Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Crowd-Pleasing Appetizers and Party Snacks

If you're gearing up for a NCAA tournament party this weekend for the Sweet Sixteen games, here's a list of crowd-pleasing appetizers and snacks ranging from flavorful without fire all the way to insanely hot and spicy:

*Buffalo-style chicken wings: Use Burning Asphalt Buffalo Wing Sauce as the sauce in your hot wings recipe. Don't already have a recipe for buffalo chicken wings? Try this: 1 cup of Burning Asphalt Buffalo Wing Sauce to every 5 pounds of chicken wings. First cook the wings: For baked wings, spread in a single layer on a pan and bake at 450 degrees for at least 30 minutes or until done. To deep-fry, cook in fryer at 375 degrees until crispy (10 to 12 minutes), then set on paper towels to drain & cool. Then place the cooked wings in a large bowl with a cover (or an extra large zip-top plastic bag), pour the sauce in, cover (or seal the bag) and shake well to coat. Serve with blue cheese dressing on the side, and raw carrots and celery sticks.

*The folks who make Bone Suckin' Sauce created this simple recipe for Bone Suckin' Meatballs: Place 5 lbs of precooked plain cocktail meatballs in a crockpot and pour in one 16 oz jar of your favorite variety of Bone Suckin' Sauce and one 12 oz jar of Bone Suckin' Mustard. Stir to mix and coat the meatballs. Cook on high for 1 hour, then set on low and cook for another 3 to 4 hours (add an extra 30 minutes on low if using frozen meatballs). Serve on hoagie rolls. Serves 10.

*Meat Lovers' Kabobs: Marinate cubes of beef, pork, venison, and/or chicken in Greg's Happy Sauce for 24 hours in the refrigerator. Skewer the cubes and grill or broil the skewers until done. Baste with fresh Happy Sauce if desired - don't baste with the used marinade! And yes, you can add veggies (onions, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers all work) to the kabobs, and even pineapple chunks if you wish.

*Big Daddy's Burgers: Add a splash or two of Big Daddy's Marinade to raw ground beef (or raw ground chicken or turkey) and mix in well before shaping the meat into patties for cooking.

*Pig Pen's Popcorn: Instead of plain salt, sprinkle on some Pig Pen's Original Seasoning on popped popcorn for a tasty change of pace!

*Add some tropical flair for dipping veggies, chips and pretzels by serving with a bowl of Wahoo Willie's Carribean Ranch Dressing as a dip

*For seafood lovers, serve nacho chips with a bowl of Blue Crab salsa made with real Maryland blue crab. Choose from spicy Original Blue Crab Salsa, fiery and smoky Chipotle Smoked Corn Blue Crab Salsa, and horseradish-hot Zesty Blue Crab Salsa.

*Serving peel & eat shrimp? Don't forget the Thomas Fish Camp Cocktail Sauce and Thomas Fish Camp Tartar Sauce for homemade flavor without all the work!

*For peanut lovers who like fiery foods, make sure you have a can of seriously hot Chipotle Peanuts, and/or pleasantly spicy-sweet Hot Honeys Peanuts.

*Need some hot sauce but not sure how hot to get it? Then get a few different bottles of Dave's Gourmet Hot Sauce, ranging from mild and tasty Dave's Ginger Peach Hot Sauce to the original "hottest sauce in the universe", Dave's Insanity Sauce -- and even hotter if you dare! Dave's has a heat level and flavor combination for every personal preference.

*Want to offer some "grown up" candy? Then get some Ass Kickin' Jelly Beans (they look like ordinary jelly beans but are spiked with habanero!) for fun and laughs, or Simply Wicked Fruit Ginger Bears for zippy ginger and real fruit flavor.

Zestfully yours,

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