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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Super Bowl Sunday Overshadows Valentine’s Day, Once Again

By Sherrie Norris

I can almost bet you that a woman in love did not plan the date for this year’s Super Bowl Sunday, again — on the weekend, just two days prior to Valentine’s Day? Or maybe, it was a woman on the planning committee who loves football and knows that she will be able to spend a special Sunday night with her favorite person, killing two birds with one stone. (Well, that really sounds archaic and romantic all at the same time. I even feel guilty for typing those words all in one sentence, so don’t be too critical of me, please.)

 Regardless, this coming weekend is one of the biggest of the year, as it is every year, for football fans — and yes, it’s also likely a huge win for the jewelry, candy and floral industry. So, let’s pull it together for a loving, romantic Super Bowl Sunday. 

It’s a given that most homes, party venues and pubs with the big screens will have guests filling up on nachos, wings and chili. But, there’s so much more that we can add to the buffet tables. Hope we can help keep everyone happy, despite the final score. 

Pizza Rolls 

Frozen bread dough 


Mozzarella cheese

Parmesan cheese

Cooking oil of choice

Italian seasoning

¼ cup tomato sauce 

Garlic salt, optional

Butter, melted

Loosely cover frozen bread dough with plastic wrap. Allow dough to thaw for a few hours at room temperature, until slightly puffed up.

Roll thawed dough out to a large square. Brush dough lightly with cooking oil; cover with pepperoni; sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese, shredded Parmesan cheese, and then lightly with Italian seasoning. Add garlic salt if desired. 

Roll up dough, starting at one edge of the square. Place roll on baking sheet; brush top with melted butter.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown with a light crust.

Cool completely before slicing and serving.

Easy Potato Skins

Baking Potatoes

Cheddar cheese, shredded

Bacon Bits

Sour Cream

Bake several potatoes in oven or microwave. Let cool about 30 minutes. Slice in half lengthwise. Hull out potatoes with a spoon or a scraper, leaving about ½-inch or less of potato skin.  Drop skin in deep fat fryer and fry until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Place on broiler rack in oven, topped with shredded cheese and bacon bits. Broil until cheese melts. Remove and top with more bacon bits and sour cream, or anything that suits your fancy.  You can skip the deep fat frying and go directly to broiler, though skill will not be as crisp. 

Sausage Squares

1 lb. sausage

1 large onion, chopped

2 cups Bisquick

2 eggs

3 Tbsp. poppy seeds

1 ½ cup sour cream

¾ tsp. salt 

¾ cup milk


Heat oven to 350. Grease oblong glass baking dish. Cook onion and sausage together until brown; drain if needed. Mix Bisquick, milk and 1 egg; spread in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with poppy seeds. Spread sausage mixture over dough. Beat one egg with sour cream until well mixed. Spread over sausage mixture and sprinkle with paprika. Bake for 25-30 minutes. This freezes well. If you want to make it up ahead of time, wrap in foil and reheat before serving.

Easy Nachos 

Round tortilla chips

Refried Beans


Shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Sliced ripe olives

Place chips on ungreased cookie sheet. Spread teaspoon of beans on each chip. Top with ½ tsp. salsa, 1 tsp. cheese and 1 olive slice. Broil until cheese is melted. Serve immediately. May also be done quickly in microwave, just until cheese begins to melt.

Spinach Balls

1 pkg. Stove Top Stuffing (plain or seasoned) 

1 2/3 cups hot water

½ stick butter or margarine

2 pkg. (10 oz. each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained and patted dry

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms

1 small onion, finely chopped

4 eggs

Preheat oven to 400°. Mix stuffing mix, hot water and butter in large bowl until well blended. Add remaining ingredients; mix lightly. Shape into 60 one-inch balls. Place on lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake 15 to 20 min. or until lightly browned.

To get ahead of the game: Prepare and bake spinach balls as directed; cool completely. Place in freezer-weight re-sealable plastic bags. Thaw in refrigerator on game day. Place on baking sheets and bake at 400°F for 10 to 15 min. or until heated through.

Easy Praline Cookies

½ cup butter

1 ½ cups brown sugar

1 egg

1 ½  cups flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup chopped pecans  

Cream butter, sugar and egg. Add flour and mix until well blended. Add vanilla. Stir in chopped pecans. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 325° approximately 10 minutes or until lightly browned.  

Half-Time Treats

1 cup quick cooking oats

1 cup packed brown sugar 

1 cup flour 

¾  cup butter or margarine, melted 

½  teaspoon  baking soda 

¼  teaspoon  salt

1 package (14 oz.) caramels 

1/3 cup milk 

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

2 cups chopped walnuts 

Combine first 6 ingredients; Sprinkle 1 cup into a greased 9×13- inch baking pan (do not press). 
Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. In the top of a double boiler over boiling water, cook and stir caramels and milk until caramels are melted. Pour over crust. Top with chocolate chips and nuts. Sprinkle with remaining oat mixture. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Refrigerate to set the caramel.  

Strawberry Pudding Cake

Angel Food Cake

1 large box vanilla instant pudding

Milk for pudding

3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced

1 8-oz. container Cool Whip 

Tear cake into little pieces and cover bottom of baking dish. Mix pudding according to directions on box; pour over cake. Spread fresh strawberries over pudding mixture. Top with Cool Whip. Refrigerate.

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

2 cups Graham Cracker crumbs

1¼  cups powdered sugar

3/4 cup  plus 2 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter divided

1 cup white chocolate chips

Line a 9×13-inch pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.

Place melted butter, Graham Cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and 3/4 cup peanut butter in a large bowl. Mix by hand until combined. Press firmly into prepared pan.

Place white chocolate chips and remaining peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 30 second increments, stirring between each, until melted and smooth. Pour over bars and spread with a spatula to evenly coat.

Chill for at least 1 hour to set, slice into bars. Stored in an airtight container in refrigerator.

Note: It’s best to slice them at room temperature so your chocolate doesn’t shatter.