KICKOFF: Saturday, December 1st, 8PM, Bank of America Stadium, ESPN
Somehow, someway, Georgia Tech has made it to the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte, NC.  
Florida State (10-2, 7-1 ACC) vs. Georgia Tech (6-6, 5-3)
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets finished in a three-way tie for the Coastal Division championship with North Carolina and Miami. The Yellow Jackets would have lost tiebreakers with the Tar Heels and Hurricanes, but come to Charlotte because North Carolina is on NCAA probation and Miami turned down postseason play with a self-imposed penalty because of a pending NCAA investigation.
Florida State: The Seminoles tied Clemson for the Atlantic Division but win the title because of their 49-37 win against the Tigers in September.

Read more here:

OK, so it’s not exactly THE game of the century, but we’re loyal fans and will cheer on the Jackets as best we can!

We are unable to attend the game, as we have out of town guests visiting, so we’re going to do the next best thing — throw an ACC Championship Game Party!  Oh, and we’re huge SEC fans, so we’ll be watching the Alabama vs Georgia game as well!

Here’s what we’re serving:

Dirty Martini Dip
Artichoke Bread

Grilled Beef Tenderloin
Pimento Cheese Potatoes OR
Parmesan Potato Wedges
Fall Chopped Salad

Outrageous Chocolate Cookies

Apple Cider Martinis

(Adapted from Closet Cooking)

Photo Credit: Closet Cooking

1 14oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 green onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 4oz pkg cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated mozzarella
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 loaf Italian bread, sliced in half lengthwise


Mix the artichoke hearts, green onions, garlic, cream cheese, mayo, sour cream, mozzarella and parmesan, reserving some of the cheese. Hollow 1/2 inch out of the center of both halves of the bread.Spread the mixture into the hole in the bread slices and top with the reserved cheese. Bake in a preheated 350F oven covered in foil for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese is melted and golden brown.

(Adapted from

Photo Credit:

This dip should have my picture next to it, because it has everything I love in it – olives, cream cheese, garlic, jalapenos, and yes, vodka!  Serve with crackers, chips or crudites.
1 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 8oz jar of chopped green olives, drained but reserve juice
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 minced garlic cloves
4 green onions, chopped both tops and green
1/4 tsp garlic salt
~ 1/4 cup mild pickled jalapeno peppers
1 oz vodka

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Combine all ingredients and blend until well mixed.

Phone Credit: Cate Bogue

Add some olive juice if desired for that Dirty Martini flavor!


Chill for an hour.

(Adapted from The Food Channel)

Photo Credit: The Food Channel

1 (4 lb.) whole beef tenderloin, trimmed
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup red wine
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Herbes de Provence

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Place tenderloin in large zip-lock bag; pour in soy sauce and red wine. Seal bag.
Marinate in refrigerator for 8 hours, turning occasionally.
Remove meat from marinade and drain (discard marinade).
Season drained beef tenderloin evenly with salt, pepper and herbs.
Grill uncovered over medium- to medium-high heat until instant read thermometer inserted at thickest part of beef registers 130°F for medium-rare or until desired doneness, turning occasionally.
Transfer grilled tenderloin to platter; cover with foil and let rest for 15 minutes.
Slice beef crosswise to serve. Serves 10.

Photo Credit: Saveur

3 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 1⁄2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1⁄4-inch thick rounds
3⁄4 cup heavy cream 
3 shallots, finely diced (scant 1⁄2 cup) 
1⁄4 teaspoon crushed dried red chile flakes 
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
One 9-ounce jar roasted red peppers or piquillo peppers, with their liquid, chopped
8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 2 cups)
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Heat the oven to 375°F, with racks positioned in the middle and the top third of the oven. In a 3- to 4-quart stockpot, bring 2 quarts water and 2 teaspoons of the salt to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Then drain, and set them aside.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Combine the cream, shallots, chile flakes, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, the black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the liquid from the jar of roasted peppers in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the chile flakes have begun to stain the cream, about 2 minutes. 
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Add half of the cheese and stir until it melts, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. 
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Layer roughly a third of the potatoes in a 6-cup baking dish, overlapping them slightly so that they fit in an even layer. 
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Scatter half of the roasted peppers on top of the potatoes, and repeat layering potatoes and peppers until all the peppers and potatoes have been used. Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes and peppers, and agitate the dish to distribute the liquid throughout. 
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Cover with aluminum foil and bake on the middle rack for 15 minutes. 
Uncover the dish, sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, and place the dish on the top oven rack. Bake for 8 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and gently browned on top. Serve immediately.

(Adapted from Simply Classic cookbook)

This dish is so simple to make, yet it’s absolutely delicious.  My sister-in-law fixed it for us recently and then generously gave me the Junior League cookbook that the recipe appeared in.  Thank you Sarah!
1 2lb bag of buttercream potatoes, UNpeeled
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Scrub potatoes and cut into wedges.  Place wedges, skin side down, in a single layer on a baking dish.  Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl and brush evenly over potatoes. Bake 1 hour or until potatoes are tender.  Serves about 6.

(Adapted from One Lovely Life)

Photo Credit: One Lovely Life
4-6c romaine lettuce
1 apple, diced
1 pear, diced
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
¼c dried cranberries
3-4 TBSP walnuts
3-4 TBSP crumbled feta or bleu cheese
3-4 TBSP creamy poppy seed dressing

Dressing (adapted from
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground dry mustard
1 tsp grated onion
1 cup vegetable oil
1 TBSP poppy seeds

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

In a blender or food processor, combine sugar, vinegar, salt, mustard and onion and process for 20 seconds.


With blender or food processor on high, gradually add oil in a slow, steady stream.
Stir in poppy seeds.



In your largest mixing bowl, toss together lettuce, apple, pear, bacon, cranberries, walnuts and cheese. Add 3-4 Tbsp dressing and toss to coat, adding more dressing as necessary/desired.

(Adapted from Martha Stewart)

Photo Credit: Martha Stewart

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt chopped chocolate and butter until almost melted; do not overheat. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.



In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; beat in melted chocolate. Mix in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks.



Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 2 to 3 inches apart onto baking sheets.


Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are shiny and crackly yet soft in centers, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 10 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.



***Don’t worry if the batter seems thin. It should look more like a brownie batter than a cookie dough.
I’m going to make a batch of these for the group.  I found 2 recipes, and I’m going to sample each to see which one I prefer before the party.


(Adapted from Glens Falls Gourmet)
2 oz (60ml) Hick’s apple cider
2 oz (60ml) vodka
1 oz (30ml) brandy
1 oz (30ml) triple sec
1/2 tbsp (7ml) lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 tsp (1g) cinnamon, ground
1/4 tsp (1g) brown sugar (optional)
1/4 tsp (1g) superfine (caster) sugar (optional)


Cinnamon stick (optional, for garnish)
Combine cider, vodka, brandy, triple sec, lemon juice, ground cinnamon, brown sugar and superfine sugar in a martini shaker, stirring with a spoon.
Fill the martini shaker 2/3 full of ice.
Shake drink for about 10 seconds
Strain Drink into martini Glass
Garnish with a cinnamon stick (optional)



VERSION #2 (a lot easier!)

2 parts Apple Cider
1 part Vodka

Place vodka and cider in martini shaker with several ice cubes and shake well.
Strain ice out and pour into martini glasses with cinnamon-sugar rim.

Etch-it Tags
Found these online, and they are perfect for tailgating.  You simply stick the black etch-able stickers on your Solo drink cup and etch your name with your fingernail. No pen or chalk needed. Love these!