Sunday, February 28, 2016

Homegating101 Hits the Red Carpet - well, sort of...


We're going a bit off topic this week, but I still have a great munchie for you that will go great at your homegate hangout anyway. Because tonight is the Oscars, the Gameday Girls decided to get together to pre-game with the Red Carpet show. Now let me tell you, you get a bunch of women together to watch the stars rocking some of the latest couture, that could be a sporting event in itself. I can guarantee you that a few of us will be throwing a few barbs at the screen, just as we would with a bad call. The only difference is that the drinks and munchies are a bit more, "sophisticated." Prosecco replaces beer and Eggroll Crackers replace tortilla chips.

I had a package of eggroll wrappers in the fridge. Instead of making eggrolls with them, I decided to cut them into squares, brush them with a little olive oil and sprinkle a few herbs and spices over them. A quick pop in the oven and you have a crispy, savory cracker that you can enjoy alone or use as a dip vehicle. Enjoy!

Eggroll Crackers
(serves 4-6)

1 package of eggroll wrappers,                  
cut into quarters
Italian seasoning
Grated Romano cheese
Salt & pepper
olive oil for brushing


1.  Pre-heat oven to 350-degrees.

2.  Cut eggroll wrappers into 4 pieces. Place on a sheetpan and brush each with olive oil.

3.  Sprinkle each with some Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and grated cheese.

4.  Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes - or until desired crispness.

5.  Serve as is or with various dips.

Can't get any simple - or as elegant as that!

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to slip into my tiara and get ready for the Gameday Girls to arrive strutting their stuff on my non-red carpet.

Enjoy and keep on Homegating!!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Cheeseburger Meatballs!!


While last week's entry was light and refined because it was just Ladies' Day at Homegating Headquarters, this week we went off the rails because the guys returned to the fold. They were hungry and thirsty and they wanted something meaty. Wings weren't going to cut it for them this weekend. They were looking for red meat. I obliged by giving them a little spin on a classic. I made them Cheeseburger Meatballs. Yes, I did that.

Making actual cheeseburgers would have sent me outside to the grill and in this frigid cold, I was having no part of that rodeo. Instead I mashed up everything that goes into a cheeseburger and rolled it into a golfball-sized gob of grass-fed beef nirvana. Yes I did that.

I took grass-fed ground beef (because is tastes so much better), added minced onions, minced pickles, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, an egg, white cheddar, breadcrumbs and rolled the mixture into bite-sized balls of bovine bliss. I took those little balls, baked them and then stepped away as the Gameday Gang went haywire. It looked like a school of piranhas on a feeding frenzy. There weren't any left for me to even have a bite or 2 (little did they know I snuck 2 before I presented the bowl. I know this crew too well.). That bowl was empty in about 7 minutes. Insane! They were moist, rich and flavorful. Do yourself a favor and check these out.

Cheeseburger Meatballs                       

(makes 24 meatballs)

1 lb ground beef
1 egg
1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
2 tbs minced red onion
2 tsp ketchup
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
3 tbs shredded cheddar
salt & pepper to taste


1. Pre-heat oven to 350-degrees.

2. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and roll into golfball-sized meatballs. Place on a non-stick sheetpan and place in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Turn meatballs halfway through cooking.

3. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

And there you have it. It's a fun, quick recipe that people will really enjoy.

Hope you feel inspired to try these. If you do, let me know how you liked them.

Until next week, keep on Homegating!!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Roasted Pepper Salsa!!


I trust you survived your Super Bowl parties. We're still doing a little cleaning up, so that must be a sign that the party was good (which it was). We are very happy that Mr. Manning won his 2nd title. Now the question is will he or won't he retire? We'll have to see. But one thing I know for sure, Carolina is going to be around for a long time, so watch out for those guys. They are good! Sadly we'll have to wait 7 months to see how they rebound. However for me, football season is never really over between the internet and the NFL Channel, so I can keep getting a little gridiron fix whenever I want.

Now even though there are no football games every Sunday, that doesn't mean that Homegating Headquarters shuts down until September. The Gameday Gang enjoys their hockey, soccer, basketball, baseball and an occasional skiing/snowboarding competition on the weekend. So we're in full-swing all year 'round.

You've heard the expression, "Ladies Who Lunch?" Well at Homegating Headquarters, it turned into, "Ladies Who Hockey" this past weekend. Turns out the men-folk were busy doing various things, so the girls got together to hang out and watch some snowboarding/skiing competitions and a hockey game. Now, when the Gameday Girls hang out, the conversation might not always be about stats. When we say a goalie is hot, it might not necessarily mean he's a brick wall in net, if you catch my drift...

Since it was just the girls hanging out, I decided to lighten things up a bit and so I put together a nice, organic veggie platter. Instead of going with a high-calorie ranch dip, I came up with a fat-free Roasted Pepper Salsa. As is my nature, I winged it in the food processor and I have to say, it turned out pretty good. I whizzed up a jar of roasted peppers, red onion, garlic, cilantro, smoked paprika and cider vinegar. I served it with endive, small peppers and carrots. The ladies loved it.

Roasted Pepper Salsa
(serves 4-6)

12oz jar of roasted peppers, drained
1/4 small red onion, sliced
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tbs fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbs cider vinegar
salt & pepper to taste


Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the mixture reaches a coarse consistency. You don't want it to be smooth. Serve with various veggies.

And there you have it! It's a nice change of pace from regular salsa. If you want to jazz it up a bit, you can toss in a seeded 1/2 jalapeno. Otherwise, the recipe as is works nicely. It's a nice alternative to the heavier faire that we usually indulge in on Gameday. Hope you try it!

I'll see you next week! In the meantime, keep on Homegating!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Big Game Day!!


Happy Big Game Sunday!! This is the happiest day of they year here at Homegating Headquarters! There's excitement in the air as we get ready for everyone to come over later for the game. Hope things are going well at your place was well. By now, everything should be done. All you have to do is go out and pick up some ice for the cooler. But wait, you just receive a text that sends a chill up your spine: 4 more people are coming unexpectedly!

Egads! You didn't plan on that! You might not have enough food! What are you going to do? Calm down. You have a couple of choices. You can go out and get some pre-made appies and just heat them up. They work in a pinch (and this is pinch time). Or if you're feeling culinarily sassy, you can whip up a couple of dishes that are quick and only require a few ingredients.  Here we go:

3-Ingredient Wings:


That should hold you over. The main thing today is to enjoy your guests and enjoy the game. It's a day for fun and relaxation. No time for stressing out.

Now while football season ends tonight, the homegating doesn't stop there. The Gameday Gang will still be showing up for hockey, soccer, basketball, baseball and even arena football (we're hardcore). So I need to keep my game up - hope you continue the journey with me each week.

Enjoy tonight and I'l see you next weekend! Keep on homegating!!