Archive for Friday, March 25, 2011

Let’s chew up the competition: NCAA Tournament eats based on each team KU faces during March Madness

March 25, 2011, 8:10 a.m. Updated March 27, 2011, 9:58 a.m.


Gonna watch tonight’s first-round NCAA game between Lawrence’s own Kansas Jayhawks and Boston University?

We invite you to chew up the competition!

For each game the Jayhawks play in the tournament, we’ll be posting a recipes inspired by the team Kansas is playing.

Festive, tasty, and hopefully, good luck — who knows, we could be in the kitchen until April 4’s championship game. Hmm, let’s not eat those words later, shall we?

Boston Cream Pie Minis

1 package (2-layer size) yellow cake mix

1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla flavor instant pudding

1 cup cold milk

1-1/2 cups thawed whipped topping, divided

4 squares (4 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare cake batter and bake as directed on package for 24 cupcakes. Cool completely.

Beat pudding mix and milk with whisk 2 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Meanwhile, use serrated knife to cut cupcakes horizontally in half. Whisk 1/2 cup whipped topping into pudding; spoon onto bottom halves of cupcakes, using about 1 tablespoon for each. Cover with cupcake tops.

Microwave remaining whipped topping and chocolate in small microwaveable bowl on high 1-1/2 minutes or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 minutes. Stir until well blended. Let stand 15 minutes; spread onto cupcakes. Refrigerate 15 minutes.

— Recipe from

March 20: The University of Illinois

Tonight, Kansas plays coach Bill Self’s former team, Illinois, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Hopefully, he’ll be serving up a bit of top-seeded pie after the 7:40 p.m. tip.

While you wait for the final score, how about chewing up the competition with a pie of your own, this Chicago-style deep-dish pizza?

Illinois (the school) isn’t in Chicago, but the Second City is probably the best foodie inspiration in the state — that is, unless you like Saluki salad.

Um, yuck.

So, serve this sucker at your game-watch party and chow down while the Jayhawks take the court.

Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Sausage Pizza

1 package active dry yeast

3/4 cup warm water (108 degrees)

2 cups flour

1/4 cup oil

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided

1 pound Italian sausage

1/4 cup chopped onions

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste

2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

2 packages (6 ounces each) mozzarella cheese slices

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand 5 minutes. Add flour, oil and salt; stir until mixture forms ball. Place on lightly floured surface; knead until smooth. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons parmesan onto bottom of greased 12-inch deep-dish pizza pan. Press dough onto bottom and 1 inch up side of pan; set aside.

Remove sausage from casing. Brown sausage in large skillet; drain. Add onions; cook and stir until tender. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste and oregano; simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place half the mozzarella on bottom of crust; cover with half the meat sauce. Repeat layers of mozzarella and sauce. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan.

Bake 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting to serve.

— Recipe from

March 25: The University of Richmond

No, we’re not going to make you eat spiders. Despite Richmond’s unique eight-legged mascot and wishy-washy food culture, we’ve found something for you to nosh on during your watch party: cute little “spiders” made out of marshmallows and licorice. They look like puffy “turtles” with legs and black M&M; eyes.

Much more adorable, may we say, then all the man-child Richmond fans wearing full-on Spider-Man outfits to each of the Spiders’ NCAA games. We might have an imaginary bird as a mascot, but at least we’re not reaching.

Creepy Crawly Spiders

2 cups miniature marshmallows

1 package (8 squares) semi-sweet chocolate, melted

24 pieces black shoestring licorice (12 inch)

48 assorted miniature round candies (like M&Ms;)

Mix marshmallows and melted chocolate until marshmallows are completely coated. Drop by spoonfuls onto sheets of wax paper to make 24 clusters for the “bodies” of the “spiders.”

Cut each 12-inch piece licorice into 8 pieces. Decorate each spider with 8 pieces of licorice for the “legs” and 2 candies for the "eyes." Let stand at room temperature or refrigerate until firm.

Store in airtight container at room temperature.

— Recipe from

March 27: Virginia Commonwealth University

Well, the Virginia Commonwealth Rams leave much to be desired as far as food-based ideas go.

I mean, really, what’s with Richmond? The past two teams have been from that same Virginia town and both have mascots that aren’t culinary darlings — the spider and the ram. Argh. So, for this installment of “Chew Up the Competition” we decided to use Virginia’s most famous food: the ham.

Enjoy these little ham appetizers at your watch party and be glad that if the Jayhawks win, we have a whole week to come up with something for the Butler Bulldogs.

Open-Face Pear, Ham and Cheese Snacks

16 RITZ Crackers

8 slices shaved ham, halved

1 small pear, cut into 16 thin slices

2 cheese slices, cut into 8 pieces each

4 teaspoons spicy brown mustard

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place crackers on baking sheet; top with remaining ingredients.

Bake 4 to 6 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve warm.

— Recipe from


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