Fall is in the air and, come October, sports are in full swing. Whether you prefer college football Saturdays—cheering on your favorite team, paying special attention to the various conference rivalries—or professional football Sundays—in front of the TV, keeping a close eye on your fantasy football team—everyone can use some tips to throw the perfect tailgate party, even if you can’t make it to the stadium.
Not-your-Mama’s Buffalo Sauces
- Garlic Buffalo Sauce: Buffalo sauce + Garlic cloves
- Sriracha Buffalo Sauce: Buffalo sauce + cilantro + Sriracha sauce + lime zest
- Maple-Chipotle Buffalo Sauce: Buffalo sauce + maple syrup + canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- Jalapeno-Cheddar Buffalo Sauce: Buffalo sauce + chopped pickled jalapenos + grated cheddar cheese
- Five Alarm Buffalo Sauce: Buffalo sauce (replace half the wing sauce with habanero hot sauce) +cayenne
- Bourbon Buffalo Sauce: Buffalo sauce + bourbon
Build-it-Yourself Giant Block Tower
What you need:
- 6 2x4x8 boards to make 54 10 1/2-inch pieces
- Sandpaper (80 grit)
- Miter or circular saw
- Tape measure
- Carpenter’s pencil
- Eye + ear protection
What you do:
- Cut 54 pieces at 10 1/2-inches each using your miter or circular saw. Tip: Setting up a stop on your saw will make the process go a lot faster.
- Sand each side of the pieces and the tops and bottoms to create a smooth piece.
- Stack the pieces on a table or platform in rows of three, alternating the direction you stack each layer.
Raising the stakes: Add a little more competition—the first player or team to send the tower tumbling owes the winner a better seat for the game.
When buying a new TV to handle all your sports-watching needs, consider these five things to choose the best fit for you:
- The bigger, the better—Keep in mind the size of the room and how far away you will be sitting, though.
- Opt for 4K Ultra HD—4K Ultra HD TVs have more than 8 million pixels while regular HD TVs have a little more than 2 million pixels.
- Consider refresh rates—The higher the processing rate, the more times per second the TV can refresh the images on the screen, increasing blur-free motion in fast-moving games. Look for a TV with at least a 120 hertz refresh rate.
- Ignore manufacturer contrast ratios—It’s easiest to judge the contrast ratio—a range of brightness levels TVs can display—with your own eyes.
- Add a soundbar—It takes up less space than traditional speakers and is easy to set up.
Stuff-your-Face Gameday Nachos
1 bag tortilla chips
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 pound ground beef
1 jar preferred salsa
15 ounces nacho cheese
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
2 1/4 ounces black olives
Jalapenos, to taste
In a skillet, brown and drain ground beef. Add preferred salsa and simmer. On a large baking sheet, layer tortilla chips, nacho cheese sauce and cheddar cheese in alternating layers. Bake for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Once hot, add tomatoes, cilantro, red onion, black olives and jalapenos to taste.
Show-your-Spirit Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting
1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
5 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon butter-flavored extract
Food coloring (optional)
1. In a large bowl, mix together butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture until well blended using a sturdy spoon. Chill dough for 2 hours.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
4. Bake for 4 to 6 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove cookies from pan and cool on wire racks.
5. Using an electric mixer, beat shortening, confectioners’ sugar, water, salt, vanilla extract, butter flavoring and food coloring until fluffy. Frost cookies after they have cooled completely.
Recipe from AllRecipes.com
For cute cookie cutters, try Ann Clark Football Cookie Cutter three-piece set, $9.49, available on Amazon.