Mini Cuban sandwiches: Sports-themed snacks that are sure to be a hit

MILWAUKEE -- It's one of the best parts of taking in a game -- the grub! Chef Alisa Malavenda joins Real Milwaukee to talk about everything from pizza to brats to Queso.

Players Punch

    Combine first three ingredients in a pitcher and stir to combine. Place in fridge for at least 2 hrs for the flavors to meld. Pour over ice filled High Ball Glasses and top with ginger ale.

    Garnish with orange slices and raspberries and for a game night look add festive  swizzle sticks

    Mini Cuban Sandwiches

      Preheat a griddle or frying pan on medium heat.

      Lightly coat the outside of the bread with mayo of butter like you would for a grilled cheese,. Layer the sandwich with ingredients and place sandwich onto the hot surface.

      Put a clean, heavy skillet on top of the sandwich to flatten it. Press the bread down to about 1/3 of its original size.

      Leave the skillet on top of the sandwich and grill for one or two minutes. Lift the heavy skillet, turn the sandwich over and repeat this step for the other side of the sandwich.

      The cheese should be melted and the bread golden brown. Slice in small squares or triangles

      Note: you can also use two heated baking sheets and carefully place sandwich in between, press it down and bake it.

      Pepperoni Bread

      Makes 2

        Preheat oven to 350 – line a baking sheet with parchment paper .

        Beat egg with parmesan cheese and seasoning; set aside.

        Cut dough in half and roll into a 10 inch square

        Sprinkle the dough with shredded mozzarella cheese leaving about a 1 inch border and then  cover cheese with single rows of  pepperoni. Sprinkle with a little more seasoning,

        First fold in the short ends of the pizza dough and then roll the long ends of the dough until a loaf form. Pinch the end of the dough to seal it so the cheese doesn’t ooze out and place seam side down on the the baking sheet.

        Brush the loaf with a light coat of  the egg mixture

        Bake 20-30 minutes or until golden brown in color . Cut the  loaf into nice slices and serve with marinara for dipping

        Note: This also makes a great freezer meal for during the week. Wrap leftover slices tightly in saran  and then foil. Defrost as many slices as you want, and bake them on a sheet pan.

        Game Night Veggie and Cheese Board with Assortment of Dips

        Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke Dip

        "Roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts and garlic are the main flavors in this bright tapenade. This simple recipe can be used as a dip for vegetables and pita triangles or as a sandwich spread."

          In the bowl of a food processor, combine the red peppers, artichoke hearts, cilantro, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, capers, garlic, and lemon juice. Pulse until finely chopped and the mixture is blended. Transfer to a serving bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving to blend the flavors.

          Caramelized Onion Dip

            Heat the butter and oil in a large sauté pan. Add the onions, cayenne, salt, and pepper and sauté for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes until the onions are browned and caramelized. Allow the onions to cool.

            Place the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise or yogurt and beat until smooth. Fold in onions until well incorporated. This is better if you make it a day ahead of time. If you prefer not to have onions stringy you can chop before adding to cream cheese mixture

            Beer Brat Queso

              Heat oil in a frying pan and add crumbled sausage. Cook until browned remove from pan. Leave enough fat in the pan to equal about a T. Add the onions, tomatoes and jalapeno with a pinch of salt and cook over med-high heat until soft and onions are  translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the beer to pan and cook until the alcohol burns off and evaporates, add the cheese to the mixture and stir constantly until cheese is melted. Add the meat back to the pan and stir. Pour into a serving bowl .  serve immediately or keep warm in a slow cooker

              Fruit Pizza


              Chewy Sugar Cookie Crust

                In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add in the egg, vanilla extract; beat until combined.

                Add in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until just combined.

                Place in the pizza pan and press to form the pizza base. Chill Bake in a 350 oven for 10-12 min. Do Not Overbake

                Note: you can also use packaged sugar cookie dough.


                  Blend soft cream cheese, sugar and vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest . Fold in whipped cream

                  Spread mixture over cooled cookie dough. Arrange fruit on top in a decorative pattern using cookie cutters or molds or just free hand . . Refrigerate 1-2 hours before serving.