Drake seems to be a hidden theme this week in preparation for trying to beat Alabama a third year in a row as we hopefully go baaaaack to baaaaack… to back. But I’m going to contradict him (forgive me @champagnepapi): if you’re reading this it’s NOT too late. I’ve got some tailgating recipes that can all be done the night before the game or even the morning of the game, if you’re really into procrastinating. No one at the tent will ever know you whipped these treats together quickly and with minimal ingredients, and if they do they’ll be too busy eating the food to lecture you on time management.
Maple Candied Bacon
Bacon and syrup — savory and sweet, just like our victory will be.
This is a quick recipe that involves little effort and is different enough that you’ll probably be the only person bringing it but tasty enough that everyone will be wanting more.
1 pound thick-cut bacon
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp powdered sugar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lay out each individual slice of bacon on the sheet. Brush the tops of the bacon with half of the maple syrup and then sprinkle some of the brown sugar on top as well.
Place the bacon in the preheated oven. After 15 minutes, pull the bacon out and flip each slice. Brush the tops of the bacon with the rest of the maple syrup and sprinkle on the remaining brown sugar. Bake for another 15 minutes or until desired crispiness.
Let the bacon cool before pulling it off the baking sheet and plating it. Warning: the bacon will be extremely sticky, but it’s worth it. Some people like to sift a small amount of powdered sugar to add a different level of sweetness and make the plating look picturesque.
Fluffy Pumpkin Dip
Football has begun, so it’s basically fall in my heart… And judging by the Halloween decorations and candy for sale, it’s fall in the hearts of large corporations everywhere as well, so it counts. Fall means there has to be a pumpkin dish at every occasion. Here’s an easy dip that pairs well with pretzels, green apple slices (if you’re attempting to be a little healthier), graham crackers and more.
1 can pumpkin puree
1 packet vanilla instant pudding
A dash of nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, or any warm fall spice
1 container Cool Whip
Mix first three ingredients in a large bowl until well blended. Fold in Cool Whip until fully incorporated. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving so it has a stiffer consistency.
Ole Miss Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Here’s a trademark treat that’s good for any party. It’s the sweet and salty treat that pairs well with any drink. If you’re feeling extra team spirited, you can add in some red and blue accents (like sprinkles) to make it even more clear which team you’re rooting for. Hotty Toddy!
14 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips
About a bag and a half of pretzels (You can use any variety of pretzel you want: rods, twists, squares or a mix of them all.)
14 ounces white chocolate chips
Red and blue food coloring
Red and blue sprinkles
Line at least three baking sheets with parchment paper or wax paper.
Melt the semisweet chocolate in a bowl in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir the chocolate between 10-second intervals, until the chocolate is completely melted.
Here’s the messy part: Dip each pretzel individually in the warm chocolate. You can either dip it about 3/4 of the way or go all in and coat the entirety of the pretzel. Whatever you’re feeling. Lift the pretzel out of the chocolate and hold it over the bowl for a few seconds letting the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Repeat this for as many pretzels as you want for feasting or until you you run out of either pretzels or chocolate.
Now we’re going to get school spirited. Separate half of the white chocolate chips into one bowl and the second half into another bowl. Melt the white chocolate just like you did the semisweet chocolate. Add a few drops of red food coloring into one of the bowls and stir until all of the chocolate is the same color red. Add a few drops of blue food coloring into one of the bowls and stir until all of the chocolate is the same color blue. The more drops of food coloring you add, the bolder the colors will be.
Place a clean spoon into the red-dyed chocolate and then drip thin stripes of the chocolate over the semisweet chocolate-coated pretzels. Do the same with the blue-dyed chocolate.
Finally, if you to add some flair to your pretzels (since the Grove is all about extravagance and showing off), sprinkle some blue and red sprinkles on the pretzels while the chocolate is still wet.