Saturday, September 15, 2012


With fall comes football season, and with football season comes tailgating, and with tailgating comes decisions.  Such as "beer or liquor" (my group always did both, why limit your inebriation options?), "set up before or after the game" (if it was noon, 4, or 8, you best expect both!) and "maroon or orange" (because come on, there are no other colors)

LOGAN! He falls forward for a gain of 2!  First Down!

Through the past 5 years I've buckled down on Saturday to go honor the most sacred of holy days in the church of football.  With the honorable Frank Beamer presiding assisted by Bud Foster.

Lunchpail Defense.  Go to work.

So while there are many things that could be different from Saturday to Saturday, there were always 2 constants: spinach dip and pinwheels.  Both we figure originated from the football gods to be distributed amongst mortals to enjoy while getting ready to discuss the highly technical maneuvers that were laid out before us.

Depicted: Beamerball

So I present to you, tailgate-worthy pinwheels

5 slices of bacon or precrumbled bacon
1 tube of crescent rolls or 1 crescent roll sheet
1 tub of onion and chive cream cheese (I use the 1/3 and you can't tell the difference)
1 cup of cheddar cheese (this is a rough estimate)

If you didn't get precrumbled bacon, BONUS TUTORIAL!  Bacon on the broiler!  Preheat the oven to broil.  Lay out the bacon on a broiler pan.  This allows the bacon grease to run off the bacon into the broiler pan and you'll end up with a lot less fat on the bacon as it cooks.  Bacon is good enough without all the extra fat.

Put in the oven for about 2-3 minutes on each side depending on how crispy you like it.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Roll out the crescent rolls so there are no seams and just to generally make the surface larger.  Make it about 1/8" thick or thinner; enough to be able to support cream cheese.

Spread the entire tub of cream cheese over the surface.  Go up to all the edges except leave a strip on the far end plain.  Contents may shift during the rolling process.

Cover with cheddar cheese. Again we're going for general coverage on this.  I wouldn't create a layer of cheese, but enough that the surface is covered minus that strip up top.

This is usually what I go for.
Cut up the bacon and spread across the cheese.

Now begins the tricky rolling process.   Starting at the side closest to you begin rolling the crescent dough length-wise.  Make sure to patch tears as you go, keeping mildly tight so it's easier to cut but not so tight as you tear the dough.  Be gentle, and don't rush or it'll be a lot harder to cut.

Tears can easily be patched with some dough from the end.

Plus if you rush you could lose toppings.  That bacon is valuable.  Go munch on a piece if it; it'll make you feel better.

After finishing rolling up the dough, it's time to slice.  Going along the tube, slice pieces about 1/2-3/4" thick.  As you cut, roll the dough slightly back and forth.  It will help preserve the shape.  And it's ok if you have to do some reconstructive surgery.  They're going to be just as good in the end regardless of shape.

Explosion!  This one came out ok

Line a baking sheet or 2 with parchment paper (easier cleanup, I see what you did there) and arrange the pinwheels on it with a small space between each.  Put in the oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes.  Check periodically, you want them to come out lightly browned.

Not yet ready, give it about 4 more minutes
Transfer to a cooling sheet and serve warm.  Be ready to be loved by everyone watching the game.

Good luck to your team!  & I'm going to settle into watching the two best teams on the planet: Virginia Tech and whoever's beating UVA this week.


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