"Pigs" (Olives! Dates!) in a Blanket

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When I think of perfect Super Bowl party foods, I think of hot wings, gigantic subs, hearty chili, pizza, cheese dips, chips, and appetizers galore!

I wanted to take the vintage recipe update seriously, so I did a little research on the history of the Super Bowl, which I learned began in 1967.

The Super Bowl wasn’t very popular at first and people weren’t throwing the blow out parties of today.

But I like to imagine that somewhere in the country, someone hosted a party to watch the newest football championship.

And I wonder what would have been served at that party?

A little Internet searching and I came across an article about the 10 defining foods of the 1960’s: 10 Recipes that Defined the 1960s.

Seeing as how it’s #9 on the list, I almost did shrimp cocktail, but then I looked back, and saw that pigs in blanket are #7! Hand-held, salty and coated in dough, I’m convinced they’re the perfect Super Bowl appetizer!

My update to this 1960s “classic” is to make a savory version that is also vegetarian-friendly. The hot dog gets replaced by…olives!

And then I decided also to do a sweet version by replacing the hot dog with dates!

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I accomplished all of this with only four main ingredients—all of which can be found at a regular grocery store!

Someone told me about these crescent roll sheets recently, so I knew to look for them. If your store doesn't carry them, just use the regular crescent roll dough that comes in a tube, smoothing the dough back together at the cut lines.

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This recipe was so simple that cutting the cream cheese into small dollops was the hardest part.

And clearly that isn’t rocket science...

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Roll them up and sprinkle the savory version with salt and pepper and sprinkle the sweet version with sugar.

Side note: For extra texture, the next time I make these I will use turbinado sugar on top of the sweet version!

Baking takes about 15 minutes and then you just have to plate them up and be ready for all the compliments!

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The olive is a perfect substitute for the hot dog. The texture works well with the dough, and the salt level mimics the original so well that your guests won’t miss the meat!

Also, warm dates are magical. They are custard-y and sweet and when you pair them with cream cheese and crescent rolls, you have an easy appetizer that doubles as dessert!

Truthfully, I can see why pigs in a blanket were so popular in the 1960s.

And now that I’m rethinking the “pigs” portion of the recipe, the possibilities seem endless…

Imagine roasted carrots in a blanket, smoked tempeh in a blanket, buffalo sweet potato in a blanket…!

Olives in a Blanket

servings: makes 36 olives in a blanket

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages refrigerated crescent dough sheets
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, divided into 36 dollops
  • 36 pitted + pimento-stuffed green olives
  • Smoked salt, for sprinkling
  • Smoked pepper, for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Unroll the dough and cut it into 6 long strips. Divide each strip horizontally into thirds to make a total of 18 shorter strips.
  2. At the end of each dough strip place a dollop of the cream cheese, then place an olive on top of each of the dollops.
  3. Roll each strip up; you will still be able to see the olive. Repeat until all the olives are rolled up.
  4. Place the rolled strips on a cookie sheet.
  5. Sprinkle the tops of each rolled strip with the smoked salt and pepper.
  6. Bake until the dough is cooked and golden brown—about 15 minutes.
  7. Serve warm and enjoy!
: @bluebirdandblackberries

: @bluebirdandblackberries

Dates in a Blanket

servings: makes 36 dates in a blanket

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages refrigerated crescent dough sheets
  • 36 pitted dates
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, divided into 36 dollops
  • Sugar (raw sugar is best, but granulated will do), for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Unroll the dough and cut it into 6 long strips. Divide each strip horizontally into thirds to make a total of 18 shorter strips.
  2. At the end of each dough strip place a dollop of the cream cheese, then place a date on top of each of the dollops.
  3. Roll each strip up; you will still be able to see the date. Repeat until all the dates are rolled up.
  4. Place the rolled strips on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil.
  5. Sprinkle the tops of each rolled strip with the sugar.
  6. Bake until the dough is cooked and golden brown—about 15 minutes.
  7. Serve warm and enjoy!
: @bluebirdandblackberries

: @bluebirdandblackberries

Epilogue:

So maybe the Super Bowl isn’t your thing.

I was talking with a couple of friends the other night and they mentioned they had never been to a Super Bowl party or watched the Super Bowl! I was shocked, but the longer I thought about it, the more I realized I really just love the Super Bowl because it’s a casual and annual party.

It includes food and friends and light entertainment all under the totally comfortable and laid back veil of watching TV. And because it happens every year, people can count on it!

So here is my thought to you: if you are uninspired by the Super Bowl, find something that you can make your own annual party. Maybe it’s the Oscars, or the American Kennel Club National Championship, or Shark Week, or Election Day...

It literally doesn’t matter, because the truth is, once upon a time no one was throwing Super Bowl parties...

And then they did!

And that’s all it takes to start a tradition.

So the world is your oyster—or your “pig” in a blanket. You can make anything a tradition!

You just have to start it.

See what everyone else made ♥