Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Banana pudding is a delicious and surprisingly portable treat you can easily tote across campus on game day. When I was strolling through Walmart the other day or should I say pushing my cart mad fast down each aisle to complete my monthly trip ASAP-- I had not even fully pulled into a parking spot and was already ticked. Any-hoo, I came across these Rubbermaid containers with crimson lids: Takealongs-- Perfect! Available in several sizes and uber affordable-- the 13-ish x 9-ish size was $2. With this smart find, simply fill your cooler per usual, pop the crowd-pleasing dessert on top, close the lid, then wheel away to your spot.

This version happened to be inspired by two of the very best banana pudding-esk numbers I've ever had. You should really give all three a try. You won't be disappointed.

One component I knew I really wanted in my version was this to-die-for vanilla wafer crust from Banana Pudding Pie that originally ran on the Southern Living cover in February 2007: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1578375, but since there wouldn't be any baking allowed in my plastic dish, I opted to freeze the crust instead and add a touch of salt to really make everything sing.

Secondly, I'm a whipped cream fan instead of a meringue fan, but I also knew the meringue wasn't an option anyway, again because of the plastic container. I took a peak at Nutter Butter Banana Pudding Trifle that originally ran on the Southern Living cover in February 2009: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dynaction=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1873387.
Although this one is truly delicious, Marrow was craving a straight up banana pudding sans the peanut butter cookies. However, the vanilla pudding looked like a good starting point.

Yummiest "To-Go" Banana Pudding
Makes 12 servings
Prep: 20 min., Cook: 15 min., Chill: 4 hrs.

Game Plan: Prepare Thursday or Friday evening, start to finish. The pudding will be cool enough to go ahead and add the whipped cream and should hold up fine until serving on Saturday. The banana flavor will only get better if allowed to chill out until then.

Note: This pudding is on the looser side and will thicken as it cools. If you prefer a firmer texture, bump up the flour from 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup.

1 (12-oz.) box vanilla wafers (Walmart brand is fine.)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. sugar
1/3 cup flour
3 large eggs
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large bananas
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar

Reserve 28 vanilla wafers and set aside. Crush remaining wafers in a zip-top plastic bag with a rolling pin (I like them a little chunky). Combine with butter and salt. Press mixture into a 13 x 9-inch (give or take an inch) dish/pan/container or whatever you'd like to use. Freeze while you prepare the pudding.

Whisk together 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. sugar, flour, and eggs in a 3 qt. saucepan; whisk in milk. Cook mixture, whisking constantly, over medium-low heat 15 to 20 minutes or until thickened-- make sure there's a slow bubble before you pull it from the heat (Mixture will not be pudding consistency at this point, but will continue to thicken as it cools). Remove from heat. Whisk in vanilla. Place saucepan in a large bowl filled with ice, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until well chilled. (Add additional ice to the bowl, if necessary, as some will melt right off the bat.) See photo left.

Slice 2 bananas over frozen wafer crust, pour half of chilled pudding over bananas, and top with reserved vanilla wafers. Repeat with remaining bananas and pudding.

Whip cream and 1/3 cup sugar until soft peaks form with an electric mixer. Spread cream over pudding layer. Chill at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.

The Extra Point: Mix it up and add some crushed pretzels to the crust and the layers or try with your favorite cookie. Graham crackers, chocolate wafers, or gingersnaps would be delicious substitutions. You could even add some sweetened flaked coconut to the pudding, if you choose.


Monday, August 30, 2010


These over the top sammies will knock your socks off. No really. They're that good. Flank Steak Sandwiches with Blue Cheese make fabulous tailgate munchies and better yet, they're easy to "fix" for the big day.

Friday night:
1. Prep Herb-Marinated Flank Steak and refrigerate. (Easy as Pie-- just stick the flank steak in a bag with the seasonings and what not.)
2. Cut onions and peppers, season with salt and pepper and place in a large tupperware container that will allow you enough room to toss it around with some olive oil.
3. Slice ciabatta rolls.

Game Day morning:
1. Pack a food cooler with Herb-Marinated Flank Steak, onions and peppers, blue cheese, and arugula.
2. Place ciabatta rolls on top.
3. Don't forget to pack a little olive oil for the vegetables.

Wheel to campus, find your spot, and grill away according to recipe instructions.

Flank Steak Sandwiches with Blue Cheese: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1906316
Photo courtesy of myrecipes.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Photo courtesy of Saks.

after spotting this drop dead gorgeous ensemble by Marc Jacobs. If I'm ever rich enough and it actually gets cold enough to sport around campus on gameday, this is what I'll be wearing. Adorable!

Marc Jacobs Button-Back Eyelet Dress: $1800 (Only 3 sizes left.)

Marc Jacobs Three-Button Reefer Coat: $1900 (No longer available online.)

Available at Saks:

Uhhh... will someone please sign me up for whatever those peeps are doing that were lucky enough to have snagged this?


Thursday, August 26, 2010


At my house, you don't buy hummus, you make it. I keep a jar of tahini paste in the fridge anytime I have a craving for the stuff. Normally made with chickpeas, I find this twist, Boiled Peanut Hummus, to be extra tasty and it couldn't be any easier to prepare. Simply dump all of the ingredients in your food processor, whirl, and you're done.

Of coarse it's yummy to dunk your pita chips in, but have you ever tried it as a sandwich spread? Can you say loads-of-flavor without all of the fat and calories of most bread spreads, i.e. mayonnaise. (Sorry, mayo. I know you know how much I love you, but I'm 37 now and I can't invite you to lunch anymore in that capacity. I must save you for the more crucial foods such as potato salad, chicken salad, and deviled eggs. I promise, it's not you, it's totally me and my decreased metabolism.)

Anyway, let me know what you think!

Note: Tahini paste has a wonderfully nutty aroma and is made of ground sesame seeds (a little peanut butter-esk without the sugar, of course.) Look for it at Publix, Walmart, and Mediterranean markets.


Boiled Peanut Hummus: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1654580
Photo courtesy of myrecipes.com.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Check a recent blog post of mine on southernliving.com's Eating Our Words for some tasty tips on purchasing your next package of juicy filled goodness. So get ready to fire up the Barbie, toss on the hot dogs, and nestle them in a snuggly warm bun with some lipsmacking toppings. Mmmmm... dog gone heaven. http://eatingmywords.southernliving.com/eating_my_words/2010/08/football-season-is-just-around-the-corner-hot-dog.html


Sunday, August 22, 2010


My husband weighs in on a few of the first games this season:
  • Southern Miss vs. South Carolina (-14): Take the points and go with the Golden Eagles. The Cocks win but don't cover.

  • Pittsburg vs. Utah (-3): Pitt is in Salt Lake, but they have 13 starters back from a 10 win team. Take the points and Pitt.

  • Illinois vs. Missouri (-13): Missouri crushed Illinois last year and they have 17 starters back from that team. Mizzou by 14.

  • Purdue vs. Notre Dame (-10): 18 starters back for the Irish and they win, but not by 10. Go with the Boilers.

  • Connecticut vs. Michigan (-3): Michigan is struggling. UConn whipped South Carolina last year. Take the points and the Huskies.

  • Kentucky (-5.5) vs. Louisville: KY has 13 starters back from a 7 win team. Louisville is not what it once was. Cats by 6.

  • UCLA (-1) vs. Kansas State: Tough call, but I go with the Bruins by a field goal.

  • Washington vs. BYU (-3): Jake Locker and 16 other starters are back and should take the Cougars. Take the points and Washington.

  • Alabama (-38) vs. San Jose State: I love the TIDE and they will roll, but we hardly ever win by this many points. Don't give away 38.

  • North Carolina (pk) vs. Louisiana State: UNC has 21 starters back, but 7 will not be playing in this game. Go with the Bengal Tigers.

  • Cincinnati (pk) vs. Fresno State: Fresno has more starters and it's in the Valley, Cincy has 13 starters back from a 12 win team. Bearcats by a touchdown.

  • Boise State (-6) vs. Virginia Tech: This could be one of the biggest games of the season. For those of us who love traditional "big boy" football, we have to go for the Hokies. I know Boise is tough and they have nearly everyone back. It's virtually a home game for VT. For the sake of college football, take VT and the points.

WARNING: I am not a big gambler and I have been known to pick with my heart (which means that I usually pick the Southern teams). However, I watch a ton of football and I know the players and teams pretty well. Hopefully this will at least help you in an office pool.


Saturday, August 21, 2010


Lucky for Marrow, Maker's Mark sent a lovely bottle of their best in the mail, so whisky can be scratched off of the list. What does that leave left to do? A ton. But if you start now, you won't be running around at the last minute trying to pull everything together.

Now is a good time to take stock in supplies left over from last year-- you'll need to pull out that box you stuffed in the corner of the garage and rummage through it.

Take a look at some fun things I found.

Image above left: Red Gingham Cups
Image courtesy of: www.united-states-flag.com.

Red Polka Dot Beverage Napkins
Image courtesy of www.united-states-flag.com.

Brown Kraft Trays
$28.45 for 1 case of 500:
Image courtesy of www.mrtakeoutbags.com.
What are you doing to get ready for the first game?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Take a closer look at what you already have on hand and make the most of it. Leftover sandwich fixin's? Salad dressing hanging around? Fish out a few potatoes from that 5 pound bag and have dinner on the table in 15 minutes. Can you say double-duty? Nothing like getting a two for one out of ingredients you already have and making smart use of your valuable time by prepping the salad while the potatoes cook...

Work it.

Ham and Cheddar Potatoes
Makes 2 servings
Prep: 5 min. Cook: 8 min.

TimeSaver: Make a green salad while the potatoes cook. Serve with Garlic-Red Wine Vinaigrette from the End of Summer Picnic on the Quad Tailgate Menu or your favorite commercial salad dressing.

Pierce 2 (8-oz.) potatoes several times with a fork and microwave on HIGH about 5 to 6 minutes or until tender. On separate microwave safe dinner plates, split potatoes and fluff with a fork. add a pat of butter to each potato. Chop several slices deli ham and a green onion. Sprinkle over split potatoes and top with a handful of shredded Cheddar (or Swiss, or whatever you have on hand). Microwave each potato on HIGH for 1 minute. Drizzle with Ranch dressing and sprinkle with cracked fresh pepper. Serve with a green salad.

What's your super quick supper solution? Share it with us.
Chow, y'all.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


We received our golden tickets on Friday afternoon and we're gearing up for a fun filled football season. Stay tuned. It's going to be fabulous!