While I’m looking forward to fall, it’s hard to get in the spirit when it’s still 90+ outside. Fall doesn’t really arrive in Atlanta until the second half of September, and sometimes later. But I am totally ready for college football season, which luckily doesn’t wait for the weather to cool down.
To get in spirit, I thought I’d share some of our football decor around the house and one of my family’s favorite Game Day appetizers.
Decor: Roll Tide & Go Gamecocks!
A few things I put out just for the season, and other aspects live in the man cave/football room year-round. With a house divided, I try to balance both teams. Luckily, the colors are really similar (Crimson vs. Garnet) so it’s easy to mix the two. Don’t know what I would’ve done if I married someone who had gone to a school with orange as a color (these are things Southern women think about)!
I made a houndstooth & red wreath a few years ago, using this tutorial as a guide. This year, I removed the old, red flowers and did new ones, and mixed in some darker burgundy ones. Figured it blended better with both teams vs. only using a brighter red. Now I have to figure out where to hang it! It’s not quite outdoor proof (my old condo had a balcony above so I could put non-water proof stuff out). Right now, it’s on the back of the garage door, which isn’t the prettiest.
- I’ll be hanging some new flags outside on either side of the garage. I have a feeling the previous owners did the same as there are two flag pole holders.
- Hung my favorite dish towel in the kitchen (kind of goes against keeping the football fan stuff in the man cave, but I can’t exactly hang a dish towel from a mini-fridge)
Below, take a quick tour of the man cave and find my Game Day onion dip recipe!
Man Cave/Football Room
For the man cave (aka a finished attic), we painted the walls a nice dark gray; darker than I’d ever go anywhere else in the house, but it works in this space. The futon is from Wal-Mart, and the tables and lamps I picked up at flea markets/estate sales.
I also have my Bama wall, with a pennant the hubs picked up for me in Birmingham, along with some shakers (they are not pom-poms! Ask any Bama fan) and the fight song on a canvas (also found in Birmingham). A friend hand-painted me the Alabama glasses on top of the mini-fridge years ago and I love having those in here! In the shadow boxes are some of our achievements – my college graduation cords, cap and stoles, and the flag & ball from my husband’s hole-in-one.
Since it’s a finished attic, the layout is a little odd so you have to walk through the closet to get to the bathroom. I hung some crimson curtains on the inside of the closet since there was no door and so you didn’t see into the closet from the sitting area. Hides all of our stuff very nicely!
Game Day Onion Dip (aka Nana’s Dip, aka Peg’s Dip)
Of course, it’s not Game Day without food and probably the recipe I (and my family) am most known for is my grandma’s onion. It’s only four ingredients but this stuff is 8 million times better than any French onion dip mix or jar. I promise it’s worth the extra effort to make it from scratch! It’s best with a thicker potato chip; my favorites are either a kettle chip or Lay’s Wavy chips. This one is a family tradition and I’m fairly certain it was probably one of the first things I ate as a child.
Before you get started, know that this recipe is less about the ingredients and more about how you mix it. The most important thing is to get the sour cream to cream cheese ratio just right so it doesn’t skew too much either way. Also – this recipe cannot be doubled (per Nana’s instructions). You have to make individual batches and then combine.
- 1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 1 8 oz. tub of sour cream (for whatever reason, dividing a larger tub won’t work – I only ever use the smaller individual packs)
- 2 tablespoons fine grated onion (I use a micro-plane directly over the bowl and eyeball it)
- 2 beef bouillon cubes, or equivalent, dissolved in a very small amount of hot water (I use the granules as they dissolve more quickly and easily)
- Hand mix softened cream cheese and sour cream in a medium size bowl. You want the mix to still be lumpy and not too smooth. I typically mix for three to five minutes.
- Meanwhile, dissolve bouillon cubes in a very small amount of hot water. I typically fill a measuring glass with a little water (about a 1/8th of a cup or less) and microwave until bubbling
- Once mixed, slowly add dissolved bouillon to cream cheese/sour cream. You
may not use all of the bouillon. It should be a nice creamy color, but not too brown.
- Grate your onion in a small dish and stir in, or grate directly into the bowl. You may prefer more onion or less – I usually do a bit more because my husband and I both love onions!
- You can eat it now, but it’s best chilled for a few hours to thicken it up
Serve in your favorite chip & dip Game Day dish!
No matter who you cheer for, here’s to College Football Season! (and Roll Tide!)