When cool weather sets in, something happens to southern kitchens everywhere. Muffin tins and loaf pans get brought down from shelves, seasonal cookie cutters get pulled from their dark, dusty crevices, and sweet smells of cinnamon, clove and cardamom fill the air. How we love our fall goodies.
Beyond baking flavorful breads and pies, southern fall cooking celebrates game day and raucous gatherings, hearty laughs that pair perfectly with spicy dips. To entertain the masses this season and honor traditions, here’s a list of classic foods that celebrate southern cuisine in all its bacon-wrapped awesomeness.
Before grilling steaks or slow-cooking country ham, guests need to wet their palates. Fill the table with tortilla chips, toast points and an array of crackers and let the party start.
- Warm spinach and artichoke dip – a southern staple, this creamy dip never disappoints. Start with a cream cheese and spinach base and use additional veggies to suit your taste. Try sweet onions or country ham for interesting variations.
- Melted Cheese Dip or Queso – perfect with tortilla chips, start with any gooey cheese (Velveeta or cream cheese with cheddar) and go from there. Use Rotel and ground sausage, spicy pecans, or keep it simple with cheese only. However you dish it up, it will disappear quickly.
Chili, Chili, and more Chili
Oh, how southerners love a good chili on game day. Start with tomato paste/sauce, add meat, beans, veggies and spices, and your fall favorite is complete. Whether you prefer meat only, a helping of beans, or vegetarian alternatives, the perfect combination of heat and texture make this dish classic and hearty. For variety with a dash of friendly competition, host a chili cookoff while you root for your favorite team.
Never an unwelcome addition, bacon makes everything taste better.
- Bacon-wrapped stuffed jalapenos – after cutting, de-seeding and veining the jalapenos, fill with cream cheese and wrap in bacon. Throw them on the grill and see how long they last.
- Bacon-wrapped chicken or steak – another grilling favorite, wrap meat chunks in bacon, stick in a toothpick for support, and throw these babies on the grill.
- Loaded potato skins – bacon and potatoes pair wonderfully, so slice up some russets, add bacon and other toppings of choice, and bake them until brown and bubbly.
No party is complete without a little sugar. These options impress a crowd, no matter the occasion.
- Ooey gooey monkey bread – the perfect pull-apart option for fast feasting, monkey bread is easy to put together and hard to resist.
- Bread pudding – with so many variations to choose from (caramel apple, coconut cream, pumpkin pie), stale bread and heavy cream never tasted so good.
- Pumpkin spice anything – you heard it…be it bread or homemade ice cream, cheesecake or cookie, adding pumpkin pie spice elevates any dessert to the status of southern fall favorite.
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