Game Day Great Finds

by Zehorit HeilicherTastemaker in Residence

The biggest football game of the year is right around the corner and plans for the game day parties are on! I mentioned in a previous post that I did not grow up watching football, but grew to be a fan once I moved to the US (see: Confessions of a Football Newbie, Jan. 2014). Truthfully, what I really like about the big day is getting together with friends and family to enjoy each other, football and FOOD!

So, where to turn for inspiration? Let the fingers do the walking… The internet is packed with food bloggers sharing their passion for the culinary arts and their creativity. From Pinterest™ to there are plenty of aggregators who will allow you to search by name or ingredient and save and file your favorites. Here are a few I am planning on making…
Happy game day! 


Sweet Heat Molasses Meatballs

Jalapeno Popper Cheesy Garlic Bread

Soft Pretzel Dog -Recipe below


2¼ tsp active dry yeast
12 oz warmed beer (110°-120°F)
2 Tbsp honey
3¼ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
½ cup baking soda
1 large egg
coarse salt (or pretzel salt)
8 hot dogs


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.
  2. Pour beer into the bowl of a stand mixer (see cooks note if you do not have a stand mixer), sprinkle yeast over top, add honey and stir.  Allow yeast to bloom for 5-10 minutes.  Once it is nice and foamy, it is ready.
  3. Fill an 8 quart pot with water and bring to a boil over medium high heat.  In a small bowl beat egg and 2 tablespoons water with a fork.  Set aside.  Wash a section of counter top for rolling out dough.  Do not flour it or it will be harder to roll out the dough.
  4. Add flour and salt to mixer.  Knead for about 3 minutes until the dough comes together in one ball.  Add more flour a tablespoon at a time as needed, if bread is too sticky to come together.  Dough should be tacky when you pull it out of the mixer, not sticky.
  5. Place dough on counter top and form dough into a ball.
  6. We are going to cut this ball into 8 (somewhat) even pieces.  First quarter the ball of dough.  Then cut each quarter in half.  Roll each piece into a 12” strand.
  7. Place end of dough strand on the end of the hot dog pinching the end together, and then wrap it around the dog until all of the dough is wrapped around the dog.  Pinch the ends so they stay together.
  8. Carefully, add baking soda to boiling water.  USE CAUTION:  IT WILL BUBBLE UP.  Place hot dogs into boiling water about 3 at a time.  Remove with a slotted spoon after 30 seconds.  Place on parchment paper to cool and repeat until all hot dogs have been boiled.
  9. Arrange all pretzel dogs on parchment so they are not touching.  Brush egg wash onto each one and sprinkle with coarse salt.
  10. Bake for 11-13 minutes until the tops are browned. Enjoy!


You can mix the dough by hand if you do not have a stand mixer.  Add beer, yeast and honey to a large bowl.  Once the yeast blooms stir in the salt and the flour.  Mix with a spoon.  Turn dough out onto floured counter top and knead for 3-5 minutes until dough is no longer sticky.  Proceed with remaining instructions. I microwaved the beer in a glass microwave safe measuring cup, 15 seconds at a time until it was 110-120 degrees. You can substitute milk or water for the beer.

Recipe developed by Donna Elick - The Slow Roasted Italian Copyright ©2014 The Slow Roasted Italian – All rights reserved.