Thursday, September 7, 2017

Food for Football, Tailgating, Campfires & Fall

It is that time of the year for Friday night football games, tailgating , fun old hayrides, October Fest, and more.  The list off fall activities goes on and on.  Americans find all these things just a normal part of cooler weather.

We all think about goodies such as smores, hotdogs and hamburgers on the grill, brauts and kraut, wings and of course apple cider and anything pumpkin!  As for me I could completely do without the pumpkin 'whatever' - not one of my favorite flavors!

I also have a few items I like to serve whenever there is a group of folks coming for a visit.  We like to make BBQ little smokies (or mini hotdogs), chili, pizza, BBQ or Swedish meatballs, chili/cheese dip and always homemade salsa and chips.

It is fun to look outside the box a little and try some new recipes once in a while.  These don't have to be served for a fall get together - they will also make a great dinner as well.  Remember, dinner doesn't have to be meat and potatoes and several courses.  It can be anything you want!!!  It is YOUR home - eat what makes you happy!

2 pkgs. of faux crab
2 - 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 pkg. of wonton skins/wraps
Salt and pepper to taste

Process crab into small pieces and add other ingredients.  Line a cookie sheet with wrappers (on parchment) and add 1 tsp. of mix (or a little more if it will fit).  Wet the edges of the wraps and fold over.  Brush with butter and bake at 400* for 12-14 minutes.
These make for great finger food, appetizers, or just a fun snack.

1 C brown sugar
12 oz. cola
1 onion diced
2 tsp. soy sauce
3 lbs. of wings
Salt & Pepper

Combine first 4 ingredients and pour over the wings in a lightly greased deep pan.  Bake at 350* for 2 hours.

DIRTY RICE (as promised)
12 oz. wild brown rice
2 pkg. Vigo red beans and rice
5 lbs. country pork sausage
4 large onion - chopped
2 large bell peppers - chopped
3 cans (or equivalent of home canned) diced tomatoes
1 small stalk of celery chopped
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 tsp. garlic salt
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground sage (optional in my opinion)
Brown your meat. Remove from pan.  Add chopped onion in hot grease and cook till clear.
Add spices to 12 CUPS of water and bring to a boil - then add rice and beans - bring back to a boil - reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Next add meat, tomatoes, and other veggies and simmer on LOW for 1 - 1 1/2 hours.  Stir frequently.

**I told you it made a lot!!!!  This is great for a big gathering or just to make ahead and freeze up in containers for several meals.  It is soooooooo good.
An old friend of ours, who once owned a small pub up the street used to make this and serve at the bar.  It was always a hit.
I have made it with a little less meat - but the sausage is what really adds to the dish.  You make it spicier or not as spicy - your choice.

Now if you want dirty rice quickly and on a much smaller scale - try the Aldi brand dirty rice mix (.99 box) and add a pound of ground sausage to it.  It is very tasty as well, although not as spicy!

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 C sour cream
3 ounces dried beef, rinsed (if using jarred beef) and finely chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped green pepper
1  1/2 Tbsp. minced onion
1 tsp. dried green pepper flakes, optional
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
pepper to taste
Combine all 8 ingredients in a 1 quart baking dish.  Bake at 375*, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Serve with raw veggies or crackers.  Yields about 2 cups.
So good!

Our favorite.
1 lb. of Velveeta cheese like spread
1 can of chili - Use whatever type chili you like - w/beans, w/meat or without either!

Chop the cheese spread into chunks and add the chili and plop in the microwave at 1 minute increments - stir and go again - till all cheese is melted.  Stir thoroughly and serve with crackers or tortilla chips! (I have also made this in the crockpot!)
We have made meals of this before!

I hope this gives you a few new ideas for these fall/winter gatherings or just for a fun meal at home.  It is fun to experiment a little and try new things.

I realize that wings are not cheap anymore - but keep an eye open for them on sale - as this is the time of year they will be.  Stock up when you can.
Five pounds of sausage can be pricey - but plan ahead and get your items on sale.  That dish makes so much, that it really is frugal in the long run.



  1. Oh wow, you have several of our favorites here, Cheryl We love crab rangoon, hot spiced cider, and dirty rice. It was 51 degrees here this morning and it felt so good. I'm ready for all the delights of all. I hope your fall season is a good one. :)

    1. Belinda fall is definitely in the air. It has been in the 40's the past 2 mornings here.
      There are so many great fall/winter foods. Funny how some things just taste better once the weather cools!
      have a good day

  2. I have made that crab Rangoon often over the years, the only thing I do differently is I pan fry it. Or I just use it as a cheese spread on crackers and leave out the wonton skins. Delicious either way.

    Looks like that dirty rice (what a name!) 😃 would be good for the gluten and dairy intolerant folks in my family. I'll have to give that a try. Thank you!

    1. Cheri - the oven version is maybe a few less calories - but fried rangoon would be yummy as well.
      What a good thought about the rice - never really thought about the gluten free aspect.

  3. Thanks so much can't wait to try this. Love that it is huge as I will freeze ahead.

    1. You are so very welcome. It is really good!
      ENJOY IT!

  4. Thanks for the Cola Wing recipe! I'll keep an eye out for Wing sales and make this for my husband. Maybe I can get several meals out of it for him. (He's a big eater.)

    1. Debbie - hope you enjoy it (or he does)! I hope you get more than a meal as well.
      Mine likes wings too - and eats many when we have them! It's a guy thing!!