Thursday, September 24, 2009

Houston Chronicle and Tailgating

Here's a good article on tailgating from today's Houston Chronicle. Most media articles are just the same ol' same ol', but this one is well written and includes recipes!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dessert Ponderings

On Saturday, we are having a Burger Buffet before the game and Breakfast in the Park after the game. I am trying to decide on a dessert to bring and I'm considering I think they will come out in our school colors of maroon and white! I'm wondering if they will be too much trouble but I think it's kind of fun, especially since the shape of the cookie mimics a burger :-) Any other suggestions?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers and Chocolate Cake!

Recently, I joined a blog group called the Barefoot Bloggers,, fans of the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. Every 2 weeks, we make and review a preselected recipe of Ina's. This week, we were to try Beatty's Chocolate Cake Oh, what a chore - making deep dark dense chocolate cake with a light fluffy chocolate frosting with a hint of coffee!!!

Buttered and floured with parchment paper in the bottom of pan!

The batter looked very runny for a cake batter so I was a little worried, but Ina's recipes are usually perfect so I didn't worry too much!

yummy, chocolatey goodness! Try taking a photo while pouring cake batter!

A delicious duo ready for the oven!

Ready to take to the tailgate! The layers came out of the pan completely level and had a lovely texture. The frosting was a little light for me, but held up in the heat of the afternoon! I like a thicker buttercream but this frosting was lovely.
*I used 9" pans because I didn't have two 8" pans and it worked just fine. However, I reduced the baking time by a few minutes.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Gameday #2

Always a crowd pleaser, Fiesta Fajitas are my gameplan for this week's tailgate. You just can't beat the flavors of Tex-Mex while getting ready for the big game. It's kind of amazing that nation-wide people enjoy fajitas and queso on gamedays. It doesn't matter if you are from New England, Oregon or Beaumont, Texas, fajitas just make for good eating! We'll have the usual chicken and beef fajitas with all the fixin's, but I usually shake it up a little by adding in some well seasoned shrimp, squirted with a little fresh lime and cooked up quickly on the grill. My friend, Mary, is also thinking of doing some pork fajitas, and Robin is bringing her uber-delicious homemade quacamole (seriously kids, I could eat an entire bowl of her quac!).

Usually, we grill everything at home, slice it and store in ziplocs which are easy to pack in the cooler. Then, we reheat everything at the tailgate. This week, we are bringing the new grill and special caddy. I'll have to post some pictures of this grill that we won last year in the HEB and Texas Beef Up Your Tailgate contest!!

Who's ready for some football! ME!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Gameday 1!

Sandwiches and salads may sound lame to some of you tailgating fans, but let me assure you that in the Texas heat it's really a good idea to eat cool and light at the first game of the season. Everyone really brought some great food to share and one of my favorites was some great chicken salad wrapped in a flatbread brought be a newcomer to our tailgate. I always like to bring a little something fun and new. This week it was White Wine Sangria with Fresh Peaches and Strawberries! My friend, Robin, just texted and asked for the recipe because she's craving another glass! After the game we brought out the more and added a few things like a crock-pot full of Pioneer Woman's Chile Con Queso, Revved Up! You got to try this!! YUM!


Italian "Brick" Sandwiches, Club Croissants, Chicken Wraps, subs, Chicken Salad w/flatbread, Baked Potato Salad, Build your own salad, Michelle's yummy broccoli salad, 2 pasta salads, melons, berries and fruit, watermelon, cheeses, Wings, tamales and cookies (oatmeal raisin, four chocolate-chip, molasses, Snickerdoodles, and peanut butter)!

White Wine Sangria with Fresh Peaches and Strawberries

1/3 cup of sugar

1/3 cup of water

1 bottle of white wine (Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, dry Riesling, French white table wine)

½ cup Grand Marnier

2 medium ripe peaches, cleaned and sliced into thin wedges

1 cup fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled


Bring water and sugar to boil in a saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Turn heat to low and cook for 4 minutes. Place mixture in a heatproof container and chill in the refrigerator.

Pour wine into a pitcher, add Grand Marnier, chilled sugar mixture and fruit. Lightly stir and serve over ice. Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve after allowing the flavors to meld together.


Pioneer Woman's Chile Con Queso


Pressed Italian Sandwiches – a great choice when you need to make sandwiches the day before!

1 Ciabatta loaf

1 lb. sliced oven roasted turkey

8 slices of good Italian salami

4 oz goat cheese

6 oz cream cheese

1 jar of roasted red peppers

1 jar of marinated artichockes

¼ cup black olive tapenade

¼ lb provolone sliced thin

Basil and flat leaf Italian parsel


Slice Ciabatta in half lengthwise and scoop out most of the fluffy bread in the middle of the top and the bottom. Cream the goat cheese and cream cheese together in a food processor or with a mixer. Spread cheese mixture in a thin layer on the inside of both halves of the bread to make a seal to keep the other ingredients from getting the bread soggy. Then, spread a thin layer of tapenade on the bottom bread half. Next, blot the roasted red peppers with paper towels to remove excess moisture and chop coarsely and arrange over the tapenade. Now, layer on the turkey and then, add a layer of sliced and blotted dry artichokes (if they were canned in water you will need to blot and squeeze out the excess water). Place on half of the provolone cheese topped with the salami. Arrange basil and parsley leaves on top of the salami and the remaining provolone cheese. Place the top of the ciabatta on top and wrap the entire loaf in parchment paper tied with twine. Place the sandwich back in the plastic bag that the bread came in and close with a twisty tie. Put the sandwich on a tray or baking sheet and place in the bottom part of a cooler with heavier containers on top. This will compact the sandwich by "pressing" all the ingredients in together. You can also put the sandwich in the refrigerator and put a brick or cast iron skillit on top. The sandwich can be left in cooler with ice or in the refrigerator overnight. Before serving cut into squares!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tailgating Supplies Southern style

I can't put it off any longer. Today is the day for getting out all the tailgating supplies and checking to see that we have everything ready to go for the first game on Saturday! I know there are lots of lists out there for tailgating, but I find most of them have to do with areas of the country that have a considerably cooler football season than here down south. We pack everything in clear plastic totes and just restock as needed thru the season.
Here's my list for Tailgating Supplies Southern Style:
  1. Hard top plastic folding tables
  2. Pop-up tents/canopies w/requiste team logo!
  3. Hand sanitizer, Bug Spray and Sunscreen
  4. Garbage bags
  5. Extension cords
  6. Coolers with wheels and handles for pulling
  7. Hand truck that converts to a trolley (you can find at Home Depot or Lowes)
  8. Grill, camp stove, with propane bottles
  9. Lighter
  10. Battery operated camping lanterns
  11. Flashlights (helpful when packing up after a night game)
  12. Twinkle lights and S-hooks (which make hanging the lights around the tent frame a breeze)
  13. TV and Satellite dish
  14. Marine battery and invertor (much nicer than a noisy generator)
  15. Multiple chairs in a bag in team colors
  16. Rain gear
  17. Tablecloths in team colors
  18. Paper goods (Plates, napkins, paper towels, cups, foil, plastic wrap, and ziplocs)
  19. Utensils caddy with plastic forks, knives, spoons
  20. Container with spatulas, cooking and serving spoons both regular and slotted, a good knife, can opener, bottle opener (preferably one that plays the school fight song :), wine corkscrew, tongs
  21. Hot pad or mitt, apron
  22. Cutting board
  23. All-Purpose cleaning wipes, small container of dish soap
  24. Simple First Aid kit
  25. Dominoes, cards, horseshoes, Frisbee, football, or washers
  26. Camera
  27. Koozies
  28. Bungee cords
  29. Fan (did I mention that it's hot outside?)
  30. Tickets to the game!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

And so it begins . . .

Saturday afternoon you can find me outside ready for some football action AND some great food. It's always really hot here in Texas at the beginning of football season so we've learned to keep the food light and cool. We'll break out the new grill soon, but for this week it's sandwiches and salads - with of course some oh so sweet desserts! I'm going to make an Italian Brick Pressed sandwich for the first time. I know this type of sandwich has been around for awhile but I wanted something that I could make a day ahead and this just fits the bill! I'll post some pictures and the finished recipe later this week!