Last night, after Parents’ Night at the local elementary school, my husband and I snuck away for a quick bite to eat. Which makes it sound much more exotic than it was–the event started at 6, and in order to get there in time, since supper at our house usually goes on the table at 6, I fed the kids grilled cheese and canned peaches and then dashed off to the school to meet my husband. Meaning both of us sat through a PTA meeting with empty bellies. When they said our session was over at 7:30 instead of 8 pm, as we originally thought, we bolted out the door and headed someplace that served buffalo wings and adult beverages.
We’re heading to the Alabama game this weekend, and we are for sure FEELING the football in the air. At the restaurant last night–which was probably more of a pub–the big screens were all showing the first SEC game of the year (Vandy v South Carolina, if you’re keeping track), and my husband’s eyes lit up like Christmas morning. I never cared a great deal about football before we were married, but when you grow up in the Great State of Alabama, football is never very far from your mind. It’s not a sport, people, it’s a way of life, and college football is the Holy Grail. The beginning of football season in the Deep South is basically a day of holy reverence.
My husband gets that. He LOVES him some college football–the Almighty Southeastern Conference, to be exact, and the Crimson Tide above and beyond all. We’re Tide folks. And despite any criticisms you may have of men and their love of sports, when your husband has one singular passionate hobby and it only takes place 13 times a year–but the rest of the year you have his attention every weekend–then you let him watch his football, and you’re happy that he’s happy. I’m not a wife who wants to gripe that he wants to watch the game–I’d rather learn to love it alongside him and then we can share those 13 Saturdays (14 if we make the Championships), and the other 39 besides.
photo via Frank’s Red Hot
On Game Day, I nearly always make Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip. If you haven’t met this creature, it will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. I generally use the Frank’s Red Hot recipe and sauce, but like to make some variations to the recipe:
- one package cream cheese, fully softened
- 1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce or hot sauce
- 1/2 cup bleu cheese dressing
- 1/2 cup mozzarella or cheddar cheese, grated
- additional 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 cans chunk chicken breast
Mix the cream cheese and sauce in a shallow baking dish. Add in the dressing and 1/2 cup of cheese. Mix well. Add in chicken, breaking up the larger chunks. Stir, then bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Pull out and sprinkle additional 1/2 cup of cheddar on top, then broil for 5 min or until slightly crispy on top. Serve with Fritos Scoops for best results (but tortilla chips will do in a pinch).
We have been known to make this at 11 am for an early game and literally–LITERALLY–eat nothing else the rest of the day. It is amazing.
Best part: if you chill the leftovers (should there be such a thing), it makes an awesome sandwich spread. Kinda like pimento cheese in color and texture, but buffalo wing flavored.
Happy football season, y’all!