Wednesday, April 17, 2013

game-day fan fare - review and giveaway!

Game-Day Fan Fare: Over 240 recipes, plus tips and inspiration to make sure your game-day celebration is a home run!
It's that time of year again!  Gooseberry Patch has a brand new cookbook out, and my goodness is it amazing.  Game-Day Fan Fare is full of those perfect recipes for a night at home watching the football game on TV or for the best party you'll ever throw.  I just love it for its versatility in that sense.  It's got recipes for brunch, munchies, soups, salads, sandwiches, main dishes, sides, dessert treats, and for those times when you are feeding the whole football team!  
Like I do with most cookbooks, I immediately read it straight through to see what caught my eye.  For the first time, there was so much that I had to make a list!  Our breakfasts in the near future are going to definitely include the Blueberry Coffee Cake, Pumpkin Waffles, and Beer Bread Pancakes.  The Touchdown Toss looks amazing - a white chocolate covered snack mix that sounds perfect for movie night!  I can't wait to try making my own Pimento Cheese to go alongside Beer-Cheese Soup, some All-Season Coleslaw, and Creamy Bacon Corn-Fetti.  Next time I have a crowd coming over, I'll be whipping up some Chicken Strata and Mini Cheesecakes.  And I can't wait to try the Caramel Corn, Ooey-Gooey Popcorn, Banana Pudding Fudge, Coconutty Macaroons, and Skillet Cookies.  Phew!  I think I'm going to need to up my exercise with all of these recipes on my menu!

We did finally narrow down which recipes we wanted to try for this review.  We loved all of them and gave them all "awards"!

Most Likely to Be an Ice Cream Topping
Peanut Butter Pancake Syrup from the chapter Kick-off Brunches

We were excited to try this peanut butter syrup because we both love peanut butter and because it was so stinkin' easy...only two ingredients!  It did not disappoint.  It took me just minutes to whip up and provided a delicious topping for our Saturday morning waffles.  It's so rich that you really don't need much and probably wouldn't want it for every breakfast...although we could see putting it on vanilla ice cream in a heartbeat!  We'll be making it as an occasional treat.  This diner-style topping definitely appeals to the southerner in me. 

Most Unique
Sweet Chipotle Pretzels from the chapter Major League Munchies

These pretzels are definitely unique.  They're covered in a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and...yes...chipotle chili powder.  My taste buds really didn't know what to do with themselves!  Because of their interesting flavors, they definitely aren't the kind of snack you could over-indulge on.  They are, however, quick and easy to make...perfect for your next party or gathering.

Most Surprisingly Healthy
Slow-Cooker Cheesesteak Sandwiches from the chapter Souper-Bowl Soups, Salads and Sandwiches

The minute Cookie Bandit saw the name of this recipe, he requested that I make it instantly.  The man loves his cheeseteak sandwiches!  We decided that in the end, these really weren't much like the real Philly cheesesteaks - they aren't greasy at all.  In fact, these are kind of the healthier twin.  Great flavor, still a mess, but lighter on the calories.  They were definitely a nice change from cold sandwiches and burgers.

Creamiest Baked Mac and Cheese We've Ever Tried
Super-Easy Mac and Cheese from the chapter Slam-Dunk Mains and Sides

I almost didn't make this recipe because...I'll be honest...I'm usually not a fan of the baked mac and cheese.  I like creamy, and most baked mac and cheese recipes that we've tried are anything but.  Fortunately for me, I did try it and was pleasantly surprised - this was the creamiest baked mac and cheese ever!  It was also incredibly easy to make - you don't even have to cook the noodles first.  The one downside is that it didn't make great leftovers.  It tended to lose the creaminess, and the cracker topping got a little soggy by the second day.  That's okay, though...Pebbles loved it!

The Cookie That Just Gets Better
Pig-Out Cookies from the chapter Touchdown Treats

Oh my word, these cookies are something else!  We picked them because of their ingredient list - chocolate chips, peanut butter, chili powder, bacon, bacon grease!  I couldn't even imagine what all of those flavors would taste like together, but the answer is, "Magnificent!"  They actually taste better and better the longer they sit - by day 4, Cookie Bandit was just going nuts over them.  They are both sweet and salty, with a subtle touch of bacon flavor.  And one of my favorite things about them - they are seriously some of the prettiest cookies I have ever made, and I wasn't even trying.  They come out looking beautifully, with a texture like those Soft Batch cookies I grew up loving.  These are definitely cookies we'll be making again and again.

Bacon-Potato Chowder from the chapter Stadium-Sized Recipes for a Crowd

This was a nice hearty soup, excellent for a chilly day.  We particularly liked the addition of bacon.  As Cookie Bandit put it, bacon added that element that potato soup generally lacks. This really was a recipe for a crowd - it made 12 huge servings!

So that's the line up!  And it's probably no surprise that Cookie Bandit picked Pig-Out Cookies as his absolute that's what we're sharing with you today!

First, you start with the pig!  Cook up some bacon in a skillet, reserving the drippings.

In a mixing bowl, combine butter and bacon drippings until smooth.

Beat in peanut butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until creamy.

Add eggs and vanilla and beat until fluffy.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, chili powder, and salt.  Combine with rest of batter and then fold in chocolate chips and bacon.

Roll dough into balls.  The recipe says roll into 12 balls - that makes some huge cookies!  We opted to make smaller cookies so that we could enjoy them for longer.  Place balls of dough on parchment paper and flatten slightly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until golden.  Cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack.

Pig-Out Cookies
from Gooseberry Patch's Game-Day Fan Fare
  • 5 slices bacon
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 t. baking powder
  • 1/8 t. cinnamon
  • 1/8 t. chili powder
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cook bacon until crisp in a skillet over medium heat.  Crumble and drain, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings; set aside.  In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, chili powder, and salt; set aside.  In a separate bowl, beat together butter and reserved drippings with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.  Beat in peanut butter and sugars until creamy, about 4 minutes.  Add egg and vanilla; beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Reduce mixer setting to low; slowly beat in flour mixture until just combined.  Fold in chocolate chips and bacon.  Roll dough into 12 balls; arrange 2 inches apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Flatten balls slightly.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes, until golden.  Cool cookies on sheet for about 2 minutes; transfer to wire racks to cool completely.  Makes one dozen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Below are some of my friends who are also participating in the Early Bird Reviews by Gooseberry Patch. Check out their recipes & more entries to the giveaway!

Old House Homestead
The Country Cook
Goodeness Gracious
Well Seasoned Life
Girl with Blog
Two Maids a Milking
A Recipe A Day
SusieQTpies Cafe


  1. I had never heard about Gooseberry Patch until you started reviewing there books! Now I have 2! I received them as gifts. We are big sports fans over here so I will have to check this one out!

  2. I have just one cookbook so far... love to win one!!

  3. Love your site and love Gooseberry Patch. Thanks for chance to win.

  4. Love Goosebery. And I'm so happy to have found you! Please visit any time!

  5. Their cookbooks are always great! This one looks to have some interesting recipes!

  6. Very cool recipe ideas!

  7. Love Gooseberry Patch recipes!

  8. Amazing recipes in the Gooseberry Patch series. Love them all. Thanks for sharing some recipes.

  9. Love Gooseberry Patch. Love your blog. And would love to win this cookbook. :-)

  10. Sounds like a yummy cookbook. Would love to win one. Thanks.

  11. If going to make the chowder, you must make the cookies ... in order to do either, you need the cookbook! Elizabeth

  12. Wonderful recipes, book and giveaway! Thanks so much for the chance. :)

  13. This sounds like an awesome cookbook

  14. This sounds like an awesome cookbook

  15. I want this cookbook!!!! Thanks for the recipe!

  16. I hope too win, sounds yummy!!!

  17. I love Gooseberry Patch. I would love to win this book. It would be used a lot.

  18. I love Gooseberry cookbooks. I have 3 of them. Wish I had them all!.

  19. I'm new to your site & love your "bi-line" (don't know blog terminology!)..."where good food doesn't always require 2 sticks of butter." That's my kind of blog and cooking!

  20. I love Gooseberry Patch. I would love to win this book. It would be used a lot.

  21. I have never seen a bad recipe from Gooseberry Patch!

  22. Looks great. Thanks for letting me know about the giveaway!

  23. Would love to add this book to my collection!

  24. When I think of game day fare, I don't think of this much variety. I can't wait to try some of these.

  25. These Cookbooks are wonderful. I received one as s gift snd LOVE it!

  26. We love to tailgate so these recipes can be a great asset when preparing for the upcoming football season!

  27. Tailgating Saturdays are my favorite days of the year!

  28. These recipes look great! I would love the win the cookbook!

  29. I love Gooseberry recipes. I have a whole cart n my kitchen with your cookbooks!

  30. Wow, what a fun mix of recipes. And I love that they aren't all the traditional game day foods!

    Luci’s Morsels – fashion. food. frivolity.

  31. I would like to try the Ooey-Gooey Popcorn!

  32. banana pudding fudge sounds interesting

  33. I live WAY up north where it's hard to find a gooseberry patch book. But ever since seeing one I can't get enough of the recipes on-line. I am addicted! ; )

  34. Those cookies sound great. Fun combo of flavors!! Nichi

  35. I'm inspired! Heading into the kitchen today!!!

  36. Cookies with bacon! WOW! This sounds like my brother-in-law's kind of cookie!

  37. Love Gooseberry patch! I hope I win.

  38. Love Gooseberry patch! I hope I win.

  39. nice variety - looks like some new things to try for sure!

  40. Would love to win this book, I Love Gooseberry Patch

  41. This book would have foods to serve guests that they haven't tried I'm sure!! Sounds like fun.

  42. I can never have too many Gooseberry Patch cookbooks!

  43. I can never have too many Gooseberry Patch cookbooks!

  44. I can never have too many Gooseberry Patch cookbooks!

  45. These sound interesting. I would love to have this book

  46. These sound interesting. I would love to have this book

  47. Love this cookbook because I have a recipe in it and I'm also reviewing/giving away a copy. If my entry comes up in the rafflecopter to win, please pick someone else since I own it! Your post looks so tasty and I love how you set up your review.


  48. These recipes sound great! I love outdoor meals!


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