Friday, October 29, 2010

Tailgating Around the SEC...LSU and Crab Boil Recipe

LSU Pictures, Images and Photos

I write this to you all as I sit here sipping my morning smoothie out of my AUBURN cup! Oh, how it pains me to write positivly about a rival! But I want all you non-southerners to see all that the SEC (South Eastern Conference) has to offer when it comes to tradition and football. We southern girls love our football! So, while I have muzzled my pride, let me tell you about this rambunctious and fun school nestled into the heart of Louisiana.

Welcome to Death Valley, as Tiger Stadium is known to all. This is one one the largest college football stadiums as well as one of the loudest. Fans come from all over Louisiana on gameday in order to cheer their Tigers on to victory.

Located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the school was once located in Pineville, Loiusiana and led by Col. William T. Sherman! It was later relocated to Baton Rouge.

The school colors are purple and gold and have arguably been said to have been chosen because these are also Mardi Gras colors. Whatever the reason, fans come out in droves on gameday decked in the school colors to fill the 92, 400 football stadium and celebrate like it is Mardi Gras.
Mike the Tiger is the school mascot, please do not mistake for Tony the Tiger- he belongs to Kellog's...Whaa-Whaa-Whaaa!
The current football coach is Les Miles. Lsu has had their boast of victories with 3 national championships, 10 SEC titles and have made about 39 bowl appearances since 1935. Not bad.

Did I mention how LOUD it is here? Well, back in 1988 in the game against Auburn, it was so loud the Geology dept. registered the ruckus on a seismograph, that was just the LSU fans making the noise. This game became known as the "Earthquake Game". Sadly, I must confess, Auburn lost that game. Speaking of Auburn, the rivalry between these two schools has become something in its own. Tensions mount when these two titans meet each season.

Want to know how to have a good time? Just ask these fans. I can truly say they know how to party! Actual festivities can begin 24 hrs. prior to gametime, and I'm not just talking about the college students! When you come to tailgate at an LSU game you had better bring your "A" game (and your appetite), your gonna need it! Bourbon is the drink of choice and Low Country food is on the menu. Louisiana food is among some of the best cuisine in the world and you get no shortage here. Choose from crab boils, crawfish etouffee, jambalya, boudin and the list goes on.....

Whichever team you plan on cheering for this weekend, or even if you are "fan spiritually challenged", and hey, that's ok too, try a little Louisiana fare; your taste buds might thank you!

Here is a recipe for crawfish etouffee. If crawfish is to difficult or impossible to get where you are, I have tried this with shrimp and it is still fabulous! Click on this link.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hotty Toddy!

Ok, I must admit, I am venturing out of my element here. But because I am doing a tailgating series as they say, "The show must go on." .....

The #1 Auburn Tigers face the Ole Miss Rebels this Saturday. I myself have never graced the lush grounds of The Grove at Oxford, Mississippi. I once read that Sports Illustrated ranked Ole Miss as the best place for tailgating, so I thought this is an appropriate place to start.


Let me give you a little background on the Rebels. The Ole Miss Rebels mascot was Colonel Reb, but recently has been replaced by the Black Bear. (Um, I think I'll keep my thoughts to myself with this one.) There school colors are crimson and navy blue, which are a combination of the colors of Harvard and Yale. The football team has made 33 bowl appearances and has 6 SEC titles. The current coach is Houston Nutt.

On gameday, fans gather under the oaks at The Grove for tailgating , fellowship and a special treat from the players as they walk through the middle of the grove to the stadium. (Reminds me of Auburn's Tiger Walk.)
The cheer Ole Miss Rebel fans are mostly know for is Hotty Toddy.
Ok, I must admit I had NO clue what Hotty Toddy meant. I have heard them saying it for ever and have been oblivious to what it meant. Low and behold it is a cheer. A rather vivacious cheer with many profanities throughout it. If your curious mind can't be subsided and you just have to know it here is the link, scroll down till you find the cheer.

There is also a drink called a Hotty Toddy and I think would be embraced by many a tailgaters on cold, frigid gamedays. Hey, it could even be a good cold remedy!

hot toddy

Hot Toddy

•1 oz brandy, whiskey or rum
•1 Tbsp honey
•1/4 lemon
•1 cup hot water
•1 tea bag
Cinnamon stick

1.Coat the bottom of a mug or an Irish coffee glass with honey.
2.Add the liquor and the juice of the lemon quarter.
3.On the side, heat water in a tea kettle and add the tea bag to make hot tea.
4.Pour the steaming tea into the glass and stir.
5.Garnish with cinnamon stick and a lemon wedge.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tiger Eye Salsa

"Let the good times roll!" Isn't that what they say in the midst of revelry and fun? Well, that is exactly the way I feel during college football season. I simply love it! Being blessed to be born a female, I often get quizzical looks from my fellow gender at the zest I have for this physical sport. That's ok. I am comfortable in this atmosphere. I get the game, which I believe attributes to my liking of it.

Today's football is physical, analytical, emotional and if you look under the surface, inspiring. Each of these players has their own story, which I think can add to the love of the game. When you hear or read about their story, it allows you to become caught up in the sport all the more.

I think it is safe to say, I really like this game! And what goes along with football? Why, my true passion, FOOD! Now, I really don't need an excuse to cook or prepare little delicacies, but hey, I'll take one!

Tailgating has become an art of it's own. Men and women alike silently compete to see who has the best fare.( My husband and I are just two of those people.) So what do you do if you are "grub challenged"? Well, that is why I am here! I'm going to be offering you some great tailgating recipes over the next few post in hopes at your next gathering you will prevail as "Top Tailgater".

This is my obsolute favorite salsa to make. I have made many versions and called it many different names, all through trial and error. I have finally settled on just one, my TIGER EYE SALSA. Easy to make and great to eat. It gets its name because our house is an Auburn home. We love our Auburn Tigers! Through the good and the bad, that is what being a fan is all about. Here is the recipe and what you will need:


Tiger Eye Salsa
(You may want to double if serving a big crowd)

1 can black-eyed peas , rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can whole kernal corn, rinsed and drained
4 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 small red onion,peeled and diced
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. olive oil
4-5 limes, juiced
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped finely
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder

Bag of tortilla chips

*In a bowl mix together the vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, pepper, salt, chili and garlic powder. You may need to add more salt or pepper depending on your taste preference. Allow to sit and the flavors to marinate while preparing the rest of the ingredients.

In a seperate bowl, mix together the black-eyed peas, black beans, corn, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion and garlic cloves.

Pour the lime marinade on top. Refrigerate 2-3 hrs. for full flavor, or you if you can't wait, dig in! If serving a large crowd, you mights want to fill tortilla scoops with the salsa to make it go further, otherwise serve in a bowl along with tortilla chips of your choice.

Variation: Add 1 tbsp. tequila to the marinade for a fiesta kick!

* This recipe is an original by me and is not to be reprinted or reproduced in any form without my permission.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Halloween Crafts

I have had several inquiries as to where I got the little black pumpkin cats I have perched on my front porch. Hold onto your seats, folks ...... I made them! Now, I must be fair here, I saw them in the October issue of Good Housekeeping. Such a cute idea, and if you click onto the link I provided, you can do this yourself too! I did do a little different on each craft. For instance, the cats are made out of faux pumpkins that I carved and the tails are black fuzzy pipe cleaners.I was able to purchase stips of gems that was used for the eyes,ears and collar. Here is the cat display. I think it turned out cute!


The black lace covered pumpkins is another easy do. I purchased six faux carvable pumpkins about seven years ago and have used them every year! Sure beats buying real ones year after year! (We do get one real one for the kids to carve). All I did was cover each pumpkin with some black lace purchased from the fabric store, pushed some straight pins in to hold and Voila! Then I bunched up some tuille to make it more frou-frou. I had also carved stars and moons into these when I first got them. I ran some orange lights up through each pumpkin before covering them, so at night they illuminate.


The witch I also copied from GoodHousekeeping. Mine is not as cute as theirs, but I tried to use what I already had on hand without adding too much cost, i.e. the cape. Of course I veered off the given track, but that is no surprise. Instead of using the website's template I just printed the picture and free-handed the witch onto the vinyl. I found the vinyl at the fabric store and chose the sturdier, thicker one. This is inexpensive. One thing I did notice, other than my front door needs replaced, is that GoodHousekeeping does a poor job describing the how-tos for their projects. I found myself winging most the crafts. But that is neither here nor there. If you are not good at drawing, I would have the template enlarged a little, according to your door size.I used some chalk to draw the witch onto the vinyl. Here is my witch after I drew it:


For the cape I just cut some fabric and sewed a running stitch across the top where I had bunched it together. Add a big sparkly gem and put a border of grosgrain ribbon at the bottom. Place some glitter for the band across her hat. For the broom, I purchased a cheapy from Target and spray painted it gold. I made her arm slightly longer so it could be wrapped around the broom to look like whe was "holding" it. Now as far as mounting the witch, you really should have another person help you. My eight year old worked great! Using some sticky 3mm mounts, lots of them, and some hot glue, she's up now! F.Y.I: hot glue will peel right off glass for easy removal. Now I'm not suggesting you do this unless you are VERY sure that your glue won't be too hot to crack your glass. Do this at your own risk! I am not liable should you try it and it crack your glass. This is what worked for me. I'm just saying..
Ok, so here is the classy good witch:


I'm still working on the decorations, my kids keep begging me to put the rest out! So for now I hope you find these to your liking and let me know if you try your hand at any of these! Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mission: Kid-Friendly Snack

I can only speak for my family, but I have noticed a repetitive pattern when the kids come from school. Trying to appease their bottomless pit bellies, they grab the quickest snack they can find; which is usually the bag of chips or pre-packaged cookies. Well, enough is enough I say! As if I don't have plenty already on my plate, I realized it is up to me to be the food saver. I can choose to show them good food choices or I can continue to allow them to spiral down the path of substantial fat and calories laced with high sugars! This requires a little more work and prep on my part, not something I WANT to have to do, but something I NEED to do. (Remember the whole "want" versus "need" speech your parents gave you when you were a kid?) My children's health and eating lifestyle are based on what they see and have influenced upon them. Not to mention, it helps me in the long run too. No more mindless snacking of their unfinished foods.

Today's mission: to get more fruit and dairy into their diet and meet their sweet-tooth satisfaction. I baked up some cinnamon tortillas, sliced some strawberries and made a dip to go with it. The boys shoved all of it into their pie holes so fast I was barely able to sneak a few for myself! I think we can suffuse it was a successful mission! Here are the "how-to's":

Cinnamon Tortilla Chips w/ Fruit Dip and Berries

For the Chips:
6 round Flour Tortillas, cut into 8 segments (like a pizza)
1/4 c. Sugar
1 tbsp. Cinnamon
Spray butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Spray chips with spray butter and sprinkle over chips. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until chips are golden brown.

For the Dip:

1/2 c. Plain Greek Yogurt
1/2 c. Low-fat Sour Cream
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Chill till ready to serve.

Slice some strawberries, raspberries, bluberries, bananas, kiwi or any other fruit you would like. These would also work to serve as Fruit Nachos.
This can be a great snack to send to school!