Chicken Wings - © Antonis Achilleos via myrecipes.com

U.S. Thanksgiving Game Time Treats!

Tomorrow is American Thanksgiving. And I can just see the crowds in the stores today, stocking up on trimmings and treats and all sorts of yummy things to make the day the best it can be. I’ve posted Thanksgiving menu and cooking tips before. But, today I’m going to list my personal fave game-time tips!

Football Dip Loaf - © Chelsea Lupkin via delish.comIf you feel energetic, you can make this Football Dip in a Bread Bowl. The pictured Dip is Artichoke and Kale, but you can use any Dip you love that’s thick and creamy…

In the U.S., Thanksgiving and football go together like the proverbial horse and carriage! In honour of that partnership, I offer the following tips to make game time easier and more enjoyable…

Beer is a must for the boys. Let them get in whatever floats their boats, brand-wise.

You can make sure they leave you alone to do the cooking if you stock up on their fave Chips and Dips for the big day and let them administer the distribution. That’s just basic preparedness.

You can’t go wrong with Wings. I cheat and get the frozen ones. All you have to do is bake them in the oven on a cookie or baking sheet lined with parchment paper for the recommended period of time. But I make my own Honey Garlic and Buffalo Sauces (see below). Get the Wings out early and let the peanut gallery taper off to Chips and stuff so they don’t ruin their dinners. And don’t forget Classic Bleu Cheese or Tzatziki Dressings (see below) to temper the heat!

You can also do Chicken Tenders, Sausage Bites, Cheese Sticks, Zuccini Sticks and any number of other easy treats from the freezer section. I always grab a tray of Mini-Quiches and one of Egg Rolls that I can pop in the oven for my own breaks – and the pleasure of anyone else who doesn’t fancy the heavier stuff.

Hint: The Egg Rolls cry out for Honey Garlic Sauce!

Plan to serve your Thanksgiving Day supper between the first and second game of the day, or the second and third, depending on how early the football day begins in your time zone! Don’t plan to sit down any earlier than about 6:00 p.m.

Easy Classic Sauces…

 

For classic Buffalo Sauce, just heat one cup / 250 ml Hot Sauce,one cup / 250 ml Butter and a teaspoon of Sugar in a saucepan and stir until the ingredients all blend together. Let cool to room temp before refrigerating.

For Honey Garlic Sauce, melt one cup / 250 ml Honey in a sauce pan and add one cup / 250 ml Butter and at least three cloves of Garlic, minced. Cook on low until all the ingredients meld into a nice sauce and you can smell the Garlic clearly! You can substitute Maple Syrup for the Honey, if you like, for a beautiful Maple Garlic dipping goo. Cool and store as for Buffalo Sauce.

 

For Classic Bleu Cheese Dressing, place a carton (2 cups / 500 ml) Full Fat Sour Cream in a mixing bowl, add a cup of finely crumbled Bleu Cheese and a squeeze of Lemon Juice. A good punch of Black Pepper is important as is a good pinch of Salt. Fold/stir gently until all ingredients are well combined. Refrigerate covered until serving time and then transfer to a fancy bowl.

For Tzatziki Sauce, Just place a medium carton (2 cups / 500 ml) of Full fat Sour Cream in a mixing bowl, add a handful of chopped Mint Leaves and a cup of diced Cucumber and fold/stir gently until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Now add at least three cloves of Garlic, minced or pressed, and a few tablespoons of fresh Dull Fronds, chopped, plus pinch of Salt and a good Pinch of Pepper. Stir until incorporated. Refrigerate until serving time and transfer to a serving bowl. If you want to be really traditional, drizzle some Extra-Virgin Olive Oil over the top of the Sauce in the serving bowl.

Hint: Make these sauces today so they’ll be ready when you want to serve them tomorrow. Give the Honey Garlic time to come to room temperature so it’s nice and saucy.

I like to have some Pumpkin Tarts on hand for Game Day dessert, along with something Chocolatey to contrast with the ‘savoury’ of the other treats. I make them at the same time As I make my Pumpkin Pie. Do that today to save time and hassles tomorrow…

This is all assuming…

…You’re going to have Thanksgiving Dinner at supper time. If it’s lunch, then hold off on the Wings and things ’till later. Better yet…

Make up some leftover Turkey Game Time bites from Triscuits (or Wheat Thins or other suitable crackers), small slices of Leftover Turkey and one or the other of your Wing sauces. They’ll disappear fast, in spite of the fact that the boys filled up on Turkey at Lunch. I like to prepare a couple of small squeeze bottles, one with each sauce, so folks can apply as much or as little as they fancy.

When it’s time for the second (or third?) game of the day to kick-off, bring our your Wings or Triscuits. They’ll almost be like a late supper, after your early feast.

Some random Thanksgiving Dinner tips…

Click here for my recipe for Perfect Gravy, every time.

Never have enough stuffing? Make lots and bake some in a casserole!

Click Festive Side Dishes under the ‘Categories’ sidebar drop-down menu to the right of this post, for a selection of classics that I enjoy.

Have a Great Thanksgiving…

…And remember the First Rule of Feasting: Pace yourself!

~ Maggie J.

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