Tag Archives: entertaining

Just Another Tazmanian Sparkling Rosé!

We have a new grocery store in Roanoke, Virginia…Earth Fare!  “Healthy Food For Everyone”   Their food philosophy: “We pledge that our food is free of added hormones, antibiotics, artificial fats and trans-fats, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and preservatives, bleached or bromated flour, artificial colors or flavors”.

Their prepared foods section is amazing…let’s take a tour…starting at the cheese case where I met Aaron who gave me a taste of the most delicious “Brie” cheese…

EF Cheese case

EF Brie cheeseEF Brie Cheese with bread

Jasper Hill Farm Harbison ~ soft and decadent brie-style cheese is wrapped with spruce for structure and flavor.  Made in Greensboro, Vermont. Amazing buttery taste. https://www.jasperhillfarm.com/harbison

EF Baguette sign

I served it on freshly baked baguette (sold at Earth Fare daily for 98 cents…mine was still warm when I purchased it…yum).

I paired this lovely cheese with Jansz Rosé, sparkling wine from Tasmania.  The first wine I’ve tried from Tasmania.  Delightful!  I found this bubbly at Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar in Roanoke, Virginia.   http://mrbillswinecellar.com

Jansz Tasmania is a pioneer of deluxe sparkling wine in Australia. Jansz is made by the méthode champenoise.   Pale salmon in color, with a fine bead, this wine has a rich floral bouquet of strawberries with a soft and creamy palate. $26 range.

tazmanian champagne

Ef shrimp saladEF salads

EF shrimpEF shrimp on grillEF shrimp on plate

Grilled Shrimp Quesadillas 

Earth Fare Herb Shrimp Salad with red and yellow bell peppers and lots of seafood seasoning makes fabulous Grilled Shrimp Quesadillas.  So easy to prepare…spray grill with vegetable spray. Top a taco size flour tortilla with shrimp salad and finely grated Monterrey Jack cheese. Top with another flour tortilla and grill until cheese is melted and tortilla is toasted. Flip once. Remove from grill and cut into triangles. Serve warm.

avocadoEF guacamole

Guacamole!  

I love Earth Fare Fire Roasted Corn Salad.  Fabulous addition to homemade Guacamole.

EF chips

Late July Organic Sea Salt and Lime Tortilla Chips are my new favorite…crispy yet sturdy enough to hold up to chunky guacamole.

Ef pretzels

EF bloody mary mix

Another Earth Fare treat  for Sunday Brunch…Pretzilla Smithfield Ham Swiss Cheese Bites.  Cut a little bit of the bottom off of each pretzel bite so the bites will sit up straight, then cut the bites in half. Spread one half with whole grain mustard and the other half with Duke’s mayonnaise.  Fill the pretzel bites with thinly sliced Smithfield ham and Swiss cheese. (I found that  since the Smithfield ham is salty I did not need to top the pretzel bites with the salt that was included in the package.) Heat the pretzel bites in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven until cheese is melted.  Serve warm.

And to finish the weekend…

champagne bottle

  • This vintage Millesime champagne has 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay grape varieties from a unique, single harvest year. Well refined on the nose, with notes of gingerbread and croissants. A complex and very assertive mouth. A champagne to enjoy as an aperitif or set to accompany gourmet dishes.  

    Millésime

    kitty catkitty on shoe
    signkitty Artie
    Our kitties are growing! So happy !

 

 

 

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In The Southern Tradition ~ Country Ham Pretzel Rolls

My “go to” for holiday hors d’oeuvres? Country Ham Biscuits of course!  Did you know that the perfect size for a country ham biscuit is the circumference of the top of a champagne flute? (1 3/4 inches round).  Coincidence, I think not.  Salty country ham and a chardonnay predominant champagne make a perfect pairing!

I am always looking for creative ways to change up my traditional hors d’oeuvre menu. When I saw these yummy pretzel rolls I immediately thought filling them with country ham.

To make these yummy Country Ham Pretzel Rolls, I preheated my oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  I split the pretzel rolls in half lengthwise and spread on side with Duke’s mayonnaise and the other side with Pommery whole grain mustard.  Then I topped the mustard side with shaved Smithfield (country) ham and slices of swiss cheese, placing the mayonnaise side on top of the cheese.  Then I brushed the rolls with melted butter and sprinkled the tops with black sesame seeds (optional). Bake the rolls for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.  Remove from oven, cool slightly and cut into 4 slices horizontally. Serve warm.

Jeeper champagne

As soon as we devoured the pretzel rolls we sat back and enjoyed a tasting of Jeeper Champagne.  60% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir, and 15% Pinot Meunier handpicked grapes. $60 range.

The story of this champagne begins in 1949.  It was then that Armand Goutorbe, son of Victor Goutorbe, on his return from the Second World War, decided to produce and sell his Champagne.

Armand Goutorbe christened his brand Champagne JEEPER, with an eye to making himself stand out from the many wine growers of the region also named Goutorbe and in reference to the Jeep bestowed upon him (he returned from the war to his native Champagne disabled)  by the local authorities to help him ascend the vineyard slopes with ease.

You can see why this champagne appealed to me, knowing that I love Jeeps. My own Jeep Overland is named “Dolly D”, for Dolly Dawn who was known as the “Champagne of Big Band Singers”!

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/dolly-dawn-mn0000172847/biography

Jeeper Champagne has a light golden color with tiny bubbles dancing around the flute.  Elegant with glazed apple notes.  This champagne lends itself to pairing with food and we found a fabulous pairing…

crisps with package

crisps

Adams Reserve New York Extra Sharp Cheddar (made in upstate New York) paired with Virginia Gold Orchard Asian Pear Marmalade. The marmalade was a special gift from my bubbly friend Cindy.  Their Asian Pears are homegrown & handpicked in Rockbridge County, Virginia and they are delicious! I put a smear of the marmalade on top of the cheddar cheese on a Apricot and Ginger Raincoast Crisp Cracker. Oh la la…it was a “pearfect” pairing with the Jeeper champagne.

apples

http://www.virginiagoldorchard.com

mug with ginger beermug

Roundng out the weekend…these crisp Fall days are perfect for a chilled Moscow Mule made with BundAberg Spiced Ginger Beer.

Here’s a link to BundAberg Brews Cocktail Recipes:

https://www.bundaberg.com/en-us/mixology-2/?mixer=ginger-beer&alcohol=

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Celebrate National Deviled Egg Day ~ November 2, 2017

egg Bacon and Balsamic Deviled Eggs 

Follow this easy recipe (originally published in The Roanoke Times ~ Gretchen Mckay  Pittsburg Post Gazette – TNS)  to make the most delicious Deviled Eggs…

Bacon and Balsamic Deviled Eggs

12 hard-cooked eggs

The original recipe called for 1/2 of the amounts of the following ingredients. I doubled the amounts because I LOVE bacon and I found the original recipe for the filling to be just a bit dry.

10 bacon slices, cooked crisp and crumbled

2/3 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon very finely chopped shallot (the original recipe called for onion. I find shallot to have a bit less of a bite than onion which I prefer for this recipe)

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons Balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cornichon or sweet midget pickle for garnish, sliced into thin slices

paprika for garnish

To cook the perfect hard-cooked egg:  Fill large pot with water (enough to cover the eggs you are going to cook). Add a little salt.  Bring water to a rolling boil.  Place eggs in boiling water and cover pot. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered for 12 minutes. Remove from heat and drain water out of pot.  Add ice to eggs to immediately stop cooking and allow to cool quickly for peeling.

Peel eggs and rinse well to remove any bits of shell.  Cut eggs in half lengthwise and scoop out the yolks. Put yolks in separate bowl and mash.  Add bacon, mayonnaise, shallot, mustard, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. Spoon the mixture in the egg halves evenly. Garnish each egg half with a slice of cornichon and sprinkle with paprika.

Makes 24

  • reference: The Ultimate Paleo Cookbook, by Arsy Vartanian (Page Street Publishing)

tailgate eggs

SC fried deviled eggs

Fried Deviled Eggs!

Thank you to Chef Roger Light, Executive Chef, Shenandoah Club, Roanoke, Virginia, for sharing this perfectly delicious and unique Deviled Egg recipe:

sc chef Carlos

Super Delicious!!! Chef Carlos demonstrated how to make fried deviled eggs, starting with hard-boiled eggs. Cut the eggs in two and place the yolks in a mixing bowl.  Place the white halves on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Blot the egg white halves gently with paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible.

Grind panko bread crumbs in a food processor or blender to make the crumbs more like the consistency of flour.  Place flour in one bowl, egg whites mixed with a little water in another bowl and panko bread crumbs in a third bowl. Dip the egg white halves into flour, then egg white wash, then panko bread crumbs.  Place them on the paper towel lined baking sheet (replace paper towels if the towels are moist). Press the crumb mixture into the egg so that it adheres well.

Heat canola oil in a large pot on the stove.  Fry the egg white halves in hot oil until they are light golden brown. Remove the eggs from the oil with a slotted spoon or tongs and place on the paper towel lined baking sheet.  Allow to cool.

Using the hard-boiled egg yolks, prepare a deviled egg filling the same way you prepare your favorite deviled egg filling recipe. Add mayonnaise, pickle relish, mustard, or balsamic vinegar.  Sprinkle some crisp crumbled bacon in each fried egg half and then fill with the deviled egg filling. Garnish with smoked paprika or chopped chives.

SC ME and eggs

Go ahead and ask, you know you’ve always wanted to ask…

What Champagne Should I  Serve With Deviled Eggs?!

Baron champagne

Champagne Pairing For Deviled Eggs:

Baron-Fuenté Esprit Champagne Grand Cru

92 points Wine Spectator

30% each of  Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier grapes resulting in a creamy, rich brioche, lemon curd and almond flavors.  Delightful and elegant. $30 range.

happy-refrigerator

“Always keep a bottle of Champagne in the fridge for special occasions. Sometimes, the special occasion is that you’ve got a bottle of Champagne in the fridge.”
― Hester Browne

cats two

cat artie

These Fall days are getting a bit cooler and Daylight Savings Time is right around the corner, so our days are getting less productive by the minute!

Happy Deviled Egg Day!

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Holiday Appetizer Recipes + Fried Deviled Eggs!

Last week my bubbly friend and I attended a spectacular cooking class  at the Shenandoah Club in Roanoke, Virginia.   Chef Roger Light shared his favorite holiday appetizer recipes with us.

SC cornbread

Crawfish Cornbread

This cornbread is a fabulous appetizer and would also be a delicious stuffing to serve beside your Thanksgiving turkey.

1 onion, diced

1 green pepper, diced

1 red pepper, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

3  scallions, chopped

1 pound Andouille sausage, diced

2 pounds crawfish tailmeat

To taste Cajun seasoning

To taste cayenne pepper

1/2 batch (9″ x 13″) of your favorite cornbread recipe

Saute onions,  bell pepper,  celery  and scallions in a little butter, cooking until onions are transparent. Add Andouille sausage, mix together.  Add crawfish tailmeat and cornbread batter, stir to combine all ingredients.

Pour into a greased 9″ x 13″ pan. Bake 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 55 minutes (check center of cornbread for doneness).

SC fried deviled eggsSC ME and eggs

My bubbly friend and I love to cook and her birthday was last week, so we decided a cooking class was the perfect way to celebrate her birthday!

Fried Deviled Eggs!

SC eggs

sc chef Carlos

Super Delicious!!! Chef Carlos demonstrated how to make fried deviled eggs, starting with hard boiled eggs. Cut the eggs in two and place the yolks in a mixing bowl.  Place the white halves on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Blot the egg white halves gently with paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible.

Grind panko bread crumbs in a food processor or blender to make the crumbs more like the consistency of flour.  Place flour in one bowl, egg whites mixed with a little water in another bowl and panko bread crumbs in a third bowl. Dip the egg white halves into flour, then egg white wash, then panko bread crumbs.  Place them on the paper towel lined baking sheet (replace paper towels if the towels are moist). Press the crumb mixture into the egg so that it adheres well.

Heat canola oil in a large pot on the stove.  Fry the egg white halves in hot oil until they are light golden brown. Remove the eggs from the oil with a slotted spoon or tongs and place on the paper towel lined baking sheet.  Allow to cool.

Using the hard-boiled egg yolks, prepare a deviled egg filling the same way you prepare your favorite deviled egg filling recipe. Add mayonnaise, pickle relish, mustard, or balsamic vinegar.  Sprinkle some crisp crumbled bacon in each fried egg half and then fill with the deviled egg filling. Garnish with smoked paprika or chopped chives.

sc mary ellen and eggs

Chef Carlos added sugar to his deviled egg filling which  was so yummy.  That got our group to talking about southern cooking traditions. Sprinkling sugar, salt and pepper over fresh garden tomato slices for instance. I shared the name of one of my favorite southern cookbooks with our group ~ “Being Dead Is No Excuse ~ The Official Southern Ladies Guide To Hosting The Perfect Funeral. ”  by Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays. Here’s their recipe for “Sweet Stuffed Eggs”:

tailgate eggs

Sweet Stuffed Eggs

You’ll need a big egg plate for this recipe ~ it makes twenty-four servings.  By the way, it’s tasty but not fancy ~ notice we use plain old French’s mustard instead of some rarefied moutarde.  These are what we call peckerwood eggs. 

Ingredients:

1 dozen hard-boiled eggs

sweet pickles or sweet pickle relish (start with 2 teaspoons and continue to taste)

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

2 teaspoons French’s (!) yellow mustard

1 teaspoon onion, finely minced

2 tablespoons Durkee Famous Sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Paprika for garnish

Makes 2 dozen servings.

 

SC lots of bacon

Billionaire’s Bacon

Double or triple this recipe ~ it will be gone in a flash! The perfect combination of salty, sweet and crunchy! (Use medium to thick cut bacon for this recipe.)

http://www.thevspotblog.com/2013/07/brown-sugar-dijon-candied-bacon.html

SC Miss L

“Miss Luan” shows off her fabulous Shrimp Lettuce Wraps served with Thai Peanut Sauce.

SC peanut sauceSC spring rollssc spring roll wrapper

Ingredients for the Shrimp Lettuce Wraps/Spring Rolls:

3/4 pound shrimp, cooked

2 heads butter lettuce

1 each carrot, peeled, grated

1/4 cup basil leaves

1/4 cup cilantro leaves

1/4 cup mint leaves

1/4 cup peanuts chopped

1 package cellophane noodle

Spring roll wrappers

Ingredients for the Thai Peanut Sauce:

1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup coconut milk

3 tablespoons water

3 tablespoons lime juice

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon sriracha sauce

1 tablespoon minced ginger

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Porchetta

SC chef rolling porkSC pork

Ingredients for Porchetta seasoning:

2 tablespoons fennel seeds ~ Chef Light showed us how to toast the fennel seeds in a saute pan on the stove, then crush the seeds to release the flavor and aroma of the toasted seeds.

2 tablespoons garlic, minced

2 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground

2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

1 each orange zest

The seasoning was rubbed into the pork tenderloin, then the tenderloin was wrapped in bacon and baked. Then slice and serve, delicioso!

SC smoked salmon and chefSC smoked salmon

Smoked Salmon With Cream Cheese, Capers and Red Onions

8 ounces cream cheese, softened mixed with:

2 ounces capers, roughly chopped

1/4 cup red onion, minced

1 lemon, juiced, zested

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon dill, chopped

Kosher salt, fine crack of black pepper

Spread the cream cheese mixture over lightly toasted baguette.

Top the cream cheese mixture with 8 ounces smoked salmon.

Thank you and Cheers to Chef Light and the Shenandoah Club Culinary Team!

SC 2 kittens

SC kitty cat

SC kitty

SC kitty in sink

Our new kittens are so happy in their forever home!  As you can tell from the photo above, “Ziggy” never stops moving until he falls asleep. I took them to the vet to get their “well baby check” and Ziggy jumped in the sink, then jumped in the trashcan. We had to give him a bowl of baby food to slow him down enough to give him his vaccination.

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Get Your Taste Buds Ready For Tailgating + Craft Beer Tasting

Salty, Smokey, Crunchy, Spicy, and Bacon!  Those are the flavors that add up to a tasty tailgate:

Make your own snack mix. Serve in small “Chinese Food Take-Out Containers” from your local party supply store.  Mix Pistachios and Dried Cranberries or Mixed Nuts, Yogurt Covered Pretzels, Wasabi Peas and  M&M’s.

Create a candy mix featuring your favorite teams colors ~ blue and orange M&M’s for University of Virginia Wahoos (Cavaliers) or boston baked beans candy (maroon) and  orange jelly beans for Virginia Tech Hokies. (These candies are available in bulk on-line.)

Homemade Cracker Jack in clear plastic bags tied with ribbon in your favorite team colors.

Don’t forget the Nachos, Wings, Ribs, Sliders, Grilled Bratwurst with Spicy Mustard, 

“Throwback Snacks” ~ some traditional tailgate favorites:

Charles Potato Chips With Lipton Onion Soup Sour Cream Dip

Olive Poppers (delicious served hot or cold) – olives wrapped in flaky cheddar cheese pastry.  Here’s a link to the recipe: http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/sesame-cheddar-olive-poppers-109957

Deviled Eggs…Traditional, Spicy Jalapeno or Bacon Balsamic ~ here’s the link to my favorite recipe for Bacon Balsamic Deviled Eggs: https://bubblybee.net/2016/03/24/bacon-and-balsamic-deviled-eggs

Beer Candied Bacon…here’s a link to the recipe:  http://tideandthyme.com/beer-candied-bacon/

Small bottles of Coca Cola on ice (along with other libations of course!)

green chili

Chef Roger Light prepares this fabulous tailgating treat at the Shenandoah Club in Roanoke, Virginia… Chili and  Cornbread Mason Jars ~ I made these treats with Chicken Chili Verde…cornbread layered with chicken chili verde, sour cream, finely shredded cheddar cheese, chopped green onion.  Pre-made cornbread from the grocery can be rather sweet so I prefer to make my own cornbread for this tailgating treat. Serve each guest a chilled mason jar of layered chili.

My favorite Green Chili mix ~ Cookwell and Company Green Chile Stew ~ just add cannellini beans and ground chicken.

Enough with the food…let’s talk BEER!

Football and beer always compliment each other, so this being football season we decided to pop by a couple of new Craft Beer Tasting Rooms in Roanoke, Virginia.

starr hill

The first tasting room I visited was Starr Hill Pilot Brewery at the Bridges adjacent to Dr. Pepper Park. The Starr Hill Brewery Tap Room is in Crozet, Virginia.  This pilot brewery in Roanoke will allow the  brewery to experiment with unique, small-batch beers for research, development, and limited releases. The stage located in this facility will highlight local bands and musical talent.

http://theroanokestar.com/2017/10/04/starr-hill-brings-first-satellite-brewery-to-roanoke

starr hill outside signstarr hill sign

starr hill bar

starrhill taps

starrhill sign

Kale or Ale?!!!

starr hill flight

starr hill beers

We enjoyed a craft beer flight ~ 5 (5 oz. pours) for $10. Visit http://starrhill.com for food pairings and delicious recipes to pair with your favorite Starr Hill craft beer.  I found all of the Starr Hill brews to be delicious, especially the citrusy IPA’s.

Nothern Lights ~ India Pale Ale ~ Caramel color, creamy, hoppy, balanced bitterness with refreshing citrus. Serve with Chicken Tikka Masala, Gorgonzola and Cheddar cheeses.

Basketcase Lager ~ Golden color, American Helles Lager, full-bodied lager with bready malt flavor. Serve with crabcakes and Butterkäse cheese.

Grateful Pale Ale ~ Light gold, a bit flowery, full citrusy body. Serve with Thai Green Curry and Camembert cheese.

Reviver Red India Pale Ale ~Ruby red color, refreshing citrus, medium hoppiness. Serve with Thai Drunken Noodles and Cambozola cheese.

Crozet Gold ~ Golden color, golden ale. Light and refreshing, the perfect balance of honey malt and Cascade hops. Serve with Grilled Calamari Salad and Monterey Jack cheese.

starrhill painting.jpg

Next stop Deschutes Tasting Room in downtown Roanoke, Virginia. Craft beer flight 6 (4 ounce pours) $12.

Fresh Squeezed IPA ~  this mouthwatering delicious IPA gets its flavor from a heavy helping of citra and mosaic hops.  (The IPA’s were my favorites, love the citrus hoppiness!)

dark deschutes in the windowdeshutes

Cultivateur Provision Saison ~ Rustic notes of pear and apricot blend into this bright oak-aged Saison. (The more I sipped, the better I liked it.  The pear and apricot added pleasant bright fruit flavor to this brew.)

deschutes in the window

Pacific Wonderland ~ Citrusy Tettnang Mandarina hops combine with the crisp, bright character of a traditional lager to deliver a beer that is truly refreshing and undoubtedly worth sharing. 

American Wheat ~ Tempting citrus aroma and light wheat character. 

Mirror Pond Pale Ale ~ Cascade hops and more Cascade hops give this tawny colored ale delicious hop-forward aroma and flavor. Pale malt allows the hops to linger, not overpower. 

deschutes taps

Our two biggest football fans…Ginger Rogers and Ziggy Elman…but sometimes the TV gets a little too loud for Ziggy!

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The Valencia Champagne Cocktail

I love to find Cocktail Cookbooks with cocktail recipes from the “golden age of libation”.  I found this fabulous Valencia Champagne Cocktail recipe in Cocktail Hour by Susan Waggoner and Robert Markel:

naan cocktail

Valencia

This delightful champagne cocktail was an international favorite.  It cast its golden glow on Europe between the wars, and was a popular specialty of the house at the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles. One sip and you’ll understand why.

2 ounces Apricot Brandy

1 ounce chilled Orange Juice

4 dashes Orange Bitters

3 ounces ice cold Champagne

Pour brandy, orange juice, and orange bitters into a cocktail shaker with cracked ice.  Shake and strain into a chilled champagne flute or wineglass. Immediately top with cold champagne.

bitters

Orange bitters are a cocktail flavoring made from the peels of Seville oranges,  cardamom,  caraway seed, coriander and burnt sugar in an alcohol base. These bitters have a definite orange flavor with a bit of an evergreen taste to me. Pungent but pleasant, adds the perfect “pop” of orange to orange based cocktails.

And here’s a yummy, easy to prepare appetizer to pair with your Valencia Champagne Cocktail…I’ve fallen in love with these Naan Dippers. I call them “Baby Naan” because they are so cute.

naan bacon

Bacon, Avocado and Tomato Baby Naans

Toast the baby naans lightly and allow to cool to room temperature.  Spread mayonnaise on each baby naan. Spread each baby naan with fresh ripe avocado.  Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.  Top with crumbled crisp bacon and one thin slice of Roma tomato.  Cheers!

naan strawberry

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naan kitty

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Tempting Tailgating Recipes

My husband and I recently attended a Tailgating Extravaganza Cooking Class at the Shenandoah Club in Roanoke, Virginia.  Chef Roger Light shared with us his favorite tailgating recipes.  And this was no “mess o’ chicken wings”…this was fancy tailgating with surprisingly simple recipes! Thank you Chef Light!

sangria

We were greeted with our choice of Sangria:  Traditional Red Wine and Fresh Fruit Sangria or Falling Pear Punch.

Here’s Chef Light’s recipe for his fabulous Falling Pear Punch ~

Falling Pear Punch

20 ounces GREY GOOSE®  La Poire (Pear)

15 ounces Sparkling Wine

5 ounces Grand Marnier ®

5 ounces Pear Puree

5 ounces Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

7.5 ounces Lemon Juice

Combine all ingredients in a punch vessel and chill using a large block of ice. Stir gently. Serve in cocktail cups with pear slice garnish/ground cinnamon on top.

This would produce a punch that has a volume of 57.5 ounces.

sangria cup

I consider Sangria to be the 5th food group since it has so many ingredients that are good for us! So I was very happy to get Chef Light’s recipe:

Sangria

1 bottle Red Wine

1/3 bottle Orange Juice

1/3 bottle Vodka

1/3 bottle B&B Brandy

1 Green Apple, diced

1 Orange, zested

1 Cinnamon Stick, cracked

1 cup Simple Syrup

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Cover and chill for several hours in the refrigerator. Pour sangria into a pitcher and serve ice-cold in chilled cocktail cups.

shrimp

The first tailgating tidbit we were served was pickled shrimp. Perfect for stand-up snacking at the game. Followed by delicious deviled eggs, warm bar nuts, ham and gruyere baguettes with mustard butter and avocado and bleu cheese dip with apples.

tailgate eggs

 

Then came the GRILL! We feasted on grilled beef tenderloin and salmon. One of the most delightful treats of the evening was the Texas Barbecue Dry Rub Ribs ~ grilled over charcoal.

tailgate ribs

…here’s Chef Light’s recipe ~ serve with Harvest (Vinegar Based) Slaw

Texas Barbecue Dry Rub

2 tablespoons Chili Powder

2 tablespoons Brown Sugar

2 teaspoons Black Pepper, freshly ground

1 teaspoon Dry Mustard

1 teaspoon Cumin, ground

1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper, ground

tailgate sea salt carmel peanut browniesCoffee with hearts

And for dessert ~ moist chocolately caramel sea salt peanut brownies.

tailgate chilitailgate chili jar

Chef Light sent us home with “Chili-Cornbread Jars” to  enjoy at our leisure.  What a fabulous idea – spicy chili layered with homemade cornbread topped with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and chopped green onion. Perfect for a hearty snack before the big game!

HAPPY TAILGATING!

wine not sign

Kittens

Kitten Update:  Ziggy Elman (grey kitten) and Artie Shaw (tabby kitten) are lovin’ life in their new forever home (day 3).  They are devouring their food, ignoring kitten toys because the other kitten’s tail and my fingers and toes are much better to chew on! Ziggy likes to put both feet in his water bowl (go figure)!

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