A football game at the end of October always puts people in a festive mood. Here’s a menu to go along with all the fun:

Appetizers:                                                                                                                                    Corned Beef pickle roll ups 
Pepperoni Pizza Puffs with marinara 

Beef Brisket Sandwiches 

Cilantro Slaw
Warm Blue Potato and Green Onion Salad

 Caramel Apple Cake

Dark and Stormy

(courtesy pipandebby blog)

Photo Credit: Pip and Ebby

sort of a take on a reuben…

8 slices corned beef lunch meat
4 oz. cream cheese
splash of worchestershire sauce
4 medium dill pickles

Lay corned beef in stacks of two on a hard surface. Spread 1 oz. of cream cheese onto each stack. Place a pickle directly in the center of each. Roll corned beef around the pickles and cut each roll into four equal parts.



(adapted from a Rachel Ray recipe)

These are yummy little bites that are perfect for tailgating.  I love that the recipe does NOT call for Bisquick (which contains trans fat).  It’s not exactly a healthy appetizer, but game day is “cheat day” so splurge and enjoy! Makes roughly 24 mini-muffin size “puffs.”

3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 TBSP Italian seasoning
pinch of salt
pinch of red pepper flakes
3/4 cup whole milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup chopped pepperoni
1/2 cup pizza sauce

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, Italian seasoning, salt and red pepper flakes; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella, Parmesan and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes.

Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.


(Adapted from big girls small kitchen blog)

4 lbs beef brisket
6 garlic cloves, cut lengthwise into 4 pieces
3 cups beef stock
2 yellow onions, sliced
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tsp salt
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
For Serving:
8 onion or challah rolls
scallions, sliced

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Using a paring knife, cut small incisions in the meat and shove the pieces of garlic into them. Do this until the meat is stuffed with garlic all over.  I also cut off a good bit of the fat cap that was on my brisket – personal preference.  Place the brisket in a rimmed baking dish (preferably metal), and brown it in the oven, about 10 minutes per side.

Remove the meat, and pour in the beef stock (NOTE: if you are using a pyrex dish, wait a few minutes for the pan to come to room temperature, so it does not shatter). Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F; cover the dish with foil, and cook in the oven for 1 hour.

In the meantime, saute the onions in the olive oil over medium-low heat until soft and caramelized, about 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After it has cooked an hour, remove the meat from the oven. In a small bowl mix together the ketchup, brown sugar, salt, chinese 5 spice, cumin, ginger and cayenne.

Add that mixture to the pan with the brisket, along with the cinnamon stick and bay leaves.  Whisk (using a fork) all together with the beef stock.

When the onions have finished cooking, arrange them on top of the meat (apologies for the blurry pic).

Cover the pan with foil, and return it to the oven for 3 hours. Remove the meat from the oven, allow it to cook slightly, and then transfer to a cutting board.

Using 2 forks, pull the brisket apart into chunks. It should be an easy task.  You may want to also cut the chunks up into slightly smaller pieces so it’s easier to eat as a sandwich.

Return the meat to the sauce and serve, or store in the fridge over night in an airtight container – the brisket can be made a day or two in advance. Then reheat on the grill in a tin pan at your tailgate, and serve on rolls.

Here is my brisket – all packed up and go to my tailgate party!



2 limes, juiced (or roughly 4 TBSP)
½ lemon, juiced (roughly 1 TBSP)
2 TBSP mayonnaise (preferably Hellman’s)
1 garlic clove, minced
5 pickled jalapeños slices (canned or from a jar), minced
½ tsp chili powder
Dash pepper (to taste)
½ TBSP salt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup cilantro, chopped
½ head Napa cabbage, thinly shredded or sliced (or one bag of pre-shredded coleslaw mix)

Combine first 8 ingredients in a large salad bowl.

Gradually whisk in the olive oil until all elements are combined.

Toss together with the cabbage and the cilantro.



(adapted from big girls small kitchen)

1 pound small blue potatoes, halved
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 green onions (scallions), white parts thinly sliced, green parts cut into 2 inch pieces
2 TBSP sherry vinegar
2 TBSP chicken stock
1/4 tsp salt

Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil. Cook the potatoes until nearly cooked through, but still slightly firm, about 5-10 minutes, but test with the point of a knife as you go. Drain the potatoes.

In the same pot, over medium heat, add the olive oil, garlic, and white part of the scallions. Saute until the garlic is beginning to brown, about 1 minute.

Add the vinegar, stock, and salt and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 minute.

Add the potatoes back to the pot and cook for another minute or so. Off the heat, add the green part of the scallions and toss to combine.



I wish I could tell you where I got this recipe, but I jotted it down awhile ago and now don’t know whom to give credit to!  It’s delicious though and your kitchen and your tummy will thank you! SOOO GOOD!

1-1/2 cups canola oil
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
3-1/2 cups diced peeled apples
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup half-and-half cream
1/4 cup butter, cubed
Dash salt
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Chopped walnuts, optional

In a large bowl, combine the oil, sugars and eggs until well blended. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg; gradually add to creamed mixture until blended. Fold in the apples, walnuts and vanilla.
Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. tube pan. Bake at 325 degrees F for 1-1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
In a small heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, cook and stir the brown sugar, cream, butter and salt until sugar is dissolved. Transfer to a small bowl; cool to room temperature. Beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth; drizzle over cake. Sprinkle with nuts if desired. Yield: 12-16 servings.

Just this weekend, while visiting friends in Kentucky, I found the perfect Halloween Drink:


Ice cubes
1 to 2 juicy limes (you need 1-ounce juice and a wheel for garnish)
1 ounce golden rum, (recommended: Mount Gay)
6 ounces ginger beer
1/2 ounce dark rum, (recommended: Meyers’s)

Fill a highball glass or large wine goblet with ice cubes. Add the lime juice and the golden rum. Top off with the ginger beer and stir lightly. Float a layer of the dark rum on top by pouring it over the back of a wide, flat spoon. (Don’t worry if it doesn’t float; it tastes great either way.) Garnish with the lime wheel.

*All photos are mine unless otherwise noted.