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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Super Bowl Sunday Is Just Hours Away, App State Alum Eric Church Singing National Anthem

By Sherrie Norris

Like most other events in the last year, Super Bowl Sunday will appear much differently than it has in the past. Attendance at the main event will be at a historical low, while parties in pubs, clubs and homes will be adjusted to fit into the “guidelines.” Well, maybe.

Even some of the big-time advertisers with the commercials-to-remember are opting out of the game this year. I just read that Budweiser, Pepsi, Coca-Cola and Ford have decided not to air ads for various reasons. I guess we will just have to wait and see.

One thing that will attract attention here in the High Country – and will be worth tuning in to, for the beginning, anyway, will be the appearance of Country Music star, Eric Church.

As part of a duet with Grammy-nominated artists Jazmine Sullivan, Church will sing the national anthem prior to kick-off in this year’s matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

An App State alumnus, Church hails from nearby Granite Falls, and has made his way up the charts as a seven-time ACM Award winner, four-time CMA Award winner and 10-time Grammy nominee. Church’s hit singles include “Some of It,” “Give Me Back My Hometown,” “Springsteen,” and “Drink in My Hand.”

So, there’s that for a little High Country connection. We’ll claim him, right?

In the meantime, if you’re hosting your own little party inside your home, hopefully a few of our ideas will help make it another night to remember.


Pimento Cheese Ball

(A favorite, shared several years ago by Adele Forbes, a wonderful cook and friend to many of us)

½ cup mayonnaise

A couple good shakes of Tabasco

2 oz. pimientos, undrained

3 cups finely shredded cheddar cheese

3 oz. cream cheese at room temperature

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Pecans or walnuts

Mix mayonnaise and Tabasco in food processor or blender, until smooth. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in pimiento, cheddar and cream cheese.

Form mixture into one large or two smaller balls and then roll in the chopped nuts to cover. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight to allow flavors to meld together. Serve with your favorite crackers.


Grilled Chicken Sliders

1 lemon, juiced

1 lime, juiced

1 Tbs. cider vinegar

Salt and black pepper to taste

3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut in half

6 pineapple rings

2 Tbs. teriyaki sauce

6 Hawaiian bread rolls, split and toasted

6 lettuce leaves, rinsed and dried

6 red onion slices

In large glass bowl, whisk together lemon and lime juice, cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Add chicken and toss to evenly coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

When ready to prepare, remove chicken from bowl, shake off excess marinade and place on lightly greased and preheated outdoor grill (medium-high heat). Grill chicken for 5 to 7 minutes each side, or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork. Grill pineapple rings for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until heated through and grill marks appear.

Spread 1 tsp. teriyaki sauce on bottom half of toasted roll; add a lettuce leaf, chicken, pineapple ring and an onion slice and top of roll. Repeat as needed.

*Recipe makes 6 rolls.


Baked Mozzarella Sticks

1 pkg. reduced-fat Mozzarella string cheese

1 egg

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

8 Tbsp. Panko bread crumbs

½ cup marinara sauce prepared, warmed

Position rack in upper third of oven and preheat it to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Remove cheese from packaging and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk egg until foamy. In a small non-stick skillet, mix Italian seasoning with bread crumbs and place over medium-heat. Cook and stir bread crumbs until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Dip one piece of string cheese in egg until coated and then into toasted bread crumbs, coating completely. Re-dip string cheese in egg and again in bread crumbs, if desired. Place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining string cheese; place on baking sheet 1½ inches apart. Spray string cheese lightly with cooking spray.

Bake 5 to 6 minutes or until heated through.

Note: Cheese may melt slightly and loose shape. Simply press it back into place. Serve with warmed marinara sauce for dipping.


Appetizer Kabobs:

An inexpensive and colorful finger food and as versatile as what you have on hand. Have fun with it and put your favorite flavor combinations together on bamboo shish kabob skewers or toothpicks. Examples:

  • Strawberries, honey dew melon and/or pineapple chunks
  • Cubes of cheddar cheese and salami
  • Small cocktail wieners, (heated) pineapple chunks, small green olives, cheese cubes


Cheese Bites

½ cup warm butter or margarine

1 cup plain flour

2 cups grated medium or sharp flavor cheddar cheese

¼ tsp. ground Cayenne pepper

1 tsp. paprika/red pepper

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Mix butter, pepper and flour. Add cheese and mix well. Shape into small bite-size balls. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven (400˚F) for about 10 minutes.


Quick Ritz Cookies

Ritz crackers

Peanut Butter

Candy coating, color of favorite team

Make a sandwich out of the crackers and peanut butter. Melt candy coating and dip crackers. You will be pleasantly surprised at the taste. Make plenty – they disappear quickly.


Easy Oreo Dessert

1 16 oz. Cool Whip

1 box ice cream sandwiches

1 pack of Oreo cookies

Nuts, cherries, etc. for garnish

Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with a layer of Cool Whip. Cover with a layer of ice cream sandwiches. Top with remainder of the Cool Whip. Sprinkle on crushed Oreos. Garnish with drained maraschino cherries and chopped nuts, if desired. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.