Super Bowl XLVI in my town! Boilermaker Bean Dip and Margarita Pie

Hey there, it's Super Bowl week everywhere but here in the HOST CITY of Indianapolis it's just a Super good time 24-7.  The weather gods are smiling on us, because this time last year we were encased in 7-inches of frozen sleet whereas today we are enjoying 60 degrees and sunshine.  The good people of Indianapolis have surely been doing something right.  Greg and I took in the sights and sounds of Super Bowl Village Sunday night after my first volunteer shift at the NFL Experience (awesome, by the way) and it was bone-chilling cold but ever since then it's been lovely.  Really lovely for January-February.  I'd like to say I've been back downtown, but I'm pretty sure my first foray into the party netted me the stomach flu which has kept me grounded since the wee hours of Tuesday.  At least I've been able to open the windows around the home and let the cool air work it's magic.  Rio, the cat has spent hours sitting on his windowsills tracking birds and squirrels today.  Yesterday when I was completely down he wouldn't leave my side on the couch.  I swear I've made him part dog.  But I'm feeling better now and hopeful I will return to a productive member of society tomorrow so I can enjoy the business of out or town guests at lulu the next few days and the craziness of my last shift on Super Bowl Eve at the NFL Experience.

two Indy passions in one very Indy place:  33 race cars
in NFL team colors (plus one for SBXLVI) and the Super Bowl logo on Monument Circle
I borrowed this one!

clearly, I did not take this either but this is the view of the circle from Exact Target HQ

I've volunteered through the Indiana Sports Corporation for years.  In the late seventies Indy set it sights on being the amateur sports capital of the world hoping to elevate itself into a world class sports mecca.  Ta-da!  The Super Bowl is here.  If that's not the definition of sports mecca, what is?  We know how to host a big event.  The Indianapolis 500 and 500 Festival, Final Fours, Big Ten Championships, World Swimming Championships, Pan Am Games, PGA Championship, Solheim Cup, Senior Open and the list just goes on.  So if you live here, join in and volunteer the next big thing that rolls into town.  You get the swag.  You get behind the scenes.  You have "brushes with greatness".  You make new friends.  You get to put on your brightest and most sparkling smile and engaging Midwest personality and share the love of sports and community and people are grateful for it.  I've tried that open and dazzling personality out in other parts of the country and people think you are nuts.  But here, we're really just that open and friendly and it works amazingly well.  The city is in the words of a guest reporter from London, "effervescent".  I love being effervescent!  I love spelling effervescent and saying it.  So go live it and have a Super day like we're having here in Indy!

The problem with the flu, is now that I have some time to write I can't actually cook or eat anything beyond chicken soup, toast and jello.  Those would not make a Super Bowl viewing party very festive.  So we'll go through the archive of unpublished and unfinished posts (there are a few of those around these days) and come up with something you definitely should make for Sunday.  But, I'm not hungry (critical component for cooking and writing about cooking) and so as we'll pull from the posted archives and go with an Indiana theme and slow roast some pork shoulder.  My favorite way to enjoy slow roasted pork is with lots of salt, lime juice, sour cream, cilantro and some corn tortillas.  If you're going that route, make my guacamole.  Get those avocados now!  You can always put ripe avocados in the fridge for 3 or 4 days.  You really can't hurry up the ripening however, so go to the store pronto and find some that are anything softer than rock solid.  While you are at it, get some tomatillos for some salsa verde.  Maybe buy a can of fire-roasted tomatoes, another can of tomatoes with chiles, a block of light cream cheese and a pound of light velveeta (it's a Super Bowl party and queso with velveeta is just how we do it here in Indiana, please show me how to get authentic Mexican cheeses that creamy) for my queso.  Make it a taco bar with classic ground beef filling if pork alone may not be that crowd pleasing for your crowd.  Whatever you do. do not buy red salsa in a glass jar and serve it to your guests.  If you aren't going to make your own salsa (and it's tough to make good red salsa without fresh tomatoes grown under the summer sun), at least buy the refrigerated salsa (love the Margaritaville versions with peppadew peppers).  Make a big batch of my pinto beans.  Chop up some romaine lettuce for the burrito bowl lovers in your crowd.  Tortilla chips, cheese, hot sauce and jalepenos need to be on the menu too.

As I was about to post this, I remembered a cookbook I have yet to reference but is worthy on this occasion, "The El Paso Chile Company Margarita Cookbook".  Vintage purchase from Crate and Barrel way back when I had to go to the "Mothership" store on Michigan Ave. in Chicago to get my fix.  Anyway, lots of drink recipes plus some party winners.  Here are two of my favorites.  This first is for a bean dip which I had to try because of it's name:  Boilermaker Bean Dip.  Named, obviously for the beverages used in the recipe not my alma mater.  The second is a spin on key lime pie:  Margarita pie and it's not the frozen one you may make or have enjoyed.  It's a little more seasonally appropriate chilled but not frozen.  I'll remember to make them again soon and post some pictures here when I do.

Boilermaker Bean Dip

2 15-oz. cans refried pinto beans
1/2 C Mexican beer (Corona or Negro Modelo or whatever)
1/4 C tequila
1 T minced canned chipotle chile in adobo
2 C shredded Monterey Jack cheese
4 scallions, trimmed and sliced thin
tortilla chips for serving

Mix all ingredients except 1/2 C of the cheese and 1/4 of the scallions in crock pot.  Heat on low until warmed through.  Top with remaining cheese and scallions and serve.  Or heat beans, beer, tequila and chiles in a non-stick pan on the stove.  Stir in 1 1/2 C of the cheese and 3/4 of the scallions and stir until cheese is melted.  Transfer to a heated serving dish and top with remaining cheese and scallions to serve.

Margarita Pie, oh my goodness

Margarita Pie

2 C finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/2 C butter, melted
1/3 C sugar
OR store-bought graham cracker pie crust

4 egg yolks
one 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 C fresh lime juice (no cheating there)
2 T tequila
4 tsp minced lime zest (no white pith)
1 T triple sec

one pint unsweetened whipping cream and confectioner's sugar for topping

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar until well-combined (I use my food processor to grind the graham crackers and then pour in the butter and sugar and process until combined).  Pat evenly along the bottom and up the sides of your pie plate.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  Remove crust to cool slightly and lower heat in oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl whisk together egg yolks and condensed milk.  Add lime juice and whisk and additional minute.  Whisk in tequila, zest and triple sec.  Pour mixture into the pie shell and bake at 350 degrees until filling is lightly but evenly set and edges of the shell are lightly browned, about 12 minutes.  Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until ready to serve, at least 2 hours.

Whip cream with a little confectioner's sugar (1/4 C to start) and serve with the pie if desired.


graham crackers in the food processor

pulsing in the sugar and melted butter

zesting the lime

crumbs patted into pie plate and baked

sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks

juicing the lime (zest before juicing, way easier)

juice and zest added to the condensed milk/egg yolk mixture

ready for the oven

Yum.  Even I'm hungry now.  I'll just be eating jello.  You eat something yummy for me.  I work Super Sunday until 6 and Greg will be in Dallas because imagine this, he really can't fly out of Indy late Sunday or early Monday for his Monday meeting down there.  So Rio and I will probably enjoy something a little less grand than full on taco-burrito bar, but we will be watching every minute.  Love the commercials and must see the halftime show because on of my fellow lulus will be on stage as on of Madonna's boy toys (please remember that I could be the mother of everyone I work with except for four of them).  If you are in Indy and haven't been downtown, GO!  You will be able to park.  You will still love it even though there will be crowds and lines.  Get Super crazy and come to the NFL Experience on Saturday afternoon/early evening.  I'm hoping to work the fly route game near the NFL Network stage.  I love those guys and need to do a little celebrity creeping.  And, go Eli and the Giants!  We may be Super friendly here in Indy, but we will be tested if we have to watch Tom Brady hoist the Lombardi trophy in Lucas Oil Stadium.

really cool 3-D art piece in the IPL windows on the circle


  1. When I'm an empty nester, I want to be you! I love your spirit, your vibe, and your downward dog! Hope to see you at yoga soon. Btw, I let the kids have a Ferris Bueller day off today and we headed downtown to enjoy all the Superbowl sights. What fun! Sherry


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