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Saturday, March 28, 2015

BRACKET BASH!!!

ksr
It's THAT time of year again!  While football is definitely MY sport, who can resist the college basketball excitement as it draws closer and closer to the final showdown?!!! The FINAL FOUR schedule is at the bottom of this post.

My Gators are out, so I've put all my energy into my son's alma mater, Kentucky!  They're undefeated as of writing this post and are the favorite to win it all (again).  GO CATS!!!
ncaa
MENU
PIZZA DIP with chips or crackers
SHREDDED BEEF BBQ
HASHBROWN CASSEROLE
COLESLAW

MISSISSIPPI MUD

MINT JULEPS (for a crowd)

PIZZA DIP
(Adapted from Cabi)

cabi
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
12 ounces light cream cheese (about 1½ boxes)
¾ tsp dried oregano
¾ tsp dried parsley (or 2 TBSP finely chopped fresh)
¼ tsp dried basil
2 (8-oz) cans tomato sauce
1 (6-oz) can tomato paste
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp garlic powder
1 cup mozzarella cheese, divided
½ cup powdered parmesan cheese
¼ cup pepperoni
plus any other toppings you’d like (green pepper, mushrooms, banana peppers etc)
Chips, crackers or bread slices
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 1½ quart casserole dish with cooking spray; set aside. I used a smaller round baking dish - it'd be better in a rectangular dish.
Mix together cream cheese, oregano, parsley, and basil in a small bowl.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Spread the herbed cream cheese on the bottom of prepared dish. Layer with ½ cup mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

In another medium sized bowl, mix together tomato sauce, tomato paste, oregano, basil, sugar, and garlic powder. Pour over cheese layer in dish.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Cover with the remaining cheeses. Top with pepperoni and any other topping you'd like (I happen to be obsessed with banana peppers!).
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Place in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. Serve with crackers or bread slices.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
SHREDDED BEEF BBQ 
Myrecipes.com
This one is soooooo good - served last at a UK v UF game in Lexington a few years ago and it was a huge hit!

3 1/2 lbs eye of round beef roast, cut in 2 - 3 pieces vertically
12 cloves garlic, peeled whole
1 large onion, cut into strips
1 12oz your favorite beer
1 tsp salt
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Sauce
2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 TBSP chopped parsley (I used Italian or flat-leaf here)
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
pickle slices
coleslaw (see recipe below)
rolls

Sprinkle beef with ~1 tsp salt.  Place beef, garlic, onion and beer in a crock pot. Cover and cook on LOW for about 5-7 hours (or until meat pulls away from the roast easily).

When meat is done, remove it from the pot and let cool a bit. Pull beef into shreds.

In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients.


Pour one cup of the mix on the shredded beef and combine.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Save remaining sauce for sandwiches. Serve on rolls with additional sauce, pickles and cole slaw.

HASHBROWN POTATO CASSEROLE
(Adapted from cooks.com)

My friend Wendy brought this dish to our Supper Club in December, and it was gobbled up in no time.  It's a snap to prepare and goes very nicely with beef. It's also great for transporting - I'll definitely be taking it tailgating in the fall.  I know, I know - chicken soup, but... just this once...

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
2 lbs. frozen hash browns (Southern style)
1/2 cup melted butter
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1 can cream of chicken soup (try to find one with healthy ingredients)
1 (8 oz.) carton sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cup corn flakes
1/4 cup melted butter

Mix all ingredients except corn flakes and 1/4 cup butter. Put in greased long casserole pan. Add the 2 cups of corn flakes to 1/4 cup melted butter, and sprinkle on the top. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour, uncovered. HINT: It's best to let the hash browns thaw a little before mixing.

COLE SLAW
(Adapted from Robert Irvine)
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
6 cups shredded cabbage (I chose to go the easy route and buy pre-shredded cabbage mix)
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/8 cup sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
In a large bowl, combine cabbage and carrots. In a small bowl, make dressing by combining mayonnaise, vinegar, celery seed, sugar, salt and pepper.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Toss dressing into cabbage mixture and let chill. Serve in a family style bowl.

MISSISSIPPI MUD
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
This dessert is BY FAR my most requested recipe!  It's decadently delicious, and I've been making it since I first had it at a girlfriend's house in high school.  It's crazy good!!!

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans, toasted (optional)
1 (10.5-ounce) bag miniature marshmallows

Frosting
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar, sifted
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

Mix butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix well. 

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Sift and add next 4 ingredients, then add vanilla and nuts if desired.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Pour batter into a greased and floured 9x13 baking pan.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Remove from oven; top warm cake evenly with marshmallows. Return to oven, and bake 5 minutes.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Top immediately with chocolate frosting (below).
FROSTING

Mix butter until creamy.  Add cocoa and sugar, and then drizzle the evaporated milk in until you get a good consistency for the frosting.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Drizzle or spoon Frosting over warm cake. Cool completely.

And voila!!! Oh, and you're welcome! ;)
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

MINT JULEPS FOR A CROWD
(Adapted from the Huffington Post - Max Wattman)

huffpo
My nod to Kentucky....

Simple Syrup
Mint
Kentucky Bourbon 

The day before you need the drinks, make a batch of simple syrup by combining one cup each of sugar and water in a sauce pan, and bringing it to a boil over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Cut the heat and let it cool.

Rinse a bunch of mint and pluck the leaves. Take the cooled -- or mostly cooled -- syrup and pack it with mint leaves plucked from their stems. The stems can add woody, soapy flavors, so take the extra time to pluck. Leave the syrup and mint in a jar in the fridge overnight.

The ratio of mint syrup to bourbon is largely up to you and depends, on how sweet you like your drink. I'm going with  3 ounces of bourbon to 1 ounce of syrup. Which means that one cup of minted simple syrup is enough for a 750 ml bottle of bourbon.

Strain a cup of mint syrup into a carafe and pour in a bottle of bourbon, give it a stir. (If you need it to be portable, buy a liter bottle of bourbon, fill up a flask and then fill the bottle back up with the mint syrup.) Then have crushed ice on hand, and keep a bunch of mint in a glass for garnish. Scoop ice into a glass; pour julep mixture over; garnish with mint, and then enjoy!

The Bracket as of this writing:
huffpo

My shameless Kentucky plugs (who are now on to the FINAL FOUR!!!):
espn
fox

Duke, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Kentucky advance to the Final Four!


Las Vegas has Kentucky as the 2/3 favorite betting favorite to win it all.
Here's the schedule and TV times 

for the Final Four:

Michigan State (7) vs. Duke (1) 

Saturday, April 4th at 6:09 p.m. eastern time on TBS

Kentucky (1) vs. Wisconsin (1)
Saturday, April 4th at 8:49 p.m. eastern time on TBS


Championship game 

 Monday, April 6th at 9 p.m. on CBS


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