Since Thanksgiving we’ve been cooking big meals for friends and family that had to be hot and ready right now. And that pile of dirty dishes.

Now it’s Super Bowl time and time for more friends and family and you know, of course we love every minute of it.

Today’s recipes are way simpler, can be prepared ahead and are evermore delicious.

Arrange the individual dessert ingredients right up to freezing individual scoops of ice cream and everybody can serve themselves.

I’ve had bacon wrapped crackers before and can’t decide why I don’t make them more often. Wrapping the bacon ’round the cracker is easy and you’re through with the prep work.

Make them early in the day. I s’pect you could make them the day before. I wouldn’t.

Leftover individual cinnamon cakes make a delicious snack or companion to a cup of hot tea or coffee. Add a scoop of ice cream and drizzle (or drown) them in caramel or chocolate sauce for a delicious dessert.

Back in the day, every Southern cook made pimento cheese for sandwiches and cheese straws for every special occasion. I’m Southern and I’m a cook. I make two or three versions of pimento cheese, but making them little straws is troublesome. Today’s recipe simplifies both processes deliciously. They can be made a day ahead and refrigerated.

Individual Brownie Banana Split

For each serving:

1 brownie

1/3 banana, sliced

3 tablespoons hot fudge

1 scoop ice cream

Whipped cream


In individual serving dishes layer as listed. Enjoy

Cook's note:

Prepare each dessert ahead up to the ice cream, whipped cream and cherry. Drizzle over ice cream with more chocolate sauce if desired.

Individual Cinnamon Cakes

2 1/4 cups bisquick

4 tablespoons sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

2/3 cup milk

3 tablespoons butter

Cinnamon-sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together bisquick, sugar and cinnamon. Cut in butter as in pastry. Add milk; stir until well combined. Drop by big rounded tablespoons or a cookie scoop onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture if desired. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Bacon Wrapped Crackers

Medium thin bacon

Club or Townhouse crackers

Preheat oven to 250°.

Spray a rack with Pam. Place rack on a rimmed cookie sheet. Wrap each cracker with about a third of a slice of bacon. Do not overlap. Place seam side down on the rack. Bake about 90 minutes. Cool. Serve at room temperature.

Pimento Cheese Squares

1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimentos, very well drained then patted dry

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 1/2 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar, at room temperature

1 stick butter, softened

1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, mustard powder and cayenne. In a medium bowl, combine softened butter and cheese. Add pimentos to the flour mixture and toss to coat. Combine cheese mixture and dry mixture. Work into a dough-like ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll "dough" to about 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into squares. Lay about an inch apart on the prepared pan. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden. Cool briefly on the pan, then remove to a wire rack. Store, tightly covered in the refrigerator. Warm slightly before serving.

Miss Olivia Sipe is the owner of Miss Olivia’s Table in Maryville.

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