I take Super Sunday very seriously, both in watching the game and also preparing the menu for the biggest day of football.

I prepare a menu a month in advance of the Big Game, including recipes, shopping lists and beverage pairings with each of the eating segments. It’s a great day.

I used to host a pretty decent size party at my house and invariably I’d be in the kitchen missing what would be a great play or many great plays. I’ve been to 6 Super “Big Games” and enjoyed the carnival atmosphere of each game I attended. I made a choice to streamline the attendance at the house and increase the quality of the menu on my special day. That has worked perfectly. I see the game, enjoy it with my friends who also enjoy the game of football and help assemble our great menu.

So for you to enjoy your Big Game celebration whether big or small, I have put together all my favorite appetizers that I like when watching the game. Here are some of my favorites. Enjoy the game and good luck eating!

Gellman Images
Gellman Images

Mama Connie's Bourbon Hot Dogs

Many years ago when I was working for another radio station here in New Jersey, this local musician shows up in my studio. He just wanted to stop by to say hello and plug a few of his area gigs as well as tell me how much he liked the show. He was a pleasant guy. I had never heard of him so I checked him out at one of his gigs. I was hooked and have been stalking him ever since!

His name is Pat Guadagno. He has one of the best singing voices and man, can he play the guitar! Pat really is a savant when it comes to his knowledge of music. It’s truly a tremendous gift. He’s a human juke box! More importantly, he is a great friend.

This recipe is from Pat’s mom, Connie and it’s a great appetizer. She was a good woman who raised a terrific family. Pat made these dogs and brought them over to a football party at my house and are they great! I love them, you will too! Thanks, Pat, for all the phenomenal music and for your friendship.


1 cup bourbon
12-ounce bottle Heinz Chili Sauce
1 cup brown sugar
3 packs of Best Hot Dogs, cut into 1/3 bite-size pieces

How to put it together:

Warm the first 3 ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Add hot dogs. Mix together so they are evenly coated in sauce. Put in preheated oven at 325 degrees uncovered for 2 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally. Serve with toothpicks.


Big Joe's Spicy Deviled Eggs

I don’t know what it is about deviled eggs but I love them. I eat them like Skittles! I like my deviled eggs a little spicy so I add the optional jalapenos to the recipe. These are easy to make and provide a great start to the festivities. Some people say that deviled eggs are really only a summer starter. I say deviled eggs are great year-round!


12 eggs, hard-boiled cooled in refrigerator
5 tablespoons Hellman’s mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons sweet relish
2 finely chopped jalapeno peppers (optional) salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, paprika to top

How to put it together:

Once cooled, slice eggs in half removing yolks from each half and place yolks in a bowl. Set aside halved whites. In the bowl with the yolks add mayonnaise, mustard, white vinegar, relish, jalapenos (or adjust according to your taste) and salt and ground pepper. Mix well with a fork to form a paste.

Add mixture to a pastry bag with large opening (I prefer star attachment). If you don’t have a pastry bag, fill a corner of a zip-lock bag and snip the corner with scissors. Fill egg white halves with mixture making a small mound. Sprinkle filled eggs with paprika and serve. Serves 12 – 15.

ThinkStock / Getty Images
ThinkStock / Getty Images

Donna's Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip

Donna Kennelly from Lincroft sent me this great version of a buffalo wing dip. I enjoy Buffalo wings, nice and spicy, so to put all that in a dip is great. Donna says that you can also turn this into an entrée.

The first time that Donna tried this was at a friend’s Halloween party. She asked her friend for the recipe and soon Donna was off and running. She’s changed things up a few times since getting the original recipe. One of the unique aspects I love about cooking is that making any dish better often happens by trial and error.

I can’t tell you how many times I said, “Hey that’s missing something” or “I should have left something out.” Make the recipe your own. Donna did and we’re thrilled that she sent it in. Thanks, Donna.


2 pounds of chicken tenders or thin chicken cutlets
1⁄2 cup of Frank’s hot sauce (I use enough for a spicy taste but just add more or less depending on your heat factor) 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1⁄2 small bottle ranch dressing
1⁄2 small bottle bleu cheese
1 cup extra sharp shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles

How to put it together:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large sauté pan brown chicken tenders until cooked. Then shred cooked tenders. (Can be put in the blender a couple of pieces at a time to shred.)

Mix together all the other ingredients except shredded cheese. Add mixture to shredded chicken and mix together. Put in an oven-safe baking dish and sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese and blue cheese crumbles on top. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until bubbly hot.

Enjoy with tortilla chips or crackers.

Gellman Images
Gellman Images

Big Joe's Pepperoni Pizza Dip

Eva from Jamesburg sent me this interesting dip that incorporates all the good tastes of pizza. It's a quick and easy dip that's great for your weekend parties or perfect for serving during some exciting playoff games.

Eva says to serve this tasty dip with vegetables and chips. I also recommend serving bagel chips or those toast rounds with this dish. Thanks Eva!


1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon red pepper
1/2 cup pepperoni, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (2oz.)
1/2 cup tomato sauce Parmesan cheese

How to put it together:

In small bowl beat cream cheese, sour cream, oregano, garlic powder and red pepper. Spread evenly in a 9 or 10-inch pie pan or quiche dish. Spread tomato sauce on top of cream cheese mixture and top with pepperoni, onion, green peppers.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Then top with mozzarella and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Continue baking for 5 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before serving with cut-up vegetables or chips.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.

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