Sunday, August 30, 2009


OK, so we're at the dawn of football season 2009. As the Crimson Tide makes for last minute preparations on the field, we must take this opportunity and plan tasty preparations for all of the empty or full stomachs out there. Who are we kidding? We'll sample any fare that's presented whether we're hungry or not. And I'm here to guarantee that it's all do-able, delish, and festive.

So here's the question:

What are we going to eat next Saturday night?

After a brief strategy session with my husband Marrow last evening while mingling with friends, we came up with an easy game plan that you'll be able to duplicate too.


This menu is what I like to call...


Blue Cheese-Ranch Dip with Vegetable Dippers and Potato Chips
Shortcut Barbecue Sliders

Becca's Shortcut Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce
Super Fast Chow-Chow
Becca's M&M-Chocolate Chip Cookies

Blue Cheese-Ranch Dip
Makes about 8 servings
Prep: 5 min., Refrigerate: 1 hr.

Game Plan: Prepare Friday night. Look for carrot sticks and celery sticks already cut in the produce department.

Basically this 4 ingredient dip, with a few staples if needed, was inspired by the House dressing served at Nicks in the Sticks, a restaurant frequented by locals and students alike just outside of Tuscaloosa. Simple genius really. Stir some blue cheese into the ranch-style dressing that everyone knows and loves. Below is my take on it.

1 (16-oz.) carton sour cream (I don't mind the store brand.)
1 (1-oz.) packet ranch-style dressing mix (Hidden you know what, is what I use.)
1 (4-oz.) container blue cheese crumbles (It doesn't have to be the fancy stuff.)
2 green onions, chopped (I use both the white and green parts.)

Whisk together sour cream and dressing mix in a medium bowl until well combined; stir in blue cheese and green onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour. If you like a thinner dip, add a Tbsp. or 2 of milk. Serve with carrot sticks, celery sticks, and potato chips. (I like the plain, rhymes with days kettle potato chips because they're nice and sturdy. Perfect for dipping.)

The Extra Point: Place dip and vegetables in separate portable containers and pack in an ice filled cooler for on-site tailgating.

Shortcut Barbecue Sliders
Makes about 8 servings
Prep: 15 min.

Game plan: Call your favorite "Q" joint on Friday and place an order for the pork.

Pick up 2 lbs. shredded pulled pork from your favorite "Q" joint. Have guests build their own sammies on small rolls with an assortment of toppings such as Becca's Shortcut Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce, Super Fast Chow Chow, and Wickles pickles.

Becca's Shortcut Sweet and Spicy "Q" Sauce: Stir together 1 (18-oz.) bottle Stubb's Spicy Barbecue Sauce, 1/2 cup Dreamland Barbecue Sauce, and 1/4 cup Johnny Ray's Barbecue Sauce in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH at 30 second intervals until thoroughly heated. Makes about 2 1/4 cups. Prep: 5 min.

Super Fast Chow-Chow
Makes about 8 servings as a sandwich topper
Prep: 5 min.

Game Plan: Prepare Friday or Saturday. It's up to you.

The dressing will lightly coat the slaw mix so don't be tempted to add additional mayonnaise. A very loose interpretation of chow-chow, t
hink of the pickled pepperoncini peppers tossed in with the cabbage and carrots from the slaw mix as the shortcut here for the chow-chow. Remove them and you have a really fast slaw. Look for more traditional chow-chow recipes in the future.

1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 (16-oz.) package slaw mix
1/2 cup pepperoncini pepper slices, chopped

Whisk together first 4 ingredients. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste. Add slaw mix and pepperoncini peppers and stir until blended.

The Extra Point: Great on Po-Boy sandwiches and served along side fried catfish.

Becca's Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen
Prep: 30 min., Bake: 12 min per batch

Game Plan: Prepare dough up to 1 month in advance and freeze. Thaw completely in refrigerator overnight.

3/4 cup butter (LOL is my fav, and I don't mean laugh out loud. Think butter brands.)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 or 2 tsp. vanilla extract (Bourbon will sub in a pinch.)
2 cups plus 6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour (I use the dough boy brand. Be sure to spoon and level.)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 Medium bag of milk chocolate M&M's (There, I said it.)
1 cup 60% cocoa chocolate chips ( I like G brand out of San Fran.)

Beat butter and sugars at medium speed with a Kitchen Aid stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until blended. Combine flour, soda, and salt; add to butter mixture. Mix on low speed only until mixture is just about all the way mixed together and add M&M's and chocolate chips. Give a few more spins to the mixture, just until all ingredients are well blended.

Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes or until tops are lightly browned.

The Extra Point: Pull the last batch of cookies from the oven just as guests begin to arrive for an incredible aroma that will get rave reviews even before kick off.

Roll Tide, my friends.

What sounds yummy to you?


  1. Love reading your blog, especially this menu! I would love to feature your blog on my blog, Gameday Style. I found yours via the September Southern Living. Is there a menu you might like to feature? My direct email is Thank you, Rebecca! I enjoy your work in the magazine too...

  2. Rebecca,
    Enjoyed reading about Cledus, Oscar, and Gilbert. Cool website! RTR!

    1. Thanks! I'm glad you like it! I guess you do know these 3 clowns pretty well!