Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ultimate Tailgating

I am so excited about College Football starting this week! It's a good thing I love football because if I didn't- it would not be fun at my house during football season because my hubby watches every single game that comes on...seriously. My TWO teams are Ole Miss and Tennessee. I'm not sure how good either team will be this year but am anxious to find out. I grew up being a Tennessee fan. I do still love the Vols but I have been to more Ole Miss games over the past 4 years, know all about what is going on, know players names and the positions they play, have even made two trips to Dallas, TX to cheer on the Rebels in the Cotton Bowl and have sang the Hotty Toddy countless times, so I feel like a true fan.

If you have ever been to the Grove, you know how elaborate some of the tents get. It is crazy how extreme some people are- - do you really need a chandelier and over the top centerpieces for tailgating?? Well in the Grove, you do.

Below are a couple of my favorite tailgating recipes to go along with the usual chicken fingers, barbecue, burgers and sausage and cheese plates!

Dixie Caviar
2 (15.8-oz.) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1 medium-size green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
4 green onions, sliced
1 to 2 jalapeƱo peppers, seeded and minced
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup Italian dressing
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup sour cream
Tortilla chips
Garnish: cilantro sprig

1. Combine first 9 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Seal and chill 24 hours; drain. 2. Spoon mixture into a serving bowl. Stir in cilantro, and top with sour cream and cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips.
Makes 6 cups

Goat Cheese Torta
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces mild goat cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 teaspoons fresh oregano, snipped or chopped
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 cup pesto
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
fresh oregano
stone ground crackers or baguette, thinly sliced

Line a 1-quart loaf or souffle pan with clear plastic wrap. In a food processor bowl or large mixer bowl, combine cream cheese, goat cheese, garlic, oregano and pepper. Process or beat with electric mixer until smooth. Spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture in the bottom of the pan. Top with pesto, spreading evenly. Layer with another 1/3 of the cheese mixture.

Drain sun-dried tomatoes, reserving one tomato for garnish. Chop remaining tomatoes. Spread chopped sun-dried tomatoes evenly over cheese mixture in pan. Top with remaining cheese mixture. Cover with plastic wrap, and press gently to pack the cheese. Chill several hours.

Uncover cheese; invert onto serving plate. Cut reserved sun-dried tomato into thin slices. Garnish with thin slices of sun-dried tomato, the toasted almonds and fresh oregano or parsley. Serve with crackers of choice!

Toffee Bars
1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 packages saltine crackers (broken)
1 (12 ounce) package milk chocolate chips
1 cup of pecans or nuts for topping

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
2. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and grease the foil
3. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat melt butter with brown sugar; bring to a boil for 3 minutes and remove from heat.
4. Arrange crackers on the lined cookie sheet. Pour butter mixture over crackers.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over crackers and mixture. Spread chocolate over crackers as it melts. Once the crackers and mixture are covered with chocolate- add the pecans and refrigerate for 1 hour. Break into bars and enjoy!

1 package butterscotch chips
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 small packages of chow mein noodles
1 cup miniature marshmallows

First heat peanut butter in deep pot at medium heat. Then stir in butterscotch chips, reducing heat to low. Remove pot from burner, adding in noodles a little at a time while stirring the mixture.
Once combined, add in marshmallows (make sure mixture isn't hot or they will melt) and continue to combine all.
Once all ingredients are coated, spoon out onto wax paper and allow one hour for them to set.
Please send me your favorites-I am always up for trying new recipes!

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