Fan Fare Friday

Shrimps on the Barbie - Recipe "borrowed" from neighboring tailgater Steve. Steve and his crew parked next to Mr. Hoover and always had a lovely spread. One of Steve's signature dishes was "shrimp on the barbie" - not sure that he called them this, but everyone else did - blame Paul Hogan. Anyway - the recipe couldn't be more simple or the resulting product more delicious -

2 lbs (more or less depending on crowd size) raw large (to extra large) shrimp
1 packet Good Seasons Italian Dressing Packet
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup vinegar*

Shell and devein the shrimp and slide 3 - 4 shrimp on skewers (if using bamboo skewers, use 2 skewers for easier "turning" - we now use wooden coffee stirrers for added strength)

prepare dressing with oil, water and vinegar* (see below)

place shrimp skewers and dressing in container to marinade. *if marinade time is going to be more than a half hour, prepare dressing without vinegar and take vinegar with you in a separate container to add 1/2 hour before grilling time.

Heat grill - remove skewers from marinade and place on grill.

These cook very quickly and dripping oil can cause flare ups - so watch them carefully. After about 1-2 minutes per side (most likely less) - they'll be done and your guests (and neighboring tailgaters) will be lining up by the grill for a taste!

**Recycled recipe from, you guessed it, 2thelion.com

Dear old Dad

Gosh I love my dad. He taught me everything I know about being a Penn State fan - All of my PSU memories have been shaped by him. It was Dad who taught me about loyalty and teamwork (which were the ideals that he valued in the Penn State football teams). Dad was the consummate Penn State Fan. He loved them through the good times and the bad. However, he did not follow them blindly; he was often critical and frustrated. Which, I believe, added to the credibility of his devotion. In 1965 my father started attending PSU home (and away) football games. He was not a PSU grad, in fact he’d never (at that point) taken a class at PSU. He came to State College as a field engineer for a local company. His work buddies got him hooked on the Lions. He became a steadfast fan, and, although the department he worked for was closed, and they each went their separate ways for employment, they remained football friends. They were there when Coach Paterno took over the head coach position and they witnessed the great teams of the late 1960s as Penn State emerged onto the national scene. They developed a system, a tradition of tailgating and football spectating. Unwavering loyalty mixed with malcontent and an undying love for the underdog. By the way, Penn State is always the underdog. In the early years they would go to nearly all the games, home, away and bowl. Pop later met Mom in State College; she was a waitress at what is now Cafe 210 West and Pop was, well, a regular.

Dad pared it down to home games after I came around, but he never missed one (without an extremely good reason, like surgery) and he tailgated with the same crew. Growing up in State College, Penn State was, of course, a huge part of my childhood - but regardless of where we lived, it was my dad's admiration and respect for the University that really influenced me. Pop eventually took classes in Business at PSU - and he excelled. Years later his former professor recruited Dad to teach Business Logistics - a class he taught at both the University Park and Altoona campuses. He loved teaching the "kids" - and he was so proud to be part of the "Penn State team" - when he got his first PSU paycheck - he staged a photo shoot with a bunch of his PSU items and his check right in the middle.

The crew with which Daddy tailgated had a block of seats in section EF - and, on occasion there would be an extra seat. Mr. Hoover (the keeper of the tickets) entertained a lot of business associates by taking them to State College for the weekend - they would stay at an A-frame out on Collier Lake and go to the tailgate and game on Saturday. Whenever someone didn't show up or they just had an extra seat - Mr. Hoover would call Dad to see if I wanted to go to the game. Friday night through Saturday morning, every time the phone would ring I would hold my breath and hope that I'd hear "let me ask. PSUgirl, do you want to go to the game?" - like he had to ask. I had established myself at very young age as a good "fan" (I didn't whine, or ask too many questions and I really appreciated the game) - I think I was their little novelty - a miniature penn state football trivia savant - Every so often Dad would bring home a program for me - and I would devour it - memorizing all of the players' stats and bios - the "moldy old men" would ask "hey PSUgirl, what number is so and so" and I loved every minute of it. I usually got to go to the "lesser" games - so I saw a lot of NC State, Cincinnati, Bowling Green, etc. type games. But occasionally I'd get the chance to see a big game - I'll never forget going to see Alabama. It was a 3:00pm start time and ABC brought in portable lights. I was so excited about the game and I didn't think it would ever start. And then PSU won - I remember it all being so overwhelming - I had to sit down with everyone standing up around me cheering like crazy - I just sat there and watched their reactions - It was awesome.

I was extremely proud when I was able to buy my dad his "PSU Dad" hat - he wore it to every game - It was a thrill to be able to stop by the tailgate (if we weren't running late - cause they "broke it down" an hour before the game) on our way in - before the 2001 renovation, the tailgate was right outside the student gates (where they parked is now under the stadium) -

Pop missed some games my freshman year - he'd had surgery and was recovering - I remember being given the task to deliver the extra tickets to Mr. Hoover (I think it was 2) - Mr. Hoover took me aside, looked me straight in the eye, and asked, "are you sure he's okay?" - he was - but it was funny to think that missing a football game would be the one thing that would give his friends pause. Daddy surprised me one year when I went to see him after the game and was told that he had gone home right after a game to see my mother, as it was their anniversary. And yes, my parents did get married in the Fall - but it's okay, because they got married on a Friday and drove to Maryland that night to go to the Navy game the next day. But that's a whole different story...

So today I salute you, Dad - and thank you for everything you taught me about life (and football - "Daddy, why does the running back always run into the pile of people?" - "Daddy, why can't we cheer 'block that kick' during the kickoff?" - "Daddy, why do they play 'prevent defense' when all it does is prevent the defense from doing a good job?")

**some of the above content is taken (stolen) from 2theLion.com


Lions think they're dynamite

they're really dynamite!

Don't know where that came from - maybe because there is this new blog (HT The Nittany Line) dedicated to Penn State vs. nd - and nd reminds me of the 1980s - and the above was a cheer (woo woo!) I learned in a cheerleading "class" I took one summer as a child - and yes, everything was about the Lions (be they Nittany or Little).

Anyway - I've been harassing (harassing in the "bothering/smothering" sense - not the "prank phone call to a former assistant coach" sense) them over at Penn State vs notre dame - so shiny and new - "I will hug it and squeeze it and name it George." Check 'em out - and comment - so I don't appear so stalker-like.

Anyone out there able to tell that all I've "eaten" so far today is an extra large coffee and licorice?

Don't mess with dynamite!

I'm a joiner

Okay, over at Fire Mark May they are hosting a blogosphere "round table" on college football - Even though I'm a day late, I really couldn't help myself. HT Run up the Score

Your Home Field Advantage

Give the more zealous portion of your fan base a religion. What's this cult following? Feel free to give the splitters a derogatory nickname.

I really hate calling myself names. But seriously, for me it’s an east coast “they might be bums, but they’re our bums; never underestimate your opponent; Joe Paterno is not (although he is the same age as) God” loyalty.

For me, I call those who blindly follow Coach Paterno and his cronies “uninformed” -

Your biggest rival is in town, and College Gameday is coming....to your citaaaaaaay... Create a blatant corporate sellout promotion to appeal to the mass unwashed.

Eh, probably my favorite tailgating gear - EZ up Canopies. “Like Corso - We’re...”

Add one local delicacy to your stadium's concessions. Post-tax pricing is optional.

What we really need is a “snack food alley” - there a bazillion brands and varieties of packaged snacks in Central PA. My personal favorite is Middleswarth - although Hartleys and Martins are tasty as well.

With an unlimited AD budget, add or subtract one thing to your school's gameday experience that has nothing to do with football.

Evil parking attendants/parking authority. The current trend at PSU is to stifle/”phase out” (exact term used by parking attendant) tailgating. Apparently, we’re too intoxicated, messy, loyal, friendly, etc. for the powers that be. After the Michigan game last year, there was a uproar (ha ha Lions roar) over the amount of trash that was left behind after the weekend. Hello? It was PSU/um, a 8pm start, with tailgaters in cow pastures where virtually no refuse receptacles are provided. Tailgating is the backbone of the PSU football experience (we’ll say that the football is the spinal cord) - when times were rough (I mean terrible) fans kept coming to Happy Valley - to TAILGATE. At the final game of the 2003 season, a guest at our tailgate, a Nebraska grad, asked how we felt about “our” current record - my response was “we might not have had the results on the field, but we’re undefeated in tailgates!”

You ruin that, my administrative monkeys, and you ruin Penn State football.

OH! and ABSOLUTELY NO DEFENSIVE CHEERS (ie the Wave) during offensive drives. NONE!

General NCAA questions

Coin a hilariously unrealistic stereotype that you would like to "make stick" for this upcoming season.

The clock at the Big House works perfectly.

Redesign your conference or independent schedule with reckless abandon. Be prepared to include compensation for jilted schools and conferences in your explanation.

Ah, the Big te(leve)n - what to do; what to do. Personally, I like playing Big Ten Teams - they have great fans and there’s real competition every week. So I’m going to flake out on this one.

Following up on your new realignment, blow up the BCS and devise a national playoff system, money grabs and missed exams be damned. Using your new fantasy conferences is optional.

Similar to RUTS - I’d use a “formula” based on an average of rankings, recalculated (actuary powers activate!) strength of schedule, cutest quarterback, etc. Regardless of Conference alliance - the top 8 (or 16) teams would be invited. (then again, I may change that - with all those SEC teams playing each other in southern venues - the speed on the field might be too great for digital and HD tv signals to keep up)

All non-invited teams would be free to play in the non-participating bowl games. Bowl games would be scheduled as usual.

In the beginning - there would be 8 teams. 4 round one games 2 round two games and 1 championship game. The games would be played at the following bowl sites -

Permanent venues (can you guess?):

Fiesta Bowl
Orange Bowl
Rose Bowl
Sugar Bowl

Rotating sites:

Citrus Bowl (yes, we’re going old school)
Cotton Bowl
Peach Bowl
Holiday Bowl
Gator Bowl
Liberty Bowl

Any bowl game that is scheduled for a round one game has the option to “pass” (in a timely manner) on hosting the game that year to host their “regular” bowl game instead. In such event an alternative site will be designated.

Once the masses have accepted their fate - we’ll expand it to a 16 team (not 88) field - with the first round being played at the higher seed’s home field (brrr it’s cold out here).

Elect one public figure to replace NCAA president Myles Brand. Anyone with proper name recognition is eligible.

it’s such a bogus job - really, they’re just a figurehead - so how about W? I’m sure he could find time between exercise and nap time.


Dan Connor - finalist for **insert honor here**

Connor has been named as a finalists for the Bednarik and Lott trophies (See GoPSUsports.com.

The Bednarik honor is awarded to the top defensive player of the year and the Lott Trophy recognizes defensive players for their athletic ability as well as their personal character.

Here's hoping that Dan doesn't have any of the voters' phone numbers...


Danny Connor named to Nagurski Watch List

Oh what a wonderful time of year - all potential and speculation. I do, however, have little doubt that Connor with be a pivotal force on the PSU defense this fall. Check out the particulars at GoPSUsports.com.


Game times announced...

for Florida International and Buffalo match-ups

Both games (Fl Int'l 09/01 and Buffalo 09/15) will kick off at 12pm and be aired on the brand spankin' new Big Ten Network.



RUTS didn't win his match up this weekend - apparently Sports Gone South has friends with serious hacking skills. According to RUTS, SGS's vote tally jumped by 150 vote in just a couple of minutes; RUTS also reports that SGS offered to forfeit his victory - but RUTS, after his brother and friends wouldn't take his call, decided that violence was never the answer, and simply refused the offer.

Look, if I'd had time this weekend to vote - the 150 would have paled in comparison.



Seriously, vote now, vote tomorrow and vote on Sunday. Vote for Run Up The Score - Make JoePa proud.

Vote for Run Up The Score, and Anthony Morrelli will learn to read...defenses.

Vote for Run Up The Score, and all paperwork involving legal charges against Penn Staters will magically disappear.

Vote for Run Up The Score, and Evil Sweatervest McCheaty Pants will unravel.

Vote for Run Up The Score, and the clock in the Big House will work properly.

Vote for Run Up The Score!

You control the future!

Fan Fare Friday

My personal favorite (reoccurring) tailgate theme is Oktoberfest. We have our Oktoberfest during the festival in Munich - This year the tailgate will be on October 6th (last weekend of the festival) for the Iowa game.

I, personally, love to decorate for Oktoberfest - it's easy, the Bavarian flag, and thus the decorations, are blue and white! Last year we went all out with "store bought" streamers and such - the best thing ever was (is) the honeycomb...navy blue...footballs!

I also enjoy making a personalized sign - Like "Der NittanyLowenhaus" and "Auf der Lowe". Last year's sign (as you can see) was offered up to the football gods during a torrential downpour.

Our menu always includes beer brats, pork and sauerkraut, german potato salad and beer (oh really?) - over the years (this will be our 5th Oktoberfest) we've added different sweets and snacks.

Here's a great recipe we tried last year...

Würstchen & Sauerkraut-Taschen

12 large sheets phyllo dough ( 10 x 12 inches)
8 ounces butter, melted
6 Bratwurst sausages, grilled and chopped
3 10 oz cans Sauerkraut, drained and rinsed
8 ounces smoked cheese, cut in small cubes

Cut the phyllo sheets lengthways into three. Keep them covered under a damp cloth as you work so they won't dry out.
Lay a strip along a board. Brush lightly with melted butter. Put a heaped teaspoon of Sauerkraut at one corner end. Press some chopped sausage on top, then 3-4 cheese cubes.
Fold over the filling wrapped in the phyllo on the diagonal , so it is completely enclosed in a triangle. Then flip over again, on the diagonal, and again and again until you get to the end of the phyllo strip and have a neat triangular turnover.
Place on a flat baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Brush the tops and sides with the remaining butter.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden and crisp.

Re-heat on a warm grill or griddle - they'll burn quickly, so be sure that the heat is low.


Fan Fare Friday

No recipes today - just some crowd pleasing cakes....

There must be a cake at the tailgate - it's just a rule (often broken, but still a rule). One of the ladies at my dad's tailgate always brought the most impressive cakes - in all shapes and flavors - and always (yes, always) blue and white.

checkerboard blue and white - you can do this with the "fancy" pans or by making a thicker batter and piping in the stripes. This is a three layer cake, so, some tips - (1) use only egg whites in the batter; this will make the white cake whiter (ya think?) and the blue cake less teal. (2) as with any layer cake - beware the sun and warm weather - it will make your icing melt and, most likely, your cake will slide - also, be careful when coloring the batter - it's better to have more white batter left over, because you can always dye more blue (I make this mistake when adapting the recipe for the Philadelphia Eagles - the whole bottom layer was green - it still looked and tasted great - but it wasn't the total "wow" I was going for).

Lion's Head Cake - it's a Wilton pan, and yes, the Lion has a mane - but hey - it's still a Lion!. The cake underneath is "blue velvet" - ie, white cake with 3 million teaspoons of blue food coloring paste. If you like, warn your guests about the digestive phenomenon of consuming that much food coloring - or don't.

Football field cupcakes (extras are pictured above). First, make 4 dozen (one normal cake recipe's worth of) mini chocolate cupcakes (or more, depending on the size of your platter/crowd/dedication). Once the cakes have cooled, frost with green tinted icing. Top with green coconut (achieved by placing coconut in ziplock bag with one (or two) drop of green food coloring and mixing until coconut is uniformly green). Place cupcakes close together on a platter (with no gaps) - decorate as desired. I have a couple of the Wilton football team sets - one team is blue and white (yahoo!) and the other is scarlet and gold - I put the "other team" on their head, backsides, etc. When serving the cakes (showing off) I usually say that the other team is fsu - and I point to one of the "players" and say "that one's sad because he's about to lose, and he's getting an inferior education."

Cake is Truth.

Football Cake. Again, a Wilton pan.

This one was fun to make - I basically followed the directions on the packaging - to a point - I eventually got out a football to check the detail. Not too bad for a first try. Next time I will use a lighter shade of brown (the frosting is chocolate) and work more on the laces.

Jello Cake - A childhood favorite - you make a vanilla cake sheet cake and when it's fresh out of the oven you pierce the top of the cake with a chopstick (skewer, fork, whatever's handy) and then pour blue raspberry jello mix (that has been mixed with warm water) on top. Allow to cool and then frost as desired (a fluffy whipped cream frosting is a good choice).

Stadium Cake - I've posted this one before.

But it's my favorite cake pan of all time - so I think it warrants some more blog space. This was my first stadium. The cake was for an Outback Bowl and other football games party/open house. I have such a great time putting these cakes together. The decorations are a combination of icing and candy (and graham crackers).

Football cake (without preformed pan) - made from 8 or 9 inch round cakes. Easy and fun to assemble - you make any type of cake in a round pan (don't go too big because the shape will get distorted) - once the cake(s) has cooled, cut it in half. Place the two halves together, standing up (so the cut portion is the only part on the plate) - voila! you have a football! Frost with chocolate icing and embellish with white icing for the laces and "logos". Since most cake recipes are enough for 2 round cakes, make more that one!

Chocolate Stout Cake.

This was a special recipe made for a birthday/oktoberfest tailgate. The cake was a dense dark chocolate and the icing was, basically, more chocolate - it was the richest cake I've ever had - and one of the best. The frosting did not lend itself at all to piping, so I had left it plain. At the game I decided to decorate it with the "S" and footballs.


Football games - 2007

So, Penn State student tickets sold out in a record 59 minutes (not as good as The Darkness, but good all the same). Of course some people might dwell on the use of Ticketmaster and the increase in price - but what I see is a dedicated group of young people who are serious about their college sports.

Penn State has a few games scheduled this year - some match ups are more intriguing than others - but together they build what will be the Nittany Lions' 2007 season. I'm hopeful that it's a good one. We've had some success recently - but the painful memories of disappointment are quite fresh, so it's a little difficult to get too overly confident about the future.

Some PSU prognosticators are very ambitious in their expectations. Many see the game in Ann Arbor as the Lions' only true test. I think that, given this team, this set of coaches and our recent track record, it's foolish to underestimate any of our opponents.

I really don't think that we should look past the irish, iowa, tosu and especially not wisky. Do I think that Penn State should and can win those games? Of course. I think Penn State should win all of their games - that's just the way I was raised. (of course, during my childhood, a 9-2 season was an embarrassment)

Presently (Per Athlon's pre-season poll), PSU's opponents are ranked as such: 119, 38, 118, 8, 67, 33, 4, 60, 12, 42, 115 and 74. So sure, it's a schedule that is perfect for "making a run" - but I don't know if this is the team that can "do it." And I'm a little embarrassed by our out of conference schedule - granted, there are no penguins this year - but 3 teams ranked in the 100s? that's just not good.

I do admit that the events of this spring, and the distraction they have created, attribute to my lack of full blown homerism - Where are the leaders on this team? Where is the determination and dedication that is going to be necessary for this team to succeed? Penn State teams of the past have been victorious even when the (utilization of) talent on the field was (perceived to be) less than that of their opponents, because the kids had heart, discipline and drive - all they knew how to do was win.

The first game of the season is against the reported worst team in the nation. So yes, I expect Penn State to win, and to win big.

I'm looking forward to a great season.

To the Lion!

ESPN Classics - you're on notice

yeah, I'm ripping off the Colbert Report - but I don't care - the PSU game was not on this afternoon and it has disappeared from the listing. It's like they know -

This list is from last summer - but you get the idea - put ESPN at the top. Most still apply - you can scratch off AJ's girlfriend's (now, wife's) brother - kid got his in April.


So I watched that Holiday Bowl

it took a long time. The rebroadcast was 3 hours and some sort of PSU tribute - they had memorable PSU moments at each (most) commercial breaks and most of the game.

I had forgotten how bizarre the 2nd half had been. I knew (approximately) the final score - and I kept saying, out loud, to no one (okay, maybe the cat was listening), "both teams have to score a lot more points".

Yes, I had, until it happened, forgotten Andre Collins' interception during the PAT attempt - run back for 2 points (new rule that year) - of course, when it happened I said (I think the cat was out of the room at the time) "oh, I remember that."

A sentiment which I reiterated when Gary Brown stole the ball right out of Detmer's hands and ran for a touchdown - that was a cool play.

And I had forgotten (completely) Daniels' fantastic bouncing catch. But I couldn't help but think that, in this age of replay that the play would have been called back - I think he was out of bounds when he finally had control - but that doesn't negate the awesome stick-to-itiveness of the play. The announcers (okay, maybe not Dooley so much) went crazy "that was the greatest catch I've seen all year - if not in the decade of the 1980s". Let's all calm down - no need to get all wound up.

The running backs (Thomas and LeRoy "and he held on to the ball" Thompson) were great. The running game (of college football) has changed in the last 18 years - those guys were breaking tackles, cutting left, cutting right - maybe it was the running backs, maybe it was the defenders, maybe it was the offensive line - not sure, but it was different.

Joe's hair was jet black. He was wearing a navy windbreaker and awful blue pants.

Tomorrow they're showing one of the greatest games in PSU history - PSU v nd 1990 at south bend. nd went into the game ranked #1 - afterward - they were not.

Vote early and, if you can, often

The Ladies at Ladiesdotdotdot.com are sponsoring a web event of awesome proportions - a Hottest Blogger contest (men only).

The great and good friend of all things PSU, blogger, Run Up The Score, is a contestant.

Go there, check it out, and vote for RUTS.


When kickers were clutch..

The broadcast of the Penn State nd 1990 game is actually on Thursday (June 7th) at 2pm (ESPN Classics).

Try to remember...

...it's hard to remember.

but sometimes ESPN Classics makes it easier.

Presently, ECL is broadcasting the 1989 Holiday Bowl. Penn State versus BYU. Penn State's defense was ranked #4 - and Ty Detmer was, well, he was Ty Detmer.

I was home for lunch so I watched the first 30 minutes of the broadcast (don't worry, the DVR is recording - I'll watch the rest tonight) - PSU started the game scoring lots of field goals (mildly similar to the current team - the attempts, that is). Detmer passed for over 500 yards that game - But PSU still won.

On Saturday (I think it's Saturday) - they're airing the 1990 PSU nd game. Anybody got a spare bus?

How very Cavalier...

Penn State and Virginia will play again. The teams have scheduled a two game series (to commence in 2012).

PSU leads the "series" 5-2 - PSU so got robbed in 2001.

Penn State's long history of rappers

Yeah - they had that bizarre PSU rapper contest this past spring - but that's really not a new concept at Penn State.

Back in the early (and I mean still wearing crocheted sweatervests, not fedoras and shoulder pads early) 80s there was a PSU (yes, again) novelty song which featured some deft rhymin and all that -

Actually, it wasn't. But it was fun and they used to always play it on football saturdays during the "tailgate party".

Here's what I remember...

Joe came to town to build the team
and it took a lot of _____ to run the dream.
A lot of pride and history
to make Penn State a legacy

He taught his boys about pride and poise
and in their final test
to make the grades and make the ______
and always do there best

***at this time there was an audio clip of "it's a pitch to the outside. He's at the 15, the 10, the 5 - Penn State Touchdown!"***

On the road to number one
Love you Lions. We've just begun.
On the road. We're havin' fun.
Love you Lions. We're number one.

We can move it on the ground
we can put it in the air.
We can rush and kick
so you better beware.

But our _________ is more than just to win;
it's spirit and courage and the pride of men.

Cappalletti and Reid they understood
that Joe wanted them to be more than good.
With Lydell Mitchel and Franco too,
Guman and Barr wore the White and Blue.

So, thank you Joe for all you've done.
Love you Lions. We've just begun.
Thank you Joe. We're havin' fun.
Love you Lions. We're number one.

Ended with a "we want the Lion!" chant, I do believe.

I think that there's a missing verse - but that's what I remember.


I'm in a novel(ty) mood

and a little nostalgic too.

I was thinking about (for some unknown reason) an old PSU novelty song. (there is a serious lack of PSU novelty songs these days - as a kid, I can remember there being a new one - almost every year!) It's a wacky little song - and one that I'm sure was an adaptation (or rip off) of some other school/team's song. I remember some story about NASA playing it on the space shuttle - but that memory is vague. Here's what I remember of the lyrics...

See that line a blockin
watch those backs move out
headed for the goal line
and a touchdown there's no doubt

Fast as a mighty jet plane
smooth as a brand new car,
every player with Penn State is a football super star.

They hit the field the hard way
with lots of brains and brass
Fought for every yard they make;
knocked Baylor on their - Ask

anyone who knows football
and I'm sure that they'll agree
that the Nittany Lions of Penn State
is the only team for me (the grammar in this line has always bothered me)

Here's the coach Paterno
our man of the year.
The brains behind the Lions
the ones that they all fear.

You better pay attention and watch that final gun
cause the Nittany Lions of Penn State
they will be number one.


Freaky Friday

Nessie's been spotted and the irish fail to make the pre-season top 25.

Fan Fare Friday

Cheese Puffs (Gougeres) - this is a staple for any wine tasting or Frenchy tailgates...

1 cup water or milk (or 1/2 water and 1/2 milk)
1/2 (1 stick) cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
4 eggs
2/3 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1/4 cup milk (enough for brushing)
1/3 cup grated Gruyère cheese (enough for sprinkling)

Combine the water, butter and salt and cook over medium heat until the butter is melted.
Add the flour and remove from heat.
Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a firm ball and breaks away from the edges of the pan (about 1 -2 minutes).
Return to heat and, while stirring constantly, heat for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature (but not cold).
Add eggs, one at a time and beat mixture with wooden spoon until egg is completely incorporated. (do not add next egg until mixture is smooth)
Add 2/3 cup of the the cheese to the mixture.
Drop teaspoon sized mounds onto baking sheets covered in parchment paper.
Brush tops with milk - sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake in a 400°F oven for 20-30 minutes.

These can be eaten warm or cold. They can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen - just "re-crisp" them in a warm oven before heading out to the game (or toast up on a warm grill).

Any sharp (and I mean sharp) hard cheese will work with this recipe.