College football season is right around the corner. There is a lot of excitement over one game in particular in my small little town outside of Atlanta.
That's right. The Georgia Bulldogs are playing the Clemson Tigers on Saturday in Athens. I've heard so much about this upcoming football game in the past week that I can actually rattle off stats for both teams. (Not a fact that I am necessarily proud of.)
It really doesn't matter which team you support because ALL Georgia football fans like to tailgate. It wasn't until I moved to Georgia that I realized just how important tailgating is to football fans. I had never before witnessed a tailgate at a high school football game until I moved here. The south has truly taken the tailgating phenomenon to a whole new level.
I also discovered that a tailgate party can be a casual meeting of fans with beer and pizza or an elegant affair where formally dressed patrons sip sangria from crystal stemware. Two things are universal at tailgate parties however, everyone in attendance wears their team colors and there is always lots of food.
If you're planning on attending a tailgate party this Fall, you may want to keep this recipe close by. Chicken wings and football just seem to go hand in hand. These would be a welcome addition at any party.
Buffalo Chicken Wings
20 chicken drumettes
1/4 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add chicken and saute 5 minutes on each side.
Remove from skillet and place in a bowl with barbecue sauce. Shake to coat wings.
If I were taking these wings to a tailgate party, I would leave them in this big Tupperware bowl for easy transport. They're easy to transport and you can serve out of the bowl as well. (Unless you happen to be going to one of those super fancy tailgate parties. Then you're on your own.)
Please don't judge this salad by the picture. I must have been super hungry when I photographed this meal because I didn't take my usual 10-12 photos of the finished product and I certainly didn't take the time to get the lighting right either. You can assume from my haste that this dish was so good that I couldn't wait to dig in and I didn't want to waste any unnecessary time on photographs. In all seriousness, it was delicious - much more delicious than this picture indicates.
Tomato Basil Pasta Salad
1 lb medium shell pasta
1 to 1-1/2 lbs cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper (or to taste)
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
2 Tb apple cider vinegar
1/3 c fresh basil leaves, chopped
fresh grated Parmesan cheese (to taste)
Mix together the tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, vinegar, and basil. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
So there you have it, a simple summer pasta salad that is easy to assemble and really tasty. So tasty in fact that you wont even want to take the time to stop and take proper pictures. (hehe)
When I get new food magazines, I immediately start to leaf through them and mark the recipes that I want to try. In most cases, it's the dessert recipes that catch my eye so by the time I get to the back of the magazine, I've tagged sweets and treats - almost exclusively. It's usually not until I go back through the magazine a second or third time and really take the time to read through the recipes that I find healthy recipes that I'm interested in trying as well.
This salad recipe from my Taste of Home magazine was not something that immediately caught my attention. As a matter of fact, I was hesitant to tear the page out of my magazine because I wasn't convinced that it was going to be something that I wanted to eat. I was so apprehensive about it in fact, that I bought fresh corn on the cob - TWICE - and ended up eating it before I ever made the salad. By the time I finally decided to bite the bullet and give this salad a chance, there was no fresh corn in the house so I had to use frozen corn.
This recipe totally caught me off guard. It was absolutely delicious! It was filling and satisfying and crunchy and fresh. I loved it. The dressing recipe made way more than I needed for my dinner salad so I have plenty leftover for more salads this week. (Yea)
Fresh Corn and Spinach Salad
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 Tablespoons minced fresh basil
1 teaspoon chopped shallot
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 ears corn, husked (I used frozen corn instead.)
8 cups fresh spinach
4 plum tomatoes (or 1/2 cup grape tomatoes)
1/4 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese
Drizzle with half of vinaigrette. Toss to coat.
Top with cheese and serve immediately.
Reserve remaining vinaigrette for another day and another salad. I'm glad that I gave this salad a chance - it was really good.
I wish I could show you the look on the faces of my kids when I announce that it's "salad for dinner" night. (Picture in your heads very sad and helpless expressions staring back at me in desperation.) When I call the kids to dinner they slowly drag themselves to the table, clearly trying to hide the disappointment on their faces. When I placed a bowl of salad covered in Italian sausage and roasted shrimp in the middle of the dinner table - their long faces suddenly turn into smiles. Obviously, what they were expecting was a green salad loaded with vegetables and what they got in return was a salad loaded with delicious meat and fish. They'll never underestimate my dinner salad again. (ha ha ha)
Shrimp, Sausage and Corn Salad
12 ounces shrimp, peeled and deviened
2 cups fresh corn
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 ounces thinly sliced Italian Sausage
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
24 grape tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Heat oil in skillet and add shrimp mixture. Cook until sausage is cooked through.
Remove from heat. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, remaining basil and tomatoes. Serve over salad or on its own.
Now that is a summer salad that I can really sink my teeth into. Our empty plates were a good sign that it was well liked by everyone.
The bread was so good that I hated to throw the insides away so I decided to turn it into a Cinnamon Baked French Toast casserole.
Cinnamon Baked French Toast
1/2 loaf french bread, cut into cubes (I used Italian bread.)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
Let the casserole rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.
I pulled this recipe off of a fellow foodbuzz food blogger's website: fortheloveofcooking.com. She has great recipes on her blog and I've made several things from her blog recipes. This recipe had a few problems though. There were 2 ingredients listed (cinnamon and sugar) that were not mentioned in the instructions. When I started to mix the streusel ingredients together, I realized that the instructions had omitted the cinnamon - so I added it. It was at this point that I also realized that I not added any sugar to the casserole. Unfortunately my casserole was already in the refrigerator at that point and it was too late to go back and add any ingredients. I decided to go ahead and bake it just the way it was - sans sugar . What did I have to lose?
Turns out, if you drown the french toast in syrup, you don't even miss the sugar. (That is precisely what my daughter and her friend did before they ate their french toast.)
This is a great breakfast to fix for your family over the summer because you can put it together the night before you want to eat it. I love mornings that I can sleep in a few extra minutes and still get breakfast on the table.
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