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Paula Deen's Football Party

We love really good food in our house and at our tailgates, so the Queen Mother of good food, Paula Deen, has had a strong influence in my recipe repertoire.  In her book, Paula Deen Celebrates!, she discusses her sons' love for Georgia football and their high level of tailgating expertise.  Here is the menu from Paula Deen Celebrates! for a Football Party:

Corn Chowder
Taco Soup
Chili-Cheese Corn Muffins
Teriyaki and Buffalo Chicken Wings
Celery with Blue Cheese Dressing
Pink Shrimp Dip
Jamie's Cheeseburger Pies
Fried Onion Rings with Chili Sauce
Toffee Gooey Butter Cake

All of the above (super delicious) recipes are in Paula Deen Celebrates!.  Gameday Style's adaptation of this menu goes something like this:

Corn Chowder
Taco Soup
Chili-Cheese Corn Muffins
Buffalo Wings 
(purchased from the best wings place in this college town)
Celery with Blue Cheese Dressing
Pink Shrimp Dip
Jamie's Cheeseburger Pies
Gooey Butter Cake

I think you can figure out why I sub in purchased Buffalo Wings for homemade...don't we all prefer the Easy Button?  And then the only reason I make plain flavored Gooey Butter rather than Toffee flavored is that Gooey Butter Cake is one of my tailgating standbys.  Some seasons it has been the superstitious indicator of how we play.  Speaking of superstitions and black magic, this makes me wonder if the average football fan has silly superstitions like some of us football wives?  Last season, how one of my football sisters and I played in our weekly tennis match was the gauge of how we would play that Saturday.  We think we pressured our sweet tennis opponents that we played every week into actually losing on purpose so that our team would win.  And another season, my sweet, normally clean husband wore the same dress shirt with his tie on Fridays because it was good luck...unwashed because a trip to the laundry would wash the luck right out.  

Okay...back to Gooey Butter Cake. Here is my recipe, adapted from Mrs. Deen and the Cake Mix Doctor,  that has a permanent spot taped to the inside of my kitchen cabinet because I make it so often:

Gooey Butter Cake 
I have also experimented with other flavors for a twist.  Butter Pecan is delicious!

1 package yellow butter cake mix  
1 stick butter, melted
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix together cake mix, melted butter and egg and press into an ungreased 9 x 13 inch pan.  Save mixing bowl for mixing the filling.

1 8 ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick butter, melted
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar

Place cream cheese, eggs, vanilla and melted butter into mixing bowl and mix with an electric mixer until well blended.  Add powdered sugar gradually.  Pour filling to crust and spread.  Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is browned but the center still shakes when you move the pan.  Remove and cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into squares.

My best busy gameday week Gooey Butter Cake tip is to buy several cake mixes and sticks of butter and mix the crusts ahead of time, one by one.  You can put each crust mixture into a ziploc bag and freeze.  Then thaw and your halfway to Gooey Butter heaven.  I make about 5 at a time and keep them in my big freezer.  
Gooey Butter Cake photo from
 I highly advise the use of a crystal serving piece for Gooey Butter...
yes, especially at a tailgate!

My other favorite recipe from Paula Deen's football party menu is Pink Shrimp Dip:

Pink Shrimp Dip
Mrs. Deen says, "I like dips on game day.  This one has a great flavor and a beautiful pink color.  Serve it with corn chips."

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature (remember I said cream cheese is the Homecoming Queen?!)
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup seafood cocktail sauce
1 pound shrimp, boiled, peeled, deveined and coarsely chopped

Combine the cream cheese, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and cocktail sauce in a medium bowl.  Blend well.   Stir in the shrimp.  Refrigerate, covered, until serving time.

So there you have it! Stumped on what to prepare this weekend?  Gameday Style took care of the menu planning for you.  And as far as superstitions go, I'd love to hear some of yours in the comments below...

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