Its no secret around my house that football is a dirty word. For me, it translates to a very long Sunday afternoon of single parenting while my children whine incessantly because they can't watch their shows on the TV in the living room because my husband is lounging dead to the world clutching a bottle of barqs rootbeer in front of it. Even worse....when I am forced to actually partake of the viewing. When my husband and I started dating he would drag me to San Diego Chargers games quite frequently. The only way I survived this torture was by eating an entire Ciro's pizza by myself and reading through the stash of fashion magazines in my purse. This was afterall, way back before the dawn of smartphones - when dinosaurs roamed the earth, and Miley Cyrus still wore pants. (ah, memories).
Since moving to Idaho I have been subject to forced bouts of football torture annually on Superbowl Sunday, and also occasionally for bigger bowl games when our local Broncos team is participating. (Like the recent Fiesta Bowl). Again, I know NOTHING about the actual rules of the game and for all intents and purposes football seems like a really long painful exercise involving grown men (who are also often criminals?) jumping into a dog-pile over and over again. I just don't understand how my husband can complain about a very simple to understand lifetime movie with a very simple easy to follow plot, that lasts roughly 1.5 hours - but he can suffer through 4 straight hours of whistle blowing flag throwing sweaty buns in spandex. Life is so mysterious sometimes. But as a wife to a sports addict and a mother to 3 kids who are football junkies in the making - I really had to make peace with this weekly ritual.
So whats a girl to do? Through much pondering and soul searching (aka Pinterest) I am proud to announce that after years of suffering I have FINALLY found a solution! A combination of Adorable football fashion - also known as game day knit head wraps and Buffalo chicken! Man I should have been a rocket scientist, what with this mind altering discovery. I don't really understand why it has taken me 20 years to equate football to delicious food and comfy clothes - but its a life changer. Now when football season rolls around I simply say to my family, "who's ready for dip and sweatpants"? Its a win win.
These head wraps come in all your fave team colors and are SO SOFT. Im not usually a head band/wrap kind of girl because I have an itsy bitsy pin head - but somehow these look totes adorbs on EVERYONE. I know this because my daughter has stolen this and worn it to the grocery store a few times. And if I were being totally honest here - I would also admit to wearing my Broncos wrap in my house....on a random week day. When there is no football on. Its cozy, and I like it. Go ahead and judge me. These head wraps are so amazing that even US Weekly featured them last month on their stylewatch page. I dont know if you're like me - but when I see stuff I own in a magazine like that or being worn by a celebrity its a HUGE validation of my excellent taste! (Once I saw an episode of Pretty Little Liars and Spencer Hastings was wearing a sweater that I have from Anthropologie. I basically felt famous. )
Once you have some adorable popular game day garb on your person -its important to complete step 2 of the "accepting your life as a football fan" process. And this involves copious amounts of Buffalo Chicken. When I got pregnant with my second babe I was stricken with inexplicable cravings for hot sauce. I would wake my family up early in the morning with the sound of the deep fryer going full throttle as I made buffalo chicken bites from scratch in my kitchen. We smelled like grease for a year but I didnt care. We ate spicy dips for lunch, buffalo burgers for dinner, and buffalo burritos for breakfast. Jalepeno poppers became my consistent late night snack as I obsessively watched every episode of Ally Mcbeal while simultaneously growing out of everything I owned. It was wonderful.
Finally after months of dragging my family to Wild Wings I discovered the trick to making perfect buffalo wings at home: Crispy chicken strips! These babies have revolutionized football watching for me!! Just defrost for a minute or two in your microwave, then stick in your oven on broil until crispy and delicious! Then toss them in equal parts hot sauce and melted butter - and voila. Best boneless buffalo wings ever!!!
I took this recipe to a girls night recently and we all agreed it was worth gaining five pounds over. Its called, "I hate football but I'm learning to eat my feelings in order to save my marriage dip". Or simply: Buffalo Dip. Your choice.
4-6 chicken strips baked or microwaved as directed then diced into small pieces and tossed with enough buffalo sauce to coat. I use Franks, straight out of the bottle.
3 celery stalks diced
2 bricks cream cheese (can use 1/3 less fat or neufchatel)
1 cup mayo (full fat works best)
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup blue cheese divided (1/4 cup in the dip, 1/4 cup for the top)
1 cup cheddar cheese shredded (any blend is fine too - mexican, colby, sharp, whatever)
Directions: In mixer whip together cream cheese and mayo until well combined. Add in celery and onions, cheeses and buffalo chicken bites. Taste it and add a dash or two more of franks if you like it more spicy. Spread evenly in a 9x9 square or 9" round baking dish and bake at 350 for 50 minutes. Serve with crusty baguettes and celery sticks or tortilla chips.
Your friends/family/neighbors/football friends will thank you the next time you show up on game day in your adorable knit head wrap bearing this heavenly dip.
Enjoy my friends. GO BRONCOS! (and sweatpants!)