Are you ready for some Madden NFL 17 football snacks?

As the calendar turns to September, it signals the changing of the season. Not summer to fall, but as baseball season begins to wind down, football season starts to ramp up.

“Madden NFL 17” has become as much a part of the football frenzy as the NFL season. The franchise has been around for decades, and pro football players are nearly excited as the millions of video game players for the latest installment every year.

This year’s version features updates on all facets of gameplay as well as bringing a new pair of announcers, Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis. The duo offers a new dynamic and fresh perspective on the game while bringing a fun sense of humor to much of their commentary.

The two will also be recording new dialog as the NFL season progresses, highlighting what’s happening and connecting game players with the real-life season in new ways.

Gameplay changes offer something for new and veteran players of the game. A new game mode, Play the Moments, allows all players to get in the game during key plays, red zone situations, and game-winning drives. This is the fastest way to play “Madden NFL 17” without letting the AI take complete control.

If handling the high level decisions of management is more your speed, Big Decisions mode lets general managers make the choices that chart a team’s future. But for me, there was one choice that was decidedly missing – a unique concession item.

Not to worry. I’ve got a football snack that is easy to make, easy to eat and tasty enough to run through a lineman who is blocking the tray. It is not made without a bit of danger.

Thanks to the awesome people at Get In My Belly for the recipe. Of course, I did make some very minor tweaks.

The lineup

1 pound hot Italian sausage (ground or links)

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 pound of jalapenos, (the larger, the better)

 

The gameplan

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

If you are using sausage links, remove the casing and break up the meat into small bits. Ground sausage is good to go. Put the sausage in a medium skillet over medium heat, and cook until brown.

Drain the grease and place the sausage into a mixing bowl. Add the softened cream cheese and cheddar cheese and mix well.

Halve the jalapenos lengthwise and remove the seeds. If you like your snacks spicy (an audible!), leave in some of the internal ribs and seeds, but removing them completely (a spoon works best) will give a sweet flavor mixed with the spicy from the sausage.

Spoon the sausage and cheese mixture into each half. Make sure to fill each as much as you can without stacking it up too much.

Bake 20 minutes in the oven or until bubbly and lightly browned. Let them cool for a minute or two before devouring.

The snacks are great for a quick munch while game replays or a huddles are going on in the game. Don’t lose track of the game clock by focusing so much on them.

I’m not responsible for any delay of game penalties. Go Seahawks!