gmhTODAY 06 gmhToday Jan Feb 2016 - Page 56

Making it Your Own I t’s January in California. Time for cold weather, hopefully a lot of rain, fireplaces roaring and the winding down of the foot- ball season – except not in the San Francisco Bay Area this year! On February 7, we will be hosting the 50 th Anniversary of the Super Bowl. I have fond memories of watching the 49ers every Sunday when the kids were grow- ing up and the most important part of the game for me was the food I was going to serve. Of course the kids wanted the typical “sit-on-the-floor” in front of the fire and TV and snack on “game food” – mostly consist- ing of garlic and basil popcorn, nachos, mini corn dogs and pizza. Not all that healthy, but it was only once a week at the most! As we’ve all evolved over the years, so has our taste in “game food” – we like getting a little more healthy and a little more gourmet these days. In anticipation of Super Bowl 50, I’ve pulled out Gilroy Assistance League’s By Donna Pray cookbook Reflections II and have picked out three appetizers I’m planning to serve this year. The first one is from fellow GAL member Vicki Campanella entitled “Marinated Carrots.” It’s on page 16 of the Cookbook, but I made a few changes to “Make It My Own.” The second is actually from me. I submitted it as a sophisticated version of “nacho” sauce – so serve it with whole grain crackers. Last, I love GAL Jennifer Speno and Honorary GAL Lucille Speno’s “Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms.” It’s on page eight of the cookbook and I do love these mushrooms, but the only change I made here was to substitute walnuts for the pine nuts. Why? Our son is in the walnut business in Northern California so they are always in my pantry! Hope you enjoy watching this year’s game and I know the Bay Area will be great hosts to whichever teams will be going for the 50 th Vince Lombardo trophy! Donna Pray was born and raised on the San Francisco Peninsula. She and her husband, Ron, moved to Gilroy in 1977 and raised their four children here. Donna spent most of her time raising their children and learning about volunteering in their new community. Donna is currently the Executive Director of the Gilroy Foundation and is one of 35 active members of Gilroy Assistance League. She loves to cook, garden, and spend time with family – especially her kids and grandkids, and her Yellow Lab, Rocco. Cheddar Onion Dip 1 large Vidalia onion, trimmed and grated (about 1 cup) 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated 8 oz. light cream cheese 1 t. garlic powder ¼ t. ground cayenne pepper 1 green onion, chopped, for garnish ½ lb. carrots peeled and cut into ¼ inch thick diagonal slices ½ c. sherry vinegar ¼ c. each fresh squeezed lemon juice and Frantoio Grove Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 T. fresh oregano, chopped 2 t. sugar 1 t. sea salt ¼ t. crushed red pepper flakes 4 Christopher Ranch whole garlic cloves Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms 16-18 medium crimini and/or button mushrooms 2 T. butter 4 green onions, sliced 1 clove of garlic, minced 2 oz. blue cheese, crumbled 1/3 c. walnuts, chopped finely Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove stems from mushrooms. Set caps aside. Chop the stems. Melt butter in frying pan, add chopped stems, green onions and garlic. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese and walnuts. Place mushroom caps side by side in a foil-lined, rimmed baking dish. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture into each. Bake for 12-15 minutes until mushrooms are tender. Boil carrots in water for 1-1/2 minutes. Pour into colander and rinse with cold water; drain well. Mix together remaining ingredients in a quart-sized resealable plastic bag; add drained carrots and seal well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (up to overnight), turning bag occasionally. Serve with toothpicks. Enjoy any or all of these recipes or their variations from the GAL’s cookbook! Available at And, feel free to “Make It Your Own!” 56 GILROY • MORGAN HILL •