Man hunting with his dog

Preparing for Opening Day of Hunting Season

Preparing for Opening Day

Attention hunters! You’ve been patiently waiting for almost an entire year to put your ammo and decoys to good use again – and soon your patience will be rewarded. While there are still a few days left before opening day, time’s sure to fly by quickly and there are some very important tasks to check off before the big day. Pass the time with some much needed preparation!

 

Hunting Gear - Prep for Opening Day Blog

Prepare Your Location

Before you can bag any ducks and geese, make sure the spot you have in mind is the perfect location for you to go on opening day. How do you make sure it’s the perfect spot? SCOUT! Visit your location in advance and check out what surrounds the area. Create a checklist of things you might need in response to the environment.  If you are planning on taking a boat out, make sure the water levels are compatible with that. Scouting could be the difference between coming home empty-handed or pulling in the drive with the full bag limit!

Prepare Your Hunting Equipment

It might have been a while since you last hunted waterfowl and small game – your equipment will probably need some TLC. Take your shotgun out of the safe, clean it fully, and take it to a range to get a little practice in. If you are planning on using decoys, make sure you have a new braided decoy cord that’ll be able to rig large numbers of decoys so you don’t lose any of them on opening day. If you plan to use your waders, pull them out and make sure there’s no rot or infestation. Throw out unusable waders and grab a reliable wader (like the bootfoot chest wader found in any Big R) for a successful opening day!

Prepare Your Hunting Sidekick

A hunting sidekick on opening day (and throughout the season) can be a very valuable resource. Your sidekick is your #1 helper and needs to be just as prepared as you. If your ideal hunting spot is in the middle of a lake or river, then you’ll need to have a trusty boat as your sidekick. Examine your boat before opening day to make sure it’s performing at the top of its game. Check the oil and make sure all the levels are correct so it’s running smoothly. Plan to do this soon in case you need to head to the store to grab marine oil or other boating essentials for your aquatic sidekick.

 

Another sidekick you may have out on opening day is your faithful dog! It’s sure to be an exciting day for both of you, which is why it’s essential to prep him for the big day.

Visit the vet for a quick check up to make sure he’s healthy and able to keep up with you. Make sure he’s been treated for fleas and ticks to prevent any unwanted “friends” from making a home on your furry companion. If he has one, pull out his hunting vest and give it a quick check to make sure it’s good to go!

 

Prepare Yourself

Now that everything around you is 100% ready, take some time to make sure you are prepared for that day. Think about what items you need to pack up for opening day. Prep your cooler and stock up on water. Pick out your camo gear and bring along some camo makeup for your face and arms if you’re planning on wearing a short-sleeve shirt. Brush up on the season dates and regulations for duck, geese, or small game hunting in your area to be completely safe and well-informed on opening day. If it’s your first time hunting, pick up a waterfowl ID book to study the different species. So when you’re out there, you’ll know every single species you come across.

 

Opening day will be here soon enough! Use this time to get all prepped for a successful hunting season. Though it may seem like there’s a lot to cross off on your checklist, you’ve got another sidekick to help you out – your local Big R Store! Stop by before opening day and grab all your hunting essentials in one place.

 

Two Ladies Kayaking | Big R

Kayak & Boating Safety Tips

A day on the lake is refreshing, fun, and a perfect way to beat the heat waves. Before you seek refuge in your boat or kayak, get prepared and freshen up on your water safety knowledge. Be ready for the sun, water conditions, and a potential accident with these safety tips for kayaks and boats.

 

  1. Know Your Stuff– Make sure to take an on-water course before you head out to the lake. During the course, you will learn how to handle your kayak or boat and the rules of the water, as well as develop your safety skills. This knowledge may come in handy if you find yourself in an accident this summer. In 2015, the US Coast Guard counted 4,158 recreational boating accidents that involved 626 deaths, 2,613 injuries and approximately $42 million dollars of property damage. Protect your life and property by taking a 101 course.
  2. Suit Up– Are you wearing the correct gear for kayaking? If you’re planning to be on the water in the early morning or after dusk, it is especially important to wear brightly colored clothing, so other boaters and kayakers can see you in the dim light. Keep your PFD, personal flotation device, or life jacket on yourself and the kids at all times.
  3. Protect Your Skin– We know it’s a given, but sun protection is essential for a long day outside. The fresh air may feel nice, but having a sunburn the next day won’t be as welcome. Sunscreen and a hat will keep your skin safe from the harmful rays. Don’t forget to reapply the sunscreen every few hours for maximum protection.
  4. Check the Temperature– Cold water can be extremely dangerous! Even water in the 50-60 degree Fahrenheit range can initiate “Cold Water Shock.” Should you fall overboard, the sudden change in temperature can cause your body to increase your heart rate and blood pressure, potentially leading to cardiac arrest. Aside from water temperature, watch your local news to stay up-to-date on weather conditions. Rain or thunderstorms, rough winds, or a drop in temperatures can be a sign to hang up your paddle for the day and reschedule your lake trip.
  5. File a Float Plan– If an emergency were to occur, it’s always best to be on the safe side and have someone on shore know all important details. If this information is written down, emergency searchers will know where, when, and who to look for. What should you note? Make sure to include the name, address, and phone number of the trip leader, name and number of any passengers, kayak or boat description with registration information, and a trip itinerary. Leave your float plan with someone on shore, whether that be a family member, friend, or staff member at the local marina.
  6. Communication is Key– Brush up on your universal river signals, so you can communicate with others on the water. If you only remember three, make sure to know how to signal for “stop”, “emergency”, and “all clear.” A whistle can also come in handy to communicate to other boats or kayaks.
  7. Recognize & Avoid Hazards– Be familiar with traps that could endanger you and your crew. For kayakers, avoid trees, branches, other strainers, rocks, and low-head dams. It’s key to backwash in hydraulics and stay on the inside of the bends. For boaters, avoid strainers at all costs, be cautious around any bridge or contruction, and stay clear of fences and low power lines. Be especially cautious in boat marinas, as electrical appliances can leak voltage into the water causing death by Electric Shock Drowning, or ESD.

 

Whether with friends, family or the kids, make sure everyone returns home from your day on the water safe and sound. While a day on the lake is fun, a big dinner around the table with those you love is the icing on the cake.

For additional help finding all the equipment you’ll need for a day on the water, visit your friendly associates at your local Big R store.

Best Father’s Day Gift Guide

Father’s Day is just around the corner and we know it’s difficult to pick the perfect gift for the best Dad around. Luckily, Big R’s great selection of gifts will make it easy to find the gift Dad will love. Spoil Dad on his special day for all his hard work, effort and dad jokes throughout the year. Here are a few of our favorite gifts for Dad:

Gun Safe

When he’s not out hunting or at a range, Dad needs a safe place to store his guns. That’s why a high-quality gun safe is a perfect choice for a gun-enthusiast like Dad. A high-quality safe is tamper-proof, drill resistant and can endure fire so that only Dad can access his guns. Choose a safe that looks good and takes up the right amount of space to seal the deal. With a sleek design and space for up to 10 long guns, our pick is the Winchester Safe Bandit 9

Carhartt Hoodie

Carhartt is a Dad-approved brand. So, there’s no better way to celebrate his day by gifting him one of their extremely comfortable sweaters. The 50% cotton, 50% polyester material blend feels like a dream. The corded hood and handwarmer pockets will help make this sweater one of Dad’s favorites. Just pick his favorite color

Drill Drive Set

For the handy Dad who always knows how to fix anything and everything, a drill drive set is the gift that keeps on giving. With a trusted brand like Irwin, Dad will be grateful for all the new ways he can use his power tools. The set includes 20 different multi-purpose pieces

Coleman 4-Person Tent

This four-person Coleman Sundome tent is an amazing steal for the adventurous Dad. After a great day of enjoying the outdoors, the spacious tent is welcome retreat that will fit the whole family. The tent also has built-in anti-rain technology that keeps the whole family comfortable and dry. Help Dad become one with nature

Cordless Grass Trimmer

One of Dad’s many chores includes cutting the grass. With a new cordless grass trimmer, it’s made easier! This Father’s Day gift is designed to help dad work as little as possible when he’s outside. The cordless trimmer is easy to use, effective and requires no extra tools. Get Dad a gift that simple and efficient

Char-Broil Gas Burner Grill

When he’s making BBQ or burgers, Dad is in the zone. Why not equip him with a top notch grill he’ll love? This traditional Char-Broil gas burner grill has two burners with plenty of space for Dad to create his masterpieces. The Piezo ignition system is efficient and provides a powerful spark with every push. Porcelain-coated grates add a finishing touch that Dad will appreciate. Help Dad make tasty BBQ every time with a new grill

How to Clean a Gun

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You’ve officially purchased your own firearm and ammo. Besides knowing how to store it and use it, do you know how to properly clean it so that it functions properly? Cleaning a firearm doesn’t have to be difficult, and even if you’re new to firearms, keeping your guns clean should be an absolute top priority. You should be cleaning your gun after each and every use! Here are some tips on how to keep your firearms in excellent condition:

First, remember the 3 rules of gun safety.

This will likely be a reminder for those that are experienced with guns, but these rules are ones that can never be said enough. First and foremost, make sure that the gun is unloaded. Open up the chamber and look down the barrel to be absolutely sure that no ammunition is present. The second rule is to never aim the gun at anybody or anything – determine a safe zone and always keep the gun’s nozzle aimed that way. Third of all, never put your finger on the trigger until you’re ready to shoot. All three of these rules are extremely important and should be practiced each time you handle a gun.

1. Ensure the gun is unloaded.

 Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for people to get hurt while cleaning their firearms because they forgot to unload it. Double check that there isn’t any ammunition around, and even if you think your gun is unloaded, always check again for safety and good practice. Point the gun away from you as you are cleaning it. Also, wear safety gear, like goggles and gloves, to protect yourself from solvent debris.

2. Clean in a well-ventilated area.

 This is important for your own well-being and safety, considering that the chemicals produced during firing can remain in your gun and release toxins. The cleaners and lubricants can also be harsh on your body, so make sure to wear protection while cleaning in a well-ventilated area.

3. Protect surfaces with plastic bags and newspapers.

To protect your tables and other surfaces, it’s important to separate the solvents from the cleaning chemicals and the lubricants from whatever surface you’re working on. First, cover the area you’re working on with a plastic cover, like a trash bag. Then, scatter newspapers and other miscellaneous papers around so that everything has a protective paper layer over it. Not only does this protect the surfaces that you are working on, but it also makes it easy to throw everything away at once when you’re all finished!

4. Disassemble your gun according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

You will rarely need to break down your entire gun for cleaning purposes. Guns should be treated with the utmost care and should be handled slowly and carefully during the disassembly. The field-stripping process is different for semi-automatics and double revolvers, so make sure that you have done your research on the process for your particular pistol, rifle, or other firearm.

5. Put in the effort to clean the bore of the barrel.

This is the most important part to clean because it is such a major component of your firearm. When fired, material can be left over and potentially corrode the inside of your barrel. It is extremely important to take your time cleaning this essential part of the gun with a cleaning bore and a cleaning product, like this Tipton Bore Solvent. To clean, place the solvent onto a towel or wire brush and slowly scrub the inside. Afterwards, check with a light to see if the inside is all clear of debris and cleaning solution.

6. A little goes a long way with solvent.

After you’re done cleaning the barrel, use a nylon brush, dab on some solvent, and scrub the other surfaces of the gun. You may use a cotton rag to scrub off any excess residues. Keep an eye out for buildup around the forcing cone if you have a revolver; this can dull your pistol. Before you lubricate, make sure you’ve completely dried your gun of solvent.

7. Reassemble and preserve.

After lubricating, carefully put the pieces of your gun back together, making sure everything fits back together correctly and is sturdy in its place. To preserve your gun’s surface and to protect it from any damage, a light coat of preservative is recommended. Apply a metal preservative or any gun oil to the surface with a rag. Then place it  into its designated container.

For more tips on how to store and clean your firearm properly, visit the experts at Big R! We have a variety of solvents, oils, and brushes to help you maintain your gun’s appearance and lifespan for years to come!

11 Crock-Pot and Appetizer Recipes for the Big Game

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The Big Game will soon be here, and that means it’s time to start planning for a party!

Your menu will, of course, include the usual chicken wings and celery sticks and dip, but why not add some delicious slow-cooked meals to all the finger food fare?

Check out these tasty Crock-Pot recipes that are sure to please your party guests:

  1. Chicken Enchilada Quinoa

Craving an enchilada but not wanting anything too heavy and overwhelming? How about substituting flour for quinoa, while keeping all the spices and vegetables in? And with a heap of chicken, you’ll be comfortably full thanks to the extra protein. Plus, you won’t get any post-eating guilt, as this is pretty darn healthy.

  1. Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Pulled pork is always a classic staple for sports parties. Prep time for the pork is only 5 minutes, and the slow cooking allows the Barbecue sauce to really simmer and soak itself in the meat. Keep some sandwich buns nearby and let your guests put together their own sandwiches. And, if you’re not a fan of pork, substituting it with shredded beef is just as delicious.

  1. Stuffed Bell Peppers

These vibrant appetizers are as customizable as you can get! The recipe itself suggests corn, salsa, ground turkey, and brown rice, but any of these items can be replaced. Make it vegetarian-friendly by adding tofu or just keeping the peppers full of grains and veggies. Either way, these peppers are bound to be a party favorite.

  1. Eight Layer Chicken Chili Dip

Scoop and dip. That’s all you need to remember! Each layer of this Tex-Mex crowd pleaser will surprise guests’ tastebuds and leave them wanting more! No need to stress right before the game – You can create this beautiful and tasty dish a day before! Simply add your favorite tortilla chips and begin dipping!

  1. Slow-Cooked Korean Beef

If you’ve never tried Korean marinades on beef, you’re truly missing out. You and your guests will love this slow-cooked beef, doused in an intensely flavorful simmer. The time spent on cooking the meal will ensure that it will be the most tender and mouth-watering beef you and your guests have ever consumed.

  1. BBQ Meatball Sliders

Kick up the party a notch with mini meatball sliders! Not only are they filling but absolutely delicious! Topped with BBQ sauce and slaw, these meatball sliders are sure to please any of your guests. Who wouldn’t like something so simple, but yummy?

  1. Dreamy Mac n’ Cheese

What’s a gathering without a little bit of the classic mac n’ cheese!? The twist about this recipe is the very finely shredded pieces of onion. It’s not enough to make your eyes water, but definitely adds a yummy kick to the pasta! Some Colby cheese helps to bring a surprise twist to the classic recipe. This dish will be sure to please both vegetarians and omnivores alike.

  1. Easy Slow-Cooked Chili

What’s great about chili is that you can customize it however you’d like. The combination of beef, garlic, jalapeño, bell peppers, and cumin create a deliciously zesty chili. Top with cheese and diced onion for added flavor, too!

  1. Buffalo Chicken Dip

Dips are easy to eat and are great to customize, depending on what you and your guests are looking for. This creamy and delicious dip with shredded chicken and cheese is perfect for those who love a little tang! Your guests will be focused on the game and not their appetite.

  1. Pizza Casserole

Homemade pizza is no small feat typically. Luckily, this recipe requires easy prep and, since it is made with the Crock-Pot, the slow-cooking does everything for you! Again, the recipe can be tweaked to fit your tastes – Add more pepperoni, peppers, onions, meats, etc! Pizza should be easy to eat AND prepare!

  1. Teriyaki Chicken Wings

For those who are a little wary of buffalo sauce spice, this teriyaki alternative still gives you the chance to get messy with your chicken wings. The sweetness, mixed with a blend of garlic, will keep you salivating and wishing you had grabbed more than four! This Asian-inspired dish can either be served as an appetizer or as a meal by itself.

For these recipes and more, follow our Crock-Pot board on Pinterest – Big R’s Crock-Pot Cooking Recipes!

11 Tailgating Recipes That Score BIG for the Home Team

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Ready to kick-off tailgating season? Well, you can’t have a great tailgating party without great food for the friends and family! These 11 recipes will help you have a crowd-pleasing and fun tailgating party that’s sure to be a score!

Recipe #1: Buffalo Chicken Dip

Dips are always a delicious and easy game-day favorite. Spice it up a little bit with this Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe! Addicting and versatile, this recipe will be a foolproof touchdown!

All you’ll need is ½ cup of your favorite hot wing sauce, 8 ounces of cream cheese, ¼ cup of light buttermilk ranch or blue cheese dressing, ½ cup of shredded Monterey Jack or white cheddar cheese, and 1 pound of shredded or diced roasted chicken.

All you need to do is combine the hot sauce and cream cheese in a medium sauce pan over medium to low heat and stir until smooth.

Then, add the remaining ingredients and combine well. Cook this over low heat until the cheese melts and voila!

Place the dip in your favorite serving dish and serve with sliced baguettes, carrots, celery, crackers, or chips!

Click here for recipe: Buffalo Chicken Dip

Recipe #2: Loaded Pulled Pork Nachos

Got some meat lovers in the family? Then this dish is perfect for you! Add a little twist and rack up some great flavors by adding pulled pork to the always crowd favorite: nachos!

You’ll need tortilla chips, pulled pork (or you can substitute chicken or steak if you’d like), drained black beans, drained whole kernel corn, sliced jalapenos, salsa or pico de gallo, shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, sliced olives, sour cream, and fresh cilantro for garnish!

Preheat the oven to 350°F and assemble a layer of tortilla chips on an oven-safe platter and layer it with the pulled pork (or meat of your choice), beans, corn, jalapenos, salsa, cheese, and olives.

Just heat in the oven until the cheese is melted and you’re done! Add sour cream and cilantro to add even more flavor.

These nachos are extremely flexible so don’t be afraid to add your own flare and favorite ingredients!

Click here for recipe: Loaded Pulled Pork Nachos

Recipe #3:  Spinach Artichoke Dip

Who doesn’t love this guilty pleasure? You can never go wrong with this crowd favorite dip! It’s delectable and easy to make!

You’ll need ½ cup of shredded Parmesan cheese, 1 ½ cups of Gruyere cheese, 10 ounces of frozen chopped spinach, 14 ounces of marinated artichoke hearts, 8 ounces of softened cream cheese, 2/3 cup of sour cream, 1/3 cup of mayonnaise, 2 cloves of garlic, 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, and a baguette.

Preheat your oven to 375°F and defrost the spinach and chop the artichokes. Combine the Parmesan cheese, 1 cup of the Gruyere cheese, spinach, artichokes, cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, and one minced clove of garlic.

Place the mixture into a serving or casserole dish and top it off with the remaining ½ cup of Gruyere cheese.

Bake the dip in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese has browned.

This is optional, but you can also brush the baguette slices with olive oil and broil them in the oven until they are lightly browned. Gently rub each slice with the last clove of garlic and you’ve got a tasty treat!

Click here for recipe: Spinach Artichoke Dip

Recipe #4: Baked Honey Garlic Chicken Wings

Love chicken wings but want to try something new? Then try these oven baked honey garlic wings! Different from your typical hot wings but still delicious, this recipe is sure to tackle everyone’s appetite.

You will need 50 split chicken wings, ¼ cup of flour, salt & pepper, and 1 tablespoon of olive oils for the chicken. For the sauce, you will need ½ cup of honey, 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, 4 large crushed cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon of finely diced ginger, ½ teaspoon of chili flakes, and 1/3 cup of water.

Preheat your oven to 400°F and rinse the wings under cold water and drain and dab them with paper towels until they are completely dry.

Carefully toss the wings in a bowl with flour, salt and pepper. Tap off the excess flour and toss with the olive oil.

Place the wings on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 40 minutes and turn them over at 20 minutes.

While they are baking, combine the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Take the wings out of the oven and toss with the sauce. Place the wings back in the oven for 10 minutes and turn them after 5 minutes. Serve them hot!

Click here for recipe: Baked Honey Garlic Chicken Wings

Recipe #5: Individual 7 Layer Bean Dips

Bean dip is always a traditional tailgating favorite, but aren’t you tired of cleaning up the mess from scooping and worrying about double dippers?  Then you have to try these individual 7 layer bean dips! Perfect for a party and easy to clean-up, it’s a much better way of serving this game day classic!

You need 1 can of refried beans, 1 ½ tablespoon of taco seasoning, 3 medium ripe avocados, 2 tablespoons of fresh lime or lemon juice, salt and pepper, 1 cup of sour cream, 1 cup of salsa, 1 cup shredded cheese, 2 large diced Roma tomatoes, 2/3 cups of diced black olives, 2-3 diced green onions, and eight 9 ounce plastic cups.

Stir together refried beans with a fork in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of water and mix in taco seasoning.

Peel and core the avocados and mash them with lime or lemon juice and reach your desired texture and season with salt and pepper.

Add a good amount of the bean mix to the bottom of the cup and even out the top with the back of a spoon.

Add a spoonful of the avocado mixture and spread, followed by a layer of sour cream, then salsa.

Sprinkle a layer of cheese and then the tomatoes, black olives, and green onions. Store them in the fridge and serve with tortilla chips, yum!

Click here for recipe: Individual 7 Layer Bean Dips

Recipe #6: Easy Homemade Mini Corn Dogs

Add a fun fair -food favorite to your tailgating party with these homemade mini corn dogs! Easy to make and fun for the kids to eat, these are sure to be a hit!

You’ll need 1 (12 ounces) package of hot dogs, ½ cup of yellow cornmeal, ½ cup of all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/8 teaspoon of salt, 1 large egg, ½ cup of whole milk, and vegetable oil for frying.

You’ll also need lollipop sticks and a deep-fry thermometer.

First, cut each hot dog in half and insert a lollipop stick into the cutoff end of every hot dog and be sure to dry the hot dogs with paper towels.

In a bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

In a separate liquid measuring cup, whisk the egg and milk. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until fully combined.

Then, add 4 inches of oil to a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot and attach the deep-fry thermometer. Heat the oil over medium to high heat until the thermometer reaches 360°F.

Line a plate with paper towels while the oil heats.

Dip each hot dog into the batter until its fully coated and lightly shake off the excess.

Lower the dog into the hot oil and fry until golden and crispy, probably about 3 minutes, and then transfer to the plate lined with paper towels.

Repeat this process for all the hot dogs!

Click here for recipe: Easy Homemade Mini Corn Dogs

Recipe #7: Mini Deep Dish Pizzas

Everyone loves pizza! But these mini 5-ingredient pizzas will be an addicting snack your party will love even more than the original.

All you need is 4 flour tortillas for burritos (8 inch), 1 cup of pizza sauce, ¾ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup grated parmesan, and 36-48 mini pepperonis.

Preheat oven to 425°F and lightly oil a 12-cup muffin tin or use nonstick cooking spray.

To make the mini tortillas, lay out the tortilla on a flat surface and use an empty can to cut 3-4 medium circles, pressing firmly in a rocking motion to cut the tortilla.

Fit a tortilla circle into each of the 12 muffin tins by pressing gently.

Scoop one tablespoon of pizza sauce into each muffin tin.

Sprinkle the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and top with 3-4 mini pepperonis.

Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes and serve! Garnish with chopped basil if desired.

Click here for recipe: Mini Deep Dish Pizzas

Recipe #8: Onion Soup Gameday Sliders

Want a fun twist on the ever popular cheeseburger sliders? Adding onion soup mix may seem strange, but it adds a new depth of flavor and crazy moisture. You have to try this!

You need 1 pound of ground beef, 1 block (8 ounces) of cheddar cheese, 1 package of onion soup mix, 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1 package of mini hamburger/slider buns.

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Shred half of the block of cheddar cheese and slice the other half of the block into 12 thin slices and wrap in saran wrap and put back into the fridge.

In a medium to large sized bowl, mix ground beef, 1 cup shredded cheese, onion soup mix, mayo and garlic powder.

Press and flatten the meat into a sprayed 9×13 pan to form a thin layer.

Bake the meat for about 25 minutes until cooked through.

While leaving the oven on, take the meat out of the oven and cut into 12 squares.

Put the meat on buns and top with slices of cheese.

Put the sliders in a large sprayed baking dish and cover with foil and bake for 10-15 minutes!

Click here for recipe: Onion Soup Gameday Sliders

Recipe #9: Bacon Wrapped Tator-Tot Bombs

Tator tots are already yummy on their own, but what could go wrong with adding bacon?! These baked bacon wrapped tots are sure to be a new party favorite that will be an easy and addicting treat!

You need 2 cups of frozen tator-tots that have been thawed to room temperature, 1 ounce of sharp cheddar cheese cut into ¼ inch squares, 4 slices of quartered bacon, ¼ cup of brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley leaves.

Preheat your oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Wrap each tator-tot and cheese square into a piece of bacon, and coat each tot in the brown sugar.

Place the tots seam side down onto the baking sheet and put into the oven and bake for 20-15 minutes, turning them halfway through.

Garnish with parsley and serve immediately!

Click here for recipe: Bacon Wrapped Tator-Tot Bombs

Recipe #10: Mini Caramel Apples

If your sweet tooth is craving a tasty treat, then these mini caramel apples are sure to hit the spot! Fun for both kids and parents, this easy recipe will satisfy anyone’s sweet craving.

You’ll need 3 extra-large apples, caramels, 2 tablespoons of milk, lollipop sticks, a metal tablespoon, coffee scoop or melon baller, and wax paper.

Prepare a cookie sheet and line with wax paper.

Peel the apples, and scoop balls out with a coffee scoop or melon baller.

Pat them dry with a paper towel and place them in the fridge or freezer.

To make the caramel, combine the milk with the caramels and heat over medium to low heat.

Once the caramel is melted and smooth, turn off the heat and dip the apple pops in one at a time.

Make sure you let the excess caramel drip off into the pot and then place the dipped apples back on the cookie sheet.

Put the pops back into the freezer or fridge after dipping to ensure the caramel doesn’t slip off.

Wait until the caramel hardens and then serve!

Click here for Recipe: Mini Caramel Apples

Recipe #11: Hot Beer Cheese Dip

What better ingredients are there in the world than beer and cheese? This quick but appetizing dip will fulfill your cheese craving and save you time!

You need 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, ¾ cup of milk (divided), ½ cup of beer (your preference), 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, ¼ teaspoon of salt, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and 12 ounces of shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium sized sauce pan and whisk in the flour.

Take the pan off the heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons of the milk until its smooth, then whisk in 2 more tablespoons.

Add ¼ cup of the milk and whisk until smooth again followed by the final ¼ cup of milk.

Stir in the beer, Dijon, cayenne, and salt and return the pan to medium heat and stir until its thick and bubbly.

Remove from the heat and add the cheese one handful at a time, stirring after each addition.

Taste to meet your desired saltiness or spiciness and serve with slices of baguette, crackers, chips, broccoli, or cauliflower florets!

Click here for Recipe: Hot Beer Cheese Dip