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Monday, September 21, 2015

OCTOBER 3, 2015 - GEORGIA TECH vs UNC!

Due to several travel commitments, this game (in week 5 of the 2015 college football season) is our first one of the season where we will be at the stadium tailgating!  Excited to dust off the tailgating chops and enjoy some great food with friends and family! It's a conference rivalry game, so that will add to the excitement for sure!

And the weather should still be mild in Atlanta, GA - high in the mid 60s (as of writing this blog).

It's a 3:30PM Kickoff, so our tailgate will begin around 11AM.

GEORGIA TECH 

vs

UNC
MENU:
APPETIZERS: AVOCADO AND SHRIMP SALSA (with chips) &
BUFFALO CHICKEN MEATBALLS
MAIN: BEEF TENDERLOIN SLIDERS
SIDES: BEST SALAD FOR A CROWD &
MAC AND CHEESE MUFFINS

TODAY'S DRINK SPECIAL: GRAPEFRUIT RICKEYS

DESSERT OF THE DAY: TOFFEE CHOCOLATE BARS

AVOCADO AND SHRIMP SALSA with chips
(Adapted from smitten kitchen)
smittenkitchen
1 lb small shrimp, peeled and deveined 
2 firm-ripe avocados, halved, scored into a small dice
2 cups grape tomatoes, quartered or 2 cups chopped tomatoes, drained a little
1/2 small white onion, very finely chopped (use red if you can’t find white)
1 small jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
Drizzle of olive oil
Juice of 1 to 2 limes
Salt
Handful cilantro leaves, roughly chopped, optional (I'm leaving this out since one of my guests detests the stuff)
Hot sauce, on the side
Tortilla chips
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Cook the shrimp: Bring salted water to a boil and turn off heat. Add shrimp, cover pot and let stand until firm and pink, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain shrimp, pat dry and chill. (Could also add a bottle of beer to the water along with Old Bay Seasoning and lemon juice if you want more flavor.)
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Make salsa: Chop shrimp into small bites and put in medium bowl.
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Add tomatoes, white onion, jalapeño (if using, to taste) and a drizzle of olive oil to a large bowl.
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Add avocados into bowl. Add the juice of one lime, and a second one, if needed. Add salt to taste, then cilantro, if using. Serve with tortilla chips.

Not a great picture, but trust me, this salsa was so good, and it was devoured in no time!

NOTE: I'm going to make the salsa ahead of my tailgate and add everything together EXCEPT the avocado.  Right before serving, I'll cut up the avocados and toss in the salad.  Keeps the avocado from turning brown and getting mushy.

BUFFALO CHICKEN MEATBALLS
(Adapted from damn delicious)

These meatballs are just so good!  They are the perfect thing to serve for a tailgate because they're A. Delicious and B. They are easy "finger-foods" that people can pick up with a toothpick and pop in their mouths.  I've found these foods are the ones that get gobbled up first (as opposed to dips and casseroles that require a chip or spoon or fork to eat). I'm doubling my recipe for the crowd that are coming to this week's tailgate.

1 lb ground chicken 
3/4 cup Panko
1 large egg
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3/4 cup your favorite buffalo sauce
1/4 cup blue cheese dressing
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Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
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In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, Panko, egg, garlic and onion powder and green onions; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Using a wooden spoon or clean hands, mix until well combined.
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Roll the mixture into 1 1/4-to-1 1/2-inch meatballs, forming about 24 meatballs.
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Place meatballs onto prepared baking sheet and bake for ~ 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

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Place meatballs into a slow cooker.
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Add buffalo sauce blue cheese dressing and gently toss to combine.
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Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours. Serve immediately or cool a bit, and then store in an airtight container.  Then reheat in the crockpot before serving.  Serve with additional blue cheese or ranch dressing if desired.

BEEF TENDERLOIN SLIDERS
(Adapted from add a pinch)
addapinch
We're serving a bigger crowd, so I'll double or maybe triple this recipe.

2 lbs beef tenderloin, cooked medium-rare, sliced into 1⁄2- inch slices (for cooking instructions go to: http://www.tailgateguru.net/2015/02/a-valentines-day-celebration.html)
12 slider buns, split 
4 TBSP butter 
1 cup horsey spread (see below)

Spread butter onto both sides of split slider buns. Toast on griddle or in a large skillet until lightly golden brown. Remove from griddle and spread with horsey sauce and top with beef tenderloin slices. Add more horsey sauce on top of beef tenderloin slices and top with top of slider bun. 
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Horsey Spread:

½ cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 8-ounce cream cheese, softened
3 TBSP horseradish (adjust to your taste)
S & P to taste
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Cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy.
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Add horseradish and cream together. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Place in refrigerator in an airtight container until ready to serve (or transport to your tailgate).
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MAC AND CHEESE MUFFINS
(Adapted from Mess for Less)
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Makes 12 "muffins"
Who doesn't love mac and cheese?  This recipe is a delicious version of the classic with one twist - you prepare the dish, then spoon it into muffin tins and bake.  That makes it perfect for a tailgate party!  You can prepare it ahead, then simply store it in an airtight container, refrigerate, and then transport to your tailgate when ready.  I'll simply reheat them in a microwave before serving. I doubled the recipe for my tailgate.

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
2 TBSP of butter
1 egg, beaten
1 TBSP of sour cream
3/4 cup milk
2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup of shredded cheese 
1/4 cup of breadcrumbs
1 tsp of salt
Pepper to taste
Dash of garlic powder
Cooking spray
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Boil a large pot of salted water and add the elbow macaroni. Boil according to package directions, then drain and return macaroni to pot with no heat.
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Stir in butter, beaten egg and sour cream.
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Add 2 cups of shredded cheese and milk and stir under low heat until the sauce starts to thicken a bit. Stir in salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.
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Generously grease (or use muffin cups) a 12 cup muffin tin. Scoop the macaroni evenly into each cup.
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Mix the reserved 1/2 cup of shredded cheese with 1/4 cup of bread crumbs and sprinkle over the muffins. Spray the top of the muffins with cooking spray.
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Bake for 30 minutes and let cool for a few minutes before removing from pan.




BEST SALAD FOR A CROWD!
(Adapted from taste of home)
tasteofhome

This salad is just perfect for a tailgate party.  The only thing you have to chop just prior to serving are the tomatoes.  It big enough for a crowd, and I just made the dressing in advance, bagged the toasted almonds and bacon and croutons, and simply threw all the ingredients together right before serving.  The addition of swiss cheese really sets it apart!
3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 bunches (1 pound each) romaine, torn
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
2/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted, optional
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 cup croutons (see below)
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In a jar with tight-fitting lid, combine the oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper; cover and shake well. Chill.
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In a large serving bowl, toss the romaine, tomatoes, Swiss cheese, almonds if desired, Parmesan cheese and bacon. Shake dressing; pour over salad and toss. Add croutons and serve immediately.
Yield: 14 servings (1 cup each).

Crouton Recipe
(food network)
Day old French bread
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut bread into cubes and place in a large bowl.
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Drizzle cubes with olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Mix well.
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Spread seasoned bread onto a sheet pan, and bake for about 15 minutes.
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GEORGIA TECH (OR GRAPEFRUIT) RICKEY
(Courtesy of Fireside Pies)
cointreau
I'm making a big batch of the stuff, so I'll be multiplying by 20 for my tailgate.
1 ½ oz (30 oz or ~ 4 cups) fresh grapefruit juice
1 ½ oz (30 oz) vodka
½ oz (10 oz) fresh lime juice
½ oz (10 oz) St. Germaine Elderflower liquor
½ oz (10 oz) simple syrup (you can use a bit less of this if you want it less sweet)
2 oz (40 oz or 5 cups) club soda
1 slice grapefruit, optional, for garnish

Fill shaker 2/3 with ice. Add grapefruit and lime juices with vodka, elderflower and simple syrup and pour over ice and top with club soda. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit.

TOFFEE CHOCOLATE BARS
(Adapted from my recipe magic)
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Base Layer:
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup flour 
Topping:
10 oz sweetened condensed milk
2 TBSP butter
1 3/4 cup (1 package) milk chocolate chips
1 1/3 cup (1 package) Heath toffee bits
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Cream together butter, brown sugar and flour until well blended and mixture sticks together.
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Press into 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 18-20 minutes or until light golden.

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Cool while preparing filling.

Heat sweetened condensed milk and butter in heavy pan, stirring constantly over medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until thickened a bit.
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Spread over cooled base.
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Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 min or until golden. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the top.
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Bake for 2 minutes longer or until chocolate is shiny and soft. Remove from oven. Spread chocolate evenly.
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Sprinkle toffee bits on top, pressing lightly into chocolate. Cool completely, and cut into bars.
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I'm cutting the bars up and placing in airtight containers in the freezer before taking to my tailgate.


OH - and how cute are these?  I ordered them online and will affix them to water bottles this season.  They'll personalize anything you want!
wholesalehalloweencostumes

AND - it's THAT time again - 
WHAT TO WEAR TO THE TAILGATE???  
Here's what I'm going with:

polyvore by cate-mcclane-bogue


WEATHER ALERT:
Sadly, Hurricane Joaquin is looming in the Atlantic Ocean, and RAIN RAIN RAIN is predicted in our area over the next few days (including our tailgate party!).  Also, the temperature has dropped drastically with the new high for game time being 62 degrees.  Much chillier than originally predicted.  So, slight change of plans in the outfit department.  I'll be lugging the following:




A few pics from our tailgate:


















What rain?


NEXT UP? 

WE TRAVEL TO:

CLEMSON, SOUTH CAROLINA 10/10/15