I have been looking forward to today’s post all week.
Today, I’m going back to my roots with two of this Nebraska Girl’s favorite pastimes: Football and Country Music.
I’ve spoken at length of my love for country music on the blog, and I’m pleased that it seems to be garnering even more fans in the general population these days. Well, if you like to listen to it in the car with the windows rolled down, you’ll love to blast it during the workout that I’m going to share with you at the end of this post.
But first, the food.
Truth be told, I’m not actually the biggest football fan (shhhh….don’t tell my Nebraska Cornhusker-loving friends), but I sure do love a good tailgate, as mentioned here. In my 4 years at Northwestern I attended 1 football game and too many tailgates to count. What can I say? I’m a sucker for cheap keg beer, fried food and parties.
You can take the girl out of Nebraska…
I have nothing against nachos, kegs n’ eggs, buffalo wings, burgers and other traditional tailgating food. But, sometimes you just need to change it up a bit. Add a little spice and glam, if you will. In my experience, as long as us ladies handle everything, the men won’t care what it is, how it looks or how it’s cooked…as long as it tastes good.
A couple years ago, I travelled back to Nebraska after they joined the Big 10, because for the first time ever, they were playing my alma mater, Northwestern. For that game I baked “Blueberry Wildcat Donuts” and “Go Big Red Velvet” Donuts. The donuts were a hit, and one of the guys even told me I should open a bakery!
It was then I realized that the sky is really the limit when it comes to tailgate food. So, lucky readers, today I have two SUPER SIMPLE recipes to share with you that will be perfect for your Football Sunday (or Saturday if you’re a college-loving football fan) party.
The first one was really hatched in the mind of my brilliant boyfriend. After he got back from China, the one thing he couldn’t wait to do was watch football on Sunday. But first, he needed a nice hearty snack to get him through the stressful day. After all, Fantasy Football can be quite nerve-racking!
He came up with this Baked Apple Brie, a deliciously elegant appetizer that incorporates many of the best fall flavors, while still being creamy and bready enough to appease even the most “manly” of tailgating men.
With a gooey cheesy inside that’s perfect for dipping and a golden bready outside that just “tastes so good when it hits your lips” we’ve decided that Baked Apple Brie is the new “nachos” of tailgates. Here’s how it’s done ya’ll.
- 1 tube of refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 1 large sheet of puff pastry dough
- 1 round or wedge of chilled Brie cheese
- 1 apple cut into thin slices (type of apple doesn't matter - picky your favorite!)
- 2 heaping TBSP of apple butter
- 1 tbsp of crushed pistachios
- 1 tsp of honey
- 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with foil. Spray with a small amount of cooking spray.
- Peel and cut apple into thin pieces. Set aside 8 for brie and the rest for dipping.
- Unroll dough and separate crosswise into 2 sections. Press each section into 6-inch square. If using crescent dough, firmly press perforations to seal.
- While brie is still chilled, you can cut off the top rind of the cheese. The rind is edible so you don't have to do this step. However, doing so will help ensure that the crust stays with the cheese when it is served.
- Cut brie into 8 equal pieces, ensuring that shape stays the same. Place on top of 1/2 of the dough. Squeeze thin apple pieces in between cheese pieces. Spoon apple butter over cheese and top with crushed pistachios, honey and pumpkin pie spice.
- Place other dough square on top of cheese. Press dough evenly around, folding bottom edges over top edges; press to seal completely. Brush with egg wash and place on cookie sheet.
- Bake at 350º for 25-30 minutes, pastry should be golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
- If you would like the dish to be warm at your tailgate, bake the morning of the tailgate, wrap in foil and don't unwrap until serving. You may also use a warming plate or place foiled brie on the grill for a few minutes to warm up.
- Serve with crackers, apple slices, chips or anything you would like to dip!
You may notice that there are TWO Baked Apple Bries on this football. There are just so many tasty combinations that one can make with this dish, so I just had to try another one. The Baked Apple Brie on the right is topped with black raspberry jam and was equally as delicious.
In case you’re, wondering, here’s a summary of how it went down in the kitchen:
Can we talk about how pretty this dish is? I couldn’t stop taking pictures! Check out the beauty of the inside.
Pair this with a sweet apple cider, such as, my favorite, Angry Orchard, and you’ve got yourself a fancy lil’ tailgate.
If you really want to get cute with it, go ahead, add the football decorations. Your man may complain that it’s too “cute and girly” for a tailgate, but he’ll shut that mouth once it’s stuffed with ooey, gooey sweet brie.
A note here on the practicality of this dish for a tailgate. My very smart and logical friend, Michelle, mentioned some concerns about eating Baked Brie at a tailgate for fear it would be too sloppy and also because it’s better served warm. For those of you that share her concerns, simply bake the morning of your tailgate (only takes about 45 minutes start-to-finish), wrap and foil, and don’t unwrap until you’re ready to serve. OR, leave in foil and place on the grill for a couple of minutes to warm that sucker up!
The second recipe is a quick and easy sweet treat that was shared on Wednesday’s post: Pumpkin Spice Muffins. These semi-homemade muffins take no time to prep at all, and when topped with my pumpkin spice glaze, make the perfect hearty breakfast muffin to fuel you and fellow tailgaters through a long, “hard” day of beer drinking.
- 18 ounce spice cake mix (any brand will work)
- 15 ounces pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp pumpkin (save small amount from cake)
- 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tins with festive cupcake liners.
- Mix pumpkin and cake mix together in large bowl until well-combined. You may use a mixer, but it is not essential. Batter will be THICK
- Spoon into paper lined small muffin/cupcake tins, 2/3 full. Since the batter is thick, it won't settle like a more liquidy muffin batter would. You can smooth the tops if you're a perfectionist. I'm not!
- Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until fork can be inserted into center and comes out clean. Check after 20 minutes.
- While muffins are baking, mix up your glaze. Pour confectioner's sugar into medium-sized bowl. Add in milk and vanilla, whisking until smooth. Finally, add in pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk until icing is a deep orange color.
- Drizzle over top of warm muffins and serve.
You see the little orange dots? Yeah, I went ahead and threw in some Halloween colored chocolate chips while I was feeling crazy last night doing all of this baking.
If you wanna get all festive on these babies, go to a candy store and buy some M&M’s that are your favorite team’s color. Throw ’em in the batter, top with some colorful football decorations, and boom, you’ve got yourself the perfect tailgate treat.
Oh yeah, and about the workout…
This IS a Sometimes Healthy Living Blog, after all. My goal is to load you up with recipes for delicious food and then provide you with workouts that make you feel even better about indulging in these foods.
Today’s workout is in line with the whole tailgate theme. Awhile ago, I discovered these “One-Song Workouts” on BuzzFeed and was instantly hooked. Sometimes the idea of working out can be so…overwhelming. So, the idea of simply playing one of my favorite songs and busting out a prescribed workout seemed much more approachable.
There’s only one problem. I cannot find any one-song workouts set to country music, and nothing motivates me more than a heart-pumping, downhome, hillbilly, redneck-celebratin’ country song.
So, I went ahead and created my own, using songs with a hard, fast beat and intense, yet hilariously fun lyrics.. Complete 1 of these workouts to work your: arms, legs/butt, abs and fully body. OR, blast each one of these motivating country songs and finish the entire workout.
A word of warning for those unfamiliar with country music. Most of these songs talk about “buyin Patron” “shootin’ Bacardi”, “fillin’ it up and throwin’ it down”, “sippin’ on a cold brew” and heading to the “bottom of a real tall cold drink.” This might feel a little strange to hear as you’re sweating your little booty off. BUT, keep in mind what you’re working towards: a nice cold beer and some greasy tailgate food.
You won’t find any Carrie Underwood or Taylor Swift here. These are the hardcore, hillbilly bad boys of country, and nothin’ motivates me more. There is something about this type of music that makes me just want to let loose, kick ass and take names. I promise it will make you feel the exact same way.
So, do yourself a favor this Football Sunday (or College Football Saturday). Wake up early, bust out this workout and get your yehaww on. Then, class it up a bit with my “fancy” tailgate food.
And, in case you’re wondering, yes, we did have Baked Apple Brie, Pumpkin Spice Muffins and hard apple cider for breakfast this morning. Happy Friday, ya’ll! GO BIG RED!!
What’s your favorite tailgate food?
What’s the weirdest food you have ever eaten at a tailgate?