Rah! Sis Boom Bah! Go Team! As the weather turns cool, it's time for winter sports like football, hockey and Tailgate Parties! Especially when we're cheering on our Florida Gators!!! Team up with friends and make it a potluck meal. Or if you really want to show off, make it all yourself.

My husband and I LOVE tailgate parties ... whether or not we have tickets to the big game!

Here's some of our favorite recipes for tailgating ... so welcome to our Gator Grill!

BARBECUE SANDWICHES

Brown 3 lbs. ground chuck with:

1/2 of a green pepper, chopped
1/2 of an onion, chopped

Drain meat mixture and transfer to a crock pot. Add:

1-1/2 tsp. vinegar
1 c. brown sguar
1/2of a large bottle of ketchup
Dash of seasoned salt
Splash of liquid smoke

Simmer on low for 2 to 3 hours. Turn off and allow to cool. Reheat after it cools.

Serve on hamburger buns with a slice of cheese, if desired, and cole slaw (on the sandwich or on the side).

POPEYE'S FRIED CHICKEN

6 c. vegetable oil
2/3 c. flour
1 T. salt
2 T. white pepper
1 tsp. Cayenne pepper
2 tsp. Paprika
3 eggs
1 chicken, cut up

Heat oil over medium heat in a deep-fryer or in a deep cast-iron skillet.

Combine the flour, salt, peppers and Paprika in a bowl.

In another bowl, break eggs and beat until well-blended.

Dip each piee of chicken into eggs, then coat generously with the flour mixture. Drop each piece into the hot oil and fry 15 to 25 minutes until chicken is dark golden brown.

Drain chicken on paper towels and keep warm until serving.

DEEP FRIED TURKEY

Creole Seasoning:

13 oz. salt
1-1/2 oz. ground black pepper
2 oz. ground red pepper
1 oz. garlic powder
1 oz. chili powder
1 oz. Accent

Depending on how much seasoning you want injected into the turkey depends on how much to dilute. We like alot of spices ... so we will dilute about half of this mixture to a consistancy that will flow thru an injection needle. Then just inject the turkey to your heart's content!

When frying the turkey at a game you sure get a lot of spectators wondering what in the world you are doing and a lot of people just coming to see what the wonderful smell is. In any event you meet alot of different people.

Tips:

* Use a thawed turkey not to exceed 18 lbs.
* Inject turkey with Creole Seasoning (diluted with water)
* Fill turkey fryer with vegetable oil (make sure it will not overflow when turkey is put in)
* Heat oil to 350 degrees * Cook for 3 minutes per pound plus 5 minutes more.

TOUCHDOWN CHILI

2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 quart water
1 (28 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (28 oz.) can peeled whole tomatoes
2 onions, chopped finely
2 T. cocoa powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. cumin (seed or ground)
2 T. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1½ T. white vinegar
2 garlic cloves
3 bay leaves

DO NOT brown the meat first, just combine everything in a large pan or crock pot, and cook slowly for 4 - 5 hours, covered. This is even better if you put in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it. Remove the bay leaves and garlic before serving.

Serving suggestions:

One Way: Served all by itself in a bowl.
Two Way: Served on spaghetti, with oyster crackers on the side
Three Way: Topped with a mountain of shredded cheddar cheese
Four Way: Add either red kidney beans or chopped fresh onions
Five Way: Add both beans and onions

SAUSAGE-STUFFED PRAWNS

1/2 lb. pork butt
1/2 lb. chicken breast meat
1 T. crushed red chilies
1/2 c. fresh basil leaves
1/2 c. sundried tomatoes

Salt & Pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients in a grinder; seaston to taste. Adjust olive oil to desired looseness.

Using 16 to 20-sized prawns, peel (leave tails on and don't devein). Turn prawns on their backs; with small shrimp knife, cut from where the tail begins to the top of the prawn, cutting through all the meat and leaving the top skin in tact. Toss prawns into a pan with some olive oil, garlic adn lemon zest.

To stuff prawns, take 2 tsp. raw sausage mixture and place it into the open section of the prawn (tail should be sticking up). Place prawns on parchment-lined sheet pan and bake 6 to 10 minutes at 350-degrees, until sausage and prawns are cooked through.

CREAM CHEESE & PINEAPPLE SANDWICHES

For the sandwiches:

20 to 24 slices brown bread (or bread of choice)
Honey Butter

For the filling:

1 c. cream cheese, beaten
1/4 c. slivered almonds
1/2 c. crushed pineapple
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Mix all the filling ingredietns to a spreadable consistency, using a fork. Spread 10 to 12 slices of bread with the honey butter, then with the filling. Top with a second slice of bread. Cut off crusts and cut into quarters.

CHICKEN SALAD

4 cooked chicken breasts (boned, skinned & shredded)
1 large can crushed pineapple, drained
1 c. walnuts, chopped
2 c. seedless green grapes, halved
1 c. Miracle Whip
1 c. sour cream
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. celery salt

Cook chicken several hours in crockpot (or boil on top of stove). Remove skin and bone the chicken. With two forks, shred the meat.

In large bowl, combine the shredded chicken with drained pineapple, chopped nuts and halved grapes.

In separate bowl, mix together the Miracle Whip, sour cream, curry, salt & celery salt. Stir into the chicken mixture. Chill well. Serve over leaf lettuce, with crackers, on croissants or scooped onto a cantaloupe slice.

THREE-CHEESE CHICKEN QUESADILLAS

8 large flour tortillas
3/4 to 1 c. cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 to 1 c. Monterey Jack cheese, grated
3/4 c. Jalapena cheese, grated (optional)
2 c. cooked, cubed chicken

Mix cheeses together. Generously place cheese on half-side of each tortilla. Top wtih cubes of chicken (or beef, pork ham or green pepper).

Fold tortilla over. Place on a lightly oiled and heated grill until cheese has melted and grill marks are visable. Cut into wedges. Serve immediately with salsa and/or sour cream, if desired.

ATOMIC WINGS

Pre-Game Night Soak:

1/2 bottle Liquid Smoke
2 T. Garlic Juice
1/2 c. Apple Cider Vinegar

Use full sized drum sticks and wings. Don't mess around with those little things. This recipe is good for 24 drumsticks or wings.

Put chicken into a Tupperware container. Add the above ingredients and enough COLD water to cover. Place in the refrigerator overnight, and take to the game with you!

Dry Spices:

5 parts Garlic Salt
1 part Cayenne Pepper
1/2 part Cumin
1/2 part Chili Powder
1/2 part Paprica
1/2 Black Pepper
1/2 part Curry Powder

Place ingredients into a Ziplock bag and shake until well mixed. Pour into a shaker with large holes and a cover. (It's also great on ribs, hamburgers, things like that. Make a large batch of the dry spice to have on hand.)

Place Chicken on grill and sprinkle above combination generously on all sides. Cook on medium heat if possible. Have a spray bottle of water handy and mist chicken to keep moist while cooking. Add dry spices as often as you want to coat the chicken. Cook until done and enjoy!

EASY CRAB SPREAD

1 lb. flaked crab meat
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
1-1/2 c. Hellman's mayonnaise
1 can cream of celery soup

Add cheese, mayonnaise & soup to medium saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat until cheese melts and becomes well-blended. Add crab meat and stir to combine. Remove from heat.

Spread over lightly-toasted French or Italian bread wedge slices. Bake at 350-degrees until golden & bubbly. Serve hot.

VEGETABLE ROLL-UPS

Flour tortillas
8 oz. brick of cream cheese
1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix
1/2 c. Helmann's mayonnaise
Shredded carrots
Chopped broccoli
Chopped mushrooms
Chopped onion
Chopped yellow/red pepper

With beater, mix cream cheese, dressing and mayonnaise. Add vegetables. Spread on tortillas; roll up and slice. Chill overnight.


The MP3 playing = University of Florida's The Orange & Blue