Wicked Fall Guide

Football season is here!! Yes, things are different this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good tailgate at home, while socially distancing.

Invite the gang over and try some of these delicious game day recipes.

Soft Beer Pretzel Nuggets from Taste of Home

1 bottle (12 ounces) amber beer or nonalcoholic beer
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda

1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
Coarse salt, optional
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In a small saucepan, heat beer to 110°-115°; remove from heat. Stir in yeast until dissolved. In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar, salt, yeast mixture and 3 cups flour; beat on medium speed until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 425°. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide and shape into 8 balls. Roll each into a 12-in. rope. Cut each rope into 1-in. pieces.
In a Dutch oven, bring 10 cups water and baking soda to a boil. Drop nuggets, 12 at a time, into boiling water. Cook for 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain well on paper towels.
Place on greased baking sheets. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water; brush over pretzels. Sprinkle with coarse salt if desired. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to a wire rack to cool.
Freeze option: Freeze cooled pretzel nuggets in airtight containers. To use, thaw at room temperature or, if desired, microwave on high 20-30 seconds or until heated through.

Dry Rubbed Smoked Wings from Southern Living

Butts To Go Wing Rub – Makes 2 Cups

1/2 cup paprika

1/4 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup garlic powder

2 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons cayenne pepper

1 pound chicken wings and drumettes

Stir together paprika, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, dried oregano, and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container up to 1 year. Prepare smoker according to manufacturer’s instructions with an area cleared of coals to create an indirect-heat area, bringing internal temperature to 215°F; maintain temperature 15 to 20 minutes. Toss chicken wings and drumettes in Butts To Go Wing Rub until liberally coated. Smoke chicken over indirect heat, maintaining temperature inside smoker around 215°F until done, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Buffalo Chicken Dip from Food Network

Mix 4 ounces softened cream cheese and 1/2 cup each sour cream and Frank’s Red Hot sauce (or 1/4 cup other hot sauce); fold in 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken. Spread in a small baking dish, sprinkle with celery seeds, chopped scallions and shredded cheddar and bake at 425 degrees F until bubbly, about 20 minutes. Top with crumbled blue cheese. Serve with celery and carrot sticks and crackers.

Country Style Ribs from Food & Wine

Apple-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

1/2 cup hickory, apple or maple wood chips

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

3/4 teaspoon onion powder

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of cinnamon

Pinch of ground ginger

4 pounds meaty country-style pork ribs (about 6 ribs total)

How to Make It
Step 1
Light a gas grill. Wrap the wood chips in heavy-duty foil, pierce the packet all over with a skewer and add to the grill. Cover and let the chips begin to smoke, about 5 minutes.
Step 2
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, black pepper, cinnamon and ginger. Rub the spice mixture all over the ribs and let stand for 5 minutes.
Step 3
Grill the ribs, covered, over moderately high heat for 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until they are lightly charred and cooked through. Brush the ribs liberally with some of the barbecue sauce and grill, turning once, until nicely glazed, about 5 minutes. Transfer the ribs to a platter and serve, passing more of the barbecue sauce on the side.

Chili Queso Dip from Taste of Home

1 pound ground beef
1 pound bulk pork sausage
1 small onion, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can (15 ounces) chili con carne (without beans)
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) reduced-fat reduced-sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chiles, drained
1 jar (4 ounces) diced pimientos, drained
1 package (2 pounds) process cheese (Velveeta), cubed
Prepared taquitos, tortilla chips or corn chips
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In a large skillet, cook and crumble beef and sausage with onion, jalapenos and garlic over medium-high heat until no longer pink, 5-7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Stir in chili, soup, tomatoes, pimientos and cheese.
Cook, covered, on low until heated through, 2-3 hours, stirring halfway through cooking. Serve warm with taquitos or chips.

Chourizo Stuffed Mushrooms from Food Network


1 Spanish chorizo (about 4 ounces), casing removed
18 large (about 2 1/2 to 3-inch) white mushrooms
1/3 cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
1/3 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
1/4 cup homemade or store-bought reduced-sodium chicken stock
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
1/3 cup coarsely grated Manchego cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut the chorizo into 1-inch pieces and put them in a food processor. Pulse until the chorizo is finely chopped. Set aside.
Remove the stems from the mushrooms. Mince half the stems (this can be done in the work bowl of the food processor). Reserve the other half of the stems for another use or discard them. Brush the mushroom caps with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and set on a baking sheet. Set aside.
Pour the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and minced mushroom stems. Cook, stirring, just until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the bread crumbs and toss and stir until toasted golden brown. Scrape the bread crumb mixture into a bowl and set aside.
Wipe the skillet clean with paper towels and add the minced chorizo. Cook over high heat until fragrant and glossy, about 3 minutes. Add to the bread crumb mixture. Add the chicken stock and parsley and fluff with a fork. Stir in the Manchego cheese. Use a spoon to fill the mushroom caps, mounding the stuffing attractively. Bake until stuffing is lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

Southern BBQ Pork Burgers from Good Housekeeping


c. light mayonnaise
3 tbsp. buttermilk, milk or sour cream
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. sugar
Kosher salt and pepper
4 c. bagged coleslaw mix
2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
2 lb. ground pork
1 small onion
c. barbecue sauce
6 hamburger buns with sesame seeds
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In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar, sugar, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Add the coleslaw and chives and toss to combine. Refrigerate, tossing occasionally for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, gently combine the pork, onion, barbecue sauce, and 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper. Shape the mixture into six 1-in.-thick patties.
Heat outdoor grill to medium. Grill the burgers until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Serve with on the buns with the slaw.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Walking Tacos from Taste of Home

1 pound ground beef
1 envelope reduced-sodium chili seasoning mix
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chiles
1 can (15 ounces) Ranch Style beans (pinto beans in seasoned tomato sauce)
5 packages (1 ounce each) corn chips
Toppings: Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and sliced green onions

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles, 6-8 minutes; drain. Stir in chili seasoning mix, pepper, tomatoes and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until thickened, 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Just before serving, cut open corn chip bags. Add beef mixture and toppings.

Football Whoopie Pies from Country Living

Ingredients for the cake
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
3/4 c. Dutch processed cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 c. buttermilk, at room temperature

For the filling
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 2/3 c. confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of kosher salt
White store-bought decorating icing
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Make the cake:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to medium and beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, beginning and ending with flour mixture, just until flour is incorporated. Transfer mixture to a piping bag or a large resealable bag; cut a 1/2-inch-wide hole.
Pipe footballs on prepared baking sheets by drawing 2 1/2-inch football shapes on parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart; invert paper. Following the outline, pipe from one end of the football, along the outer edge, and to the other end. Repeat along the opposite edge. Fill center of football. Smooth top with a small offset spatula or your finger.
Bake, in batches, until puffed and just set, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
Make the filling:
Beat butter on medium speed with an electric mixer until pale, 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and add half the confectioners’ sugar, beating until just incorporated. Add remaining sugar, cinnamon, and salt and continue beating until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
Assemble the pies:
Spoon filling onto flat sides of half of whoopie pies and sandwich together with unfrosted halves. Use icing to pipe football laces on top.

Oven Fried Pickles from Cooking and Beer

Dill Buttermilk Ranch

1 tablespoon fresh baby dill

1/2 cup mayo

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

salt to taste

Oven-Fried Pickles

1 24-ounce jar dill pickles spears

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 large eggs

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup stone-ground corn meal

1/4 cup plain bread crumbs

1 tablesoon finely grated parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper more or less to taste

1/4 teaspoon black pepper


In the bowl of your food processor or blender, combine all of the ingredients for the ranch. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into a small bowl and cover. Place in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F and spray a large baking sheet with a non-stick spray. Set aside.

Drain the jarred pickles and place them on a paper towel-lined plate. Pat completely dry. Set aside.

In one shallow bowl, add the flour. In another shallow bowl, add the eggs and whisk to combine. In a third shallow bowl, combine the panko, corn meal, regular bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Toss the ingredients until evenly distributed. You shouldn’t need any more salt, as the pickles are already extremely salty. If you need more salt, then feel free to salt away.

Starting with one pickle, dredge in flour, then coat in the whisked eggs, and then transfer to the bread crumb mixture. Toss the pickle to make sure it is evenly coated, pressing to adhere where it is needed. Place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat this step for the rest of the pickles. Spray the pickles with a non-stick canola oil spray.

Place the pickles in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating them halfway through. Spraying again with a non-stick canola oil spray. Make sure they are crispy before pulling them from the oven. This may take more or less time, so keep a close eye.

Serve immediately out of the oven with homemade dill buttermilk ranch.

Seven Layer Dip from Good Housekeeping

In a straight-sided, clear bowl, layer canned refried beans. Follow that with pickled sliced jalapeños, chopped (can’t stand the heat? Substitute sliced black olives, no need to chop, or shredded lettuce). Next goes the shredded Cheddar cheese. After that, spread on the guacamole; then, top that with chunky salsa (refrigerated pico de gallo is the best, but jarred chunky salsa will work too). Lastly, a swipe of sour cream sprinkled with ground cumin and a garnish of sliced green onions.
Serve it right away, throw it in the cooler for your tailgate, or cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to 24 hrs.

Here are some extra tips to achieving 7-layer dip domination:
-Amounts of each layer will vary depending on the dimensions of your bowl, but try not to use a bowl that’s too wide or shallow or your layers won’t be very distinguishable.
-Serve it with sturdy, thick tortilla chips or else you risk them breaking under the pressure of this hearty dip.
-When putting it out for guests, place a spoon on a little plate next to the bowl. It makes it easier for guests to scoop up all 7 layers and plunk them directly onto their sturdy chip or onto their snack plate.
-For clean, distinct layers, spread things like salsa, guacamole, and refried beans using a mini offset spatula (aka mini icing spatula or cupcake icing knife). Use the same motion you’d use to frost a cupcake (back and forth smoothing), starting from the outer ring of the bowl and moving towards the center.