Why am I the tailgate goddess?

Maybe because my first outing as a baby was to a high school football game when I was a few weeks old. Maybe because I was a cheerleader. But I think the biggest reason is that I love a good party in the great outdoors and what better excuse for a party than football.

We love to tailgate for the Hoos at The University of Virginia. And some days the tailgating is the best part of the day. But football season is just too short. So we "tailgate' at the river, when we're kayaking, shooting skeet. Any excuse for a party!!

Enjoy the recipe and the other helpful hints I offer for tailgating year round.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Chicken and mushroom Goulash with Gnocchi

It was a beautiful day which derved a tasty dinner. Tried this recipe for the first time and it is really good. Plus I love gnocchi.

2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs butter
1 1/2 pounds of ground chicken
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 pound white mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
1 package gnocchi

Heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the ground chicken. Brown for 3-4 minutes. Push to the side and add mushrooms, garlic, onion and bell pepper. Cook 5 minutes, then mix chicken and vegetables together and add paprika, salt and pepper. Stir in stock and tomato sauce, bring to a bubble and reduce to simmer for 5 minutes.

After adding the sauce, in seperate pan of boiling water add the gnocchi and cook until it floats, 2-5 minutes.

Add sour cream to chicken mixture and turn off heat. Add drained gnocchi to the pan.

Serve in a shallow bowl.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine's Cookies - Glittering Key Lime Cookies

I altered the recipe from The Gourmet Cookie Book for their Glittering Lemon Sandwich Cookies. I love Key Lime. So I alternated key lime zest and juice for the lemon

yield: Makes about 50 sandwich cookies

active time: 1 1/2 hr

total time: 2 1/2 hr

Ingredients For cookies:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon grated lime zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
White or colored sanding sugars

For filling:
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon grated lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh key lime juice
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened

Equipment: a heavy-duty sealable bag
print a shopping list for this recipe
PreparationPreheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt.

Beat together butter and confectioners sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then beat in zest and vanilla. At low speed, mix in flour mixture just until a soft dough forms.

Put sanding sugars in different bowls. Roll a scant teaspoon of dough into a ball and drop into sugar, turning to coat. Reshape if necessary and transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat, spacing balls 3/4 inch apart, until baking sheet is filled.

Bake until tops are slightly cracked but still pale (bottoms will be pale golden), 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer cookies on parchment to a rack to cool completely.

Form and bake more cookies on second baking sheet.

Make filling and sandwich cookies:
Beat together all filling ingredients in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until combined well. Transfer to sealable bag and snip off a corner.

Turn over half of cookies and pipe about 1/2 teaspoon filling on flat side of each. Sandwich with remaining cookies, pressing gently.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Slow Cooker Reuben Dip

Okay, it's the Super Bowl. Last game of the year. What shall we do until August gets here? All my friends call this the funeral dip , since it is what their mothers would take to people's house when someone died. But it's all the ingredients of a great reuben, just in a dip.

Slow Cooker Reuben Dip

1 (16 ounce) jar sauerkraut, drained
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
2 cups shredded cooked corned beef
1/4 cup thousand island dressing

In a slow cooker, combine the sauerkraut, cream cheese, Swiss cheese, corned beef and thousand island dressing. Cover, and cook on high for 45 minutes if you're in a hurry, low for longer if you're not, or just until hot and cheese is melted. Stir occasionally while cooking. Serve with cocktail rye or crackers. Those rye crisps from Gordetto work great too.