Okay it’s confession time…
this cannot be keep secret any longer…
it needs to be shared…
before it drives me insane…er!
I hate football!
There it’s out there. I’ve finally set the truth free. Some of you may recall me sounding off about it during Super Bowl time. I may have gone off the deep end. This time I’m in control and keeping calm.
But I really hate football.
So why am I calling this Turtle Tailgate Mix? Well doh, I like football food. Just because I dislike the game does not mean I have to suffer and not have the food. I mean seriously people, have some compassion.
Okay I’ve got another one for you.
I’ve never been to a tailgate party…
*waits for the screaming to die down*
No really, I’ve never been to a tailgate party. I’m not a football fan. I can’t drink cuz of my stupid IBS. And quite honestly I’m usually at the barn when football is on. So it’s just never come up.
Are you ready for one more confession?
I used to pretend I liked football to get out of doing dishes. True story. Worked for eons. No one ever knew. Evil genius right!
Still want more confessions?
Once in high school we had a touch football game after school. Guys and gals. In order to not “hurt us girls” the guys wanted the game to be touch only. Well while I dislike football greatly if I’m going to play I’m going to play hard. I mean that competitive spirit just kicks in. Not sure if it’s the smell of the pigskin or the sweat playing tricks on my brain. Well, we started to play and my bestie gf had the ball. So I tackled her to the ground like my life depended on it. I know right. Let’s just say everyone gave me a wide berth for the rest of the game.
Want one more?
Hubs used to play football with a bunch of dudes on weekends. Same guys who all went to high school together. Lots of history and bonding. You know guys, smacking each other’s rears and all that jazz. So hubs got a little over-exuberant and broke some dudes leg. Yup. I think that’s right around the time he stopped playing. Can’t imagine why.
So as you can tell we have a wacky relationship with football. But I won’t hold that wackiness against it when it comes to football grub. When I hear the word “tailgate” I start to sweat, then my mind starts rattling around with the endless food possibilities. So I’m here to prove even the most die hard football disser can still make a fabulous dish for a tailgate party.
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch of vanilla salt
- 2 cups mini pretzels
- 2 cups chex cereal
- 2 cups crunch an munch caramel popcorn
- 2 cups pecan halves
- 2 cups chocolate cheerios
- 1 1/2 cups butter
- 2 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 6 ounces semi sweet chocolate
Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
Do NOT stir and bring to a boil, let it cook until it goes a nice amber colour. You can lightly swish or swirl the pan but do NOT stir at this point.
Once the liquid is amber in colour remove from heat and add butter. Swish it around until it melts.
Add the cream and remember it's going to bubble up as caramel does, so make sure you are careful and your pan is big enough to handle it.
Whisk until mixed.
Add vanilla and vanilla salt and whisk until smooth.
Set aside to let cool.
Combine all your dry ingredients (pretzels, cereal, popcorn, pecans and cheerios) into a large roasting pan, except for the m & m's, those go in later once things cool. Stir them up. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan combine your butter, brown sugar and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves, then let it boil for about 3 to 5 minutes. It will become thicker.
Toss in the chocolate and whisk until it melts and mixture is smooth and slightly thick. Set aside for about 5 minutes to cool a bit.
Now whisk the mixture then pour over the dry ingredients you have in the roasting pan. Give it a really good stir so you coat everything evenly.
Line a large cookie sheet with parchment.
Transfer your mixture to the cookie sheet and pop in a preheated 200 degree oven for 30 minutes. Make sure you stir the mixture half way through the cooking process.
Remove from the oven and leave out to dry further and cool. About an hour should be good. And this is where you will learn how tough you are. It will be really hard not to just bury your head in the chocolate goodness you are smelling right now but resist people. Trust me.
Once the popcorn is cool, you want to make sure it's spread evenly on parchment on cookie sheet(s).
Now warm your caramel just a touch. You don't want it scorching hot but warm enough to drizzle, not hot enough to shrink the other ingredients. Drizzle over the mixture. You can let it dry then flip the mix over and drizzle again if you like.
Pop back in a 200 degree oven for 30 minutes, flipping after 15 minutes.
Let cool on pans.
Add m & m's if desired. And let's be honest, who doesn't desire m & m's. Mix it all up.
Enjoy with a big old I hate football smile!
You could totally half the chocolate mixture you pour over top. I tend to go a little over the top with these things.
Or you could double the dry ingredients. My chocolate to dry ratio is a bit high.
You can change up the dry stuff and use whatever you love. If you hate pretzels don't use them. If you prefer cashews use them. Be creative.
Caramel Recipe is adapted from Fine Cooking.
Chocolate mixture is adapted from Paula Deen’s Turtle Popcorn.
So do you forgive me now for hating football?
Ya, I thought so.
This was suppose to be part of our Sunday Supper Tailgate Party a couple of weeks ago, but I was sidelined by a trip to the hospital. Since I’m recovering nicely I thought I’d pull this out and share it with you now. You’re welcome.
Hope your football season is awesome, your team wins and you get to eat lots of great tailgate food. I’ll be whipping up some great dishes you can eat while watching. Just don’t expect me to know what team is playing.
Toodles and smoochies! xx