20+ Recipes for your Game Day Party! #FootballFood

It's coming up on the BIG Game, is your favorite team playing? Whether. like me you have a preset menu of #FootballFood the gang loves to have out,  It' sure is nice to surprise them with some new flavor explosions once in awhile too!

So my favorite blogger friends and I have gathered together over 20 of our favorite go to game day recipes for you to try out for your football party!

The Tip Garden family always gathers together upstairs in my husbands "Cowboys" themed mancave.. he even lets me in,  even though I'm a die hard Bronco's fan! haha!   We gather around the big screen with a bunch of fun food ready to go!

Most often I will have both my Sloppy Joe Buffalo Chicken Sliders, along with my Crockpot Italian Sausage Grinders in addition to the standard Chicken Wings. For that something sweet.. I make Cinnamon Streusel Pizza. as well as Chips and dip and the like!, but I sure have my eye on some of the other recipes below, and am trying to decide what else I am going to add in this year.. a new dip? a new slider?.. oh mylanta.. I just can't decide!

Now.. Let's get over to the buffet of recipes and start choosing!  Hope you enjoy the game, and have good food, good friends and fun! #FootballFood

                          1. Mini Sweet and Spicy Cheese Ball from Dad What's 4 Dinner
                          2. Mexican Queso Dip from Palatable Pastime
                          3. Baked Onion Dip from Family Around the Table
                          4. Sloppy Joe Buffalo Chicken Sliders from Tip Garden
                          5. 5 Ingredient Loaded Baked Potato Dip from Corn, Beans, Pigs, Kids
                          6. Buffalo Chicken Taquitos from Cooking With Carlee
                          7. Toasted Mexican Ravioli from Jolene's Recipe Journal

                          8. Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Jalapeno Poppers from Cooking With Carlee
                          9. Freezer to Crockpot Italian Sausage Grinders from Tip Garden
                         10. Masala Spiced "Bollywood" Popcorn from Palatable Pastime
                         11. Spicy Beer Bratwurst Sliders from Dad Whats 4 Dinner
                         12. Caramel Crispix Mix from Corn, Beans, Pigs, Kids
                         13. Pizza Quesadillas from Jolene's Recipe Journal
                         14. Pepperoni Cheese Pizza Sliders from Family Around the Table

15. Healthy Turkey and Cheese Roll-Ups from Palatable Pastime
16. Game Day Black Bean Habanero Chili from Dad What's 4 Dinner
17. Warm and Cheesy Pulled Pork Dip from Cooking With Carlee
18. Cinnamon Streusel Dessert Pizza from Tip Garden
19. Raspberry Glazed Chicken Wings from Family Around the Table
20. Sweet and Spicy Hog Wild Baked Beans from Corn, Beans, Pigs, Kids
21. Doritos Locos Nachos from Jolene's Recipe Journal


How to Cook Dried Beans

Don't be intimated by dried beans! Learning how to cook dried beans will certainly save you money! But there are other reasons as well, and I promise, it's easier than you think! I'll even give you both stove top cooking and crock pot cooking methods for you to try!

Why cook beans from scratch over buying canned?

Cost: a 16 oz. bag of dried beans yields about 5 or 6 cups of cooked beans, while a 15 oz. can of cooked beans yields about 1 1/2 cups.  That's a no brainer...

Quality: Besides the cost savings, beans cooked from dried seem to have a "better" texture than the canned versions.  Sometimes when I am making a soup or my corn-avacado-salsa (cowboy caviar?) the beans come out of can already mushy! Not so when you cook them from dried!

Control the additives: Salt, and other additives, you get to control how much gets added into the beans.

Time Savings: I know, I know, you think I am crazy on this one! But beans freeze beautifully! So cooking up that bag of beans, using that 1 1/2 cups you would have used from the canned version in your recipe and then dividing the rest into portions and freezing them, means you already have the next set of beans read to go!  High five! 

Jan's Tips before you get started:

Pre Soaking: This is debated a bit whether to pre-soak or not, but the main reason is to speed up cooking time. It usually will cut it down by about 30 minutes if you pre-soak the beans.

  But caution, the older the beans,
the longer it takes to cook, so buy them from a busy store that has frequent stock coming in. No bulk buying from a "close out " grocery on dried beans. It's not worth it.

 Plan on soaking your beans overnight
in water if you are going to cook them the next morning/day, or if like me you work all day, soak them in the morning, and let them soak at least 8-10 hours and
then you can cook them later that night.

Salt or not to salt:
It used to be said to never put salt in your soaking water that it would "toughen" the beans, but a recent article I read in my local newspaper, shared that Cooks Illustrated Magazine uncovered recently that salting the soaking water actually tenderizes the beans, but they also absorbed some of the salt which then seasoned them, So I salt my soaking water, but you can leave it out if you like.

Rinse your beans after soaking. Do NOT cook the beans in the soaking water. They will be less "gaseous" if you cook in fresh water.  Trust me on this one.

Cooking Secrets:
The one tip to remember is that acids such as tomatoes and vinegar will prevent beans from cooking  properly, and should only be added at the very end of the cooking. (So in a soup recipe, don't add those tomatoes in till right at the very end) or those beans will never be an edible, tender consistency.

OK, Let't get cooking:  Below is the standard stove top method. I'll share the crock pot method after that ,but some of the steps are the same, so read the stove top method too. 

Printable Copy

Master Recipe for Cooking Dried Beans
Stove Top Method:
1 lb. or 1 16 oz bag dried beans
3 tablespoons PLUS 2 teaspoons salt divided
1 medium onion, quartered
1 medium carrot cut into 4 pieces
1 celery rib cut crosswise into 4 pieces
2 garlic cloves crushed

Sort through the beans. Pick out any pebbles, then rinse and drain the beans.
In a large pot dissolve 3 Tablespoons of salt into 4 quarts of water. Add the beans and stir.
Cover beans and soak overnight or 8-10 hours at room temperature.
At end of soaking time, drain the beans and rinse them thoroughly.
In a large pot combine the beans wit 7 cups of cold water.
 Stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt.
Bring the mixture to a boil, skimming the scum that rises to the surface with a slotted spoon.
Reduce heat to a simmer and keep skimming the protein scum that rises  from the beans until no more comes to the surface.
Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and simmer an additional 30-60 minutes, or untio the beans are just tender. (Start checking at the 30 minute mark, and see if one is tender enough).
Drain the beans. (Reserve the liquid if you desire for soups or "broth"). and discard the vegetables.
Use the beans as needed in recipes or freeze in 1-2 cup portions in freezer safe containers.

Crock pot Cooking Dried Beans:
Soak the beans as directed in stove top directions above.
Rinse and drain beans.
In a crock pot, combine the beans with the 2 teaspoons of salt, onion, arrot, celery, and garlic.
Add enough water to cover the beans by 1 inch.
Cover and cook on high 4-6 hours or until completely tender.
Drain the beans.
Use the beans as needed in recipes or freeze in 1-2 cup portions in freezer save containers.


10 Smoothie Recipes to Get You Going

Ok, I don't know about you, but I am pretty much over all the sweets, the treats, the snacking and the uggh.. just feeling not myself!

It's time to put the holiday goodness behind us and look at some fresh ideas to get back to feeling a bit better!  I love smoothies as I dash out the door in the early mornings, as I struggle to eat. So this is a way I can squeeze in some protein, veggies, dairy, fruit all wrapped into one portable on the go meal!

I need some new inspiration so went looking for some fresh ideas. Here's what I found. Come try them with me! I think we'll be feeling peppy in no time!

1. Apple Pie Smoothie
by FeedingBig.com
2. Banana-Pineapple Smoothie
by 1mhealthtips.com
3. Weight loss Smoothie
by superskinnyme.com
4. Peanutbutter Banana Smoothie
by wholefully.com
5. Raspberry Orange Immunity Smoothie
by youbeauty.com
6. Low Carb Smoothie
by superskinnyme.com
7. Green Smoothie
by wholefully.com
8. Sunburst Smoothie: 
by floridacitrus.org

9. Cranberrry Smoothie
by thefrugalpantry.com

is not a smoothie recipe at all! But if you are determined to drink more water, but hate the taste of plain water, and are weird about lemon water, here's one to try:

10. Detox Apple Cinnamon Water
by mom2mycrazy2


Top 5 Posts of 2016

As I take some time to celebrate the Christmas holidays with my family, I send wishes of good cheer to you and yours, and hope that the new year ahead is full of health and bountious blessings for you and your loved ones!

As I take a moment to look back on how Tip Garden has done in the past year, I was surprised by some of the posts that made the top 10. I am narrowing the list down to the top 5.  A few of the posts on the top ten, were posts I was paid to review and contained links to giveaways or contests.. so that didn't seem to be fair in the numbers game, so I discounted those in my list today.

So, help me look back at some of the posts, you all liked and read the most this year:

#1  Time SaverFriday Feature: Crock Pot Liners: I didn't get paid to tell you how much I love these.. I just DO!  No scrubbing baked on cheese sauce, I love these time savers! (and I have recently seen store brands in my local grocery stores!)

#2  Money Saver: Buying "Magic" Erasers for Just Pennies:  If you love those little "magic" cleaning sponges, but not the price, then check out how I buy them in bulk for just pennies a piece!

#3 Skillet Meal:  Gram's Sloppy Joe Skillet Supper: This recipe from my own grandmother's files is easy and simple, yet delicious! She raised her family from the depression into the 50's and the lesson she taught her posterity is that frugal, yet satisfying meals never go out of style! 

#4: Comfort Classic: Chicken Cobbler : If you love Chicken Pot Pie.. and you love Cheddar Garlic Biscuits.. then you'll LOVE this cobbler! The crumble cobbler topping to this recipe is addicting and  you're family will be fighting over!

#5: Crock Pot Recipe:  Crock Pot Philly Cheese Steaks: What could be better than coming home to  the smell of these warm sandwiches just waiting to be served up for dinner? hmm.. maybe EATING them!  

Honorable Mention:

#6 Master Mix: Chinese All Purpose Stir Fry Sauce: this basic, go to stir fry sauce is easy to make, and will save you money from buying expensive sauces at the store!

I look forward to see what 2017 brings! Have a wonderful Holiday and Happy New Year to you all!


Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

These Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels are not only very tasty, but they are so easy to make!

 I found the recipe at food.com in amoment of desperation when my dear hubby gave me only a few hours notice that he needed 4 small gifts for a dinner with some previous co-workers that night.

This will be kept in my treat rotation from now on!

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels:

1 (16 oz) bag of mini pretzel twists
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar (I used closer to 3/4 cup)
1 teaspoon cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 300°
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In very large bowl pour in the pretzels. Set aside.
  • In small mixing bowl combine the oil, sugar, and cinnmon till well blended.
  • Pour sugar mixture over pretzels.
  • Use your hands to mix the pretzels and sugar coating together well.
  • Divide coated pretzels in single layer between the 2 baking sheets.
  • Bake 30 min.
  • Remove from oven and let cool before packaging.

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