buffalo cauliflower bites

buffalo bites, final

cauliflower pre-buffaloEvery Super Bowl party has that one annoying person who shows up with something healthy and this year, I was that girl. Or at least that’s what I was worried about, until everyone dove into the buffalo cauliflower bites. “These are a vegetarian’s dream,” Haley, my friend Brooke’s niece, said. Relief! She was ecstatic because like me, she doesn’t eat meat, but the smell and allure of buffalo wings —  especially piled high on a platter on Super Bowl Sunday — can really mess with your senses.

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mustard fluke fingers

fingers, finalThat Sports Illustrated cover is pretty comical now, considering what went on Monday night at FedEx Field. My Eagles are back, in a big way — at least for now.

If you know me, you know I love me some football; it’s one of the only beautiful things about summer being over. There’s also something really calming about getting back into the routine: cooking dinner for B (then blogging about it!), and watching the game together on the couch. What a game it was, too. My boys really kicked off the season in style the other night. Before I knew what kind of romping it would be — okay, fine 33-27 isn’t as much a romping as it felt like — I was planning a winning menu of my own.

I wanted a healthier version of a tailgate: something hearty and fried, but that wouldn’t leave me feeling sacked on the couch. Enter Gwyneth Paltrow’s gluten-free old bay fish fingers for kids (from her It’s All Good cookbook, which I’ve cooked from before). Inspired by those, I made these spicy mustard fluke fingers. Use as much sriracha as you like in the mustard mixture (I used a ton) and then whip up a little dipping sauce with it too (sriracha + vegenaise = heaven). It only takes about 15 minutes — prep and cook time, combined.

They taste just like fried chicken fingers you’d get at the stadium, but without any of the guilt. I’d say less noise too, but we get pretty into the games around here. Serve ‘em with a side of broccoli like I did, or any vegetable or salad really — and even try ‘em out on your kids too. I bet if you tell them it’s chicken, they’d never know the difference. It’s like running your very own play-action in the kitchen.

B knew it was fluke, and he loved it anyway. He asked if I could please add these to the regular TV Dinner repertoire. TOUCHDOWN.

fingers, closeup

empty baking sheet

fingers, out of oven

fingers, pre-bake

RECIPE mustard fluke fingers

O.G.: original guac (dinner party, part 2)

guac ingredients, bowlI love guacamole — any time of day, with any kind of meal, or as a meal in itself — I just love it with all my heart. I’ve made it smoky (by roasting the peppers or adding a smoky hot sauce), I’ve made it fruity (by adding chopped mango or pineapple), but for this dinner party I decided to keep it O.G.: original guac.

There were plenty of other exciting flavors in the meal — starting with the chile-lime cashews — and followed by the delicious mango, cucumber, jicama salad, which I’m going to post tomorrow. Stay tuned for that recipe — and others! — there are still 3 more parts to this Mexican fiesta dinner party extravaganza.

PS: another reason to make your own guac at home — Grub Street says you’re shelling out big $$$ for it at your fave Mexican joint.

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chile-lime cashews

cashews MAIN

Last night I threw a dinner party — a Mexican fiesta, if you will — and I kicked it off with a new snack recipe that I found in Bon Appetit. Don’t worry, there was guacamole too — no Mexican feast is complete without it — but right now we’re focused on these chile-lime cashews. They’re super simple to make and delicious, too. Just don’t eat the chiles — they’re H-O-T.

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