Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tailgate Thursday: Tennessee Edition!

When I think of Tennessee I think of three things: 1. Jack Daniels Whiskey 2. Being terribly hung over the day after my 22nd birthday celebration at the Florida/Tennessee game while wearing tank tops that were hand-painted with various "nana-nana-boo-boo" type sayings {Do you remember this Kelly?! Ohh, college!} 3. The Rocky Top song that is played incessantly during Tennessee football games.

And until I read the "Fun Facts" page for the city of Knoxville where the University of Tennessee is located, I couldn't tell you much else! {Incidentally, they have one of the most entertaining fact pages of any city I've had to research thus far!}

Today I'm featuring the Tennessee Volunteers for Tailgate Thursday, and I've gotta say, it's a lot more difficult to talk nicely about a school when your team will be playing them on Saturday! ;)

As much as I love a good tailgate, I do not love having to spend the entire day preparing all the goodies and missing out on the fun. So, today I'm featuring some easy, make-ahead recipes that will leave you free to enjoy the party with everyone else!

1. Tennessee Rose, 2. "Smokey Got Sauced" Pulled Chicken Sliders,
3. Rocky Top Bites, 4. Stadium Stripes Dress from Twelve Saturdays
Carla's Tennessee Rose cocktail is just the right amount of sweet and sassy in the hands of any Tennessee girl. The whiskey is a nod to Tennessee's famous distillery, while the pineapple juice and unique addition of Creme de Cassis {a liqueur with black currant extract} soften it up.

I cannot begin tell you how much I love using the slowcooker on busy days {like a gameday!}, and this recipe for "Smokey Got Sauced" Pulled Chicken Sliders will show you exactly why. Delicious, tender pulled chicken AND homemade whiskey barbecue sauce cook together in a matter of hours to deliver an easy and fabulous tailgate snack. {The name comes from the Volunteer's mascot, Smokey the Hound, and the nip of Jack that snuck into the sauce.}

Looks like Smokey's been sneaking the sauce. He's awfully cute, though. ;)
I made homemade Honey Buttermilk Rolls to serve these on, but you can certainly pick up your favorite slider rolls from the grocery store if you aren't in the mood to be up to your elbows in flour and dough. {Though I can't imagine why not. Ha!}

No menu would be complete without a little something sweet, and today's dessert can't get any easier with no-bake Rocky Top Bites. Like a little nugget of Rocky Road goodness they'll satisfy a gameday sweet tooth with milk chocolate, almonds, marshmallows, and crisp rice cereal. They come together in no time at all and you can even get creative and make them look like little footballs if you so choose... but they're just as good undecorated {or, you know, right out of the bowl!}. :)

I'm a little wary of the outcome of this weekend's game between the Gators & Volunteers, but I know one thing: With a menu like this, I'll be a happy camper - win or lose!

Tennessee Rose
created by Haute Cocktail

2 oz. Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey
3 oz. Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 oz. Creme de Cassis or you can substitute with Raspberry Liqueur

Add all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a collins glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge and rose petals.

"Smokey Got Sauced" Pulled Chicken Sliders
 Cooking Method from Mel's Kitchen Cafe, Jack Daniels Sauce adapted from Southern Food at

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 medium {or 1 1/2 small} yellow onions, sliced thin
1/4 cup Jack Daniels whiskey
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons vinegar {I used cider vinegar}
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup {packed} brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/4-1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Line the bottom of the crockpot with a layer of sliced onions. Place chicken on top.

In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients and whisk together until incorporated. Pour over chicken.

Cook on high for 3-4 hours or until chicken is cooked through and tender. Remove chicken from crockpot and shred with 2 forks or {or with a hand mixer, as odd as that may sound!}.

Serve on your favorite sliders rolls.

Rocky Top Bites

1 {12 oz.} bag milk chocolate chips
1 cup almonds, chopped
2 cups crispy rice cereal {such as Rice Krispies}
2 cups mini marshmallows
3 tablespoons white chocolate chips, melted {optional}

Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

Place chocolate chips into a large bowl. Microwave on high for for 30 seconds, stir, and return to microwave for another 30 seconds. Stir until fully melted and smooth. {It shouldn't take more than about a minute, so be careful not to scorch!}

Toss in chopped almonds, rice cereal, and mini marshmallows and stir until they are fully coated with chocolate.

With an ice cream scoop or a 1/4 cup measure, scoop out into a mound and place on prepared pan. {If you feel like fussing with them to get a football shape, now would be the time.}

Refrigerate until chocolate is set, 15-20 minutes. {Decorate with melted white chocolate to look like footballs if desired, and return to refrigerator for an additional 10 minutes to set.}


Kelly Wynns said...

How could I forget?!? "the only good thing to come out if TN is Kenny Chesney!"

Post a Comment

Hearing from you makes me happy! Feel free to comment, but please remember to use your manners. ;)