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It’s FALL!  Georgia Tech pulled off another big win last week versus ACC Rival Miami, and they now face another home game against ACC rival Virginia.  It should be a great game, and even better, it’ll be a fabulous tailgate party.  BONUS:  we snagged THE perfect tailgate time = 3:30pm!


Also, GT is now going to a bowl!  Which bowl is the question.  The resulting score of these next two games will determine where and when – SO it’s time to cheer on the Jackets in a big way at the last home game of the season!

















(Adapted from Taste of Home)

Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Spread

2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened (lower fat cream cheese is fine)
2 cups mayonnaise (preferably Hellman’s)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jar (7 oz) oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
2/3 cup chopped roasted sweet red peppers
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
Assorted crackers

In a food processor, combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, onion and garlic until blended.

Stir in tomatoes and red peppers (I chopped them up in a mini food processor).

Stir in the mozzarella cheese, Italian cheese blend and 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

Transfer to a baking dish sprayed well with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle the top with the remaining Parmesan cheese.

Then either refrigerate until ready to bake or bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 18-22 minutes or until edges are bubbly and lightly browned. Serve with crackers.


(Adapted from the cafe sucre farine)
2 lbs large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
½ cup sunflower oil or other mild flavored oil
1 lb Andouille pre-cooked chicken sausage, cut into 1/2 inch slices and halved
⅔ cups flour
1 large onion peeled and diced into 1/4-inch dice
2 large green bell peppers diced in 1/4-inch dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1 tsp paprika
½ lb carrots peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp dry basil
½ tsp dry thyme leaves
1 tsp kosher salt more to taste
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper more to taste
Sliced scallions for garnishToss shrimp with Cajun seasoning, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Heat oil in a large heavy-duty Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sausage and cook for 6-8 minutes or until sausage is nicely browned.Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add flour to oil and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until mixture turns a deep golden brown color, slightly darker than the color of peanut butter. This will take about 10 minutes. If the mixture is darkening too quickly, reduce heat.Add onions, peppers and garlic.

Cook, stirring occasionally for 8-10 minutes until onions begin to soften. Add the chicken stock, carrots, spices and pepper.

Stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer. Cook for 25-30 minutes, uncovered until carrots are very tender.  ***SEE NOTE

Add shrimp and reserved andouille sausage, stir to combine, then return gumbo to a boil. Cover pot and turn off the heat. Let gumbo sit, covered for 10 minutes before serving. The shrimp will cook perfectly during this 10 minute resting time. Taste and season, if needed. Serve in bowls with rice. Garnish with sliced green onions, if desired. ***NOTE: I’m making this gumbo in advance, so I’ll add everything EXCEPT the shrimp ahead of time.  Then before serving, I’ll heat the gumbo, add the shrimp; bring to a boil then let it sit for at least 10 minutes to cook the shrimp.  THEN serve and enjoy!


(Adapted from cafesucrefarine)

This dressing is OUT. OF. THIS. WORLD!!!!!  It’s such a great combination of flavors: ginger, sweetness from the OJ and honey and tanginess from the shallots and balsamic vinegar and mustard.  It’s just so fabulous that all you need are some nice lettuce greens and you’ve got yourself a really fabulous salad!

¼ cup sunflower oil
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
zest of 1 medium navel orange
¼ cup fresh orange juice
3 TBSP white balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP honey
1 TBSP finely chopped shallots
1 tsp grainy mustard
½ tsp fresh ginger
½ tsp kosher salt
⅛ tsp black pepper
3 TBSP finely chopped fresh cilantro (or basil)

Mixed Greens for serving

Combine all ingredients except cilantro (or basil) in a small bowl and whisk together.

Then, pour all into a medium size jar with a tight-fitting lid, and add the cilantro. Cover and shake well to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.  This dressing needs a bit of time for the flavors to blend, so it’s best to make at least a day ahead.

Shake well again before serving over mixed greens.



I make these sliders at least once every football season.  EVERYBODY loves them, and they are about as easy to make as it gets.  It’s also wonderful that you can make them WELL in advance and then just reheat, leaving you lots of time to have fun with friends and family at the tailgate party instead of having to actually COOK on gameday!

4-6 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (12 ounce) bottle Frank’s Wings Buffalo Sauce
1 packet Ranch Dip Mix
2 TBSP butter

For serving: Blue cheese and/or Ranch dressing, pickles, coleslaw


Put frozen chicken breasts in the bottom of your slow cooker. Pour the whole bottle of buffalo sauce over chicken breasts and sprinkle ranch packet on top.

Cook on low 6-7 hours. Using two forks, shred the chicken and return it to the crock pot.  This step takes no time, as the chicken will be falling apart.

Add butter, stir and cook on low for an additional hour.

At this point you can serve immediately, or let it cool, then refrigerate.  Rewarm before serving. Serve on buns, and serve with a side of ranch or blue cheese dressing, as well as pickles and or cole slaw.

SOUR CREAM PUMPKIN BARS                                                                                                   (Adapted from

I was searching around for a pumpkin recipe (since it IS a week away from Thanksgiving after all!), and when I stumbled upon this recipe and it had a brown butter frosting, I was hooked.  I love Brown Butter anything: frosting or sauces over veggies or seafood, whatever!  It just adds another dimension to whatever you’re serving.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Additional chopped pecans or walnuts to top (optional)
Brown Butter Frosting:
1/2 cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar
2 TBSP  milk
1 tsp vanilla
Grease a rectangular baking pan; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Beat in sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt until combined.
Add eggs, pumpkin, sour cream, milk, and vanilla; beat until combined.
Add the all purpose white and whole wheat flours; beat until combined. Stir in 1 cup nuts.


Spread mixture evenly into prepared baking pan.
Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.
Prepare Browned Butter Frosting (see below), and then spread over cooled bars. If you like, sprinkle with additional chopped nuts. Cut into bars. Makes roughly 48 bars depending on what size you want.
In a small saucepan, heat butter over medium-low heat until melted.
Continue heating and stirring occasionally until the butter turns a light brown.
Remove from heat and pour butter into a medium mixing bowl. Add powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until combined. Beat in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to make a spreadable frosting.


Immediately pour over cake.



It’s going to be another chilly game this weekend.  Highs around 61 degrees but lows are supposed to be in the 30s. Found this adorable super soft and comfy cold-weather sweater (that’s not too thick) in GT colors (navy and gold) on sale plus 50% off here:

I’ll pair with a great pair of jeans and these buttery soft suede splurge boots (you can get 20% off right now though with CODE: SALUTE) that I just received from here:

Sharona Riding Boot, Main, color, BIRCHWOOD LEATHER


UP NEXT: Our biggest rival: University of Georgia!  The game is an away game in Athens, GA, and we’ll be out of town with family post-Thanksgiving, but. . . you can bet the TV will be on and we’ll be watching the game enjoying some fabulous food regardless of where we are!


We ended up having 33 people at our tailgate this game.  It was a GORGEOUS day in Atlanta – not a cloud in the sky and…. GEORGIA TECH WON!  Perfect game day indeed!







*All photos are mine unless otherwise noted