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Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Yay! It's an October football weekend in Kentucky. The weather is (usually) magnificent, and along with UK football, there's Keeneland and horseracing. Planning a fun, grill menu for a crowd! So excited to be heading back to UK! Chances are we'll be serving a crowd....

It's a night game, and it's cooler weather, so the food can be a bit heavier. It'll be a delicious menu!

                                                     Pizza Puffs with Marinara sauce  
Spinach Dip with Veggies and Crackers  
OR Muffaletta Dip  
 Chili for a Crowd (if the weather's cool enough)  
Bacon Swiss Burgers  
SIDES: A fall caprese salad and  
Either Grilled Zucchini (if the weather's not too cold) 
OR Baked Potato Casserole 
DESSERT: Peanut Butter Cake

DRINK: Cider Surprise


3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 TBSP Italian seasoning
pinch of salt (optional)
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
3/4 cup whole milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup cubed pepperoni
1/2 cup good pizza or marinara sauce

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, Italian seasoning, salt and red pepper flakes.

Whisk in the milk and egg.

Stir in the mozzarella, Parmesan and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes.

Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.

The BEST Spinach Dip!

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

2 10oz. pkgs. chopped spinach, cooked and well drained
2 cups sour cream
1 cup mayonaise
1 cup fresh minced parsley
1 cup chopped green onion tops
1 tsp Beau Monde seasoning
1 tsp dill weed
S & P to taste

Blend all together and chill. Best made the day before - serve with crudites and/or crackers.


(Courtesy Pip and Ebby)

16-oz. jar pickled mixed vegetables (giardiniera), rinsed, drained and chopped (remove stems from peppers if there are any)
8-oz. package cream cheese, cubed
4 oz. provolone cheese slices, cubed
2 oz. cooked ham, finely chopped
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, rinsed, drained and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

Mix all ingredients in a slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low setting for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Stir in enough milk to reach dipping consistency.

Serve immediately or keep warm on low setting in crock pot for up to 2 hours. Add milk as necessary and continue to stir occasionally.

Serve over salami, atop a square of toasted Focaccia bread.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

(thanks to Silver Palate)

Serves 20 and is so so good! It can easily be halved for a smaller crowd. But, the flavor explosion you'll get with each bite is to die for!

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound yellow onions, coarsely chopped
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
4 pounds beef chuck, ground
1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
1 1/2 TBSP minced garlic
1/3 cup ground cumin
1/2 cup chili powder
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 TBSP dried basil
2 TBSP dried oregano
1 1/2 TBSP salt,
or to taste
1 1/2 TBSP freshly ground black pepper
3 cans (28 ounces each) Italian plum tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 cans (16 ounces each) dark-red kidney beans, drained (I use smaller pinto beans)
2 cans (5 1/2 ounces each) pitted black olives, drained (I use pitted kalamata since I don't care for regular black olives)

Heat the olive oil in a very large pot. Add the onions and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 15 minutes. Add the sausage meat and ground chuck; cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the meats are well browned. Spoon off any excess fat and discard.
Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, cumin, chili powder, mustard, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes, wine, lemon juice, dill, parsley and kidney beans. Stir well and simmer, uncovered, for another 15 minutes.
Taste and adjust seasonings. Add olives; simmer for 5 minutes more to heat through. Serve immediately. Offer sour cream, chopped onion, shredded cheddar and/or monterey jack cheese, chopped jalapeno peppers and tabasco as toppings. YUM!


8 slices bacon
1 lb ground sirloin
1 tsp worchestershire
1-2 dashes tabasco
1/4 tsp dried thyme
S & P to taste

Prehead grill to medium high. Cook bacon on stovetop in a large skillet over med-low heat until just crisp (~6-7 minutes). Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.
Place the beef, worchestershire, tabasco, thyme and salt and pepper in a bowl, and toss lightly with a fork to combine. Form the mixture into 4 patties, each about 3 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick.
Oil the grill grate well with vegetable oil. Add the burgers and grill for about 3 minutes for rare, 4 minutes for medium-rare. Turn them over and grill for another 3-4 minutes topping the burgers with Swiss cheese in the last minute of cooking.
Place the burgers on toasted buns and top them with bacon.
Offer as sides: tomato, onion, avocado and lettuce.


Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

1 lb plum tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
1/3 cup EV olive oil, divided
1/4 cup basil leaves
1 lb cold fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/3 inch thick
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss tomatoes with 2 TBSP EVOO and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper.

 Roast tomatoes cut sides up, in 1 layer in a 4-sided sheet pan until skins wrinkle and the tomatoes are beginning to brown on the bottom, about 45 minutes. Cool completely.

Cut basil into fine shreds. Arrange mozzarella and tomatoes on a platter and sprinkle with basil. Drizzle with vinegar and remaining oil. Season with pepper.


zucchini 12-14 inches long, sliced in slices 1/2 to 5/8 inch thick.
1/2 cup your favorite Italian salad dressing
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 -2 tsp. dried oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, or a combination (optional)

Cut zucchini into slices, making sure the slices are the same thickness. Combine salad dressing with garlic powder and dried herbs of your choice, if using. (I like this both with and without the extra flavorings. This is one place where fresh herbs are not better.) Put zucchini slices into ziploc bag, pour in marinade and let zucchini marinate 4 hours or longer, even as long as all day if desired.
To cook zucchini, preheat grill to medium-high. (You can only hold your hand there for 3-4 seconds.) You can spray the grill with non-stick spray if desired, but you don't really need it.

Place zucchini on grill, having a spray bottle handy for taming any flames that shoot up from the oil in the marinade. After about 4 minute, check for grill marks, and rotate zucchini a quarter turn. Cook 3-4 more minutes on first side.

Turn zucchini to second side and cook about 4 minutes more, or until zucchini is starting to soften quite a bit, with the outside slightly charred and browned. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper and serve hot.


(adapted from Martha Stewart)


5 lb russet potatoes
10 slices bacon
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chives, minced
2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Peel potatoes, and cut into 1-inch chunks.

Place in a large saucepan, and add enough cold water to cover by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender and easily pierced with a paring knife, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a colander to drain; return to pan, cover, and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon, and cook until crisp and browned, turning once. Transfer to paper towels to drain; let cool, and crumble into pieces.

Using a fork, mash the potatoes in pan until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese, butter, and sour cream, and stir until combined and smooth. Add the chives, 2 cups cheddar cheese, half the bacon, salt, and pepper. Stir until well combined.

Transfer to a buttered 3-quart baking dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Bake until top is slightly golden and potatoes are heated through, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven; garnish with remaining bacon. Serve immediately.

This recipe can always be adapted to heat on the grill. Simply prepare the casserole in advance and take to your tailgate. Heat on a medium hot grill until potatoes are heated through and then garnish with bacon.


I think of my step-mother every time I fix this cake, because she is a peanut butter FANATIC!  It super yummy though whether you love peanut butter or not.  Basically it's a peanut butter version of a Chocolate Texas Sheet cake which means it's super moist and oh so delicious!!!

2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking Soda
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 sticks butter
1 cup water
1 cup peanut butter
½ cups milk or buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

1 stick butter
½ cup peanut butter
2 TBSP milk
1 pound powdered sugar

In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups sugar, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 cups flour and 1 tsp salt. Set aside.

Combine 2 sticks butter, 1 cup water and 1/2 cup peanut butter in saucepan and bring to boil.
Pour over flour mixture and mix.

Add milk, vanilla and eggs. Mix.


Pour in large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.

Bake at 350 F degrees for ~ 25 minutes or until it tests done.

Prepare frosting while cake is baking.

Bring butter, peanut butter and milk to boil in saucepan.

Add one pound of powdered sugar and mix well.  Add more milk if needed to attain desired consistency.

Pour frosting over warm cake after it comes out of the oven.  Cool completely and cut into squares.


Combine fresh apple cider, good gingery ginger ale, and Kentucky bourbon (we are using Woodford Reserve) in a 2:2:1 ratio. Cheers!

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue


And GO CATS!!!

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Bill Fidler

Photo Credit: Doug Bogue

Sunday, September 18, 2011


One of the best things about tailgating is dessert! Here are some of my favorites - and you may notice there aren't alot of chocolate chip cookies included. Here's the reason - they don't transport well and keep in the hot humid south. I've taken many a wonderful batch of cookies to a tailgate and voila - cookie crumbles. So the following recipes are ones that transport well, can be frozen in advance if needed, and of course, are DELISH!


1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 c. crunchy peanut butter
3 c. powdered sugar, sifter
1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1 2/3 c. chocolate chips, semi-sweet

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Line a 13x9 inch pan with aluminum foil. In a food processor, combine butter, peanut butter, sugar, and crumbs (I made my own with Graham Crackers) until a ball forms. Press mixture into the pan using a spatula.

Over a double-boiler or in the microwave (with 1-2 TBSP of water), melt the chocolate chips. Stir, then spread over peanut butter mixture. Chill in refridgerator for about an hour. Allow to come to room temperature before cutting into squares. Store in refridgerator. Adapted from Paula Dean. ENJOY!

Quadruple Chocolate Loaf Cake

This is a very yummy chocolate cake. Moist, chocolaty, dense, - and I think it goes without saying, decadent. I think the best parts of this cake were the areas where the syrup reached the cake - OH MY - extra moist and the flavor was so deep and perfect. Thank you Nigella.

1 2/3 c. AP flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. cocoa
1 1/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
2 T. vanilla
1/3 c. sour cream
1/2 c. boiling water
1 c. mini chocolate chips

1 tsp. cocoa
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. water

2 oz. dark chocolate, chopped or curled, for garnish

Equipment: Loaf pan - approximately 9.5 x 4.5 x 3 inches, lined with greased foil, overhanging at the top. Preheat oven to 325F and place baking sheet on middle rack.

In processor, add flour, baking soda, cocoa, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream - blitz until smooth. Scrape down batter and process again while pouring boiling water down the funnel. Turn off, remove lid and add chocolate chips, using spatula to combine.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and place on baking sheet in the oven; cook for about 1 hour. The cake will be done when the loaf has risen, split down the middle, and a cake tester comes out fairly clean.

About 10 minutes before the cake should be done, put the syrup ingredients into a small saucepan and boil for 5 minutes (it won't thicken much).

When the cake is done, place it on a cooling rack (still in the pan) and pierce here and there using a kabob skewer, cake tester, or chop stick. Pour the syrup over the cake, letting it soak in. Allow the cake to come to room temperature, then remove it from the pan and remove the foil. Sprinkle generously with chocolate garnish.

Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting

Here is the recipe for the frosting:

1 1/3 c. powdered sugar
1 c. creamy peanut butter (not natural peanut butter)
6 T unsalted butter, room temperature
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 t salt
1/3 c. heavy cream

In a medium bowl, combine sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt. Beat on medium low speed until creamy, making sure to scrape down the sides as needed. Add the cream and beat at high speed until mixture is creamy and light. Spread on cooled brownies.

White Chocolate Blondies

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
12 tbs. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups white chocolate chips

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350F. Grease a 9 x 13 pan and fit aluminum foil into the pan, lining the bottom and sides - leaving enough overhang to pull bars out of pan after baking; spray foil with nonstick spray.

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl, set aside. Whisk the melted and brown sugar in a medium bowl until combined. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well. Using a spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture just until combined. Don't overmix. Fold in white chocolate chips, then turn the batter into the pan, smoothing the top with spatula.

Bake until the top is shiny and feels firm to the touch, about 22-25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Using the foil, remove bars from the pan, cut into desired size.
Adapted from Baking Illustrated.

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

Great for an early game with brunch.

makes about 24

for the cookie dough:
3/4 cups butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk (reserve the egg white for the center filling)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

for the filling:
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup granulated sugar

for the icing:
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Start with the dough. Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add egg yolk and vanilla. Add the flour and salt and mix until dough comes together. It may take a minute. Shape into a disc and place in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until you are ready to roll out. In the meantime, get the filling ready. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white and water. Set aside. In another small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

Take out the dough and place on a sheet of parchment paper. Place another piece on top and roll out into an approximately 9X12 inch rectangle. Take off the parchment paper on top and brush on the egg white wash. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the dough. Carefully roll the dough length wise into a log. Make sure you press the edges together so they do not come undone. Roll back into the plastic wrap and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes. (Or refrigerate overnight) Cut into 1/2 inch circles. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees for about 15-17 minutes, or until just lightly golden on the bottom.
For the icing, mix the ingredients until creamy and smooth. Drizzle over the cookies.

Strawberry and cream cheese bars (adapted from Pip and Ebby)

In a blender or food processor, combine:

2 pounds strawberries, hulled and halved

3/4 cup sugar

Pinch of coarse salt

Puree until smooth. Pour into a 9x13 baking dish and transfer to the freezer. Scrape with a fork every 30 minutes until mixture is thick and slushy for about 2 total hours.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 7 large egg whites on high speed until foamy. With mixer on medium, gradually add 3/4 cup sugar. Increase speed to high and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 3 minutes.

In another medium bowl, beat the following on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 1 to 2 minutes:

2/3 cup cold heavy cream cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

With a rubber spatula, gently fold whipped cream into egg white mixture. Pour over the strawberry mixture and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Freeze until firm, about 4 hours (or, covered, up to 3 days), before cutting into 12 squares.


1 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp coarse sea salt
2 cups coarsely chopped Butterfinger Bars (approx 16 “Fun Size” bars)

Preheat oven to 350°
Cream butter and sugars in mixing bowl.
Add the vanilla and eggs and mix until incorporated.
On low add your dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking soda) until just combined.
Stir in your chopped Butterfinger.
Spread in a 9×13 baking dish and bake for 25 minutes until center is JUST set.
Remove from oven and cool completely.

Butterfinger Buttercream:
1/2 cup room temp butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped Butterfinger Bars (approx 4 “Fun Size” bars)
Cream the butter and shortening together until smooth.
Add in you powdered sugar on low speed. Turn speed up to medium and mix until smooth
Stir in your chopped Butterfinger. (I sprinkled mine on top rather than stirring them in!)
Spread on your cooled blondies.


This recipe is very similar to my Mississippi Mud recipe (which I've prepared too many times to count, but always with rave reviews). This one is fun - especially if you're from Atlanta.

2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups small marshmallows
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup Coca-Cola®
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoons cocoa
6 tablespoons Coca-Cola
1 box (16 ounces) confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, sift sugar and flour. Add marsh- mallows. In saucepan, mix butter, oil, cocoa, and Coca-Cola. Bring to a boil and pour over dry ingredients; blend well. Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk just before adding to batter along with eggs and vanilla extract, mixing well. Pour into a well-greased 9- by-13-inch pan and bake 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and frost immediately.
To make frosting, combine butter, cocoa and Coca-Cola in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and pour over confectioners' sugar, blending well. Add vanilla extract and pecans. Spread over hot cake. When cool, cut into squares and serve.

And another one that's great in the fall:

These are so simple to make, but the combination of salty and sweet is sooooo good!

19.5-oz. package chocolate fudge brownie mix (preferably Ghiradelli)
1⁄2 cup candy corn candies
1⁄2 cup peanuts

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions using an 8x8 pan. Within 3 minutes of pulling brownies out of the oven, pour candies and peanuts over top of the brownies. Push on them lightly so they sink into the soft brownies. Let cool and cut into squares.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Every season I tried to come up with something edible that was fun for people to take away. It had to be sweet, and it had to represent the team colors. Here are 9 ideas I came up with:

1. MUDDY BUDDIES (or Puppy Chow)

These are great wrapped in cellophane or saran wrap and tied with ribbons in your team's colors. Everybody loves this snack, so make a double batch!

9 cups Chex cereal
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Pour cereal into large bowl; set aside. In 1-quart, microwave-safe bowl combine chocolate chips, peanut butter and margarine. Microwave at 100-percent power for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until smooth, stirring after 1 minute. Stir in vanilla. Pour chocolate sauce slowly over cereal, stirring to coat evenly. Pour cereal into large plastic bag. Add powdered sugar and secure; shake to coat well. Spread on waxed paper to cool.

2. Personalized M&Ms

I ordered large bags (blue and white) of these and personalized them with "GO CATS" and "GO UK!" for our Kentucky football team. I put them in small bags and tied them with blue and white ribbon. Go to:

3. Nam's Cookies

These delectable little chocolate chip bites were a huge hit! I ordered them in small bags and they personalized the bags with whatever I wanted to say. Order from:


These are fun treats that you can serve in the fall, OR you can make it with your favorite team's colors.

In a large bowl combine the following:

cheese crackers,
salted peanuts,
and pretzel squares.
Then the sweet stuff was added:
Reese's candy bits,
caramel corn,
honey nut cheerios,
cocoa puffs,
candy corn,
and mellowcreme pumpkins

But feel free to improvise with whatever sweet and/or salty floats your boat!!!


These are another fun way to celebrate the season and leave your party or tailgating guest with a little treat. There are numerous websites that offer these, but you can choose whatever theme you want and personalize them with your team's colors and/or message. Here's one:

Just wrap in cellophane and tie with ribbons in your team's colors and voila! These came from

Here are more - these are from

How adorable are those???

Another fun idea is to make flavored popcorn, and put that in little cello bags (or tied up in saran wrap) with ribbon. Here's one of my favorite:

6. Almond Toffee Popcorn

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white corn syrup
1/4 cup Water
1 cup toasted almonds, chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup popcorn, popped

In heavy saucepan, combine sugar, butter, corn syrup, water and almonds. Cook over moderate heat to 280 degrees on a candy thermometer. Add the vanilla extract. Stir well and pour over the popped corn.

Go to: for more popcorn recipes and ideas.

7. Fill jars with your favorite hard candy or bubblegum. I love the look of these! Just choose the team colors and you're good to go! Everyone will love you!

To take a break from sugar, wrap individual bags of nuts (peanuts, pistachios or whatever you like), and tie in a team colored ribbon. Adorable.


(or Blow Pops) Take tootsie roll pops and tag them with "ROll OVER (whatever opponent your team is playing)," or "BLOW AWAY (again fill in with your opponent's name)."