Tailgating

It’s that time … when temperatures get lower and excitement runs higher as families and friends load up their cars on Saturday mornings with corn hole sets, generators, televisions, sound systems, tents, tables and delicious goodies to cheer on their favorite football teams.

Marietta resident Donna Konieczny has only missed one home game at the University of Georgia since graduating from the school in 1985. Donna has shared season tickets with friends since 1980, but has special cause to visit this fall as her oldest daughter, Alex, is a senior. Donna’s tailgate group formed after she received her first parking pass.

“Getting my UGA parking pass was one of the happiest days of my life next to having my kids,” she says.

Members of her tailgate party hail from all over the state and include alumni from all decades, but they celebrate Saturday traditions like family. Donna likes to use themes when serving food and says, “We serve hot dogs and brats when playing the Samford Bulldogs, and only chicken dishes when playing South Carolina. We cannot go without our lucky ‘G’ brownie, and absolutely no orange food is allowed when playing Tennessee.”

No matter the theme, time of year or time of day, Donna says one dish stands above the rest. Her cheesy sausage squares are simple to prepare, travel easily and are always the crowd favorite.

Cheesy Sausage Squares

What you need:

  • 2 8-oz. cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls; or 2 8-oz. cans of refrigerated seamless dough sheet
  • 1 pound spicy or mild bulk pork sausage
  • 1 8-oz. package of cream cheese
  • 2 8-oz. cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Now, let’s get started:

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees

2. If using crescent rolls, unroll one can of dough into two long rectangles. Place in ungreased 13x9-inch glass baking dish; press over bottom and ½ inch up sides to form crust. If using dough sheets, unroll one can of dough. Place in ungreased 13x9-inch glass baking dish; press over bottom and ½ inch up sides to form crust.

3. In 12-inch skillet, cook sausage over medium heat, stirring frequently until no longer pink. Remove sausage from skillet; discard drippings. To same skillet, add cream cheese. Cook over low heat until melted. Add cooked sausage; stir to coat. Spoon evenly over crust in baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese.

4. If using crescent rolls, unroll second can of dough on work surface. Press to form 13x9-inch rectangle; firmly press perforations to seal. Carefully place over cheese. If using dough sheets, unroll second can of dough on work surface. Press to form 13x9-inch rectangle. Carefully place over cheese.

5. Bake 21 to 26 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes. Cut into small squares.

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