Now that we’re settling into the football season and facing our second week of NFL competition, it’s time to focus on what really matters: food. Maybe this is the good Midwestern girl in me, but I can’t think about football watch parties or tailgates without fixating on all of the mouth-watering foods and beverages that will be served. I’m talking nachos and (veggie) burgers, dips and cookies.
This week, I am particularly excited about a tailgate party I am co-hosting with two of my friends and fellow football-focused chick lit authors Amy Avanzino and Brea Brown. And because it will be held on Facebook, you’re all invited. (Added bonus, you don’t even have to wash your hair and you can wear sweatpants to this party and no one will know!) It is Sunday, September 18, from 7-10 p.m. Click here to join and invite your friends.
Even though we won’t actually be partying together, we figured that was no excuse not to have delicious foods. The three of us searched through our recipe boxes and pulled out a dish to share with all of you for a three-course Game Day menu. Bon appetit!
By Laura Chapman
1 package frozen waffle fries
2 cups shredded cheese (I highly suggest a Colby Jack blend)
12 slices bacon, booked and diced
1 8-ounce container sour cream
1 packet Ranch seasoning
Salt and pepper (optional)
Follow the directions for cooking the waffle fries (typically place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and cook for about 10-15 minutes over 450 degrees in the oven). While these are in the oven, cook and dice the bacon (I use Morningstar’s faux bacon, because I follow a pescetarian diet), and dice the green onions. Mix half of the ranch seasoning into the sour cream and set aside.
Remove the baked waffle fries from the stove and place them in overlapping layers in a pie plate or baking pan. Coat the fries with the remaining Ranch seasoning and salt and pepper. Pour half of the diced onions on top and cover with cheese. Put in the oven on broil for about two minutes, or until the cheese melts to your liking.
Sprinkle bacon pieces and remaining green onions over the top. Finish with a healthy scoop of sour cream in the middle. (Note: This photo is a partial serving, because I didn’t want leftovers!)
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Baked Pork Tacos
By Brea Brown
1 lb. boneless pork chops (medium thickness)
10 crunchy taco shells (flat-bottomed, free-standing kind work best)
½ can (16-ounces) refried beans
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 can (4.5 ounces) green chiles
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
¼ cup taco seasoning (or one packet)
2 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese
Preheat oven to 400° F. In stock pot, boil pork chops for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cooked through. While pork is cooking, drizzle olive oil in large skillet and cook onion on medium heat until brown on edges and translucent.
Grease (with olive oil or cooking spray) 9- x13-inch dish and stand taco shells side-by-side (with two on top… see photo) into the dish. Spoon and spread one tablespoon of refried beans into bottom of each shell. When onions are cooked, add green chiles and drained tomatoes to the skillet. Reduce temperature to low or simmer. When pork is cooked, shred (I actually use an electric chopper to a fine consistency). Add chopped/shredded pork to onion/chiles/tomato mixture. Add taco seasoning. Stir mixture until combined. Spoon combined mixture into taco shells, almost to the top (leaving just a tiny bit of room for cheese). Liberally sprinkle cheese into each shell. Bake at 400° for 12 to 14 minutes, or until cheese and edges of shells are golden.
Top with your favorite taco toppings (we like sour cream, guacamole, and jalapenos in our house).
Note: You can substitute ground beef or chicken for your meat. On opening day of football season, I made a batch of beef and a batch of pork, which is why there are eleven pork tacos in my photo (they were more popular, so I made one more of those). With beef tacos, make sure you thoroughly drain and rinse the meat, because too much grease will make your taco shells soggy, and they’ll burst through the bottom.
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Football Cocoa Krispies
By Amy Avanzino
6 cups of Cocoa Krispies
4 cups of mini marshmallows (or 10 oz bag of the big ones)
3 tablespoons of butter
Melt the butter in a large saucepan on low heat. Add the marshmallows and cook until melted. Remove from heat and add Krispies, mixing until evenly coated. Tip: put a small amount of water in your hands to prevent sticking.
Shape the mixture into a footballs and let cool. Then, draw laces on top. Chill both icing and footballs in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes! before decorating.
Remember, you are all invited to hang out with the three of us on Facebook this weekend for fun and prizes. The Chick Lit Virtual Tailgate will be Sunday, September 18, from 7-10 p.m. central. We hope to see you there.
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Laura Chapman is the author of the Queen of the League romantic comedy series. When the Nebraska isn’t hard at work penning her next novel (or pulling her hair out over her fantasy football line-up), Laura enjoys baking, crocheting, and binge-watching Netflix with her cats, Jane and Bingley. She will be back on Chick Lit Plus throughout the football season to share her insights. In the meantime, you can follow her misadventures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Amy Avanzino is the author of From the Sideline. She received a Bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and a Master’s from the University of Washington. She is a former special education teacher who has spent the last several years writing and doing extensive hands-on research for her Wake-Up Series, the first of which is Wake-Up Call. She’s a contributing writer of Hap Scotch, a play performed at the 2008 Frigid Festival in New York, which won two Audience Choice Awards. Amy currently lives in the stands above the football fields, basketball courts, and baseball diamonds around Folsom, California with her husband and four children. Visit her at www.AmyAvanzino.com.
Brea Brown is the humble Indie author of The Family Plot, The Secret Keeper Series, Daydreamer, Plain Jayne, Quiet, Please!, The Nurse Nate Trilogy, and The Underdog Series. She lives in Springfield, Missouri, where she’s a mom, wife, chauffeur, chef, housekeeper, cheerleader, administrative assistant, personal assistant, and comedian. Her passions include writing, daydreaming, laughing, football, and not taking anything too seriously. When she’s not doing those things, she hangs out on Facebook and Twitter or blogging as “The Reluctant Blogger.” She loves to hear from readers, so please, take a minute to visit her website, where you can get in touch with her in a variety of ways and view and purchase her entire catalog of books. Out of My League is the first book in The Underdog Series. You can purchase the e-book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBooks. It’s also available in paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and CreateSpace.