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Friday, January 25, 2013


I'm out of town for this year's Superbowl, and unfortunately MY TEAM (Falcons) isn't in it, but we'll have fun where we are celebrating somehow.  Not a big fan of San Francisco or Baltimore, but the novelty of having two brothers compete is interesting, and it'll be fun to watch regardless.  Here's what I'm thinking of serving:

PULLED PORK SLIDERS (with cole slaw)

Andouille-Sausage Stuffed Mushroom Caps
Photo Credit: Bourbon and Boots
Makes 24
24 fresh mushroom caps, stems removed and reserved
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup chopped shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 pound Andouille sausage, chopped
¼ cup dry white wine
¼ cup ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
salt and freshly ground pepper
garnish, minced chives, chopped scallions or parsley
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Chop reserved mushroom stems.
2) Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and sauté for three minutes. Add thyme and chopped mushroom stems; sauté for three more minutes. Add chopped Andouille sausage and stir to combine. Add wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mixture to a bowl to cool.
3) To the cooled meat mixture, add ricotta cheese and ½ cup Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine. Fold in beaten egg; season with salt and pepper.
4) Place mushroom caps in a glass baking dish (depending on size, you may need two) and fill each with equal amounts of the meat filling. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Note: You may prepare mushroom caps the day before and refrigerate (covered) until you are ready to bake and serve.

Photo Credit: Best Tailgating Recipes

2 - 8 oz. cream cheese packages
1 c. sour cream
4 tsp. mayonnaise
2 tbsp. lemon juice (optional)
2 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp. mustard (dry or regular)
2 tbsp. milk
1/2 c. cheddar cheese
1 tsp. Old Bay® seasoning
1 lb. blue crab meat; any crab meat will do. Backfin is the best, but claw, or canned crab meat. Serve with French bread baguette or crackers.

Shell your crabmeat; even from a can, there will be shells in the meat. Preheat oven to 325 (if eating today). Combine all ingredients except the crab meat and cheddar cheese and beat with a blender. Fold the crab meat and cheddar into the mixture, being careful not to break the crab meat apart. Place in a casserole dish or other baking dish and sprinkle some cheddar and Old Bay on top. You can refrigerate overnight and cook the morning of your tailgate if needed. Bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees.

PULLED PORK SLIDERS (with cole slaw)

Photo Credit:
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 (4 pound) pork shoulder roast
1 cup barbeque sauce
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup chicken broth
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 extra large onion (chopped)
2 large garlic cloves (crushed)
1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
20 slider buns (split)
butter (as needed)
1 small head cabbage (shredded)
3 medium carrots (shredded)
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar

Pour the vegetable oil into the bottom of the slow cooker. Put the pork roast into the slow cooker and pour in the barbeque sauce, apple cider vinegar, and chicken broth.

Stir in brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, onion, garlic, and thyme.

Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or until the roast shreds easily with a fork. Take the roast out of the slow cooker, and shred using two forks. Place the shredded meat back into the slow cooker and toss with the juices.

To make the coleslaw- In a large bowl combine shredded cabbage and carrots.

In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar.

Mix well, and pour over the cabbage mixture and toss to coat.

Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Spread the inside of both halves of the sliders buns with butter.

Place buttered side down into the skillet and toast until golden brown.

Spoon pulled pork onto the bottom half of a slider bun, spoon on coleslaw with a slotted spoon, and place on the top half of the bun.



Serves 20
2 four- or five-pound chuck roasts
1 head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning
2 medium yellow onions, minced
2 cans Amy’s Organic Cream of Mushroom soup
po-boy rolls or Leidenheimer bread
garnish: Boursin cheese, lettuce, tomato slices, Creole mustard

Rinse chuck roasts and pat dry. Using a sharp knife, poke deep slits all over each roast. Cut garlic cloves into slices and stuff into slits in the roasts. Be sure to flip the roasts over so each side gets a thorough stuffing of garlic.
Sprinkle each side with a light dusting of Tony Chachere’s—more if your group likes it spicy, less if they don’t. Place each roast on a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Top each with equal amounts of minced onion.
Pour one can of soup over each onion-topped roast and wrap tightly in the foil. There should be a tight seal on the packet so as to keep all the juices in. (Note: The roasts can be prepared up to this point and refrigerated for up to 8 hours before cooking. If refrigerating, be sure to bring roasts to room temperature before proceeding to the next step.)
Place the foil-wrapped roasts on a heavy-duty, rimmed cookie sheet or roasting pan. Put the pan in a cold oven and turn oven to 250 degrees F. Cook for at least 6 hours. If the seal is tight on the foil, these roasts can stay in the oven for longer. They won’t dry out, just keep getting more and more tender.
Remove the roasts from the oven and carefully unwrap. Pour all accumulated juices into a slow cooker. Shred the meat and add to the slow cooker. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Serve on po-boy rolls or Leidenheimer bread. Garnish with Boursin cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and Creole mustard as desired.

(Adapted from Make Merry Events)
Photo Credit: Make Merry Events

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme
2 teaspoons maple extract

3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
Nonstick vegetable oil spray

To get a darker (football) color: substitute dark brown sugar instead of the golden, and sift about ¼ cup of cocoa into the dry ingredients.


Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add marshmallow creme and maple extract; beat until blended and smooth.

DO AHEAD Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.


Sift first 7 ingredients into large bowl.

Using electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars in another large bowl until blended.

Gradually beat in oil.

Add eggs 1 at a time, beating to blend between additions. Beat in pumpkin.

Add dry ingredients in 2 additions alternately with milk in 1 addition, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl.

Cover and chill batter 1 hour. Arrange 1 rack in bottom third of oven and 1 rack in top third of oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment; spray lightly with nonstick spray. Spoon batter onto baking sheet to form cakes (about 3 level tablespoons each; about 12 per baking sheet), spacing apart. Let stand 10 minutes.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through baking. Cool cakes completely on baking sheets on rack. Using metal spatula, remove cakes from parchment.

Line cooled baking sheets with clean parchment; spray with nonstick spray, and repeat baking with remaining batter.

Spoon about 2 tablespoons filling on flat side of 1 cake.

Top with another cake, flat side down. Repeat with remaining cakes and filling. DO AHEAD Can be made 8 hours ahead. Store in single layer in airtight container at room temperature.


Since I'll be in the Virgin Islands during the Superbowl, it's likely I'll be sipping something tropical. The official cocktail of the British Virgin Islands and one the most popular mixed drinks in the Caribbean, the traditional painkiller cocktail is made with Pusser's Rum.

2-4 oz. of Pusser's Rum
4 oz. pineapple juice
1 oz. cream of coconut
1 oz. orange juice
Grated fresh nutmeg

In a shaker filled with ice add first 4 ingredients and stir. Pour into glass; top with grated nutmeg.
How about this gadget?  

It's a trailer hitch and bottle opener all in one.  You can get it in various team colors/logos.  One less thing to have to worry about! ;0)


Tuesday, January 15, 2013


YAY!!! The Atlanta Falcons are in the 2nd round of the playoffs!  We are watching the game with 2 other couples, and here's what we'll be enjoying:

NFC Conference Championship
Atlanta Falcons 
San Francisco 49ers

Georgia Dome
Atlanta, Georgia

Sunday, January 20, 2013
Kickoff - 3:00PM


(Adapted from Southern Living)
I'm excited to try this dish that includes one of my favorite things - Hot Pickled Okra.  Thought this appetizer would be a good one to represent the South and the Atlanta Falcons with Okra, shrimp and creole seasoning!  Could easily substitute 1 1/2 lbs. of cooked chicken for the shrimp if desired.
Photo Credit: My Recipes
1/4 cup butter
6 green onions, sliced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 cup chopped assorted bell peppers
1 1/2 pounds peeled, large raw shrimp, chopped (preferably fresh from Florida or Georgia!)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese (I use lower fat neufchatel)
3/4 cup sliced pickled okra
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Toasted French bread baguette slices
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat; add green onions, celery and bell peppers.

Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes or until peppers are tender. Stir in shrimp and garlic and Creole Seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.

Reduce heat to low; add cream cheese, stirring until cheese is melted.

Remove from heat, and stir in okra and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.

Spoon mixture into a 2-qt. baking dish, and sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbsp. cheese.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Serve with crusty bread, toasted sliced baguette or crackers of your choice.

(Adapted from Ina Garten)
Toast some Italian bread and layer the Caprese on top or just serve the bread on the side to mop up all the juices in the pan.
12 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise (seeded if you want)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 1/2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp sugar
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
16 ounces fresh mozzarella

12 fresh basil leaves, julienned

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Arrange tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut side up in
a single layer. 

Drizzle with 1/4 cup of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with the garlic,
sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Roast for 2 hours until the tomatoes are concentrated and begin to caramelize. Allow the tomatoes to cool to room temperature.

Cut the mozzarella into slices slightly less than 1/2 inch thick.

Layer the tomatoes alternately with the mozzarella on a platter and scatter the basil on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with more olive oil. Serve at room temperature.  Voila!
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
(Adapted from Kevin Closet Cooking)
Photo Credit: Closet Cooking
1 pound ground chicken
1 TBSP oil
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 cup beer (or chicken broth)
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 cup Buffalo sauce (or to taste) I used Frank's
salt and pepper to taste
crumbled blue cheese to taste
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Cook the chicken in a large pan over medium heat and set aside.

Heat the oil in the pan, add the onions, celery and carrots and cook until soft, about 10-15 minutes.

Add the garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about a minute.

Add the beer or broth and deglaze the pan.

Add chicken, tomatoes, beans, paprika, oregano, cayenne and hot sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve topped with crumbled blue cheese to taste.

(Adapted from Cooking Light)
Photo Credit: Point-less Meals
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dark brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb flank steak
salt and pepper

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Combine first four ingredients in a large ziplock bag or bowl.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Add steak (either to the bag on place in a glass dish), turn to coat; marinate at least 4 hours or overnight.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Grill until desired doneness. Let stand, covered loosely with foil for 10 minutes, before cutting in thin strips against the grain.  Great with rolls and grainy mustard and/or horseradish sauce.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
BBQ Potato, Bacon and Corn Salad
(Adapted from Kraft Recipes)
Photo Credit: Point-less Meals
1/3 c light Ranch dressing
1/3 c BBQ sauce
2 TBSP Dijon mustard
3 lbs small red potatoes, cooked and quartered
1 can (15 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c red onion, chopped
8 slices Oscar Mayer fully cooked bacon, cooked and crumbled

Mix dressing, BBQ sauce and mustard in a large bowl. Add all remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving.

(Recipe adapted from The Curvy Carrot)
Thought these were cute in the colors of the Atlanta Falcons!  AND they are amazing!

Photo Credit: The Curvy Carrot

1 cup unsalted butter, softened, but still cool
1 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons maraschino cherry “juice”
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, chopped
Granulated sugar, for sprinkling the cookies
36 milk chocolate kisses (plain or with almonds - my fav), unwrapped

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute.

Reduce the speed to the lowest setting and slowly add the powdered sugar and salt.

Add the cherry juice and the almond extract until combined.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
With the mixer still on low, slowly add the flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Increase the mixer speed to medium and add the cherries.
Shape the dough into 1-inch balls, and place the balls on a baking sheet, approximately 2 inches apart.

Using your thumb, gently press each cookie in its center until the cookie is about 1/2-inch thick.

Sprinkle each cookie with a little granulated sugar. Bake the cookies until the bottoms are lightly browned, about 14 minutes. Once removed from the oven, immediately press a chocolate kiss into each cookie’s center.
Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.  These freeze beautifully.

(Recipe from Saveur)

Photo Credit: Saveur
One of Mexico's most popular cocktails, the Paloma is an amazing combination of sweet and tart with grapefruit, lime, and a pinch of salt.

2 oz tequila blanco (silver)
Juice of half a lime (I use 2 TBSP of Nellie and Joe's Key Lime Juice for excellent results)
3 oz grapefruit juice
3 oz club soda
1-2 splashes of Grenadine
pinch salt
Lime wedge, for garnish
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Combine tequila, lime juice and a pinch of salt in a highball or Collins glass. Add ice and top with grapefruit and soda. Stir gently, then serve with a lime wedge garnish.


***How about this cool idea I found on 
Joss and Main?

Sern Heated Chips & Dip Serving Tray
Serve savory appetizers and classic entrees for your next Sunday night tailgate with this entertaining essential, perfect for hosting family and fellow college alums.

Product: Heated chip and dip tray
Construction Material: Plastic melamine
Finish: Red
Removable ceramic dip bowl
Attached inline power switch to heating base
Rated Voltage: 120 Volts AC - 60 Hz
Wattage: 0.22 Amp
Bowl capacity: 21 Oz
Dimensions: 3.5" H x 14" Diameter