Our town is home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and hosts an annual festival to celebrate the game and its finest players. Among the area's enthusiastic fans are many seniors who live at the House of Loreto, a nursing home where I'm head of food service.
Constantly coming up with ways to create "spirit" among our residents and to celebrate at our meals, I quarterbacked a Kickoff Supper to coincide with the festival opening.
It's a theme that could be used to cheer on your favorite team at any level—from elementary, high school and college squads right on up to the pros.
The sporting menu included Pigskin Sandwiches, Pom-Pom Potato Salad, Goal-Line Chicken Salad and Touchdown Cookies.
For the Pigskin Sandwiches, we baked buns in the shape of footballs, then piped on "laces" of softened cream cheese. The sandwiches were stacked with ham, cheese, lettuce and tomato. You could also use sliced turkey or any favorite filling.
Goal-Line Chicken Salad
Goal-Line Chicken Salad on the residents' plates also scored compliments. Crisp chunks of apple and green grapes add color and fruity zip to the tasty mixture.
Pom-Pom Potato Salad
We heard lots of cheers for Pom-Pom Potato Salad. Mashed yolks of hard-cooked eggs add richness to this popular potato salad's creamy dressing. The cooked egg whites are diced and added to the salad.
There was no need to punt when it came to dessert. The buttery Touchdown Cookies rated high scores. Using a favorite rolled sugar cookie dough, our busy bakers cut them out with a football cookie cutter, then frosted them with a chocolate glaze and added "laces" with white glaze.
Thick, refreshing Rah-Rah Root Beer Shakes were served with the meal. They're so easy to make. Simply scoop 1 quart of vanilla ice cream into a large mixing bowl. And gradually add one 12-ounce can of root beer and blend until smooth (that's enough to serve four).
This is a theme we're pleased to pass. Catch it and run!