15 March Madness Appetizer Favorites

 photo MarchMadnessRecipeRoundup_zpsb0a3dc4a.jpg

Football season may be over, but fortunately for sports fanatics like Hubby, we still have a couple of months of basketball left. This weekend marks Selection Sunday for March Madness. Are you ready?

Of course, you can’t watch sports without some game day food! Thanks to some awesome bloggers, I’ve compiled a list of 15 slam-dunk favorites: finger food, dips, hot, cold, savory, and sweet…there’s a little something for everyone.

So invite your friends over, turn on the TV, and hunker down for some yummy food and good-natured fun.

Click on the photo or text link to visit the recipe:

Avocado Hummus from The Frugal Mom

Beefy Taco Dip from Mom vs. the Boys

Breaded Mushrooms from Mom vs. the Boys

Cinnamon Sugar Farmstand Doughnuts from The Fresh Kitchen

Cheesy Prosciutto Pizza Bites from Life Over Easy

Crock-Pot White Queso Dip from The Miracle Momma

Cuban Sandwich Bites from Thrifty Jinxy

Easy Creamy Onion Dip from Thrifty Jinxy

Freddy’s Sticky Saucy Barbecued Ribs from My Life: A Work in Progress (Of course, I have to put a couple of my personal faves in this list!)

Monkey Bread from The Fresh Kitchen

Oven Baked Hot Wings from Life with Captain Fussybuckets

RedHot Buffalo Chicken Dip from My Life: A Work in Progress

Slow-Cooker Refried Beans from Homeschooling Mom 4 Two

Spicy Brown Sugar Chicken Tenders from Sincerely, Mindy

Zesty Guacamole Dip from Sincerely, Mindy

Which one (or more) would you love to try?

Note: I was not compensated for this post. All photos and recipes used with permission. Any opinions stated are my own.

Continue Reading

RedHot Buffalo Chicken Dip #gameday

Confession time- I don’t like team sports. I’d rather go hiking or skiing than play a football game or watch March Madness. But, if there’s going to be food, count me in! Tailgating parties have the best comfort food for me, and hot wings or buffalo chicken dip are at the top of my game day food list.

Frank’s® RedHot® sauce is celebrating its 50th birthday, and I received some RedHot swag because of it as well as two free product coupons. I used one of my coupons to purchase RedHot’s Hot Buffalo Wings sauce. Then I made this delicious, RedHot Buffalo Chicken Dip!


  • 1 (8 oz.) package Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup Blue Cheese or Ranch salad dressing*
  • 1/2 cup any flavor Frank’s RedHot Sauce
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cans (12.5 oz each) premium chunk chicken breast in water, drained**

*After spending some summers and winter holidays in Buffalo, NY, I became a huge fan of the traditional buffalo wings and celery dipped in blue cheese. That’s why I chose to use the blue cheese salad dressing and the Hot Buffalo Wings sauce. However, I did use mozzarella instead of blue cheese, because I already had a huge bag in the fridge.

**I couldn’t find any 12.5 oz cans of chicken, but I did find and use 10 oz cans. It was still plenty of chicken.


1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Place cream cheese into deep baking dish or casserole dish. Stir until smooth.
2. Mix in salad dressing, Frank’s RedHot sauce and cheese. Stir in chicken. If the chicken chunks are bigger than you like, use a fork to chop them up.
3. Bake 20 minutes or until mixture is heated through; stir. Garnish as desired. I served mine with homemade crackers, carrots, and celery.

Recipe notes:

This dip was super easy to make and so delicious! You can also make this in the microwave or slow cooker. To reduce calories, use neufchatel cheese instead of cream cheese and low-fat salad dressing instead of regular. For more tips, visit FranksRedHot.com.

FLASH Giveaway!

Giveaway starts at 4pm EST 2/19 (today) and ends at 11:59pm EST 2/21 (Friday). US only.

  • Frank’s RedHot Back-pack
  • Frank’s RedHot Drink Coozie
  • Frank’s RedHot Keychain
  • Frank’s RedHot Blinking Hot Lips
  • Frank’s RedHot Magnet
  • Coupon for product

If you agree to the terms and conditions listed directly below, keep scrolling and enter to win!

Terms & Conditions: Sweepstakes open to residents of the continental US. Must be 18 years or older. Void where prohibited by law. Two entrants allowed per household. Odds of winning depend on total number of eligible entries received. Once winner has been selected and emailed, winner will have 24 hours to respond or new winner will be selected. Winner’s name may be posted on this blog and other social media and Web sites. My Life: A Work in Progress is not responsible for prize fulfillment. Sweepstakes not associated with Facebook or any other social media platform. Entrance into the sweepstakes indicates acceptance of these terms and conditions.

Note: I received complimentary coupons for Frank’s RedHot sauce and some other promotional items but was not otherwise compensated for this post or giveaway.
Opinions Expressed Pink Button
Continue Reading

Smørbrød (“Buttered Bread”)- An American appetizer twist on the Scandinavian sandwich

My cowriter, Ruth, is back today, bringing us some of her time-tested appetizer recipes.- Elisebet

Long ago before the advent of internet and cable network television brought culinary expertise into everyone’s kitchen, I was living in Norway, and the diet was pretty bland. Boiled potatoes and fish were the staple dinner foods, albeit served smothered in butter. (Maybe Paula Deen is Norwegian?)

There was one gastronomic dish, however, where Norwegians excelled. Every housewife (as we were back then) had standard stores in the cupboard and fridge to set out a concoction so pleasing to the eye that one hesitated to spoil the creation with a first bite. Upon succumbing and actually tasting, the fare was never disappointing.

From that time up to the present day—open-faced sandwiches have been the go-to party provision for our household. My American/Canadian variation is a slightly smaller version, frequently used as a type of appetizer. (In Norway we ate the open-faced sandwich with a knife and fork, but then, in Europe they eat pizza that way, too!) Try them for a company brunch or Sunday evening late supper. It’s a unique food to bring to a church activity and works, as well, for breakfast with the kids. (Lay out the ingredients and let them help you assemble with their own “creations.” They’ll be getting more veggies in their diet.) Remember—the Scandinavian open-faced sandwich is not just layers of sliced meat and veggies: the components are thinly sliced (or small chopped) and arranged artistically on the bread.

Here are the basics followed by some suggestions and a couple of recipes.

There are four main components to Smørbrød:

1)     Bread. It must be firm. French and Italian loaves work well; also use English muffins, rye/pumpernickel, frozen waffles (toasted first), home-made bread maker bread, or “party” rye and whole-wheat for a smaller appetizer.

2)    Spread. Each bread slice needs to be coated to keep out moisture from your other ingredients. (This also allows you to make the sandwiches ahead of time and refrigerate until serving.) Try butter (or margarine), cream cheese (whatever flavor goes with your toppings), mayo (or salad dressing), and mustard.

3)    Protein. Thinly sliced meats (turkey, ham, beef); cheese (any kind that will slice thin); egg (boiled, scrambled); fish (herring, crab, sardines, salmon, shrimp, etc.); salads (from any of the above, also from veggies – carrot slaw, for example, or olive salad).

4)    Veggies/fruit and/or garnish. Just about anything goes here, as well. The key is to make attractive choices, as well as combinations that taste good together. Cut the veggies in strips or slice thin (the Scandinavian cheese slicer is what I use for making the cucumber curls). Chop herbs, veggies, or pickles for the garnish.

Here are some suggestions, though remember to provide your guests with choices; the sandwiches shouldn’t all be identical. Particularly for company, I suggest making up the sandwiches with a variety of meats and veggies plus a salad (or two). These are very economical—you’re only going to use one thin slice of meat or a couple of tablespoons of a salad per sandwich.

Smørbrød Ideas:

1)   The Breakfast Treat. Cream cheese spread on a toasted waffle. Add pineapple ring, a few banana slices, and a fresh strawberry. Garnish with mint.

The Breakfast Treat

2)   The Mexican Breakfast. Scrambled eggs on buttered rye bread with chopped tomatoes (or salsa) for garnish.

3)   The Hawaiian. Pineapple ring on an English muffin half spread with cream cheese. A thinly-sliced ham roll-up through the center of the ring and parsley garnish on top.

The Hawaiian

4)   The Fisherman. Buttered “party” whole wheat bread slice (or use English muffin half for a larger appetizer) with salmon salad (recipe provided below) and chopped dill pickle garnish.

5)   The Valentine Appetizer. Mustard spread (horseradish if you’re brave) on a slice of French bread topped with a thin roast beef slice folded or rolled; thinly sliced cucumbers with a red pepper “heart” garnish.

The Valentine Appetizer

6)   The Italian.  Buttered Italian bread with an Italian cheese slice and Italian salami. Both sliced, rolled and placed over leaf lettuce; thinly sliced tomatoes and cilantro garnish.

7)   The Greek. Olive salad (recipe provided below) on a buttered English muffin half with cucumber curls and crumbled feta garnish.

Salmon Salad with Dill Pickle Garnish


  • 7-8 oz. can of salmon
  • 6 T. light mayonnaise (or salad dressing)
  • ½ t. dill weed (optional)
  • 1 T. brown or Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Two dill pickles (chopped small)


Drain the salmon well, removing skin and bones. Mix mustard with the mayo, then add with dill weed to the drained salmon. Stir until well mixed. Depending on amount used per slice, makes enough for 6 English muffin half sandwiches or 1 ½ dozen “party” size slices. (For English muffin halves, use a teaspoon of chopped dill pickle in the center of the sandwich; “party” slices will need less.)

Kalamata Olive Salad


  • 5-7 ounces Kalamata olives (pitted), coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise (or salad dressing)
  • ¼ t. olive juice
  • ½ T. minced garlic (optional)
  • ½ t. chopped parsley or cilantro


Mix all ingredients together; place on bread slices and add veggie garnish.

What are some of your favorite appetizers? Have you ever tried Smørbrød or open-faced sandwiches like this before?
Continue Reading