Fall Flavors & Football

Fall and football go hand and hand. Here's an addictive, delicious recipe that will impress even your most avid tailgaters!

Everyone knows that the best part of the Fall isn't the weather, it isn't the back-to-school sales, and it isn't the pumpkins.  While I am currently tending to my Pumpkin-Spice Coffee, and I love a great sale just as much as the next person... we all should just admit that the best part about this time of year is the FOOTBALL.  

After saying goodbye to this year's Phillies team, I'm ready for the Birds.  The Eagles have come back with some exciting games, bringing them to this week's game against the Steelers with a 3-1 record.  Not too bad for the Eagles.  Now that we're admitting that Football is the best part of Fall, let's take it one step further.  Come on, you know you want to... we all know the real reason you like football season... it's because you get to eat delicious food, isn't it?  It is for me!

Having grown up in a Penn State family, I know how to put together a pretty awesome tailgate.  My friends put together an indoor tailgate for last week's game, where the eats could surely rival that of any tailgate in Happy Valley.  A tailgate makes it completely acceptable to eat Chili, Chips and Dips, Chicken Wings, Meatballs, Cookies and Pizza... all washed down with a nice cold beer.  YUM.

My contribution to this tailgate was an awesome recipe I had to share with you:  Jalapeno Popper Dip.  Like, wow.  This stuff is so yummy!  You can adjust the number of peppers you use to make it more or less spicy too... the one I made wasn't too spicy at all!  

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Recipe Inspired by:  Brown Eyed Baker


2 packages 1/3 Reduced Fat Cream Cheese

1 cup Olive Oil Reduced Fat Mayo

6 pieces Bacon, cooked and chopped

4 Fresh Jalapenos, seeded, minced

1 teaspoon Minced Garlic

1/2 teaspoon Cumin

8oz Shredded Sharp White Cheddar Cheese


1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs

1 cup shredded Parmesan 

4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted

Smoked Paprika


1.  Combine the cream cheese, mayo, bacon, jalapenos, garlic, cumin, and the shredded cheddar cheese.  Pour the mixture into a baking dish.  

2.  Now, combine the panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and melted butter in a medium-sized bowl.  Mix with a fork until the mixture is well combined and moistened.  Sprinkle evenly over the cream cheese mixture.  Top with some smoked paprika (or regular if that’s all you have).  

3.  I stopped here, and brought the baking dish to the tailgate where I baked in the oven when we were ready to eat.  Otherwise, bake in an oven preheated to 375 for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden brown and bubbling.  Let rest for 5 minutes or so before serving (hot hot hot!).  Serve with Tortilla Chips & Pretzel Crisps, and ENJOY!

This crunchy-topped dip is so delicious!  I personally would add some Cayenne Pepper into the cream cheese mixture next time to give it more of a kick.  What's your favorite tailgate recipe?  

Check out this recipe and many others on my blog, It's Good to be the Cook! (www.itsgoodtobethecook.com)

And... GO EAGLES, beat the Steelers!

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