#10DaysofTailgate: ‘Da Bears in ‘Da Blankets

Tailgate LogoOn this second Sunday of #10DaysofTailgate, which is hosted by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, I have decided to highlight my favorite NFL team – the Chicago Bears. It is also fitting that today we play our rivals, The Green Bay Packers.

When you think Chicago food you think three things: pizza, beefs, and dogs. And Chicago’s favorite condiments: giardiniera, relish, and mustard.

I decided to create a tailgate friendly version of classic Chicago flavors. Pigs in Blankets, or well, in this case, ‘Da Bears in ‘Da Blankets! (Shout out to my mom for helping me come up with the title.)

I used all beef little hotdogs for my “bears” and the “blankets” classic crescent rolls sprinkled with poppy seeds. To satisfy the classic toppings of mustard and relish I served my dogs alongside some snack sized pickles and three different mustard dipping sauces. Why three? Because I couldn’t decide what flavor I wanted!

ElDiablo_Logo_Color_TaglineEl Diablo Hot and Spicy Mustards is one of our sponsors for #10DaysofTailgate and they generously provided their six flavors of mustard for us to play around with. Three of them I am showcasing today and one will be showcased tomorrow, so be sure to come back and check it out! I admit I’m too scared to try the habanero flavor while breastfeeding and I’m allergic to the mango – but my husband has assured me it’s delicious and he’s already used it for dipping grilled chicken. Based on other #10DaysofTailgate postings, the Mango is very popular! My personal favorite is the Steakhouse.

MBBQ-LOGO-120309I didn’t stop there with the Chicago menu though, I also made giardiniera. But not any giardiniera. I wanted to highlight another sponsored product, so I made a grilled giardiniera! I used the mesh grilling skillet from Mr. Bar-B-Q to grill all of the veggies! This skillet is awesome! The handle is detachable which makes for easy grilling. Simply place the skillet on the grill, remove the handle, and then when you’re ready to remove from the heat reattach the handle – no oven mitts required.

Grilled Giardiniera

‘Da Bears in ‘Da Blankets

Ingredients for the dogs:

  • 35 mini all beef hotdogs
  • 1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds

Ingredients for the mustard dipping sauces:

Ingredients for the giardiniera:

  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper
  • 6 baby carrots (or 1 large carrot)
  • 1-2 serrano peppers
  • canola oil for grilling
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1 tsp Gourmet Garden oregano paste
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Steps for the dogs:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet.
  2. Cut each crescent roll triangle into strips of 4 and wrap around each of the mini hotdogs. Place on baking sheet and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
  3. Bake 15 minutes, until dough is golden brown.

Steps for the mustard dipping sauces:

  1. In a small bowl combine mayo and sour cream.
  2. Divide into three smaller bowls (1/3 C each).
  3. Stir 1 tbsp each flavored mustard into one of the bowls.

Steps for the giardiniera:

  1. Brush all of the veggies with canola oil and sprinkle with S+P. Grill veggies, tossing occasionally, until tender and the cauliflower is lightly golden, about 10 minutes.
  2. When cool enough to handle, finely chop all of the veggies and mince the garlic. Peel the skins off the serrano peppers and also remove the seeds. Note: If you don’t want a super spicy giardiniera use only one.
  3. In a bowl, combine veggies with olive oil and oregano. Season with salt. Keep refrigerated.

*The dogs and mustard dipping sauces are adapted from Pat and Gina Neely at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/patrick-and-gina-neely/neelys-pigs-in-a-blanket-recipe.html *

Da Bears in Da Blankets 1 Da Bears in Da Blankets 2

Thank you Jennifer and Mr. Bar-B-Q for sponsoring our event.

Disclaimer: I received El Diablo Hot and Spicy Mustards, a mesh grilling skillet, and herb pastes through this event, however all opinions are my own.

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway and be sure to check out the other bloggers who posted more tailgating recipes today:

Starters
Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs by Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
Philly Cheese Steak Eggrolls by Cooking In Stilettos
Ketchup & Mustard Glazed Meatballs by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Duck Bacon, Pear, Brie Baked Wontons by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Mains
Buffalo Chicken Sliders by girlichef
Chipotle Ranch Chicken Wings by Cheese Curd In Paradise
White Chicken Chili by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Saucy Maple Leaf Duck Sliders by Making Miracles
Three Pepper Burgers by Eliot’s Eats
Chipotle Mustard Pork Chops by The Pajama Chef
Cherry Chipotle Drumsticks by Summer Scraps
Sides
Salads in Jars by OnTheMove-In the Galley

#10DaysofTailgate: Maize and Blue Chicken Salad

Tailgate LogoOn this, the second Saturday of the #10DaysofTailgate event, which is hosted by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, I have decided to put a spotlight on my other college football team – The Michigan Wolverines. My dad is a UM alum so I grew up bleeding maize and blue. And even still, I have a soft spot for the University of Michigan and those Michigan helmets!

When Not Ketchup stepped up and offered participating bloggers a sample of one of their dipping sauces I immediately knew that I’d be signing up for their Blueberry White Pepper flavor. Because when it’s football season, red is out of the question! On the back of the bottle is the slogan “Leave the red stuff for the kids.”

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the flavors of the Not Ketchup. Before receiving my bottle I was thinking of creating a barbecue sauce with it. After all, ketchup is included in most barbecue sauce recipes. I thought of doing Maize and Blue sliders and using cheddar cheese for my pop of yellow. But when I tasted this unique dipping sauce I decided to go in a different direction. Not Ketchup LogoThe blueberry flavor is nicely balanced by the white pepper and the sauce is rounded out by the tang from the apple cider vinegar.

With such a light and flavorful sauce I decided to make chicken salad instead. I knew that mayonnaise would mellow out the tartness of the sauce while fresh apple would still keep it bright and light. The beauty of chicken salad is that you can add in whatever flavors you like! I have never had a chicken salad with corn in it before, but I knew that I could satisfy my “maize” requirement with a little corn. And as a bonus, the grocery store had yellow tomatoes! My original recipe chicken salad is bright and refreshing. It isn’t drowning in dressing and has many textures and unique flavors to satisfy any pallet. I encourage you to order a bottle of Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup and give this recipe a go!

ThermoPop

I decided to poach chicken for my chicken salad. I like using poached chicken for chicken salad because poaching allows the chicken to absorb extra flavor and by cooking it in liquid it ensures the meat will stay moist. I even got to test out the Thermopop by ThermoWorks! With nine colors to chose from, I was ecstatic to find that I was sent the orange one! Remember – red is out of the question during football season. I have gone though a few different temperature gauges in my short cooking career. The very first one I had I broke by leaving it in the oven. TW Logo-Stacked 123C-1(Please note: The ThermoPop is not designed to be left in the oven.) After that I bought a digital one as well as a candy thermometer. Neither of these devices compare to the ThermoPop. Not only do their bright colors make it a fun kitchen gadget, but it also means it won’t get lost in my drawer of utensils. It comes with a matching “sheath” to keep the probe free from dirt and damage when not in use. The ThermoPop is also easy to use. A simple touch of the front button turns the device and backlight on (the backlight will automatically turn off after 10 seconds to save power), a button on the back will adjust the temperature from degrees Fahrenheit to degrees Celsius, and probably the best feature, another button will rotate the large digital display 90 degrees. There’s no more twisting your head in awkward angles to read your thermometer and there’s no need for a magnifying glass to read the temperature either.

An Original Recipe

Maize and Blue Chicken Salad

Ingredients for chicken:

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp peppercorns
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 small red onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

Steps for chicken:

  1. Fill a pot with 2 quarts water. Add ingredients for chicken.
  2. Bring pot to a boil, reduce heat to medium and allow to cook for 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove and let cool before cutting into bite sized cubes.

Ingredients for chicken salad:

  • 3 C cooked, cubed chicken (recommended recipe above)
  • 1 C diced apple (I used honeycrisp)
  • 1/2 C diced yellow tomato
  • 2 ears roasted corn, kernels removed (or 2 C)
  • 2/3 C blueberries
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1/3 C mayonnaise
  • 1/4 C buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup
  • 1/4 tsp dried mustard
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp kosher salt (to taste)

Steps for chicken salad:

  1. In a large bowl gently toss together chicken, apple, yellow tomato, corn, blueberries, and scallions.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together mayo, buttermilk, Not Ketchup, dried mustard, cayenne, and salt.
  3. Gently coat chicken salad with the dressing.
  4. Serve on toasted buns, in lettuce cups, wrapped in a tortilla, or with crackers.

UM Chicken Salad 4Maize and Blue Chicken Salad

I do still want to make a barbecue sauce and a salad dressing with the Not Ketchup, and I know it would be fantastic over wings. The possibilities are endless. So leave the red stuff for the kids and order some today!

Thank you Erika and Jesse for sponsoring our event.

Disclaimer: I was provided a bottle of Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup and a ThermoPop from ThermoWorks through this event, however all opinions and statements are my own.

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway and be sure to check out the other bloggers who posted more tailgating recipes today:

Starters
Chicken Bacon RanchTaquitos by Things I Make (for Dinner)
 Cherry Chipotle Glazed Wings by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Firewired Pancetta-Wrapped Seafood by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Mains
Savory Duck Handpies by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Slow Cooker Smoky Date Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Smokey Red Lentil Chili by Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
Thai Beef Skewers by The Pajama Chef
Sips
Apple Cherry Spice Cocktail by CafeTerraBlog
Dips
Kicked up Spinach Dip by Miss Laura’s Kitchen
Pizza Dip by Making Miracles
Sweets
Peanut Butter & Chocolate Hard Pretzels by The Spiffy Cookie

#10DaysofTailgate: Thai Chicken Skewers

Tailgate LogoWe are now more than halfway through #10DaysofTailgate hosted by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla. While there are a few healthy tailgating dishes that have been shared by my fellow blogger pals, I think it’s safe to say that the majority of our posts lean a little more towards the sinful side of the diet spectrum. So today I’m going to share a healthy grilling recipe with you! (Actually, come to think of it, my post tomorrow is healthy too! So be sure to come back and check it out. I promise, I don’t plan these things.)

Today’s recipes features two of our wonderful sponsors – Gourmet Garden and FireWire Grilling.

If you’ve never used Gourmet Garden herbs before I highly encourage you give them a try. I’ve purchased their herbs before, and usually buy them instead of bunches of fresh herbs. Gourmet GardenI cannot grow anything to save my life and I can’t keep fresh herbs alive for more than a day after bringing them home from the store. So unless I need fresh herbs for garnish, I’ll buy Gourmet Garden’s herb pastes. They last in the fridge for up to 3 months and give you that fresh flavor you’re looking for.

FireWire Grilling provided their Flexible Grilling Skewers for us to try. I don’t often go crazy for grilling gadgets, but these are worth getting excited about! I’ll admit, I was hesitant. Why would you want a flexible skewer? I asked. FireWire logoWell, let me tell you (in my best infomercial voice)! Don’t you hate it when you’re putting marinated meat and veggies on a skewer and your hands are all sticky and messy? Instead, put your meat and veggies on the skewer, and put it in the bowl or bag of marinade! (Yes, you still have to wash your hands if you’re handling raw meat, sorry.) That wouldn’t be possible with a typical straight skewer – it wouldn’t fit! What I also loved about these skewers was the skewer tip – it’s not sharp yet the meat slipped on easily. Remember that bag you’re putting the skewer in? It won’t poke a hole through it. There’s also no more fear of piercing fingers!

FireWire Flexible Skewers

An Original Recipe

Thai Chicken Skewers

Ingredients:

Steps:

  1. In a bowl whisk together sugar, lime and orange juices, fish sauce, coriander, pepper, chunky garlic paste, cilantro paste, and Thai seasoning. Reserve about a 1/3 C to baste skewers with.
  2. Place chicken and onion on skewers.
  3. Marinate skewers a minimum of 30 minutes.
  4. Grill skewers 4-5 minutes on each side, or until chicken is cooked through.

*This recipe was inspired by http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/shrimp-with-thai-lemongrass-marinade *

Thai Chicken Skewers FG1

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway and be sure to check out the other bloggers who posted more tailgating recipes today:

Starters
Diablo’d Cheesy Bacon-Onion Pinwheel Rolls by Things I Make (for Dinner)
Spiced Kofta with Carrot Karma Yogurt Dip by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Dips
Baked Potato Beer Dip by Cheese Curd In Paradise
Hot Caramelized Onion Dip by Eliot’s Eats
Healthier Buffalo Cauliflower Dip by The Spiffy Cookie
Dunkin Duck, Cheesy Bacon and Ranch Dip by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Mains
Honey Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs by Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
Bacon Cheeseburger Soup by From Gate to Plate
Sides
Grilled Parsley Potatoes by Curious Cuisiniere
Grilled Vegetables by Summer Scraps
 Sweets
Pumpkin Bars by The Pajama Chef

And for yesterday’s tailgating fare check out Camilla’s page here.

#10DaysofTailgate: Mason Jar Fruit Salad

Tailgate LogoWelcome to day two of #10DaysofTailgate hosted by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla. Today I have a perfect recipe for those early morning tailgating sessions.

While night games have a great atmosphere, my favorite games to tailgate for are the early afternoon ones.

I love having breakfast themed tailgates, going off to the stadium, and then returning to the tailgate site to have dinner. Win or lose, it’s fun to end the evening on campus – enjoying some drinks, more food, and tossing a football.

The breakfast tailgating spread includes coffee, bagels, muffins, and fruit. The only problem with having fresh fruit is that it attracts flies. By putting fruit salad in individual mason jars, the fruit can stay cold in the cooler and the flies will stay away. They can also be prepared in advance.

You can use whatever fruits you like, whatever is in season, or whatever fits with your team’s colors! With a lime dressing, I picked fruits that would be brightened up by the citrus flavor.

Mason Jar Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 C cubed pineapple
  • 1 honey crisp apple, cubed
  • 2 oranges, cubed
  • 1 C seedless red grapes

Steps:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, honey, and lime. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, gently toss together fruit. Add dressing and toss until all of the fruit is coated with the dressing.
  3. Spoon into individual mason jars. Keep cold until ready to serve.

*This recipe is adapted from http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Fruit-Salad-with-Honey-Lime-Dressing-106941 *

Mason Jar Fruit Salads

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway and be sure to check out the other bloggers who posted more tailgating recipes today:

Dips
Avocado and Corn Salsa by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Deviled Egg Dip by From Gate to Plate

Sips
 Charred Bloody Mary and Smoky Sliders by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Mains
Sticky Fingers by Debbi Does Dinner Healthy

Fried Chicken Salad

When we moved to Ohio we spent a week with Stuart’s family in northern Alabama. As a welcome, his aunt provided dinner for us – fried chicken!

I couldn’t tell you the last time I’d had fried chicken. (Other than Chick-fil-A, of course.) It’s not something I have, or even crave, that often. But when it’s made right it makes me wonder why I haven’t been enjoying it more! Perfectly seasoned, crispy batter and juicy meat makes for finger licking good eats.

But what do you do with the leftovers?

Damaris Phillips, winner of last season’s Next Food Network Star, has an answer!

Chicken salad.

I really like chicken salad (as long as it’s made with mayo and not Miracle Whip). I love it on top of a croissant, between toasted bread, and eaten with crackers. There are many options when it comes to chicken salad mix-ins: from nuts, to fruits, to vegetables, even bacon and cheese.

When I watched Damaris make this on her show Southern at Heart, I immediately wanted to make it. I was ecstatic to have the opportunity! This chicken salad is fantastic. I love the tang from the buttermilk, the kick from the cayenne, the crunch from the celery, and the zip from the scallion. I even followed Damaris’s suggestion and served it on a croissant. That buttery, flaky bread is the perfect vessel for the chicken salad.

I encourage you to go out and get some fried chicken, or make your own, just so you can have this chicken salad. Bring it to your next tailgate, go on a picnic, or spice up your weekday lunchbox. Find any excuse you can to make this sandwich!

Fried Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 C mayonnaise
  • 1/4 C whole-grain mustard
  • 1/2 C buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 5-6 C cold fried chicken, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 scallions, sliced

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together mayo, mustard, buttermilk, Italian seasoning, and cayenne. Stir in chicken, celery, and scallion.
  2. Create sandwiches with croissants. Makes 6-8 sandwiches.

*This recipe is adapted from Damaris at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/damaris-phillips/fried-chicken-salad-sandwiches.html*

Fried Chicken Salad

Award Winning Cool Chili

Every year at work we have a fundraising chili cook-off. Last year there were three categories: Original, Whoa, and Cool. For the purposes of the cook-off I used a little less heat than normal so that I wouldn’t cross the edge into “Whoa” where I knew my recipe had no chance. As you can probably infer from the title of this blog post, my original recipe won Best “Cool” Chili!

I developed this recipe my senior year of college when our Silver Wings chapter provided a chili dinner for the Air Force ROTC. It’s a tomato based turkey chili with corn. I don’t really like super meaty chili, so this recipe could almost border on a chunky soup level. It was such a huge complement when I saw that my pot of chili was gone first!

Award Winning Chili 1

My chili is the first recipe I ever created, and it’s exciting to know it’s a hit! I make it every year for Thanksgiving, so that if people get hungry before turkey time there’s something ready and waiting in a slow cooker. They can help themselves without getting in the way of dinner prep. It’s perfect for tailgates, potlucks, and quick dinners and easy lunches.

I decided that the Super Bowl was the perfect time to debut my chili on the blog!

An Original Recipe

Award Winning Cool Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped (any color you prefer)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 cans (28 oz each) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 oz) dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) corn, drained
  • 1 1/2 C chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano*
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme*
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram*
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary*
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley*
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ancho chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried mustard
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp hot sauce, or to taste
  • salt, to taste

*If you have a spice blend, such as Mrs. Dash, feel free to use 2 tsp of that instead

Steps:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, saute onion and bell pepper until onion is translucent, season with a pinch of S+P if desired. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add ground turkey to the skillet and cook 10 minutes, or until cooked through, breaking up with a wooden spoon.
  2. In a large pot, or a slow cooker, add all remaining ingredients. When turkey is cooked drain any fat and add it to the chili.
  3. Bring chili to a simmer and cook on low heat at least 1 hour. If using a slow cooker, cook on LOW for 3-4 hours or HIGH 1-2 hours until hot. Remember, the longer you let it stew the stronger the flavors will be.
  4. Serve with your favorite chili toppings (i.e. shredded cheese, tortilla chips, oyster crackers, sour cream, yellow mustard) My personal favorite and my recommendation is to serve with Fritos corn chips.

Award Winning Chili 2

Crispy Buffalo Chicken

Tonight marks the end of the BCS era. Tonight marks the end of college football until September. Tonight, the Auburn Tigers and the Florida State Seminoles battle it out to determine who is the best of the best.

Buffalo anything is a popular menu item when it comes to sitting down in front of a football game. But traditional buffalo wings don’t fall under most people’s New Year’s resolution – the recipe for wings involves a lot of butter and frying in oil.

My mom used to create her own version of buffalo chicken bites by cutting out the butter and baking the chicken instead of frying. This alternative can be applied to bite sized pieces of chicken, or whole breasts for more of a dinner sized portion. You can even throw it on top of a salad!

Crispy Buffalo Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C buffalo sauce, not hot sauce – I use Frank’s Red Hot
  • 3/4 C panko bread crumbs
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Steps:

  1. Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Coat chicken in buffalo sauce. Dredge chicken in panko.
  2. Bake chicken at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, or until cooked through. To avoid a soggy underside, place the chicken on a wire rack set above a baking sheet.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken

WAR EAGLE!