Simple Party Foods: March Madness Edition

Okay girls, as some of you probably know, and many of you might not, MARCH MADNESS IS HERE!! For Mel, this is probably her most favorite time of the year — spring is coming and college basketball is at its peak. PURE. BLISS. For people like Meg, the best part about this time of year is the excuse to go to fun parties and be with friends while basketball games play in the background. Either way, this season is for everybody.  And since we know about 9o% of you will end up at some sort of NCAA Tournament viewing party, we are here to help you be the star of the show with these 3 simple party foods. We can promise you that if you take any of these little eats to your party, you will leave with an empty dish and a handful of new friends. Success.

Simple Party Foods : March Madness Edition Avenue 126

So, without further ado, here are 3 of our top party foods — simple to make, and simple to eat. (because finger foods are always best at parties — are we right!?)

Simple Party Foods : March Madness Edition Avenue 126

 Mini Soft Pretzel Bites with Jalapeno Cheese Sauce

Here’s what you’ll need:
-1 1/2 cups warm water
-1 packet active yeast
-1 1/2 tsp salt
-1 tbsp sugar
-4 cups flour
-12 cups water
-3/4 cup baking soda
-1 egg, whisked
-Nacho cheese
-Diced jalapenos

Here’s how you do it:
Preheat oven to 425. In a bowl combine your 1 1/2 cups of warm water with your yeast and let sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes add the salt and sugar to your yeast/water mixture and stir. In a separate, larger bowl combine your yeast mix with 4 cups of flour. Knead the dough or use your bread hook attachment on your KitchenAid. While your dough is forming, put your 12 c water and 3/4 c baking soda on stove and bring to a boil. Then, after about 5 minutes or once your dough is formed, separate dough into 5 sections and roll out until it’s about 15″ long and 1″ around. Next cut into small, bite size pieces. Next, take 5-10 pieces of the dough and submerge in the baking soda bath for approximately 30 seconds and place on baking sheet. (It’s important to watch your time on this because the flavor can change drastically if they are in for too long). Once all your pieces have been submerged in your baking soda bath, brush them with your whisked egg and sprinkle salt on top. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. While pretzel bites are baking, take a tbsp of the diced jalapenos and add to your cheese and heat.  Allow bites to cool and enjoy!

Simple Party Foods : March Madness Edition Avenue 126

Chicken Nachos

Here’s what you’ll need:-Tortilla chips
-Shredded Chicken
-Black beans
-Fiesta style corn
-Tomatoes with green chiles
-Diced jalapenos
-Cheese
-Lime

Here’s how you do it.

We started by prepping our chicken for the nachos in the crockpot the morning we were making our nachos. Place 3 frozen or thawed chicken breasts, 1 cup salsa, and 1 packet taco seasoning in crock pot on low for 8 hours. Once cooked, shred your chicken with two forks. This is how we make our chicken for our Chicken Taco Bake also!
Preheat your oven to 350. So, basically, you can do this however your little heart desires. It’s ultimately just a big ol’ pile of goodness mixed together. We did it in this order: Tortilla chips on the bottom, covered with chicken, black beans, corn, jalepenos, and tomatoes. Cover with cheese and bake for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and sprinkle the juice of one lime over top…and enjoy!! Other options worth considering would be salsa, cilantro, avocado, and/or  sour cream to add on top for extra flavor! So darn simple!!

Simple Party Foods : March Madness Edition Avenue 126

Mini Tortilla Pizzas

Here’s what you’ll need:
-Tortillas (we used whole wheat)
-Pizza Sauce
-Pepperoni
-Mozzarella cheese
-Other toppings if desired

Here’s how you do it:
Preheat your oven to 350. Take your tortillas and a clean cup, and cut out your mini crusts using the top of the cup. (You could make “full-size” pizzas with the entire tortilla, but the mini ones are way easier to grab and go — party foods, remember?!) Once you have all of your crusts, line on greased baking sheet. Spread pizza sauce over each crust, cover with cheese, and add your pepperoni’s. You can buy full size pepperoni and do just one per pizza, or you can opt for the cute mini pepperonis to go with the mini-theme!) Place pizzas in oven for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted remove from oven, and voila! So simple and, again, so yummy!!
And there you go! 3 simple, delicious, and quick recipes that we know will be a hit with any crowd!

Happy March Madness to you! And GOOOO (insert every team playing Kentucky)!!!

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