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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: February Fun and Food

I am having a hard time believing that we are now in the month of February. Wasn’t it just last week that I was sharing recipes for Christmas, followed closely by tips to be healthier in the new year?

And now, while February is Heart Month —and we will definitely explore that soon — there are two really big celebrations coming up that require a hometown food columnist to dig deep for some great ideas. I believe that  Super Bowl happens on the 12th this year, perhaps overshadowing  Valentine’s Day arriving two days later. And, many hosts and hostesses will be caught smack-dab in the middle trying to plan parties and celebrations for the crowd and quiet intimate dinners for two. Maybe. 

So, for the next couple of weeks, we will make an effort to feature favorite game-day snacks for the big one, with consideration given to something a bit more elegant as we get closer to Valentine’s Day.

(And what about that mother who has two sons playing on opposite teams this year? Bless her heart. Can’t imagine.)

Cordon Bleu Minis With a Twist

2 chicken breasts, cooked and sliced very thin

8 slices deli-style ham

8 slices Swiss cheese

1 can crescent roll dough

2 Tbsp. honey

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray, or cover with parchment paper. Remove crescent roll dough from can and lay out in a long rectangle. Pinch seams together tightly. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Layer cheese, ham and chicken. Begin rolling the dough up like a cinnamon roll; cut into 8 equal slices. Place each roll baking sheet. Bake 18-20 minutes until they start to lightly brown. 

Mix together the honey and mustard to use as a dipping sauce.

Slow-Cooked BBQ Ribs

1 cup water

1 cup ketchup

1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup vinegar

2 Tbsp. prepared mustard

1 Tbsp. salt

2 lbs. beef back (short) ribs

Mix water, ketchup, tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard and salt in a slow cooker, stirring to dissolve brown sugar and salt. 

Place ribs into the sauce and stir to coat. Set cooker on low; cover and cook for 8 hours.

BBQ Beef Muffins

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″ 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. 

French Dip Sliders 

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter

1 medium onion, chopped or thinly sliced

¼  tsp. salt

¼  tsp. black pepper

12 sweet mini rolls

10 slices provolone cheese

14 oz. sliced roast beef

½  cup unsalted butter

1½  Tbsp. dried onion soup mix

1 pkt. au jus gravy mix

3 cups water

Fresh chopped parsley for garnish, optional

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the 3 Tbsp. butter. Add onion  and cook, until onions are translucent. Stir in salt and pepper. 

In the meantime, preheat oven to 350°F. Remove rolls from the package, and with large serrated knife, carefully cut across the rolls, keeping tops and bottoms intact. Place bottom half into a large baking dish; layer with half the cheese, all the roast beef, onions and then remaining cheese.  Add top layer of rolls.

In a small bowl, mix together the ½ cup unsalted butter and onion soup mix, brushing top of the rolls or pour carefully and spread to cover. Wrap in foil. Bake for about 25 minutes. Remove foil and heat 5 more minutes to lightly brown the rolls. 

Peanut Butter Footballs

1 lb. box powdered sugar

3 oz. pkg. cream cheese

12 oz. jar peanut butter

1 tsp. vanilla

½ stick butter

Decorator’s icing of choice

Mix first five ingredients well with clean hands. Shape into minature “footballs” and place on cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Chill for ½ hour.


12 oz. semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips

½ bar of paraffin

Melt paraffin and chocolate in a double boiler. (Or carefully melt in microwave, be sure  not to scorch it.) Coat footballs with chocolate; decorate as desired and chill.

Note: Football “stitching” may be added by using a small tube of decorator’s icing or gel in colors of choice to reflect your team.