march madness snacks

march_madness_snacks_2It’s the time of year for brackets, squeaky shoes and Cinderella stories. March madness is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate than with some super easy and tasty snacks! We have put together an all time favorite, suggested try and new find – all sure to satisfy your basketball fans.march_madness_snacks_4Dates Wrapped in Bacon (originally from Tyler Florence)

This recipe pleases the sweet and savory crowd. 3 simple ingredients combine into one flavor bursting bite. The #1 reason to have it in your entertaining arsenal is that it can be served room temperature. We changed the recipe a bit by slicing the bacon in thirds as opposed to in half.

Ingredients:

  • 30 whole almonds
  • 30 pitted dates
  • 1 12oz package of bacon slices cut in thirds

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lay the almonds on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes or until the nuts are lightly toasted. Remove from oven. When cool enough to handle, stuff an almond inside each date. Wrap a piece of bacon around the date and secure with toothpick. Put them on cookie sheets lined with aluminum foil and bake until the bacon is crisp, about 20 to 25 minutes.march_madness_snacks_1Meat-Free Buffalo Wings (recipe from Rachel Ray)

Our friend Lisa recently instagrammed some meatless wings. We were intrigued and of course had to try. These are not only amazingly easy to make but satisfying for those of us who do not indulge in the “wing” world. A must try for all you vegetarians out there! Thanks Lisa!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 450ºF. Place cauliflower florets onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, and dress with some olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Bake for 25 minutes or until crispy and caramelized at edges. Remove from oven, place into a large bowl and toss with the hot sauce. Serve with blue cheese dressing and celery.march_madness_snacks_3Jalapeno Popper Dip (recipe from Juju Good News)

Jalapeno poppers are fabulous but the process can be time consuming and messy. Searching for an alternative we stumbled across this wonderful dip recipe. All the flavor of a popper without the hassle.  We opted to omit the bacon and halve the recipe, still delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 8-oz package of cream cheese, soft
  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
  • 3 jalapenos, chopped and de-seeded (unless you like it fire HOT)
  • 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoons of diced green onion

Topping

  • 1/2 cup of crushed crackers (we used saltines)
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 stick of butter, melted

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir well. Transfer to an oven proof dish. The size of the dish depends on how thick you would like the dip.  We used a 6″ round oven dish making the dip about an inch in thickness. Combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle all over top. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with tortilla, pita or bagel chips.

Cheers to last second game winning shots and out of this world effortless snacks!

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