So, unfortunately none of MY favorite teams are playing for this year’s National Championship.  There aren’t even any SEC or ACC teams in the game.  But we’ll have some friends over to watch the game anyway and have a party with great food to celebrate the end of the season.

CFP Championship

Monday, January 12, 8:30 PM on ESPN

AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas





(Adapted from My Baking Addiction)

Serve these veggies in small glasses (like shot glasses).  Much easier to eat, and it looks great on the party table!  Always nice to include something healthy in the tailgate food mix.

Photo Credit: Mybakingaddiction

1 cup reduced fat sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 TBSP finely chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
2 TBSP finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 TBSP finely chopped dill weed
1 tsp seasoned salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Refrigerate until well chilled to allow the flavors to blend. Put 2 TSBP of dip in each shot glass and top with veggies of your choice.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue


(Adapted from Food and Wine)
Photo Credit: Food and Wine

1/2 pound piece of slab bacon, sliced 1/3 inch thick and cut into 1/3-inch dice
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large jalapeño, seeded and chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 TBSP chopped thyme
One 12-ounce bottle lager or pilsner
About 2 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 TBSP unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 pound sharp yellow cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
4 ounces smoked cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Garlic-rubbed toasts, for serving

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

In a large saucepan, cook the bacon over moderate heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, 7 minutes.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a bowl.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Add the celery, onion, jalapeño, garlic and thyme to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 8 minutes.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Add half of the beer and cook until reduced by half, 5 minutes.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Add 2 1/4 cups of chicken broth and bring to a simmer.

In a small skillet, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Whisk this roux into the soup until incorporated and bring to a simmer.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Cook until thickened, about 8 minutes. Add the heavy cream, cheddar cheeses and the remaining beer and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Now, you can either stir in the bacon and season with salt and pepper OR go ahead and season the soup with s&p but serve the bacon on the side for your guests to add.  That way the bacon doesn’t get soggy.  Add a few tablespoons of broth if the soup is too thick. Serve the soup with garlic toasts.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

(Adapted from Damn Delicious)
Photo Credit: Damn Delicious

1 pound ground chicken
3/4 cup Panko
1 large egg
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 green onions, thinly sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3/4 cup buffalo sauce (I prefer Frank’s)
1/4 cup blue cheese dressing

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, Panko, egg, garlic and onion powder and green onions; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until well combined. Roll the mixture into 1 1/4-to-1 1/2-inch meatballs, forming about 24 meatballs.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Place meatballs onto prepared baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Place meatballs into a slow cooker. Add buffalo sauce and gently toss to combine.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours. Serve immediately, drizzled with blue cheese or ranch dressing, if desired.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
(Adapted from Tabasco)
Photo Credit: Tabasco

1/2 cup butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Salt to taste
Toasted pita bread wedges or tortilla chips
1 medium tomato, chopped (1 cup)

Melt butter in a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Stir in spinach, artichokes, cream cheese, sour cream, 3/4 cup of the Monterey Jack cheese, 3/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, TABASCO® Sauce and salt.

Stir until well blended and heated through. Pour mixture into a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish and top with remaining 1/4 cup Monterey Jack and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

Bake in a 350 degree F oven until cheese starts to brown, about 10 minutes. Serve with pita bread or tortilla chips and garnish with tomatoes.


Photo Credit: Pinterest

I’ve had this recipe for so long I have no idea who to credit!  It’s really great, and it’s very easy to throw together. I found a similar one from Paula Dean.
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 c. crunchy peanut butter
3 c. powdered sugar, sifter
1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1 2/3 c. chocolate chips, semi-sweet

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Line a 13×9 inch pan with aluminum foil. In a food processor, combine butter, peanut butter, sugar, and crumbs (I made my own with Graham Crackers) until a ball forms.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Press mixture into the pan using a spatula.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Over a double-boiler or in the microwave (with 1-2 TBSP of water), melt the chocolate chips. Stir, then spread over peanut butter mixture.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Chill in refrigerator for about an hour. Allow to come to room temperature before cutting into squares. Store in refrigerator. ENJOY!

(Adapted from Bourbon and Boots)
Photo Credit: Bourbon and Boots
I was originally thinking I wanted a hot drink to go with this meal since it’s the middle of winter, but I stumbled upon this recipe and I think it will warm us up adequately! 😉

1/2 lemon, quartered
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 ounces tequila blanco
3/4 ounce elderflower liqueur (I’m using St Germain)
1 1/2 ounces apple cider
1 cinnamon stick

Muddle the lemon wedges and cinnamon in a cocktail shaker.

Next, add ice, tequila, elderflower liqueur, apple cider and shake well.

Strain into a glass over ice and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Till the next adventure….