Of course, I quickly found out that at the University of Florida, they love their football (almost) as much as we do in Texas; on Game Days in Gainesville, it’s orange and blue as far as the eye can see, and I love it.
As college football and the NFL are well underway, I thought I’d share some of my favorite tailgate party recipes.
In part one of the Tailgating Treats series, it’s all about the salty and sweet combo.
Bacon Wrapped Dates
Now if theres one thing we love in Texas more than football, it’s bacon; wrap it around a date and you’ll have an appetizer your guests can’t resist.
What you’ll need:
Package whole dates
Package cream cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with your foil- these get pretty greasy as you can imagine, so it’s best to protect your pan. If your dates have seeds in them, squeeze from the bottom until the seed slides out; don’t worry if the sides crack open, the bacon will keep them from falling apart.
Once all your dates are pitted, stuff them with small squares of cream cheese- don’t be afraid to get in there and get messy, it’s unavoidable.
Once your dates are stuffed, cut your bacon slices in half. Wrap each date with a half slice of bacon, and place them bacon seam down on your pan; insert a toothpick to hold them together.
Bake for 10 minutes, then take them out (carefully!) and flip them. Allow to bake 5-10 more minutes, until bacon is browned and crispy.
Let them cool, and that’s it! I took out the toothpicks and replaced them with football picks, just for an added effect.
Mini Corn Dogs
I know the words cute and football don’t really mix well, but come on… these are just so CUTE!
As an added bonus they couldn’t be easier, and they’ll definitely be a crowd pleaser.
What you’ll need:
Package Jiffy Cornbread Mix
1/3 c milk
1 tbsp honey
Package Little Smokies Suasages
Mini Muffin Pan
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brown little smokies in a frying pan over medium heat. Allow to cool, then cut each sausage in half (note- you will only use 12 of the little smokies for this recipe, I serve the rest plain with toothpicks). Set aside.
Grease mini muffin pan. Prepare your Jiffy cornbread mix with milk and egg and add 1 tbsp of honey. Mix just until blended- don’t over mix. Pour your batter into your mini muffin tins, filling each one only about halfway.
Take your little smokies and put one half in the center of each tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool, then serve.
Football Cream Cheese Dip
If you’ve never had cream cheese and jalapeño jelly dip, it’s high time you try. This super simple recipe is a great way to show your team spirit in a delicious way.
What you’ll need:
2 8 oz blocks of cream cheese
1 jar jalapeño jelly (choose flavor according to your team color)
1 8 oz tub whipped cream cheese
Food coloring (also according to your team)
Wheat thins or other crackers for dipping
Plastic sandwich bag
Colored beads (if desired)
Your fist step is to place your cream cheese in the center of a large serving tray. Using a butter knife or spatula, shape your cream cheese into a football shape. Cover with jalapeño jelly. Set aside.
Using your whipped cream cheese, spoon about half of the tub into a plastic sandwich bag.
Add a few drops of your preferred food coloring into the bag, and work it through with your fingers. Once you have a uniform color, use your fingers to work the cream cheese all into one corner of the bag.
Snip a small hole in the edge of the bag and use this to pipe on your teams name, logo, or whatever you like.
Surround your cream cheese football with crackers (I think Wheat Thins taste the best) and chill until ready to serve.
That’s all there is to it! If you want to get really spirited, throw some bead necklaces in your team’s colors around the edges.
Well that’s all for today’s tailgating treats- hopefully you’ve found some ideas for your tailgate party this weekend! We’ll be talking tailgating treats for the next few weeks, so be sure to check back in next Thursday.
This weekend is Florida’s SEC home opener against Kentucky… so if you’re a Wildcat, I’m sorry to say we can’t be friends for the next 3 or 4 days
Until next time,
Happy Baking and Go Gators!