Crispy buffalo mini fried chicken and hot spinach-artichoke dip

Crispy buffalo fried chicken, hot spinach-artichoke dip
Hot spinach-artichoke dip. Source: Melynda Sides/WBRC
Hot spinach-artichoke dip. Source: Melynda Sides/WBRC
Co-cola sheet cake. Source: Melynda Sides/WBRC
Co-cola sheet cake. Source: Melynda Sides/WBRC
Tailgating decorations. Source: Melynda Sides/WBRC
Tailgating decorations. Source: Melynda Sides/WBRC

Blue Cheese-Ranch Dipping Sauce

Co-Cola Sheet Cake

Crispy Buffalo Fried Chicken

Makes about 8 to 10 servings

Prep: 25 minutes Cook: 32 minutes Chill: 4 hours

Expect a mildly, hot flavor with vinegar undertones. Soaking the chicken in milk and hot sauce before frying lends a spicy, tender kick to the chicken and retains a delightful crunch.

1 (12-ounce) bottle hot sauce

1 cup whole milk

2 large eggs

3 1/2 pounds chicken drumettes

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon table salt

Vegetable oil

Blue Cheese-Ranch Dipping Sauce

Celery and carrot sticks

Garnish: Lemon wedges, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together hot sauce, milk and eggs in a large bowl. Add the chicken drumettes. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 24 hours.

Remove chicken from hot sauce mixture, discarding hot sauce mixture. Stir together flour and next 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Dredge chicken in flour mixture, shaking off excess.

Pour oil to a depth of 1 1/2-inches in an enamel coated cast iron Dutch oven; heat to 350°. Fry chicken in 4 batches 7 to 8 minutes or until chicken reaches 165° F when tested using a thermometer. Drain on a wire rack over paper towels. Serve with Blue Cheese-Ranch Dipping Sauce, celery and carrot sticks. Garnish, if desired.

Tailgating On The Go Tip

Cold fried chicken can be a wonderful tailgating addition if you want to tackle a little prep ahead of time. Fry up to a day ahead of time, cool 30 minutes, place in a zip-top plastic container & refrigerate. Before heading out the door to your tent location, simply grab the chicken & transport in your cooler. Place on a pretty platter when you arrive.

Rebecca Gordon Buttermilk Lipstick

Blue Cheese-Ranch Dipping Sauce

Makes about 2 1/4 cups

Prep: 5 minutes Chill 1 hour

2/3 cup mayonnaise

3/4 cup whole milk

1 (1-ounce) package Ranch dressing mix

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles

Whisk together the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl until combined. Stir in blue cheese. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

Rebecca Gordon Buttermilk Lipstick

Hot Spinach-Artichoke Dip

makes 10 servings

Tailgating At Home Tip

Prepare up to a day ahead & refrigerate.

Bake an additional 10 minutes or until the center is hot & the edges are bubbly.

1 cup light sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

4 green onions, sliced

3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, pressed

1 1/4 cups shredded pepper jack cheese, divided

1 (9-oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained

1 (14-oz.) can medium artichoke hearts, chopped

freshly ground pepper to taste

corn chips


preheat the oven to 350 degrees

stir together the first 6 ingredients plus 1 cup of the pepper jack cheese

fold in the spinach & the artichokes

spoon into a lightly greased 1-quart casserole dish

sprinkle the top w/ 1/4 cup pepper jack cheese


bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until center is hot & edges are bubbly

sprinkle w/ freshly ground black pepper

serve w/ corn chips

Tailgating At Home Tip

Portion into several smaller ovenproof dishes or ramekins.

Bake a few at a time to keep food fresh throughout the game.

Rebecca Gordon Buttermilk Lipstick

Co-Cola Sheet Cake

With Old Fashioned Buttermilk Chocolate Frosting

makes 15 servings

the cake

1 cup butter, softened

1 3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

2 cups ap flour, sifted

6 Tbsp cocoa powder, sifted

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp table salt

1 {7.5} can co-cola

1/2 cup whole buttermilk


preheat the oven to 350 degrees

beat the butter & the sugar w/ an electric stand mixer on medium speed until light & airy

{about 5 minutes}

add the eggs & the vanilla & mix on low-ish speed until well blended

stop the mixer on occasion & scrape down the sides of the bowl w/ a rubber spatula


whisk together the flour, cocoa, soda & salt in a small bowl

add to the butter mixture alternately w/ the co-cola

blend in the buttermilk on low speed & mix just until combined

it's crucial not to over mix the cake batter to ensure a tender crumb


spread the batter into a greased & floured 13 x 9-inch baking pan

drop the pan about an inch from the surface onto the counter top

3 times to settle any air bubbles

this will help the cake rise evenly as it bakes

bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes

or until the cake tests clean w/ a wooden toothpick

the cake sides will pull away from the pan when gently pried w/ your fingertips

cool completely before frosting

{about 45 minutes}

the frosting

1/3 cup butter, cut into pieces

1/3 to 1/2 cup whole buttermilk

1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

1 {16-oz} package powdered sugar


combine the butter, buttermilk & the cocoa in a 3 qt saucepan

cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat until the butter melts

cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute to tighten up the mixture ever so slightly

don't be timid

pull out a small whisk to smooth any lumps if 'n you need to


remove the chocolate mixture from the heat

add the vanilla & the powdered sugar

beat w/ an electric hand mixer until thickened smooth

now, don't lolly-gag

pour the frosting over the cake & spread to the edges w/ a little baby off-set spatula

allow the frosting to set up a touch & dig in

Tailgating On The Go Tip

Sheet cakes travel well & are effortless dessert options for football fanatics with a serious sweet tooth. Bake & ice as directed in a disposable foil pan. Pack a knife & pretty paper goods in team colors for an easy presentation once you arrive to your tent.

Rebecca Gordon Buttermilk Lipstick