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I live in New England – land of cold days, freezing nights, and keeping warm with pizza and football. When I lived in San Francisco, I didn’t have the luxury of knowing what keeps New Englanders warm over winter – team spirit and great food.
I remember one of my first nights visiting here – in New Hampshire. It was January, and very cold up in the White Mountains. My friend and I were looking for a hotel after many hours in the car from New Jersey, and we found a restaurant called “The Muddy Moose.” Once we stepped out of our car in the parking lot, we heard a sound like thunder. It was booming and festive and very, very loud. We walked into the restaurant and found the source of the loudness of the White Mountains – a football game on at the bar! The entire restaurant was gathered together, warm and red-faced and happy, counting down the final seconds as their favorite team from Boston scored a winning touchdown. If I thought it was loud before that.. it got louder.
The game was over, the team had won, and people I had never met were clasping my hands and patting my shoulders as we waited for a table. The food was delicious, the atmosphere was uproarious and happy, and the food was delicious.
Years later, I would move to New England and become a part of what keeps us all warm and together – football games and party recipes. I’m more of a party recipe kind of girl, but I’ve found a lot of fun and bonding over games. Who knew?
Yesterday, I knew I had to make something for the football games Cassidy would have on during the afternoon. It was our last day of winter vacation and I had a bit of the Sunday Night Blues. Since we’ll be in Florida for the Big Game in February, and we’re not yet sure if our Boston team will be in the game, we decided to celebrate the game yesterday with party food.
I went to Walmart over the weekend and picked up a Red Baron Classic Crust 4-Cheese pizza, an Edwards HERSHEY’S* Chocolate Crème Pie, and the fixings for Cheesy Bacon Hot Dipping Sauce/Dip.
I made the dipping sauce to go with chips and pretzel bites, but in truth, you can dip your pizza slices in there too! I love the idea of elevating flavors in something you already love – pizza. And then making it even cheesier is a huge hit.
Cassidy has the game on during Sunday afternoons because it reminds him of Sunday afternoons with his dad. It also reminds me of holidays and other warm gatherings we had together as a family when I was a kid. Good food was always present.
Red Baron pizza, Edwards pie, and my dipping sauce will make a big game party, or any game day, really shine. Red Baron pizzas are perfect for hosting, because they’re an easy and convenient option, and it saves time in the kitchen without sacrificing great taste. There is “Crust Perfection in Every Bite!” It makes everyone happy to have this tasty party option.
8 ounces (1 package) cream cheese, cut into cubes
8 ounces (2 cups) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 ounces heavy cream or half & half
1 teaspoon Worcestershire or Tabasco sauce
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
6 thick cut bacon strips, cooked and then diced
What you’ll do:
1. Cook the bacon and set aside on paper towels.
2. Save a few tablespoons of bacon grease in medium or large pan and heat over medium.
3. Add the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, cream, hot sauce, and mustard.
4. Stir occasionally until melted, or about 3-4 minutes.
5. Stir in bacon and reserve some for garnish on top.
6. Serve with chips, pretzel bites, vegetables or pizza!
Personally I like to serve everything all together, so I serve my Edwards pie with the pizza and the hot dipping sauce. You can serve it after too. It’s the perfect dessert to go with a pizza party meal!