We’re welcoming the NFL season by bringing back our weekly food post. This week, I’m going to kick things off by showing you how to make a Cheezy Football and a pitcher of Sparklers. Let’s start with the Sparklers, so that you can drink while you make your Cheezy Football.
You will need a bottle of champagne (use regular champagne, not pink or sparkling wine, because the drink is already sweet enough as it is), a bottle of Malibu Rum, and a cannister of pineapple juice. Make sure all of it is chilled when you make the drink so that you can serve right away.
Fill your pitcher with the champagne, letting the foam go down.
Add 8 shots of Malibu Rum. I normally make this recipe with regular Malibu, but I saw Mango Malibu in the store and tried it. It was just as good this way. Also, that pink elephant glass is two shots, so I put 4 in the pitcher. Either way, it’s about half a bottle of Malibu.
Fill with pineapple juice, stir and serve. If you don’t serve the entire pitcher right away, put it in the fridge, but don’t forget to stir it every time you pour a glass because the pineapple juice will separate a little. Also, you should have about half a bottle of Malibu and half a can of pineapple juice left over. You can mix those into a drink too, they just aren’t fizzy like the Sparkler. Also, if the drink is too strong, 7-Up or Sprite can be substituted for the champagne. Same effect, less alcohol. Though why you’d want less alcohol is beyond me.
Now you have a drink while you make the Cheezy Football!
You will need two packages of fat free cream cheese (the dip is full of cheese, so use fat free cream cheese), an 8 oz package of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, a 6 oz package of shredded parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, a jar of pimentos, a jar of bacon bits, green onions (they got left out of the picture on accident), garlic powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and crackers to eat the dip. The beer was just for me, since I hadn’t made the Sparklers yet.
In a mixing bowl, combine both packages of cream cheese, the cheddar and parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, 1/2 cup chopped green onions, and a 1/2 tsp of black pepper. I like to slice the onions with a knife, then chop them with this handy little curved-blade device.
Mix until well-blended with your hand mixer. At this point, you will season to taste. What I like to do is add a teaspoon of garlic powder (it’s garlic salt in the picture, but that made the dip too salty, so I would use garlic powder) and also add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. That makes the dip decently spicy, though, so you might want to start with 1/2 a teaspoon, mix that in, and then taste it. At this point, it’s all about personal preference.
Once that is thoroughly mixed, cover the bowl with saran wrap and refrigerate over night. (If you’re really crunched for time, 2-3 hours should suffice, but I let mine sit over night).
The next day, use a spatula to scrape the dip into a ball and dump it onto your serving platter. Wash your hands, then use them to form it into a football shape.
Cover the dip football with bacon bits (see how it looks like a football?)
Then lay the pimentos across the top as laces (LACES OUT!). I think if you had one of those cake decorating sleeves, you could also do this with a little bit of mayonnaise and it would look better, but I don’t have one of those sleeves, so I stuck with pimentos.
Add crackers all around the football and serve. Now, I realize that this is kind of a sad-looking football. I really think the white laces would help in appearance and the pimentos don’t add to the taste at all. But the dip is really good, so even if you didn’t want to serve it in football form, you could just put it out in a nice dish and sprinkle bacon bits on top. Enjoy!