Tuesday, September 29, 2009



I had promised them to Marrow all summer and never delivered. However, now is just as good a time as any to enjoy them. Easy to pack and take to the game for tailgating or simple to serve if planning to host a house full of hungry friends.


The dressing can also be used for potato salad. 2 1/2 lbs. potatoes cooked whole, then peeled and cut should do.

A large coffee filter will do in a pinch if you don't have any parchment paper to line your food baskets.

Reach for the bakery fresh hot bog buns, the ones they make in house. Slice the rolls across the top and not quite through to the other side. You should have a nice little pocket for stuffing.

An effortless app and my favorite brownie recipe from myrecipes and we're well on our way to some good eating.

Really Easy Shrimp Rolls
A whole lotta taste for very minimal effort.
Makes 4 or 8 servings
Prep: 15 min., Cook: 4 min.

Game Plan: Cook shrimp Friday night and remove tails.

For the shrimp:
1 1/2 lbs. peeled and deveined large frozen shrimp ($9.99/ bag @Publix)
Salt, pepper, and Old Bay Seasoning

Bring a large pot of water, seasoned generously with salt, pepper, and Old Bay, to a boil over high heat. Add frozen shrimp and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Drain. Remove tails. Place shrimp in a colander, add ice, place colander over same large pot and refrigerate overnight.

For the dressing:
2/3 cup mayonnaise
Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 sliced green onions
1 generous Tbsp. freshly chopped dill
Salt and pepper to taste
4 hot dog buns or 8 dinner/ slider rolls, split

Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Coarsely chop half of the chilled shrimp. Toss together shrimp (chopped and whole) with the dressing. Place in a plastic container, snap on lid, and toss into an icy cooler.

On-site: Generously stuff shrimp mixture into rolls.

The Extra Point: Special enough to serve for company and easy enough to pull off during the week. Just make sure to chill the shrimp down well before tossing it with the dressing. Nice over mixed baby lettuces, too.

Super Simple Tomato-Pesto-Goat Cheese Crostini: Cut a baguette into 1/4-inch slices and brush with olive oil. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly toasted. Cool. (Transport in a zip-top plastic bag, if traveling.)

Have guests spread with goat cheese, drizzle with a little refrigerated pesto, and top with seeded, chopped tomatoes. Have some salt and pepper handy so guests can season them the way they like them.

So Good Brownies (And they truly are, so good!)

(Thanks for the recipe and image, myrecipes!)

What are you planning to try?

Monday, September 28, 2009


Affordable Accessories

Such as this sturdy plastic ware from Target. Count on 45 pieces for $2.99. Very Crimson Tide. For an extra nod to the team, wrap butcher's twine around each set and tie with a simple knot so that fans can grab-and-go and get to enjoying that generous tailgate spread. Look for butchers twine at Williams-Sonoma or check the automotive section of the grocery store for simple white string. The white cups can be found at Target too.

I stumbled upon a fun little website, http://www.thinkgarnish.com/ for the pint baskets (company name is simply garnish). Line them with parchment paper and fill with either snack mix or a wrap sandwich and some chips. The bonus is that you'll be able to reuse them all season long and into the next. Expect each piece to set you back a half dollar.

As for the natural food baskets... LOVE THEM... also from garnish and retail for 50 cents each. They're the perfect size and shape for a hot dog and potato salad or a shrimp roll and slaw. There again, I would line them with some parchment paper so you can plan to use them again. Truly the best part of all is that they will be delivered straight to your door... Nice.

See you at the game.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I was quite surprised to learn that Lucy, my 7 year old niece, wanted cupcakes with peace signs on them for her faux spend-the-night birthday party on Saturday night. Did I hear a "huh"? Don't worry I had to ask too. Come over in your PJ's, talk some girl stuff, watch some High School Musical, listen to some Taylor Swift, and before you can get too cranky the 'rents come back for you at 9 pm... Smart, Mommy. Very smart.

Anyway, after a quick phone chat, Lucy decided on vanilla on vanilla (eat your heart out Mr. White), with a pink, blue, and green color palate, a "yes" for sprinkles, and, well uh... peace signs. Groovy.

For the cupcakes, I knew I had to go with a tried and true SL friend, Memorial Day Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1611616
Actually, three of us in the Test Kitchen prepared this recipe to celebrate different occasions this week. I'll post pics as they become available.

Make Ahead: Allow the cupcakes to cool completely once baked, then frost. Or, you can bake them up to 1 month in advance and freeze them right in the muffin pans (Saran, then foil. Once frozen, you can stack the pans to save space). Frost frozen and thaw for a few hours before you serve them. It's up to you.

Equipment: I like the el cheapo Wilton cupcake pans that retail for about $8.99 each at BB&B. They are silver non-stick, very well made pans as opposed to the expensive ones that are dark. Steer clear of dark pans because you'll get over browned i.e. burned baked goods if you don't watch out. (Oh and, shhh... don't let Wilton know we like the shiny ones or they'll jack up the price).

Psychedelic Hue: Lucy requested 3 colors, so I used the NEON food coloring drops you can buy at the grocery store on the cake decorating aisle. For the green frosting, I added a little leaf green food coloring paste to the drops to cut the bright intense shade to balance the pink.

Peace, Man: For the peace signs, I made a simple butter cookie that doesn't have any leavening in the dough so that the shapes will hold and not spread when baked. You could use a vanilla wafer if you'd like.

Cupcake liners: I baked the cupcakes in white liners, then slipped them into the pink Wilton brand liners (Hobby Lobby) just before serving. I feel like they look a little more polished this way.

I hope you enjoy the pics.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009



I made a bee-line over to Naji's on West Valley when I decided on gyros for the game . If you've never been, plan to add it to your short list... serving up the very best pita bread in the Birmingham area... baked fresh daily and selling to most of the Greek restaurants in town, it's quite the little gem. Naji's also serves lunch and dinner, although I've never tried it myself. I just go for the still-warm-from-the-oven flat bread and peruse the small food market for tahini paste, sesame seeds, and the like.

So I guess you could say that I'm a pita bread snob, to drive clear across town for some flat bread... although I like to think of it more as a loyalty. Not from around here? Check Mom and Pop joints in your hometown for their specialties and be sure to show them and your tummy the love by visiting often.

The Easy Grilled Chicken Gyros are so simple to make. For extra tastiness, we'll drizzle them with a Quick Tzatziki and top with a Tomato-Olive Relish.

Tomato-Olive Relish
Makes about 2 1/3 cups
Prep: 8 min.

Game Plan: Prepare Friday night. Allowing the feta to hang out on top of the olive mixture will keep it's color bright and fresh looking.

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved and lightly salted (Plenty of salt in olives & feta, so don't go crazy.)
2/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
1 Tbsp.+1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley (Don't spend all day on it. A rough chop will do and a few stems are fine too.)
Fresh ground pepper to taste
2/3 cup feta

Stir together first 4 ingredients and transfer to a 3-cup plastic portable container. Top with feta and snap on lid. Refrigerate or pack in an icy cooler.

The Extra Point: Serve with fish or make a Greek-style salad and serve over lettuce with cucumber slices, pepperoncini peppers, and red onion slices. Fresh mint can be substituted for parsley.

Quick Tzatziki
Makes 1 3/4 cup
Prep: 8 min.

Game Plan: Prepare Friday night. Delicious with Greek-style yogurt. Expect a thicker, richer sauce with more cellulite. (Personally, I would have gone with the cellulite option myself, but Target and Wal-Mart were plum out.)

1 cup plain lowfat yogurt
1 medium cucumber; peeled, seeded, and sliced (use a spoon to scrape the seeds out)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
1 small garlic clove, pressed
Salt to taste

Stir together first 4 ingredients and sprinkle with salt to taste.

The Extra Point: Try it with mint for a fresh twist. Simply omit the dill.

Easy Grilled Chicken Gyros
Makes 8 servings
Prep: 15 min., Grill: 8 min.

Game Plan: On Thursday, soak 8 skewers in water to prevent them from catching ablaze on the grill (or up to 30 minutes before threading).

8 chicken tenders (Buy frozen ones & thaw in fridge overnight.)
8 (12-inch) wooden skewers
2 tsp. Montreal Chicken seasoning (McCormick Grinder)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/2 of a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste (use it if you need it)
4 pita rounds, cut in half

Thread chicken on wooden skewers (think snake-like, and secure at close intervals). Place chicken skewers on a long piece of plastic wrap (horizontal... let the sticks hang off of the wrap), sprinkle both sides with seasoning, and drizzle with olive oil (you can grill now if you'd like to... I don't mind cold chicken in my pita). Roll up plastic wrap with chicken skewers and wrap well with foil so that everything is well contained. Place in a 2-gallon zip-top bag, seal, and refrigerate.

For the onion, spray both sides with Pam and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Slide into a Ziploc bag and refrigerate (or go ahead and grill, if you want to make it ahead of time). Refrigerate, then toss in an icy cooler along with the chicken just before you leave the house.

Grill chicken skewers and onion slices over medium-high heat (350 to 400 degrees) for 4 minutes on each side or until chicken is cooked and onion is tender. Squeeze both with fresh lemon and sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve with Quick Tzatziki and Tomato-Olive Relish in pita halves.

The Extra Point: Think beyond the tailgate. Simple enough for any weeknight meal and special enough to serve company.

***Don't forget to pick up some hummus dip (I'll show you how to make your own another time) and pita chips from the deli section of the grocery store. Try the Sabra Classic Hummus, I think you'll like it.***

Hold the pita bread in your hand, fold it, and give the skewer a tug to remove.

Does this sound do-able to you?

Monday, September 21, 2009

"Say what?"... Fresh Take for a Fast Supper

Turn those leftovers into a Mexican fiesta... in your mouth.

Low Country Pilau Super-Stuffed Soft Tacos:
Microwave 1/2 cup or so of the leftover Low Country Pilau on HIGH for 30 seconds or until hot. Heat 2 corn tortillas over gas stove-eye flame using a pair of long tongs until a little charred on both sides. Fill tortillas with chix/rice mixture and squeeze with fresh lime juice. Top with Becca's Quad-Side Guacamole, and if desired, salsa, shredded cabbage, and cilantro leaves. Makes enough to serve me. Adjust to fit your needs.

Do you need other ideas on how to reinvent leftovers?
Chow, y'all.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


A.K.A Marrow's fav supper. Pronounced "per-low" by Marrow and his family, who grew up in the Low Country, Pilau can be prepared many ways (I know, I know... the "R" is a South Carolina thing). Basically, it's a glorified dish of chicken and rice with lots of salt and pepper cooked right in it's own chicken stock-- no skimming the fat here. So easy to make, but you need to tend to it every now and then. Definitely something you'll want to consider preparing on the weekend. Once it's made though, I'm out of dinner duty for 3 days straight! Ahhh... more time for flowers and such.

For the chickadee, I like the ones they sell at Target because they don't have that goodie bag to fish out from the cavity and they retail consistently for the bargain basement price of $3.50 each (with a savings that just scored some cash for the handbag and shoe cause). Squeamish about manhandling a raw bird? Pick up some powder-free, disposable rubber
gloves-- definitely helps with the ick factor.

For the stock, (When you boil that chick, one of the byproducts produced will be stock, so save it.) I have some leftover carrots and celery that I'll use to season the chicken stock as the bird cooks and I'll be sure to add an onion for even more flavor. (If you don't have these items on hand, it's not a deal breaker, just proceed without them.)

For the rice, let's stick with long grain. I don't want this to get too complicated.

Low Country Pilau
Makes 6 Servings
Prep: 15 min, Cook: about 1 hr, 45 min.

Refrigerate any additional chicken stock overnight and skim the fat from the surface. Freeze and save for another dish.

1 whole chicken, (Remove goodie bag from cavity first... no really... #1 intern mistake.)
3 or 4 celery stalks with leaves, cut in half (Use innermost portion- what else u gonna do w/ 'em?)
1 or 2 carrots, cut into quarters (I don't even peel them.)
1 medium onion, cut into 6 pieces
Salt and pepper
1/2 stick butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups long grain rice
4 cups chicken stock
Marrow's Secret Sauce (not traditional stuff, but it's how he likes it)

Rinse the chicken under cool running water and place in a Dutch oven with celery, carrots, first onion, and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper- (about 1 Tbsp. salt and 1 tsp. ground black pepper-- sounds like a lot, I know-- but we've got a lot in that pot). Fill with enough water to cover bird. Bring mixture to a boil, cover loosely with lid (you want some of the steam to escape so just cock the lid to the side), and reduce heat to low or a slow simmer (it will bubble occasionally). Cook about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the meat begins to fall off of the bone.

Carefully remove chicken from stock-- tongs work well (I place it on a foil-lined jelly-roll pan). Place a strainer or colander over a large pot and carefully pour stock through to catch all of the solids. Discard solids. (I place it in the sink so that I don't have to lift the stock pot very high.)

Now, we're not going to remove the fat from the stock. I hope you're okay with that... it's how the Low Country peeps like it.

In the same Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and sprinkle enough salt and pepper over the onions so that you can see it; cook 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in the rice, then the stock, and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 20 minutes.

While the rice cooks, pull chicken meat from the bone (may still be a little warm). Stir into the cooked rice and serve, if desired, with Marrow's Secret Sauce and a healthy dose of good-for-you vegetables (as opposed to the starchy ones) and a green salad.

Marrow's Secret Sauce: French salad dressing. That's how they ate it at his house growing up, but I prefer it without. To be quite honest, I favor it in other ways. Look for those ideas coming soon...

Leftovers can be frozen. Simply thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the microwave until hot... not just warm, HOT.

How does a day or two off KP Duty (Kitchen Patrol) sound to you?
Chow, y'all.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Not planning to stick around post game? Well... then pack that cooler with some snackwiches. Here's an idea:

Mock Mini Muffalettas
Game Plan: Prepare Friday night.

Look in your refrigerator, on the door to be exact, and pull out that jar of pimiento stuffed olives, black olives, and pepperoncini peppers. Chop them up and mix 'em together drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with freshly ground pepper. Layer up thinly sliced ham, salami, and provolone on dinner rolls, like the ones we used from the Roast Beef number. Top with the olive mixture and wrap them up tight in Saran. Remember, slide them in a Ziploc bag, add the napkins, and seal tight. Toss in the cooler and go.

Go, I said... like, kick-off is at 11 AM.

May lose an olive or two in the car when you enjoy them, but it'll be well worth it. Trust me, your tum-tum will thank you for it.

What's your favorite post game snackwich?

Monday, September 14, 2009


"In a previous life, I learned that with the proper planning, you can cook or prepare just about anything, anywhere."

Don't even try and break your neck. There will be plenty of time for good eats after the North Texas game on Saturday. I thought I'd offer an idea that may be a bit different than what you've probably experienced on the quad before. Fried Catfish Tacos with Becca's Spicy Quad-side Guacamole. Yum.

I was completely inspired by our Tailgate Captains: David and Nikki Richardson, a more than generous couple who head up one of the best tailgates on campus each home football game in the fall. Several years ago, we enjoyed some mighty mean fried catfish strips-- Hot, crispy, a little spicy... and well, just plain good. How did he do it? Actually, I was amazed at how effortless it was.

David's Fried Catfish:

Game Plan: Plan ahead and check with James Spann to see how the weather will play out. Prepare on a sunny day with no rain in the forecast as hot oil and water do not mix and will be extremely hazardous if they do. Follow all instructions according to the portable fish or turkey fryer you will be using.

Before you leave the house:
Cut catfish into strips and place in a zip-top plastic bag. Place in an icy cooler, along with 1 quart of milk. Mix together 1/2 package Louisiana Lagniappe Fish Fry Mix and 1/2 package of Zatarain's Fish Fry Mix with salt, pepper, and plenty of Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning in a double bagged brown paper grocery sack and shake well.

Additional items you will need to take with you: Portable fish fryer or turkey fryer with all of it's parts, peanut or canola oil, 1 large Ziploc plastic container with lid, long tongs, spider (kitchen utensil used to fetch your fried items out of the hot grease), plenty of paper towels, and brown grocery sacks for draining the fried fish and a few pot holders wouldn't hurt either.

To prepare:
Set up fryer according to manufacturers instructions ... and for safe measure, on concrete. Heat oil to 350 degrees-- keep a steady temp because David says it'll burn otherwise.

Pour milk into bowl and add catfish in batches-- use tongs here-- then add to seasoning bag and shake well. Carefully, drop catfish into hot oil and cook until golden brown-- fish will float when ready. Remove with spider and drain on paper towel topped grocery sacks. Enjoy!

Now you can't go wrong with David's Fried Catfish, but if you want to take it a step further I'd encourage you to try Fried Catfish Tacos. Just a few extra items and you'll be good to go. (Ohh, and divvy up the recipes... it'll be a cinch.)

Fried Catfish Tacos
Makes enough to serve a crowd
Prep: 15 min.

Game Plan: Ziploc makes 1/2 cup plastic containers that would be ideal to transport many of the toppings you may choose to take.

1 package corn tortillas
David's Fried Catfish
Becca's Spicy Quad-Side Guacamole

Toppings: shredded cabbage or iceberg lettuce, salsa, shredded Cheddar cheese or Feta, cilantro leaves, sour cream, and chopped tomatoes

With a long pair of sanitized tongs (don't even try and use the one's from the raw catfish-- take a second pair with you) and your neighbor's grill, heat tortillas over flame until a little charred on the edges on both sides. Fill with David's Fried Catfish, Becca's Spicy Quad-Side Guacamole, and desired toppings.

The Extra Point: Make David's Fried Catfish for supper and serve with a simple cocktail sauce. What?... you don't have any? Stir together some ketchup and prepared horseradish. Add a little lemon juice and hot sauce-- if you want to get real fancy.

Becca's Spicy Quad-Side Guacamole

Makes about 1 cup (about 3 servings with chips or 8 condiment servings)
Prep: 8 min.

Game Plan: This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled. You may want to start with 1/2 the amount of salt if you just want to dip your chips (remember, they'll be salty, too.)

Juice from 1/2 of a lime
1 small garlic clove, pressed
1 tsp hot sauce (Heat will vary by brand-- I used Louisiana Hot Sauce this time.)
1/4 tsp kosher salt (Table salt, a.k.a, Morton, will yield more grains per measure so you may want to start with 1/8 tsp and work your way up if that's what you'll be using-- take the shaker with you and adjust once you add the avocado, if needed.)
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 large Hass avocado (about 10-oz.)
(1 bottle of water)

Before you leave the house:
Combine first 5 ingredients in a 4-cup Ziploc plastic container and snap on lid. In a gallon-size Ziploc bag, add a small cutting board, a paring knife, a fork, and a soup spoon; seal. Toss everything, including avocado and water, into an icy cooler.

To prepare:
Cut avocado in half and remove pit with tip of paring knife. Carefully slice avocado meat, remove from skin with spoon, and add to container with garlic and seasonings. Mash with fork. Rinse hands with bottled water. (Place used utensils back into zip-top bag and seal. Toss back into cooler.)

The Extra Point: Angela, a friend of mine, adds a little sour cream to her guacamole to brighten the appearance. About 1 Tbsp. will do it.

What's the #1 tailgate recipe you can't live without?
Share it with us!
Chow-Chow... Chow.

"They were easy to eat in the car and weren't messy... I give 'em a 2+."

Marrow's comments re: the Roast Beef-Horseradish Samm-ettes from last week. The rating he's referring to is the scale we use in the SLTK when we evaluate food for the mag. It's a 5 point rating system ranging from 1 to 3... 3 being "the very best you've ever had". Hummmm... not bad.

If you didn't have a chance to make them for last week's game, give 'em a try sometime this season. A few pics to guide you every step of the way:

Simple but good.

Wrap it up.

Cooler ready.

What's your rating?
Chow, y'all.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


A few observations from last night.

The Good: Hand sanitizer stations before you enter into the breezeway to get to your seat.

The Bad: I usually know it's football season when I belly up to the Tuscaloosa High School Cheerleader sponsored concession stand, order a coke, and leave the girls a tip. They ring a bell and the one helping me yells: "Tee-yup!" Well, I'm disappointed to report: no longer. Now, just some sort of chant-- don't get me wrong, it was nice and all... but I guess there are some things that are simply golden if left untouched.

The Ugly: The "souvenir" cups. So are these being designed and manufactured in GA by a bulldogs fan? Last I checked, our team colors were crimson (and it's many shades along the color wheel-- which is totally acceptable) and white. I was highly offended and opted for the co-cola red and white paper ones. What gives concession stand decision-makers?

COMING SOON-- eats for next week.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

"I'd like a side of fat with that order of cholesterol, please... and could you get a move on?"

Down with deviled eggs, up with egg salad:
Pop out filling. Grate whites. Add tad more mayo, salt, and pepper. Spread on lightly toasted good bread (as opposed to bad bread) and we'll call it dinner.


One thing M and I have learned over the years is that after the game:
1. We're hungry
2. So is everyone else
3. There's a lot of traffic to contend with

So in order to make things a little more efficient (without leaving the game early-- we're going to stick around for every last second/ down/ point-- you name it), I pack post game sandwiches to enjoy after the game and always make several extra to offer friends who have pitched tents and extended gracious hospitality.

The nibbles vary from week to week and are pretty basic in nature only because I really can't stand for a soggy sandwich (hold the tomato, please). I have leftover sliced dinner rolls from last week's Barbecue Sliders that I tossed in the freezer. I'll build the sammies right on the frozen rolls as they'll have plenty of time to thaw before we enjoy them. This Saturday's post game stash:

Roast Beef-Horseradish
Samm-ettes: Stir together 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 3 Tbsp. prepared horseradish, 1 tsp. Dijon mustard, and a light sprinkle of salt and pepper. Spread mixture on about a dozen or so split dinner rolls and layer up with deli-sliced roast beef and Swiss cheese. Wrap each samm-ette, separately, in Saran and tuck into a gallon-size zip-top plastic bag. Before sealing, add several napkins. Push all of the air out of bag as you seal it. Toss into your cooler before heading out the door.

What are you craving? Let me know and I'll tackle it for you!
Chow, y'all!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I guess I'm on a barbecue kick right now because now I'm craving Brunswick Stew (smokey meat-based goodness with a vegetable here and there... thick, hearty, and yum). If you have leftover Labor Day pulled pork or chicken, this is the perfect way to make good, delicious use of it besides chomping down on your 467th meat-on-a-bun sandwich with sauce.

Even though there are just two of us to feed, I always make full recipes of dishes and freeze a bit of it to pull out when I'm simply over it (trust me, it doesn't last long). I buy sacks of onions and potatoes, so I've given weight measurements too. Oh, and don't expect to find any lima beans in my version. M and I simply aren't fans of the lima in this application. Now Succotash... that's an entirely different story, and entry for another time.

Spicy Brunswick Stew
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Prep: 15 min., Cook: about 2 hrs.

Make this when you're going to be around to stir it occasionally and don't let the list of ingredients turn you away. Once the vegetables are cut, you're just going to add everything else to the pot lickity-split.

1 medium and 1 small onion, chopped (about 3/4 lb.)
4 small carrots, peeled and sliced (about 1/2 lb.)
1 Tbsp. oil (canola or vegetable is fine)
Salt and pepper
1 (32-oz.) box chicken broth
1 (14-oz.) can chicken broth
1 (18-oz.) bottle Spicy Stubb's Barbecue sauce (you can use Original to cut the heat)
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes (petite diced are fine, too)
1 (15.25-oz.) can yellow corn, drained
1 1/2 lbs. smoked pulled pork or chicken (or a combination of both)
3 small potatoes (about 1 lb.)

Cook onions and carrots (sprinkle with a little salt and pepper-- you want to layer the flavors) in hot oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until tender. Add the tomatoes and next 5 ingredients. Bring to a boil, give it a stir, and reduce the heat to a low simmer (this means it will bubble occasionally). Cook, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Peel and chop the potatoes; add to the stew and cook an additional 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

To cool quickly (to avoid the temperature danger zone of 140 degrees- don't need any bellyaches), add a couple of glassfuls of ice to the stew and stir until melted. When you reheat it, you'll loose a good bit of that water.

Have questions? Let me know how I can help!
Chow, y'all! (I know, I know. It's just more fun to spell it this way.)

Monday, September 7, 2009


Amazing game on Saturday. Roll Tide! Leftovers still lingering? No worries. Freeze any remaining pulled pork and I'll show you what to do with it another time. Any Blue Cheese-Ranch Dip left? Thin it with a little milk or buttermilk and make a Cobb Salad tonight with deli fried chicken tenders and cooked bacon served over torn lettuces with avocado slices, tomato wedges, cucumbers, and hard cooked eggs.

As we turn our attention to the first home football game of the season, we must ask ourselves one simple question-- Paper or plastic?
Well, both really. You gotta make things easy on yourself if you plan to eat well and have a good time before and after the game. Stock up now on tailgate essentials for the entire season such as: plastic utensils, trash bags, paper plates, zip-top plastic bags, paper cups, napkins, paper towels, and plastic containers, so that all you have to do on Friday night is pull what you need. It's always best to choose coolers on wheels for easy transport. Taking an entire menu of food? Plan to pack separate food and drink coolers. If not, be sure to leave a little room for cold items to cozy up next to your Bud Light. You want to make hoofing it across campus as painless as possible.

So down to the food. There's a lot to do and a short window if you plan to offer up good eats on game day. This week's menu will step right up and tackle all of the important points like tastiness, ease of preparation, and pack-ability.


Cold Fried Chicken
Hard Cooked Eggs Tutorial
Green with Envy Deviled Eggs
Marrow's Tomato-Cucumber Salad with
Garlic-Red Wine Vinaigrette
For the Cold Fried Chicken: Pick up fried chicken Friday evening (Publix, KFC, Popeye's-- your favorite) and place in an air-tight plastic container. If you want to get real fancy, wrap flat leaf parsley sprigs in a damp paper towel and place in a small zip-top bag. When you get to your tailgate spot, sprinkle parsley leaves over chicken. Just buy according to your crowd size.

Hard Cooked Eggs
Makes 12
Prep: 20 min.

Game Plan: Prepare Friday night. If you must, you can boil the eggs Thursday, but expect the filling for Green with Envy Deviled Eggs to be a little lumpy.

Place eggs in a single layer in a 3 qt. saucepan and cover with about 1-inch of water. Bring eggs to a rolling boil over high heat. Cover eggs with lid, turn off heat, and let stand 8 minutes (use your timer, here). Remove lid, drain in a colander, and rinse with cold running water. Place eggs back in 3 qt. saucepan and shake so that eggs crack all over. Place eggs back in colander and fill same 3 qt. saucepan with ice water. Peel eggs (they'll still be a little warm) in colander under cold running water and then add to ice water to stop the cooking process. Your now ready to make Green with Envy Deviled Eggs.

Rolling boil:

Peeled eggs that have plunged into an icy bath:

Perfectly cooked eggs. No green rings here:

Green with Envy Deviled Eggs
Makes 12 servings
Prep: 15 min.
Game Plan: Prepare Friday night.

12 Hard Cooked Eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise (Hellmann's is best-- How do I know? Ohh, I know alright. Nothing like a mayonnaise tasting to figure that one out.)
1 tsp. Dijon mustard (Go ahead and buy some. I use it a lot.)
1 handful parsley, just grab it from the bunch and chop it (or 2 Tbsp., chopped, if that's scary)
1 green onion, chopped (Mine was ginormous. Sometimes you have to use your best judgement when it comes to larger than life produce. So really, 1 big or 2 small ones.)
Salt, pepper, and Tabasco, to taste

Cut eggs in half with a sharp paring knife (I wipe the knife clean with a paper towel in between each cut), remove yolks, and place in a small mixing bowl. Mash yolks well with a fork. Stir in mayonnaise, and next 3 ingredients. Add salt, pepper, and Tabasco, to taste-- (Mix it all up and taste it. When YOU like it, it's done).

Spoon mixture into a gallon-size plastic zip-top bag and cut about a 3/4-inch hole in one corner of bag. Pipe mixture into egg halves.

The Extra Point: Sandwich two egg halves together and layer with parchment paper in an air-tight container. Place next to the beer in fridge so you don't forget to pack them.

Marrow's Tomato-Cucumber Salad
Makes about 12 servings
Prep: 10 min.

Game Plan: Prepare Saturday morning. I promise, it's that fast. I use a mandolin to slice the cucumbers and onion really thin. You can get one from Target for about $18. Ohh, and BTW, it's not scary to use at all. Just pay attention to what you're doing and you'll be fine.

3 to 4 large tomatoes, sliced (No worries if they aren't homegrown. Beefsteak are a great choice.)
1 pt. grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 very large cucumber (or 2 medium), sliced
1 medium vidalia or sweet onion, sliced
Salt and Pepper
Garlic-Red Wine Vinaigrette
1/2 (4-oz.) package crumbled feta (Add the entire package if you like.)
Chopped fresh parsley (or basil... even better)

Layer tomatoes, cucumber, and onion in a portable (4 qt.) or 2 (2-qt.) containers with lids sprinkling salt and pepper between layers. Drizzle with Garlic-Red Wine Vinaigrette. Top with feta and parsley. Snap on lid and place in cooler last so that tomatoes do not get too cold (for best flavor). (The tomatoes and cucumbers will release a lot of liquid once salted and allowed to stand a bit. Toss the mixture together lightly once you get there and serve with a slotted spoon.)

Garlic-Red Wine Vinaigrette
Makes about 1/2 cup
Prep: 5 min.

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 tsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp. oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together first 4 ingredients; add oil in a slow steady steam until well blended and emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste.

The Extra Point: Yummy on any salad or sandwich, too.
Let me know how I can help.
Chow, y'all!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009


Oscar and I just finished making the cookie dough and the dip for tomorrow's eats. Just a few more minor details and we'll be set to pop for kick-off.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I have a super menu planned for the first T-Town game, so look for it on Sunday. But wait, we have a game to play in ATL on Saturday, nibbles to make and share with fellow fans, and the biggest question to answer of all...What are we going to wear?

At 5'3, a bold floral pattern on a dress is going to swallow me alive. Think of that same concept when it comes to plating up tasty morsels to offer guests--the goal however is the same. You want to compliment the best you have to offer. Serving pieces, to me, are clothing for food.

"Think of white as the little black dress of serveware. And team colors as accessories."

You can create a pretty, effortless table with essentials you already have on hand. And who says everything has to "match". I prefer that items "go" together anyway. It makes for a more interesting look.

Secrets in the sauce...carrier. A variety of items make drizzling a tide-y breeze.

Basically, for Saturday's kickoff, all I'm going to do is mix my 4th of July/ non-breakable enamelware with my Pottery Barn Great White dinnerware. A friend of mine, Marian Cairns, picked up a dozen dishtowels for me on a trip to Ikea for a whopping $6 to use as napkins (if you're headed to the game, swing by and do the same) and everyday silverware works just fine. Cereal and soup bowls make for good dip containers and bags of chips can be dumped into baskets lined with white or brown parchment paper.

Use small saucers or bread plates under any dressing or sauce to keep drips contained. Fill in with kitchen staples such as well loved cutting boards and tongs to accomplish real tasks. No need for special pieces that you pull out only once a year.

As you can see, creating a festive comfortable get together is way too easy. Have questions? Let me know how I can help.