Tailgating Recipes

Whether you’re tailgating before the game or chowing at home in front of the big flat screen, football season means great food. One of my absolute favorites is hot wings. I discovered that I’m celiac a few years ago (meaning, no gluten for me) and no traditional hot wings. Then I came across a recipe for HOT WING DIP. I found it originally in a Rachel Ray magazine, but have tweaked it by adding whipping cream. It is super rich and seriously to die for. I’m giving you a recipe, but I’m telling you, you can not screw up this recipe. I don’t measure anything anymore, just throw it all in a big pan and, well, wing it.

Hot Wing Dip

2 large, cooked chicken breasts shredded (Don’t skimp. Use really cooked chicken. No canned chicken, no deli meat.)

6 T hot sauce

8 oz. cream cheese

1/2 c. ranch dressing

1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 c. heavy whipping cream (Don’t try to make it low fat. Enjoy it.)

The key to making this really yummy is to put the shredded chicken into a large sauce pan and add just the hot sauce. Let the hot sauce cook into the chicken. If you add more chicken, just add more hot sauce. I also usually throw in a couple dashes of cayenne pepper. Once the hot wing sauce is cooked in, then throw everything else in the pan. Stir it occasionally, until all melted.

Serve with tortilla chips.

This recipe serves 2-3 people. When I cook it for a game, depending on how many people will be coming, I usually quadruple the recipe, then throw it all in a crock pot on low.

Two other things that we always seem to make are Ranch Dip with Bacon and Cheddar Cheese and Whiskey Weenies. The ranch dip takes about two seconds to make and people always rave over it. Which really makes me laugh, since it requires such little effort.

Ranch Dip with Bacon and Cheddar

1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix

16 oz. sour cream

1/4 c. real bacon bits

1  c. shredded cheddar cheese

Put it in a bowl, mix it up, and serve with Ruffles potato chips.

So there’s a story behind the next recipe. This recipe was given to me by my Aunt. She used to make them every Christmas Eve. When I was twenty-three, I hosted and made all the food for our best friends’ engagement party. We rented out a penthouse in Omaha, and at the time, beings we usually hung out in dive bars, it seemed quite ritzy. So I decided, of course, to make Aunt Carol’s Bourbon Weenies. I had them made and was ready to add the alcohol when I realized that we didn’t have bourbon, only whiskey. I’m one of those people that sort of follows the more alcohol the better rule, plus I rarely measure when cooking, so I maybe added like A LOT of whiskey. When you opened the crock pot, the steam was so alcohol-filled your eyes literally watered. That’s when they were renamed Whiskey Weenies. And we ate them ALL!! I also once was in charge of making jello shots. Instead of mixing the water and the Everclear like you’re supposed to, I made them with only Everclear. They were a teensie strong, everyone complained, but they slurped them all down. So never be afraid to do your own thing when cooking!!

Here’s the original recipe. Feel free to swap as much bourbon for whiskey as you see fit.

Okay, so I guess I don’t have the original recipe. I’ve searched my recipe book multiple times, but here’s how you make it. I haven’t followed the recipe forever anyway.

Whiskey Weenies

1). Buy a few packages of all beef hotdogs. (Don’t try and skimp and buy the little smokies. Those things are nasty.) (I use 2 pkgs if I’m making for a small group, four for a crowd.)

2). Cut the hotdogs into bite sized chunks.

3.) Throw them in a crock pot.

4.) Cover them with a mixture of half ketchup, half BBQ sauce.

5.) Throw in a handful of brown sugar.

6.) Add as much whiskey or bourbon as you’d like.

7.) Let them heat for hours. Tasting as often as possible.

So the moral of the story is…….make some food, add a tailgating beer pong table, and the hitch stripper pole, and you’ve got yourself a party.

Oh, and GO BIG RED!!!! And the Texas Rangers. Let’s win the World Series this year!!!