a great accompaniment to the chili above.

Bacon wrapped Crabmeat

~ 1 Lb bacon (cut in half- you choose peppered, maple or whatever your liking)
~ ¼ cup Duck Sauce
~ 1 (6 ounce) can Crabmeat, drained and flaked

~ Preheat oven broiler
~ Lay the bacon out on large baking sheet. Place small amount of crab mean at one end of the bacon and roll it up, securing it with a toothpick.
~ Broil approximately 10 minutes until bacon is evenly browned
~ Serve with warm Duck Sauce as a dip

Pretty Easy Guacamole

The Ingredients:
~ 3 ripe avocados
~ 1 Tbsp chipotle peppers, finely diced
~ 1/2 Spanish onion, finely diced
~ 1/3 cup of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
~ Juice of 1/2 a lemon
~ Juice of 1 lime
~ 1 tsp ground cumin
~ 1/2 tsp ground coriander
~ 1/4 tsp chili powder
~ Cayenne pepper (optional)
~ 1/4 tsp sea salt

~ Remove flesh of avocado and add to a bowl.
~ Mash coarsely with a fork (do not over smash).
~Mix in remaining ingredients.
~ Garnish with cayenne and sea salt to taste.
~ Serve with Lime Flavored chips

Trash Bars

~ 1 ½ Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
~ ¼ cup cocoa
~ ¼ cup sugar
~ ¼ cup softened Butter (no substitute)
~ 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
~ 12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
~ 1 cup Reese peanut butter cups Or (actually can be AND if you choose) 1 cup butterscotch chips
~ 3 ½ ounces flaked coconut
~ 1 cup chopped nuts (I like walnuts or pecans)

~ Preheat oven 350
~ Combine Crumbs, cocoa, sugar and Butter
~ Press “crust” into the bottom of a 13X9 baking dish; pour milk evenly over crust
~ Top evenly with other ingredients in the order listed; press down firmly
~ Bake 25-30 minutes or until lightly brown
~ Cool thoroughly before cutting into bars and serving

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