YAY!!! The Atlanta Falcons are in the 2nd round of the playoffs!  We are watching the game with 2 other couples, and here’s what we’ll be enjoying:

NFC Conference Championship
Atlanta Falcons 
San Francisco 49ers

Georgia Dome
Atlanta, Georgia

Sunday, January 20, 2013
Kickoff – 3:00PM


(Adapted from Southern Living)
I’m excited to try this dish that includes one of my favorite things – Hot Pickled Okra.  Thought this appetizer would be a good one to represent the South and the Atlanta Falcons with Okra, shrimp and creole seasoning!  Could easily substitute 1 1/2 lbs. of cooked chicken for the shrimp if desired.

Photo Credit: My Recipes

1/4 cup butter
6 green onions, sliced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 cup chopped assorted bell peppers
1 1/2 pounds peeled, large raw shrimp, chopped (preferably fresh from Florida or Georgia!)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese (I use lower fat neufchatel)
3/4 cup sliced pickled okra
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Toasted French bread baguette slices

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat; add green onions, celery and bell peppers.

Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes or until peppers are tender. Stir in shrimp and garlic and Creole Seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.

Reduce heat to low; add cream cheese, stirring until cheese is melted.

Remove from heat, and stir in okra and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.

Spoon mixture into a 2-qt. baking dish, and sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbsp. cheese.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Serve with crusty bread, toasted sliced baguette or crackers of your choice.

(Adapted from Ina Garten)

Toast some Italian bread and layer the Caprese on top or just serve the bread on the side to mop up all the juices in the pan.
12 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise (seeded if you want)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 1/2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp sugar
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
16 ounces fresh mozzarella

12 fresh basil leaves, julienned

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Arrange tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut side up in
a single layer. 


Drizzle with 1/4 cup of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with the garlic,
sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Roast for 2 hours until the tomatoes are concentrated and begin to caramelize. Allow the tomatoes to cool to room temperature.

Cut the mozzarella into slices slightly less than 1/2 inch thick.


Layer the tomatoes alternately with the mozzarella on a platter and scatter the basil on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with more olive oil. Serve at room temperature.  Voila!

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
(Adapted from Kevin Closet Cooking)

Photo Credit: Closet Cooking

1 pound ground chicken
1 TBSP oil
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 cup beer (or chicken broth)
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 cup Buffalo sauce (or to taste) I used Frank’s
salt and pepper to taste
crumbled blue cheese to taste

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Cook the chicken in a large pan over medium heat and set aside.

Heat the oil in the pan, add the onions, celery and carrots and cook until soft, about 10-15 minutes.

Add the garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about a minute.

Add the beer or broth and deglaze the pan.

Add chicken, tomatoes, beans, paprika, oregano, cayenne and hot sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve topped with crumbled blue cheese to taste.

(Adapted from Cooking Light)
Photo Credit: Point-less Meals

¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dark brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb flank steak
salt and pepper

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Combine first four ingredients in a large ziplock bag or bowl.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Add steak (either to the bag on place in a glass dish), turn to coat; marinate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Grill until desired doneness. Let stand, covered loosely with foil for 10 minutes, before cutting in thin strips against the grain.  Great with rolls and grainy mustard and/or horseradish sauce.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

BBQ Potato, Bacon and Corn Salad
(Adapted from Kraft Recipes)

Photo Credit: Point-less Meals
1/3 c light Ranch dressing
1/3 c BBQ sauce
2 TBSP Dijon mustard
3 lbs small red potatoes, cooked and quartered
1 can (15 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c red onion, chopped
8 slices Oscar Mayer fully cooked bacon, cooked and crumbled

Mix dressing, BBQ sauce and mustard in a large bowl. Add all remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving.

(Recipe adapted from The Curvy Carrot)
Thought these were cute in the colors of the Atlanta Falcons!  AND they are amazing!

Photo Credit: The Curvy Carrot

1 cup unsalted butter, softened, but still cool
1 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons maraschino cherry “juice”
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, chopped
Granulated sugar, for sprinkling the cookies
36 milk chocolate kisses (plain or with almonds – my fav), unwrapped


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute.

Reduce the speed to the lowest setting and slowly add the powdered sugar and salt.

Add the cherry juice and the almond extract until combined.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

With the mixer still on low, slowly add the flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Increase the mixer speed to medium and add the cherries.


Shape the dough into 1-inch balls, and place the balls on a baking sheet, approximately 2 inches apart.

Using your thumb, gently press each cookie in its center until the cookie is about 1/2-inch thick.

Sprinkle each cookie with a little granulated sugar. Bake the cookies until the bottoms are lightly browned, about 14 minutes. Once removed from the oven, immediately press a chocolate kiss into each cookie’s center.


Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.  These freeze beautifully.

(Recipe from Saveur)

Photo Credit: Saveur

One of Mexico’s most popular cocktails, the Paloma is an amazing combination of sweet and tart with grapefruit, lime, and a pinch of salt.

2 oz tequila blanco (silver)
Juice of half a lime (I use 2 TBSP of Nellie and Joe’s Key Lime Juice for excellent results)
3 oz grapefruit juice
3 oz club soda
1-2 splashes of Grenadine
pinch salt
Lime wedge, for garnish

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Combine tequila, lime juice and a pinch of salt in a highball or Collins glass. Add ice and top with grapefruit and soda. Stir gently, then serve with a lime wedge garnish.

***How about this cool idea I found on 
Joss and Main?

Sern Heated Chips & Dip Serving Tray

Serve savory appetizers and classic entrees for your next Sunday night tailgate with this entertaining essential, perfect for hosting family and fellow college alums.

Product: Heated chip and dip tray
Construction Material: Plastic melamine
Finish: Red
Removable ceramic dip bowl
Attached inline power switch to heating base
Rated Voltage: 120 Volts AC – 60 Hz
Wattage: 0.22 Amp
Bowl capacity: 21 Oz
Dimensions: 3.5″ H x 14″ Diameter