Across the nation, and especially in Texas, from Friday through Sunday, almost every American household attends or turns their television to a football game.

And not far from any football experience there's always great food. In recent years, tailgating has become a national pastime and throwing a game-watching party is almost as fun as being there in person.

No matter how you watch the game, there are certain foods that are synonymous with football – barbecue, burgers, chips, dips, sweet treats, sodas and beer. Whether you're tailgating, watching at home or at a friend's house, all of these recipes are packed with game-winning flavor and crowd-pleasing power.


Bourbon Braised Short Ribs



2 to 3 pounds beef short ribs

1 tablespoon steak seasoning

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons mustard powder

2 tablespoons oil

1 large onion, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup bourbon

3 cups beef broth, warmed

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 chipotles in adobo, chopped



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl combine the steak seasoning, garlic powder and mustard powder. Rub the ribs on both sides with the seasoning. Heat the oil in a large skillet until almost smoking. Sear the ribs on both sides and remove to a 9 x13 baking dish. Add the onions to the pan and sauté until soft. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Remove from heat; allow to cool for two minutes. (This will keep the bourbon from flaming.) Add the bourbon and scrape the bottom of the pan. Add the broth and brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Stir in the chipotles and pour the liquid over the ribs. Cover the dish with foil and bake for two and a half hours or until the meat is tender and about to fall off the bone. Remove the ribs from the dish and wrap in foil. Strain the sauce into a saucepan and reduce by 1/2 until thick. Taste and adjust flavor with salt, pepper or a small amount of butter. Serve the reduced sauce on the side with the ribs or brush it over the ribs before serving.


Buffalo Meatballs



1 pound of ground chicken or turkey

2 tablespoons taco seasoning

3 tablespoons buffalo sauce

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1 egg



In a large bowl combine all ingredients. Stir to combine. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through to 165 degrees internal temperature.  Turn the meatballs half way through baking. Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing. Makes 16 to 20.


Spicy White Chocolate Pretzels



12 ounce bag white chocolate chips

1 to 2 tablespoons Tricky Dix

1 bag mini pretzels



In a large bowl melt chips over a double boiler or in the microwave. Stir in the seasoning. Using tongs dip the pretzels into the chocolate and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set.



Creamy Salsa Verde



1 pound tomatillos

½ onion, small dice

2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

2 serrano peppers, seeds and ribs removed, minced

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

2 tablespoons lime juice

½ avocado, mashed

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

¼ cup low-fat buttermilk, approx.



Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove the husks from the tomatillos. Add tomatillos and blanch for approximately 5 minutes. Shock the tomatillos in cold water to stop the cooking. Place all ingredients, except buttermilk, in a food processor or blender. Pulse to combine. While pulsing, drizzle in buttermilk until mixture reaches desired consistency. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes to let flavors combine.


Nutella-Bacon Rice Krispy Treats



4 slices of bacon

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon water

6 cups Rice Krispies cereal

1 stick butter

1 – eight or ten ounce bag of marshmallows

1 cup Nutella

1/2 cup caramel chips

1 tablespoon water



Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place a small, metal baking or oven-safe cooling rack on the sheet. Place bacon slices on the rack. In a small bowl combine the honey, brown sugar and water. Brush the mixture over the bacon. Bake the bacon until it is crispy. Let cool completely and then crumble into small pieces. In a large pot melt the butter and begin stirring in the marshmallows. Remove from heat and stir in the Nutella. Place the Rice Krispies and crumbled bacon in a very large bowl and begin pouring in the marshmallow mixture.  Stir together until completely combined. Press into a 9 x 13 pan. In a small saucepan melt the caramel chips with the water. Using a spoon drizzle the caramel over the Rice Krispy treats. Cut the treats into small squares.


Black Bean Tostado Cups



1 bag Tostitos scoops

1 large can unsalted black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup low-sodium salsa

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 finely chopped tomatoes

1 eight ounce can whole kernel corn, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

2 tablespoons cilantro, minced



Place the beans in a food processor with the salsa and black pepper and blend together. In a bowl combine the chopped tomatoes, corn, onion and cilantro. Stir together. Spoon some of the black bean mixture in the bottom of the scoops and top with the corn mixture.


Homemade Hummus



1 can chickpeas

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons tahini



Drain the chickpeas and reserve some of the liquid. Rinse the chickpeas in a strainer in cold water. Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until the mixture reaches a smooth consistency. Add as much of the chickpea liquid as you like to reach the desired consistency. Note: A two tablespoon serving contains 60 calories, 4 grams of fat and 88 milligrams of sodium compared to 70 calories, 6 grams of fat and 120 milligrams of sodium for the Sabra brand of hummus. Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and tahini, a sesame seed paste, can be found on the specialty foods aisle, usually near the Indian or Asian ingredients. A jar of tahini is a little expensive but it keeps in the refrigerator for months and a 12-ounce jar will make 12 batches of hummus. In this recipe, I rinse the chickpeas to alleviate some sodium but reserve some of the liquid from the can so less oil is necessary. One can of chickpeas makes almost two cups of dip and you can also season the hummus with your favorite spices or mix in other ingredients like peppers, sweet potatoes or carrots.












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