It’s Super Bowl weekend!

Maybe your childhood team is playing for glory. Some of us couldn’t tell you who’s playing. Some of us will have a front-row seat for the halftime show. Others will be eagerly waiting for television timeouts and commercials.

Whether you have a dog in this fight or not, there’s no doubt in my mind we can all agree on one thing: There must be snacks.

Tables will be spread with an array of culinary delights, pleasing any armchair quarterback.

I will not be winning an MVP award for anything I create in the kitchen. I have a limited repertoire and recently decided to put to use some community cookbooks I was given.

I’m a sucker for cookbooks, despite rarely spending time utilizing them. I take the “look but don’t touch” approach to cooking.

These cookbooks are old, bound with plastic rings, created by women in churches, granges and clubs or competing in contests. They worked hard on their recipes and gosh darn it, I’m going to honor their time and effort.

For the Super Bowl! For Explore! GO TEAM!

I picked two of my cookbooks with appetizer sections. Some of the books have multiple versions of one recipe. Some call for ingredients I’ve never heard of.

Yakima Fifth Ward Cookbook:

‘What’s for Dinner?’

Aunt Paula’s Cheese Ball, Laura Ridd

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/2 package ranch party mix, dry

Mix all ingredients together well. Shape into a ball and cover with chopped nuts if desired, Explore recommends pecans. Chill before serving.

Serve alongside an assortment of crackers, the heartier the better to hold up to this dense cheese.

Cheese is versatile. This recipe was quick and easy to put together. It’s flavorful and reminiscent of numerous Super Bowls past.

Janell’s Yummy Bean Dip, Janell Russell

2 16-ounce cans refried beans

1 package taco seasoning mix

1 pound hamburger, sauteed with onion

1 pint sour cream

3-4 fresh Roma tomatoes, chopped

3-4 cups grated cheese

Set oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with nonstick spray.

Layer beans and hamburger in pan and sprinkle with taco seasoning. Spread on sour cream and tomatoes. (I only put tomatoes on half of the pan.) Top with shredded cheese. Explore used sharp cheddar for an extra kick.

Bake 15-20 minutes until the cheese is bubbly. Serve with chips or tortillas.

This dip was amazing! And it’s simple. So simple that you can dress it up or down as much as you’d like. A side of chunky salsa, maybe some green onions or even some guacamole, will really take this the extra yards for a first down.

Holiday Favorites Customer Cookbook: ‘It’s Christmas in July’

Possum Balls, Diane Brackett, Union Gap

2 pounds hamburger

1 medium onion, chopped

1 package taco seasoning mix

Salt to taste

1 package square wonton wrappers

Cook, crumble and drain grease from the hamburger. Add onion, taco seasoning mix and salt.

Place one large tablespoonful of mixture on a wonton wrapper. Tuck ends and roll. Seal the edge with a mixture of cornstarch and water.

Deep fry until golden brown. Remove and drain on a paper towel.

Serve with taco sauce.

Super-B Stuffed Mushrooms, Patricia Mallon, Yakima

24 large whole mushrooms

10 small mushrooms, chopped

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

2-3 green onions, chopped

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup butter

Dash paprika on top of each mushroom or Parmesan cheese

Wash mushrooms and remove stems. Chop stems with small mushrooms. Add onion and cheese to chopped mushrooms and mix well.

Add seasonings to mushrooms and continue mixing.

Melt butter and pour a small amount onto each mushroom cap. Spoon filling into mushroom caps and sprinkle each with paprika or Parmesan cheese.

Broil on cookie sheet for about five minutes.

Reach Sara Shields at

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