We are taking a road trip to Auburn, Alabama!
Our daughter went to Auburn, but it’s been a few years since we’ve tailgated there. So excited to return to the Plains and cheer on the Tigers! Even more fun, our daughter is joining us along with her husband and two little ones. It’ll be fun introducing new family members to Auburn and all it’s traditions, and looking forward to seeing some old friends.
Auburn is 2-0 going into this game, so we’re definitely excited and hoping to witness a big win.
Kickoff: 7pm et, 6pm central
Tailgate start: 3pm central
QUESO FILLED MINI PEPPERS
SHRIMP & AVOCADO SALSA
EASIEST MEXICAN APPETIZER EVER
BEEF TACOS OR TACO SALADS
CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA BARS
DRINK: BLOOD ORANGE MARGARITAS
QUESO FILLED MINI PEPPERS
(Adapted from Southern Living)
These sound so yummy. And I can make them the morning before we head the 2 hour drive to Auburn and then reheat right before serving at the tailgate.
2 (16-oz.) pkg. mini sweet peppers
1 TBSP canola oil
3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
8 oz pepper Jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeños
2 TBSP unsalted butter
1/2 cup panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 TBSP finely chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat broiler on HIGH with oven rack 5 inches from heat. Toss peppers with oil and 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt; arrange in a single layer on an aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
Broil until tops are lightly charred, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 425°F.
Flip over peppers so charred side is on bottom; cut and remove top third of each pepper (from stem end to tip). Discard cut-off part, or reserve for another use. Scoop out membranes and seeds, and discard.
Whisk together pepper Jack cheese and milk in the top of a double boiler over simmering water over medium. Whisk until smooth, 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cream cheese, jalapeños, and remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon salt. Spoon a heaping teaspoon of cheese mixture into each pepper. Place on a baking sheet. Bake until tops are golden, 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a skillet over medium. Add panko and pepper; cook, stirring, until golden brown, 3 more minutes. Sprinkle peppers with panko mixture and cilantro.
***To Make Ahead:
Place filled peppers in a baking dish; cover and chill 1 day. Bake, covered, at 425˚F for 5 minutes, and then uncover and bake 3 more minutes. Top with panko mixture and cilantro.
SHRIMP AND AVOCADO SALSA
I love this appetizer! It’s so delicious and fresh, and I’ll be using Mayport, Florida shrimp which I think is the best around. I’ll cook the shrimp in Old Bay beforehand, and then toss the rest of the salsa ingredients together a few hours before serving.
1 pound raw shrimp peeled and deveined
1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning
2 avocados, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 limes, juiced
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Tortilla chips for serving
Bring a large pot of water and old bay seasoning to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to a low, add the shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes until the shrimp become bright pink and curl. Strain and transfer a bowl of ice water to immediately stop the cooking.
Drain and transfer the cooked shrimp to a cutting board, then chop into smaller pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. Chill until ready to make the salsa.
Add the avocados, tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, lime juice and garlic. Taste and adjust to taste by adding more salt and pepper, if desired.
***If serving later, mix all but avocado and tomatoes and chill. Then add the avocado and tomatoes just before serving.
Serve with tortilla chips.
RESTAURANT STYLE HOMEMADE SALSA
1- 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1- 10 oz can Rotel
1/2 small onion, roughly chopped (preferably Vidalia)
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2-1 jalapeno, seeded
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
small to medium size handful of cilantro, washed
juice of 1 lime
Put all the ingredients in the base of a food processor and pulse to combine for about 30 seconds until all the ingredients are finely chopped and salsa is desired consistency. Taste and add more seasoning if needed. The salsa gets better the longer it sits, so I always try and make it AT LEAST a day in advance.
EASIEST MEXICAN APPETIZER EVER
This appetizer was on repeat when our son played football at Kentucky. We never knew just how many would be joining us AFTER a game, so this one was so so easy to toss together, and it’s always a huge hit! Delicious doesn’t have to be difficult!
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 jar of your favorite salsa, enough to cover the cream cheese
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Spread the softened cream cheese in a glass pie plate.
Top with the salsa to cover.
Add the shredded cheddar cheese.
Microwave or heat on the grill until the cheese is melted. And voila! You are done! Yes, it is THAT easy and really good.
TACOS OR TACO SALADS
(Adapted from The Food Charlatan)
I’m giving people the option to make themselves a taco (or 2 or 3!) or a taco salad. Easy peasy. And I can make the beef in advance so just need to reheat before serving. I’ll make a couple of yummy dressings to choose from as well.
To make the beef:
1 lb ground beef (I’ll double or triple)
1/4 cup Taco Seasoning Mix
3/4 cup water
For the salad
1 head Romaine lettuce
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, or chopped tomatoes of any kind
8 radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 avocados, chopped
1-2 jalapeños, sliced
tortilla chips, crushed
sour cream, (optional)
salsa, to taste (optional)
sliced limes, to garnish
Creamy Tomatillo Cilantro Ranch (Dressing Option 1)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (.4-oz) package Buttermilk Ranch Seasoning
1 serrano pepper, roughly chopped
2 tomatillos, halved
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 lime zest
1 lime Juice
milk, if the dressing is too thick
Start with the taco meat.**
Brown 1 pound ground beef in a skillet on the stove, over medium heat. Break up the meat into small pieces. Once it is no longer pink (3-5 minutes), remove from heat. Tilt the pan and scoop the grease into a foil-lined bowl (then refrigerate and toss when solidified). Return the pan back to the stove and set over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup taco mix.
Add 3/4 cup water to the pan. Let the mixture come to a simmer. Turn off the heat when there is still thickened liquid at the bottom of the pan, not totally dry. Set aside and keep warm, covered.
Prep the lettuce and herbs. Chop the romaine. Add 1/2 cup chopped green onions and 1 bunch of chopped cilantro.
Prep your toppings.
Grate 1 and 1/2 cups cheddar cheese. Chop 1 and 1/2 cups tomatoes. Thinly slice 8 radishes. Dice half a red onion. Chop 2 avocados. Slice 1 or 2 jalapeno peppers. Crush some tortilla chips.
Decide which dressing you want to make:
Creamy Tomatillo Cilantro Ranch (Dressing Option 1). In a blender, add 2/3 cup mayonnaise, 2/3 cup sour cream, 1 package ranch seasoning, 1 serrano pepper (roughy chopped), 4 halved tomatillos, half a bunch of cilantro, and the zest and juice from 1 lime. Taste and add more lime if needed.
Blend until smooth.
Creamy Salsa Dressing (Dressing Option 2). In a small bowl, combine 1 cup sour cream with 1/2 cup salsa, 1 1/2 tsp taco seasoning, salt and pepper to taste and juice from 1 lime.
CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA BARS
(Adapted from the Cookie Rookie)
½ cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
3 bananas mashed
¾ cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1½ cups mini chocolate chips, divided
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, with a whisk or hand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and eggs together.
Add the banana, buttermilk, and vanilla and mix well.
Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Fold in 1¼ cups of the chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the top.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares.
BLOOD ORANGE MARGARITAS
2/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup 100% agave silver tequila
1/2 cup Cointreau
2 cups blood orange juice
A lime half for moistening the glass rims
Coarse salt or sugar
6 cups Ice cubes
Juice the blood oranges. In a pitcher, stir together the lime juice, sugar and 3/4 cup water until the sugar has dissolved. Add the tequila, Cointreau and blood orange juice. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
Moisten the rims of three 6-ounce martini glasses with the cut side of a lime half. Spread coarse salt or sugar on a small plate and press the rims of the glasses until coated.
Fill a cocktail shaker about 3/4 full of ice and measure in 1 1/2 cups of the margarita for 3 drinks. Cover and shake for about 15 seconds to thoroughly chill the mixture. Strain into the glasses. Dress the glasses with a slice of blood orange and a slice of lime.
5 ounces ice
4 TBSP Jose Cuervo Tradicional Silver or another silver tequila (2 ounces)
1 TBSP Aperol .5 ounce
2 TBSP simple syrup 1 ounce
2 TBSP freshly squeezed lime juice 1 ounce
2 TBSP freshly squeezed grapefruit juice 1 ounce, ruby reds are best
2 TBSP soda water 1 ounce. We like Topo Chico
Using a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake all ingredients except for the soda.
Pour into a Collins glass
Top with soda
garnish with a lime wedge.
Found this navy top that will be PERFECT for the Auburn game here. I’ll add some orange jewelry, a tan or white skirt, tennis shoes and be done!
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