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VOL. 36 | NO. 39 | Friday, September 28, 2012

Getting ready for football and other things

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Football season is officially here, and the fall weather is not far behind. In fact, the last few cooler, rainy days have got most of us itching for what I consider one of the most beautiful times of the year to come on and “get the party started!”

Speaking of parties, that’s exactly what’s going on all over the country with football games. Every weekend, it seems, there are football parties. They’re held in big, elaborate “media rooms” of some folks’ homes, backyard cookouts with dozens of friends sitting around the “outdoor kitchen,” tailgating parties in stadium parking lots and, sometimes, just small family get-togethers for watching the game.

However you may be choosing to watch you favorite team (hopefully) stomp the bad guys, there is always, and I mean always, lots of food. And that brings me to my arena of specialized knowledge!

At one particular get-together this weekend, there was the perfect food for me to share with you. Luckily, the chef was eager to share his recipe! Although there was a lot of discussion about football, this was our Sunday evening small-group meeting. So we had a lot to talk about!

If you follow my columns, you may remember that last fall our small group studied “Twelve Ordinary Men,” a book about the disciples and how they were just 12 ordinary, uneducated men who Jesus chose to follow Him and teach the message after His life on earth had ended. It was an exceptional book, and one I highly recommend if you want to learn more about the people of the Bible.

This season we are studying The Me I Want To Be by John Ortberg. I tell ya, I consider myself a person who reads more than the average person, but I honestly don’t know how so many books can be out there that I have never run across! This is another one of them.

Anyway, after the first lesson, this book seems to be another good one from which I will be able to glean many good observations – and remember them. Hopefully, it will help me in my endeavors to be the person I more often want to be rather than who I am usually. I can say that maybe 30 percent of the time I like who I am (speaking entirely about my conduct), but once I think I am on a good roll, I act like the Hogs and mess it up!

Anyway, so much for that. As for the recipe, it is not nearly as hard! Thank heavens! This is a recipe shared by Robert Rainwater, the leader of our group, and it is a perfect finger food for all that football or, if you tire of watching those, any kind of game. Maybe bocce will be airing on some station!

This wreath is made with diced broccoli florets, but if you have someone in your family that does not care for broccoli it can easily be substituted with another vegetable.

Although the recipe I have does not say, and Robert could not remember, I researched it and found one like this on the Pillsbury website. It has a beautiful picture (see mine) with a red candle and pine greenery in the middle of the wreath for Christmas. But as I said, it can be decorated to match any occasion. Regardless of the occasion, it is super good!

Appetizer Wreath

6 slices bacon

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup chive and onion cream cheese spread

2 8-ounce cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

2 cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed

1/3 cup diced red bell pepper

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fry bacon until crisp. Add garlic when just about done and lightly sauté. Drain, crumble, and set aside. Unroll both cans of Crescent rolls, and separate into 16 triangles. On ungreased large cookie sheet, arrange triangles with shortest sides toward center, overlapping in a wreath shape and leaving about a five-inch round circle in open in the center of the wreath. Crescent dough points may hang over edge of cookie sheet. Press overlapping dough to flatten and form a four-inch circle in the center.

Spread cream cheese on dough to within one inch of points. Finely chop thawed broccoli, and remove as much water as possible with paper towel. In small bowl, mix bacon broccoli and bell pepper; spoon onto widest part of dough. Pull the end points of the triangles over broccoli mixture ad tuck under dough to form ring (filling will be visible). Brush dough with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a deep golden brown. Cool five minutes. With large spatula, carefully loosen wreath from cookie sheet, and slide onto serving platter. Garnish with rosemary in the center circle if desired, or if you have a special event, use something pertaining to that occasion. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

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