football food

If your household is anything like mine, it feels like football is the only thing going on these days. We’ve got Badger games on Saturdays, Packer games on Sundays and all of these games – college or pro – require the same thing. Football food.

Football food is special, a little naughty and oh so fun to eat at 11am with a bloody mary or mimosa. If it is a big game and we are watching it at home with friends there are a couple required things on the football spread:

  • Cheese and lots of it! (I mentioned that the Badgers & Packers are Wisconsin sports, right?)
  • Crackers/bread
  • Dips
  • Veggies!
  • Meat/something substantial: typically something like frozen meatballs that are easily prepared
  • Drinks: Bloody Mary’s, beer, fun cocktail or mimosas

Football Food Recipe Ideas:

What do you eat on Game Day?

black pepper & parmesan pasta

As I prepare for my upcoming trip to Haiti, I am constantly reminded of how rich my life is.

I’ve got a warm surrounding of family, friends, a fiance and of course my “Internet friends.” :) I’ve got more than enough food and even though I rarely, ok never, feel like I’m swimming in money, I certainly have enough money to live a rich life. I can visit fancy food stores, try new restaurants and buy new clothes. I consider these things part of my rich life.

But lately, every time I turn to purchase something, I’m reminded of those who don’t have what I have. And while my feelings should be grateful, they are often full of guilt. It is hard to balance life here and my trips there. Hard to feel ok about spending one week there and returning home to my cozy life here.

It is feelings like these, that make me crave the simple meals and foods like the ones I had in Haiti. No truffle oil, no smoked pork chops – just some noodles, a little bit of Parmesan and a lot of pepper.

Black Pepper & Parmesan Pasta - 1 serving

  • 1 serving whole grain pasta
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • fresh Parmesan

Prepare pasta as directed.

Drizzle olive oil over pasta and season with salt & pepper, topping with fresh Parmesan.


kitchen gadget: return of the crock pot

A few years ago my brother, who always gave me “funny” Christmas presents, gave me a camouflage crock pot. I believe my response included something along the lines of, “I don’t hunt squirrels in my back yard like you, why would I ever use a crock pot?” and promptly returned that present, most likely by December 26th. It may have been the camouflage, but for some reason I didn’t see why I would ever need to use a crock pot. Oh how naive I was at 22 and in college, with lots of time to cook dinner every night.

A few years after that returned present and a full-time job later, I realized what the crock pot is all about. It really is magical. You layer ingredients in that ceramic crock in the morning and when you return home hours later, you can smell dinner from the hallway. It makes those chilly fall and winter days all the better, doesn’t it?

I think the crock pot was once perceived (from those thought they were above it like me) as an appliance for Midwesterners, who assumingly live on the farm and use it for things like pot roast. But it can do so much more than pot roast as evidenced by a Southern Style Feast, Pulled Pork Tacos, Lentil & Garbazno Stew, and Sweet Potato, Spinach & Chorizo Soup. You can expect some new crock pot recipes from me soon, but I would love for you to share your favorite crock pot recipes, I could use some inspiration!

I don’t use my crock pot on a weekly basis, but enough to make it worth while and although I didn’t quite get it 5 years ago, my Midwestern soul gets it now.

pimento cheese

I now get Pimento Cheese. I didn’t understand it, but never one to judge cheese without giving it a try first, I thought it was time to give the Southern snack a chance. The cheddar is obviously the star of this dip and the mild flavor reminds me of the nightly cheese and crackers we had at home growing up.

Mixing cheese with mayo probably seems a little ridiculous, and a tad unhealthy, but you know what? I liked it.

Pimento Cheese - makes about 2 cups adapted from The Kitchn

  • 12 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz jar of pimentos, chopped
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat mayo
  • 2 tsp horseradish
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

Chill for at least an hour.

Serve with crackers or toasted baguette slices.