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Monday, November 26, 2012

ACC and SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES 2012!


KICKOFF: Saturday, December 1st, 8PM, Bank of America Stadium, ESPN
PARTY: 6PM

Somehow, someway, Georgia Tech has made it to the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte, NC.  
Florida State (10-2, 7-1 ACC) vs. Georgia Tech (6-6, 5-3)

Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets finished in a three-way tie for the Coastal Division championship with North Carolina and Miami. The Yellow Jackets would have lost tiebreakers with the Tar Heels and Hurricanes, but come to Charlotte because North Carolina is on NCAA probation and Miami turned down postseason play with a self-imposed penalty because of a pending NCAA investigation.
Florida State: The Seminoles tied Clemson for the Atlantic Division but win the title because of their 49-37 win against the Tigers in September.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/11/25/3688377/acc-football-championship-florida.html#storylink=cpy

OK, so it's not exactly THE game of the century, but we're loyal fans and will cheer on the Jackets as best we can!

We are unable to attend the game, as we have out of town guests visiting, so we're going to do the next best thing --- throw an ACC Championship Game Party!  Oh, and we're huge SEC fans, so we'll be watching the Alabama vs Georgia game as well!

Here's what we're serving:


APPETIZERS:
Dirty Martini Dip
Artichoke Bread

MAIN COURSE:
Grilled Beef Tenderloin
Pimento Cheese Potatoes OR
Parmesan Potato Wedges
Fall Chopped Salad
Rolls

DESSERT: 
Outrageous Chocolate Cookies

DRINK:
Apple Cider Martinis

ARTICHOKE BREAD
(Adapted from Closet Cooking)
Photo Credit: Closet Cooking
1 14oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 green onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 4oz pkg cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated mozzarella
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 loaf Italian bread, sliced in half lengthwise
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Mix the artichoke hearts, green onions, garlic, cream cheese, mayo, sour cream, mozzarella and parmesan, reserving some of the cheese. Hollow 1/2 inch out of the center of both halves of the bread.Spread the mixture into the hole in the bread slices and top with the reserved cheese. Bake in a preheated 350F oven covered in foil for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese is melted and golden brown.

DIRTY MARTINI DIP
(Adapted from Food.com)
Photo Credit: Food.com

















This dip should have my picture next to it, because it has everything I love in it - olives, cream cheese, garlic, jalapenos, and yes, vodka!  Serve with crackers, chips or crudites.
1 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 8oz jar of chopped green olives, drained but reserve juice
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 minced garlic cloves
4 green onions, chopped both tops and green
1/4 tsp garlic salt
~ 1/4 cup mild pickled jalapeno peppers
1 oz vodka
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Combine all ingredients and blend until well mixed.
Phone Credit: Cate Bogue

Add some olive juice if desired for that Dirty Martini flavor!
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Chill for an hour.

BEVERLY HILLS GRILLED BEEF TENDERLOIN
(Adapted from The Food Channel)
Photo Credit: The Food Channel
1 (4 lb.) whole beef tenderloin, trimmed
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup red wine
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Herbes de Provence
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Place tenderloin in large zip-lock bag; pour in soy sauce and red wine. Seal bag.
Marinate in refrigerator for 8 hours, turning occasionally.
Remove meat from marinade and drain (discard marinade).
Season drained beef tenderloin evenly with salt, pepper and herbs.
Grill uncovered over medium- to medium-high heat until instant read thermometer inserted at thickest part of beef registers 130°F for medium-rare or until desired doneness, turning occasionally.
Transfer grilled tenderloin to platter; cover with foil and let rest for 15 minutes.
Slice beef crosswise to serve. Serves 10.

PIMENTO CHEESE POTATO GRATIN(adapted from Saveur)
Photo Credit: Saveur

3 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 1⁄2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1⁄4-inch thick rounds
3⁄4 cup heavy cream 
3 shallots, finely diced (scant 1⁄2 cup) 
1⁄4 teaspoon crushed dried red chile flakes 
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
One 9-ounce jar roasted red peppers or piquillo peppers, with their liquid, chopped
8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 2 cups)
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Heat the oven to 375°F, with racks positioned in the middle and the top third of the oven. In a 3- to 4-quart stockpot, bring 2 quarts water and 2 teaspoons of the salt to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Then drain, and set them aside.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Combine the cream, shallots, chile flakes, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, the black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the liquid from the jar of roasted peppers in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the chile flakes have begun to stain the cream, about 2 minutes. 
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Add half of the cheese and stir until it melts, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. 

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Layer roughly a third of the potatoes in a 6-cup baking dish, overlapping them slightly so that they fit in an even layer. 
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Scatter half of the roasted peppers on top of the potatoes, and repeat layering potatoes and peppers until all the peppers and potatoes have been used. Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes and peppers, and agitate the dish to distribute the liquid throughout. 

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Cover with aluminum foil and bake on the middle rack for 15 minutes. 

Uncover the dish, sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, and place the dish on the top oven rack. Bake for 8 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and gently browned on top. Serve immediately.

PARMESAN POTATO WEDGES
(Adapted from Simply Classic cookbook)

This dish is so simple to make, yet it's absolutely delicious.  My sister-in-law fixed it for us recently and then generously gave me the Junior League cookbook that the recipe appeared in.  Thank you Sarah!
1 2lb bag of buttercream potatoes, UNpeeled
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Scrub potatoes and cut into wedges.  Place wedges, skin side down, in a single layer on a baking dish.  Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl and brush evenly over potatoes. Bake 1 hour or until potatoes are tender.  Serves about 6.
FALL CHOPPED SALAD
(Adapted from One Lovely Life)


Photo Credit: One Lovely Life

4-6c romaine lettuce
1 apple, diced
1 pear, diced
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
¼c dried cranberries
3-4 TBSP walnuts
3-4 TBSP crumbled feta or bleu cheese
3-4 TBSP creamy poppy seed dressing

Dressing (adapted from Allrecipes.com):
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground dry mustard
1 tsp grated onion
1 cup vegetable oil
1 TBSP poppy seeds
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
In a blender or food processor, combine sugar, vinegar, salt, mustard and onion and process for 20 seconds.
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With blender or food processor on high, gradually add oil in a slow, steady stream.
Stir in poppy seeds.
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In your largest mixing bowl, toss together lettuce, apple, pear, bacon, cranberries, walnuts and cheese. Add 3-4 Tbsp dressing and toss to coat, adding more dressing as necessary/desired.

OUTRAGEOUS CHOCOLATE COOKIES
(Adapted from Martha Stewart)

Photo Credit: Martha Stewart
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chunks
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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt chopped chocolate and butter until almost melted; do not overheat. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
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In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; beat in melted chocolate. Mix in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks.
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Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 2 to 3 inches apart onto baking sheets.
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Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are shiny and crackly yet soft in centers, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 10 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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***Don't worry if the batter seems thin. It should look more like a brownie batter than a cookie dough.


APPLE CIDER MARTINI (2 versions)
I'm going to make a batch of these for the group.  I found 2 recipes, and I'm going to sample each to see which one I prefer before the party.
googleimages
(Adapted from Glens Falls Gourmet)
2 oz (60ml) Hick's apple cider
2 oz (60ml) vodka
1 oz (30ml) brandy
1 oz (30ml) triple sec
1/2 tbsp (7ml) lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 tsp (1g) cinnamon, ground
1/4 tsp (1g) brown sugar (optional)
1/4 tsp (1g) superfine (caster) sugar (optional)

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Ice
Cinnamon stick (optional, for garnish)
Combine cider, vodka, brandy, triple sec, lemon juice, ground cinnamon, brown sugar and superfine sugar in a martini shaker, stirring with a spoon.
Fill the martini shaker 2/3 full of ice.
Shake drink for about 10 seconds
Strain Drink into martini Glass
Garnish with a cinnamon stick (optional)
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OR

VERSION #2 (a lot easier!)
APPLE CIDER SURPRISE

2 parts Apple Cider
1 part Vodka

Place vodka and cider in martini shaker with several ice cubes and shake well.
Strain ice out and pour into martini glasses with cinnamon-sugar rim.

COOL GADGET ALERT:
Etch-it Tags

Found these online, and they are perfect for tailgating.  You simply stick the black etch-able stickers on your Solo drink cup and etch your name with your fingernail. No pen or chalk needed. Love these!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

GEORGIA TECH vs DUKE!

It's the last home game of the season.  So, I say --- GO BIG OR GO HOME!  This menu is adventurous, as I'm preparing a meal prior to the game, and a 2nd meal after the game.  But, assuming the weather cooperates, we'll want to soak up all the fun we can for our final tailgate party this year.  Plus, we'll have my Dad and Stepmom in town and are eager to show them a good time!

vs

WHERE:
Bobby Dodd Stadium
Atlanta, Georgia

WHEN:
Saturday, November 17th
Kickoff: 3:30PM
Tailgate Time: 11:00AM

It will have been a 3 week hiatus since we've tailgated!  Georgia Tech heads into this game against ACC rival, the Duke Blue Devils, with a mediocre season under their belt.  They are coming off a win in Chapel Hill (November 10th) over North Carolina.  So... GT is 5-5 coming to this game.

Meanwhile, Duke is having one of their best (if not THE best) seasons to date.  They went into the November 3rd game against Clemson with a 6-3 record.  They were annihilated by the Tigers, but they have a bye week before the trip to Bobby Dodd Stadium.  Still, 6-4 slightly trumps our record.

These two teams are fighting for a chance to go to the ACC Championship game in Charlotte on 12/1.

It's a 3:30PM kickoff, so we'll tailgate before and after the game.  And the weather prediction is sunny and in the upper 50s for a high and 38 degrees F for the low that night.  Excited about food to warm us!

BRUNCH (Pregame):

Apple Streusel Muffins
Crock pot breakfast casserole
Cheese Grits
 Ham stuffed biscuits
Fruit Cups
Fall Snack Mix
Drink - Apple Cider Margaritas

DINNER (Postgame):

White Chicken Chili
Honey Cornbread Muffins
Texas Sheet Cake Cupcakes
Beer, Wine and Waters

APPLE STREUSEL MUFFINS
These are really yummy!
Photo Credit: Envie
Streusel Topping
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup flour
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Mix all of the dry ingredients except the nuts.
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Add the butter into the mix using your hands to break into large chunks. Mix by hand until small balls form. Toss the nuts lightly into the mix.
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2 large granny smith apples, peeled, cored and small diced (about 3 cups)
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup canola oil
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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center.
Blend in the eggs, milk, butter, vanilla and oil.
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Fold in the apples.
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Spoon the batter into a wax paper lined muffin pan, filling cups ~ 2/3 - 3/4 full. Top with streusel.
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Bake until light golden brown and toothpick comes out clean. Baking time will be 25-40 minutes depending on size of muffin tin. Makes ~18.

CROCK POT BREAKFAST CASSEROLE
(Adapted from Jimmy Dean)


Photo Credit: Jimmy Dean

1 pkg. (26 ounces) shredded hash brown potatoes
1 pkg. Jimmy Dean Hearty Original Sausage Crumbles
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup julienne cut sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
6 green onions, sliced
12 eggs
1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 ground black pepper
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Spray a 6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Layer 1/2 of the potatoes on the bottom of slow cooker.Top with half of the sausage, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, sun dried tomatoes and green onion. Repeat layering. Beat eggs, milk and pepper in large bowl with a wire whisk until well blended.Pour evenly over potato-sausage mixture. Cook on low setting for 6-8 hours or on high setting for 3-4 hours or until eggs are set. 12 servings.

CHEESE GRITS

These are absolutely the best! Secret is the Chicken Broth...



6 cups chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 cups regular grits
16 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup milk
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup butter
8 oz. grated white cheddar cheese

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Bring broth, S & P and garlic powder to a boil. Stir in grits and whisk. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick (8-10 minutes). Add shredded cheddar and milk and stir. Slowly stir in eggs and butter. Pour into casserole dish, and sprinkle with white cheddar. Bake at 350 degrees 35-40 minutes until set.


      HAM STUFFED BISCUITS
    (Southern Living)

1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
2 cups buttermilk
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour $
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup shortening
Mustard Butter
2 pounds thinly sliced cooked ham

Combine yeast and 1/2 cup warm water in a 4-cup liquid measuring cup, and let mixture stand 5 minutes. Stir in buttermilk.
Combine flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; cut in shortening with a pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk mixture, stirring with a fork just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface, and knead 4 to 5 times. Roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness; cut with a 2-inch round cutter, and place on lightly greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour. Bake at 425° for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden.

OR

You can use pre-made biscuits that you like from the freezer section of the grocery store.  Use good ones with real ingredients.  Just cook them per the package directions.

Mustard Butter:
1 cup butter, softened
2 TBSP minced sweet onion
2 TBSP spicy brown mustard
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Stir together all ingredients until blended.
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Split each biscuit, and spread evenly with Mustard Butter. Stuff biscuits with ham.  Devour!

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue


    FALL SNACK MIX

Photo Credit: Munchkin Munchies
Mix together: cheese crackers, salted peanuts, and pretzel squares.
Then the sweet stuff gets added: Reese's candy bits,caramel corn,honey nut cheerios,cocoa puffs, candy corn, and mallowcreme pumpkins.Either serve in a big bowl with a ladle or divide into bags or boxes or little jars for the tailgate.  Be sure and wrap with the team colors' ribbons!

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue


FRUIT CUPS
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Here's how I'm going to serve fruit for this brunch.  I'm going to take small clear plastic cups.  Then I'll put a dollop of vanilla yogurt in the bottom of each cup, and top with fresh fruit.  How cute is that?  You  COULD take the cuteness a step further and place each cup in a cupcake liner, but that would just be over the top! ;-)

*Of course, you can use this idea with a million other foods.  The blog where I saw this picture suggested using blue cheese dressing at the bottom, and then top with buffalo chicken pieces.  The possibilities are endless!  You could also put a dollop of caramel sauce and top with apple slices like this pic:
Photo Credit: Confetti Couture

Here's a pic of how I served them:

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

APPLE CIDER MARGARITAS
Photo Credit: How Sweet It Is

Serves 1 - easily multiplied
1 ounce Grand Marnier
1 ounce gold tequila
5-6 ounces sweet apple cider
orange segments and apple slices
cinnamon + cane sugar + coarse sugar for glass rimming
cinnamon sticks for garnish

Add a few spoonfuls of cane sugar, coarse sugar and cinnamon to a plate. Run an orange segment around the edge of the glass, then press into the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat the rim. Add a few orange slices in the bottom of the glass, fill with ice, then add the Grand Marnier, tequila and apple cider and stir to mix. Garnish with apple slices and cinnamon sticks. Enjoy!








WHITE CHICKEN CHILI
Photo Credit: Peggy Under Pressure
1½ pounds boneless chicken, cooked and shredded (*note: my favorite way to prepare chicken for a chili is to place the uncooked chicken in a pot; then add chicken broth to cover.  Boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for 35 minutes. Much more flavorful this way).
1 TBSP vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
2 15-ounce cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 14.5-ounce can chicken broth
2 4-ounce cans chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
½ cup heavy whipping cream
cilantro
Toppings:
sour cream 
scallions
salsa verde
monterey jack cheese
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In a large pot, saute onion until soft in the vegetable oil.  Add garlic and saute one more minute.
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Add remaining ingredients except cream and cilantro. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, on medium heat for 40–45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water if it's too thick.  Stir in cream. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Serve with toppings on the side.

HONEY CORNBREAD MUFFINS
(Adapted from Good Life Eats)
Photo Credit: Good Life Eats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 - 2/3 cup honey, depending on how sweet you'd like your muffins
8 TBSP butter, melted
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a standard sized 12 cup muffin tin. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flours, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until sifted together.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

In a smaller bowl, whisk the eggs until lightly beaten. Add the honey, melted butter, sour cream, and milk. Then, whisk until combined.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the liquids in and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined and moist. Do not beat.
Divide mixture evenly among the muffin cups.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Bake at 400 degrees F for 14-18 minutes, or until golden.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Cool for 5 minutes in the muffin tins, then remove and cool on a wire rack until warm.


TEXAS SHEET CAKE CUPCAKES
(Adapted from Six Sisters Stuff)
(Photo Credit: Six Sisters Stuff)
I LOVE Texas Sheet Cake and have been making it for years and years.  I don't know why it never occurred to me to simply make cupcakes out of them?

1 cup butter
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk*
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

*Buttermilk substitute:  Mix 1/2 cup milk with 2 tsp vinegar. Let sit for a minute before adding to other ingredients.
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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place 24 cupcake liners into muffin pans. In a small saucepan, bring the butter, water, and cocoa powder to a boil.
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Turn off and set aside. Combine flour, sugar, and baking soda in a bowl.
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Add eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and cocoa mixture. Stir until well blended.
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Pour batter into cupcake liners (about 2/3 full). Bake for 18-20 minutes or until done. They will be moist- make sure that you don't overcook them! Cool completely.
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Fudge frosting:
6 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter
4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
In a small saucepan, combine milk, cocoa powder, and butter. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Stir until it starts to thicken slightly (about 3-4 minutes). Drop a tablespoon full onto center of each cupcake. The frosting will thicken quickly, so do not make the frosting until ready to put on cupcakes.

This is a pour on frosting. It is not a spread or pipe on. It will still be a little runny when it is applied. The frosting will harden as it cools on the cupcake. The best way to tell when it is ready to use is to drop a spoonful on a plate and see how far it spreads. When it spreads just to the width of a cupcake, it’s ready. If it spreads too far, stir for a little longer.  I used one heaping soup spoonful per cupcake.
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THEN, I'm topping each cupcake with one of these cuties:
Photo Credit: Confectionery House

Cold weather outfit:

Photo Credit: Cate-McClane-Bogue by Polyvore

***New Product ALERT!
Check out these coozies I found on AmericanTailgater.com.  

Photo Credit: American Tailgater

They're magnetic, so you can just affix them to your car while tailgating to free up your hands, so you can eat all this delicious food!  Genius! AND they come in just about every NCAA and NFL team that you could possibly want!

Post Game Pics:



Me and my Dad:
Georgia Tech buds:
Adorable Ryan and Katie:
The Hughes' join us!

Post game notes:

GEORGIA TECH IS BOWL ELIGIBLE!!! They won!!! So, we'll have to wait and see where they end up bowl-wise.  Who knows?  Maybe we'll be tailgating at a bowl game????