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Prop bets, Mario’s balls and the world’s best Buffalo chicken dip

Mario Batali's meatballs for sandwiches and pasta

Meatballs by Mario.

We love football — especially betting on football —  and no game is more fun to bet than the Super Bowl.  Flat bets are great but what we really love all the crazy “prop” bets that are circulating  this time of year.  How long will it take Christina Aguilera to sing the National Anthem?  Will Fergie show up to perform at half-time dressed as a Cowboys cheerleader?  Yep, those are just a couple of the bets available at offshore betting sites like bodog.com.  In Vegas, where Nevada gaming regulations restrict prop bets to those directly related to specific game statistics, there are still plenty of “off-road” opportunities.  Check out this article at National Football Post on the five best prop bets for this Sunday’s big game. For more info, check out these lists on EastCoastGambler.net as well — Super Bowl Prop Bets, Steelers and Prop Bets, Packers.

Now on to part two of our headline — Mario’s balls.  So we’re watching “Good Morning America” last Friday and they’re doing a special segment on what to serve at your Super Bowl party and the chef du jour is Mario Batali of New York’s Babbo and Las Vegas faves B&B and Carnevino fame.  He suggests making, among other things, meatball heroes for the big day.  The recipe looked so good and we were so intrigued (mix the meat for 10 minutes!) that we just had to make them ourselves.  We are here to tell you that these are the BEST meatballs on the planet. Really.  We made a huge batch to have with pasta or serve on sandwich rolls but honestly, we simply want a big bowl of them topped with a little homemade marinara and a sprinkling of pecorino Romano cheese.  Here’s the ABC video on Mario Batali’s meatballs plus the meatball recipe.  (Use panko breadcrumbs in place of the fresh ones.)

And last, here’s an appetizer we make every Super Bowl and always get back rave reviews and an empty serving dish.

The Best Buffalo Chicken Dip

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts (about 2 lbs)
  • 1-12oz. bottle of Frank’s Hot Buffalo Sauce
  • 2- 8oz. packages of cream cheese
  • 1 cup each of Ranch and Blue Cheese salad dressings
  • 8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Poach chicken breasts in enough water to cover for 30 minutes or until done.

Drain and when cool enough to handle, shred chicken then combine with the hot sauce.

Spread in a 13×9 baking pan.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a sauce pan, combine cream cheese and both dressings, stirring until smooth and hot.

Pour mixture evenly over chicken.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle cheese on top and bake uncovered for another 10 min.

Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with tortilla chips, crackers, celery sticks (or just a big spoon.)

Have a great Super Bowl Sunday!

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