1st tailgate of 2010

Saturday's successful tailgate at Purdue was the first of seven, so last week Greg and I spent hours trying out the new grill, restocking the supply box and cooking/baking/prepping and packing food and beverages.  This is the heart of our fall and we really do love all of it.  The new 26th anniversary present Paul Jr. Coleman RoadTrip grill is sweet.  The new Purdue beer pong table from Costco made an excellent buffet table.  Not sure when we'll break out the nets for beer pong.  Possibly when sorority girl and her friends are of legal drinking age.  But the big hit of the tailgate set-up was my snazzy PVC pipe trash bag holder I fabricated.  Yep, went to Lowe's and bought the supplies and grabbed the hack saw and cut the PVC pipe out on the driveway.  Pretty sure I made a very amusing sight for the house painters across the street.  Whatever, it worked like a charm.  I used it for the big black trash bag and hooked the official Boilermaker recycling bag on one end.  Fabulous.  Other tailgaters actually came by to see it.  Awesome!
Here's the link if you'd like to try your hand at one:  tailgating trash bins.  Many thanks to Uncle Jim for sending the tailgating pages from a Lowe's magazine.
10 a.m. at the tailgate:  Greg relaxing with his parents, Lance making some point and Sara finding him funny
This week for the breakfast round of tailgating I made breakfast casserole (you know, the overnight one with sausage, onion-my twist, cheese, eggs, milk, bread and etc), a really moist and delicious coffee cake from Cooking Light and fresh peaches cut up and lightly sugared to keep them pretty.  Lance fried up some bacon in his cast iron skillet and toasted bagels on the grill.  Bloody Marys are served in the blue cups.  It was delightfully cool and cloudy (never happens for the September games) so the bees did not join us.  The Thetas rallied from their pre-game fraternity function and made the late shift for breakfast in time to head to the stadium for all the rituals we love.
If you are a Boilermaker, say it loudly and say it proudly!  Right, and don't forget to say it gratefully!

Happily, at Purdue they give "pass-outs" so we hike back up to the golf course for a little food and beverage break at half time.  This is critical for a couple of reasons:  some of us are starving because we play mostly noon games and regardless of the breakfast served, by half time you feel like you missed lunch and a lot of times you just need a drink after a half of Boilermaker football.    More Thetas arrive for the halftime festivities so the Paul Jr. was fired up for some burgers (from Joe's Butcher shop in Carmel, so much better than the frozen patties from Costco), turkey burgers (always need the white meat option) and really good beef hot dogs (Applegate Farms from Whole Foods).  The one-burner Coleman tabletop burner fired up the queso.  Wonderful mother-in-law, Becky served her fruit salsa with cinnamon multi grain chips (chips from Meijer, delicious).  As long as the chips are out, so is the guacamole and so on.  Before we headed back into the game the treat of the week was passed around too.  This week's treat:  peanut butter cookies sandwiched with a peanut butter/chocolate chip filling from the Fine Cooking Tailgating magazine.  Worth it.

We all made it back in to the game some time in the third quarter and the good guys won.  Looked a little like a pre-season game with a constant rotation of players on the field (kept our handy roster in my hands the whole time).  That's a whole different blog.  Generally I agree with whatever the guys at Boiled Sports have to say so check out their blog for some insight (the humor is a bonus).  

Post game tailgating this week was just more of the half-time goodness.  If you're ever on campus for a game, let me know and plan on stopping by the "D" lot!

This week's "keeper" recipes:

Breakfast Coffee Cake

1 1/2 C sugar, divided
1/2 C Grape Nuts cereal nuggets
2 tsp espresso granules
1 tsp cinnamon
1 3/4 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 C plain fat-free yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 C butter, softened
1/2 C egg substitute (bought the Costco kind, used it for the casserole too)
1 1/2 C powdered sugar, sifted
2 T cooled brewed coffee

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine 1/2 C sugar, Grape Nuts, espresso granules and cinnamon in a small bowl and blend with whisk.  Combine flour, remaining 1 C sugar, soda, baking powder and salt in mixing bowl.  Add yogurt, vanilla, butter and egg substitute and beat with an electric mixer until combined (1-2 minutes).  Spread half of batter in an 8x8x2 dish coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle cereal mixture evenly over the batter.  Top with remaining half of batter.  Bake at 350 degrees until a tester comes out clean (make sure to test all the way through the batter, I did not and my center was not done-oops).  Cool in pan on a wire rack.  Combine powdered sugar and brewed coffee in a small bowl and spread evenly over top of cooled cake.  

12 servings

my IT department is at school, can't seem to rotate this cookie picture, but you get the idea

Peanut Butter Cookies with PB-Chocolate Chip Filling

1 1/3 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C cake flour (they sell King Arthur unbleached cake flour at Meijer now)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 C creamy peanut butter
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg

1 1/2 C powdered sugar
4 T unsalted butter, softened
3/4 C creamy peanut butter
3 T milk (I used 2%)
1/4 C mini semisweet chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the two flours, soda and salt.  In a stand mixer, cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla and egg and beat until smooth and fluffy (about 3 minutes).  Stir in the flour mixture until it's just incorporated (if you overmix, the cookies will be tough).  Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of batter about 2 inches apart on the lined sheets.  With a juice glass or small bowl dipped in flour, press the cookies into 2-inch rounds.  Bake until puffed and golden, 12 to 14 minutes, rotating the sheets if necessary for even baking.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
While the cookies cool, cream the powdered sugar, butter and peanut butter until smooth (remember to start slow or you'll have powdered sugar everywhere).  Add the milk and beat until smooth and fluffy.  Add more powdered sugar or milk if necessary to achieve desired consistency for filling.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Line a work surface with parchment or waxed paper and flip half the cookies over.  Spread filling on one half and top with another.  Press gently to spread filling.  

18 sandwich cookies

Boiler Up!


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