The Big Game = Big Food

Have the essentials on hand:
Remote? Check.
Plenty of napkins? Check.
Add food from these starter recipes and your favorite beverage. Now sit, watch, eat, cheer!! 


This weekend, we get to watch “the big game” – a tradition in our house.  And with it, of course, is what I like to call “big food” – and lots of it.  It’s a chance for me to go off my regiment a bit, and enjoy pretty much everything Jackie, the girls and I put out in the kitchen – old favorites, new flavors and new dishes.  Aside from the traditional chips, dips, snacks, chili, vegies, desserts, and of course, my favorite (any meatball variation on the end of a toothpick or in a bowl!) I like to go looking for some recipes we may have not seen or tried before.  Touchdown!! – I found a great website called with a link titled “108 Amazing Super Bowl Party Foods That Are Guaranteed to Score” (HERE) and a perfect teaser line: If your eats aren’t touchdown-worthy, your team might lose. It was tough, but here are a couple of my favorites – with over 100 ideas, I’m sure you’ll find some to try – (the Reese’s peanut butter ball just made me laugh out loud).  Enjoy!

(come on, just not fair – bacon, cheese and tater tots … should be outlawed!)

  • 1 lb. frozen tater tots, defrosted
  • 12 slices bacon
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp. chives
  • Ranch dressing, for serving


  • Preheat oven to 425º. Place a wire rack inside a large rimmed baking sheet.
  • Place a metal rack inside a large baking pan. On a skewer, pierce one end of a strip of bacon. Pierce and place a tater top on top of the bacon, then pierce the same strip bacon again (to top the tater tot) to form a weave. Repeat with two to three more tater tots, depending on the size of your skewers. Repeat to finish the rest of the bacon and tater tots. Place on wire rack and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until bacon is cooked through.
  • Sprinkle cheese over the cooked skewers and bake until the cheese has melted, about 2-3 minutes more. Garnish with chives and serve with ranch dressing, for dipping.

(these are made with corn … so I figured they must be healthy, right?


  • 3 cup fresh corn
  • 2/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 2 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 jalapeño, finely diced
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime, divided
  • Sour cream, for serving


  • In a medium bowl, combine corn, cornmeal, cheddar, cream cheese, scallions, bacon, eggs, the juice of half a lime, and jalapeño. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Using your hands, form the mixture into small patties.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, fry the patties until they’re golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  • Garnish each with sour cream and a squeeze of lime, if desired.

(OMG – fries and burgers and waffles – just shoot me!! – pickles too!!)


  • 1 bag frozen waffle fries
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 tsp. yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 slices of cheddar, quartered into small squares
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • Bread and butter pickles, for serving
  • Lettuce, for serving


  • Bake waffle fries according to package instructions. Pick out 16 large, round waffles to act as the buns.
  • Meanwhile, make the sliders. In a medium bowl, mix the ground beef, yellow mustard, garlic powder and onion together with a wooden spoon. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir gently to combine. Form the mixture into small patties. You should end up with about 8 patties.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the beef patties and cook for about 3 minutes, until the bottoms develop a nice seared crust. Flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes, then add the cheese slices to the tops of the patties. Cover the pan with a large lid and cook until cheese melts.
  • Assemble the patties. Place 8 waffle fries (or however many patties you have cooked) on a serving platter. Top with cooked sliders. Then garnish with tomato slices, pickles and lettuce. Top with waffle fries and serve immediately.

If you have a family favorite, I’ll share it with the gang – just email me at




Finally – Super Bowl 50.

football sb 50 768 blog

For some of us, it’s hard to imagine the Super Bowl has been around for fifty years.  Seems everyone loves to watch the Super Bowl, so in Kowalski Heat Treating fashion, we thought we’d give you some Super Bowl Trivia (SBT) trivia to use during the game parties, along with some “oh yea, But Did You Know” (BDYK) come back “Cliff Claven Style” nuggets to really impress.  Enjoy!

SBT:  Super Bowl 50 will feature Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers vs. Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos.
BDYK:  Newton became just the third player to win the Heisman Trophy, a College National Championship and be the NFL’s No. 1 overall pick in the same academic year. (other two are Leon Hart ’50-Notre Dame/Detroit Lions and Angelo Bertelli-Notre Dame/Los Angeles Dons ’44).  Peyton Manning, also chosen #1, wears #18 in honor of his older brother Cooper who he idolized in HS, and comes from a quarterback family – Dad Archie, New Orleans Saints, originally drafted for pro baseball, and his #1 NFL pick brother Eli Manning of the NY Giants).

SBT:  Odds: The Panthers are favored by 4.5 points with the over/under set at 45 points.
BDYK:  The largest spread was 18 points when the SF 49ers met the SD Chargers in SB 29.  The 49ers covered it with ease as Steve Young threw six touchdowns, a SB record, and San Francisco blew out San Diego 49-26 – the teams’ 75 total points is still a SB record.

SBT:  It’s estimated Americans will consume 1.5 billion chicken wings. (Yes, billion!) Don’t worry I do my part!
BDYK:  The creation of “Buffalo Wings” (1964) was at the Anchor Bar on Main Street in Buffalo, NY-when Teressa Bellissiomo threw left over wings into hot oil, doused them with Franks Hot Sauce and butter, and served them with blue cheese dip to cool the heat.  Today, Chef Ivano Toscani, a classic collector car and motorcycle buff, keeps the tradition alive, serving 4-5,000 pounds of wings each day.

SBT:  The Super Bowl is second highest snack day to Thanksgiving. Wings are #1, followed by pizza (50 million orders), chips (12 million pounds), pretzels (5 million pounds, and over 120 million pounds of avocado dip, followed by salsa and candy.
BDYK:  The Snickers bar was named by Franks Mars after his favorite horse;  Pringles chips only contain about 42% potatoes, and a typical serving of avocado (100 g) is moderate to rich in vitamins B, K, C, E and potassium – known to help resist drunken Broncos fans.

SBT:  It’s estimated over 325 million gallons of beer will be consumed during the game.
BDYK:  It’s also estimated over 7 million people will not show up for work on Monday.

SBT:  First teams to play: Green Bay Packer v Kansas City Chiefs.
BDYK:  No network footage exists of Super Bowl I. It was taped over, supposedly for a soap opera.  Most recently, the game has been “recreated” by NFL films, pasting together all 135 plays from original film footage recovered in the archives – now called SB 1 – “The Lost Game”

SBT:  A 2016 :30 commercial costs about $5 million, and about $1 million to make.
BDYK:  The first super bowl game was actually simulcast on CBS and NBC at the same time.  Back then, TV commercials only cost about $40,000 each for an audience of about 51 million viewers.  Pepsi owns the Top 10 “Best Ever Commercials” honors (six times) with the #1 best ever in ‘95 when a little boy (Jake Schuttler) gets sucked into a Pepsi bottle. Jake went on to be an actor and star in a ’96 movie called Mother.

SBT:  Coldest Super Bowl – 39 degrees in New Orleans 1972
BDYK:  Classic coldest NFL football game on record – Green Bay vs Dallas ‘67 – Bart Star keeps ball to score winning touchdown (-13 degrees, wind chill -30+).

SBT:  Coin flip history – 24 heads, 25 tails – and one of the most popular SB sports bets.
BDYK:  Craziest coin flip ever – when a dead woman (Katherine Dunton), who had just died of cancer in 2006, won re-election to a school board in rural Alaska after her opponent (Dona Highstone), called heads and lost a coin flip meant to break a tie.

SBT:  First player to say “I’m going to Disney World was Phil Simms in 1987.
BDYK:  Simms wasn’t being candid (he was paid $75,000.)   Jane Eisner, the wife of Disney CEO Michael Eisner, supposedly concocted the idea.  And, the unseen voice posing the question is Mark Champion, currently a popular radio play-by-play voice in Detroit.

SBT:  Pittsburgh, Dallas and now Denver will each have appeared in SB 8 times.
BDYK:  Cleveland fans still hate Pittsburgh, followed by Dallas and Denver – coincidence?  (Yankees too!)