Football, Food, and Fall Family Fun

Fall brings: football, food, and family fun! Saturdays are much anticipated in our house with the Alabama game being the main event. My husband, Derek, and I talk about what we want to do for dinner the day before of the game, because every football game is a reason to celebrate! Bama fans are very passionate about football; we happen to be passionate about food too! Tuscaloosa is home to some of the greatest restaurants in any college town. This makes since because, seriously good football requires seriously good food. Great ambience comes with football games; the star of the half time game should always be the food.

I have fond college memories of celebrating many Alabama wins at Dreamland BBQ; a place where Bama football fans gather with friends for good food, fun, and nostalgia. Dreamland has been around for more than fifty years and it remains the perfect marriage of pigskin and pork. I can taste those ribs now; hickory fired and melt in your mouth goodness! If you visit Tuscaloosa, Alabama it is an absolute must that you eat at Dreamland. Like they say at Dreamland, “Ain’t Nothing Like ‘Em Nowhere.”

Since it is impossible to recreate Dreamland ribs, my husband and I make sure we have our own Alabama football food traditions, traditions that make fall smell delicious. I like to imagine I’m having my own throw down, like Bobby Flay, with the opposing team in the kitchen. Great smells of good food and exciting occasions with friends and family are enhanced by the traditional compliments of the changing seasons. One of the traditional occasions that accompany the harvest moon and the Indian summer color changes is fall football. Enjoy the moments with great food.

I’d like to share with you two of my favorite family football foods. I wish you good luck and good food while you root on your favorite football team.

My football food specialty is chili. I like to make mine the color of the Crimson Tide!

Ashley’s Chili
2 lbs ground beef
1 lb sausage
1 large onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
2- 14 ½ oz can stewed tomatoes
1- 15 oz can dark red kidney beans, rinsed
1- 8 oz can tomato sauce
¼ cup chili powder
Salt and pepper to your liking
Pinch of red pepper flakes

**The above is my base, I also like to add pizzazz to my chili by adding the following: bottle of beer, pinch of cinnamon, chunk of chili pepper chocolate, then serving it over macaroni and topping with cheddar cheese and sour cream.

In a large saucepan cook meat, onion, bell pepper, and garlic until meat is brown. Stir in undrained tomatoes, drained and rinsed kidney beans, tomato sauce, and spices. Simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with sourdough bread. Add pizzazz as you see fit! 

Derek’s specialty is Sticky Chicken Wings. These are a hit with everybody, but especially our children! They are finger lickin’ good!

Sticky Chicken Wings
6 lbs. chicken wings
1 1/2 Cup brown sugar
3/4 Cup Marsalla wine
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 Cup soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, crushed

Cut off & discard tips of wings. Cut remaining wings at joint. Place wing pieces on a shallow baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine brown sugar, Marsalla, dry mustard, soy sauce & garlic in sauce pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

Remove wings from oven & pour off pan drippings. Pour sauce over wings & continue baking one hour longer. Turn wings every 20 minutes. Cook until sauce has been absorbed & wings are deeply glazed. As they cool, they become sticky! 

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