It's football season and the temperature is dropping! Check out my friend April's new blog called The Game Changer. She is going to help all us women keep up with football and learn how to follow it - at least enough to talk to our husbands about it. That way we don't become football widows in the fall, but we enjoy the season too! Thanks, April!
Here are some of my favorite recipes for this season that are perfect for tailgating and football parties! And yes they are a little better for you than the traditional store-bought wings and chili from a can.
My boys are all crazy about Buffalo Hot Wings. It is the most requested item when I give them a choice. And I never knew how easy it was to make them at home instead of buying the frozen bag o' wings that have an ingredients list a whole paragraph long and are often breaded. These homemade hot wings involve 3 simple ingredients and are baked, not fried. Sometimes I buy frozen wings that are already separated, but lately I've been buying the fresh (not frozen) wings that still are intact. It is a little more work, but I like not having to thaw them before cooking. If the wings haven't been separated, you'll need a pair of kitchen scissors or a sharp knife and a cutting board. You have to cut each wing in two places, at each joint. Discard the tip (skinny part) and throw the other two wing parts on the greased baking sheet.
Buffalo Hot Wings
Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
Separate wings at the joints (if not yet separated) and spread them in an even layer on the baking sheet
Sprinkle with salt and pepper (I use Morton's Nature's Seasons seasoning blend)
Bake at 450 degrees for 35 minutes.
While the wings cook, melt 2 Tbsp butter in the microwave.
Add 3 Tbsp TexasPete Hot Sauce & whisk with the melted butter.
When wings are fully cooked, add them to a large bowl and pour the hot sauce/butter mixture over them.
If the bowl has a cover, close it tightly and shake to coat. If no lid is available, just stir well to coat.
Serve with blue cheese dressing (or dairy free ranch dressing) and carrot sticks or your veggies of choice.
Easy Chili and How to Make Stack-os for a Crowd
Chili is one of our favorite weekend meals too. My kids like it better if I use crushed tomatoes instead of the whole or diced that I used to use. Also, I mash the beans slightly before adding them so the kids can't find distinguishable chunks. They now love it!
We have a strong tradition in my side of the family called Stack-os. It all began circa 1982 at the Knoxville World's Fair. I was 5 years old and was there with my parents and our best friends, the Garretts. Apparently, someone at the fair was selling little bags of fritos with a scoop of chili in the bag and served with shredded cheese and toppings. People were walking around with "Stackos" in a bag with a fork at the Fair. We still serve Stackos whenever we meet the Garretts and our other 'Bama friends in the Smoky Mountains every year and I serve them often at my house for Bonfire or Football Parties.
Easy Homemade Chili
(double, triple or quadruple based on how many you are serving)
1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 large onion, chopped (or 4 Tbsp dried chopped onion)
2 cloves garlic, crushed (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin*
1 tsp dried oregano*
1 tsp cocoa powder*
1 can (16 oz) diced tomatoes undrained (or crushed for no chunks)
1 can (16 oz) your favorite beans undrained (I like kidney, pinto or black)
*for a quicker option, omit these 3 ingredients and double the chili powder to 2 Tbsp
Brown the meat, add chopped onions and spices. Add tomatoes and beans and heat to boiling. Cover and simmer about an hour or serve immediately if you need to!
Add water if you want a thinner consistency or if reheating chili the next day.
Garnishes for Stackos include:
Chopped fresh tomatoes
This is perfect for a large potluck style gathering. Just assign an item or two to each guest to bring and you provide the chili. Instant Stacko Party!