Food & Football Week 13 2016: The U vs Duke

My Beloved Osito,

It’s week 13 and with this being the last game of the regular season, we can all see the light at the end of the tunnel of the 2016 NCAA Football season.  The grand finale will be a match up against the Duke Blue Devils in Durham, North Carolina.  This is an intmiracleriguing game solely based on how last year’s game ended with the “miracle“. It was a crazy last second play that ended with some officiating controversy.  The wildest thing about this game was not the play, but the backlash from the media after the game.  Many across the country were calling for The U to forfeit the game or for the ACC to give the win to Duke.  Anyone who has played sports or been around sports knows that you can’t focus on one play or call and ignore all the other calls throughout the game.  The U isn’t the first team to win (or lose) on a controversial call, yet this is the first time I’ve seen the ‘mob’ calling for a team to void a win.  It just feeds the narrative that the NCAA and the media is not very fond of The U, but I digress.

For the game meal, I explored a few options. The first was the “Devil” aspect of Duke’s mascotmascot named after the French soldiers of WWI, “Les Diables Bleus”.  This led me to explore devil’s food cake or maybe even loaded deviled eggs, but that didn’t intrigue me.  I reverted back to the state vegetable of North Carolina, the good ole sweet potato.  The game was right after Thanksgiving and everyone was shifting into the Christmas mood and I was craving a homemade pie.  It was a perfect match because I really wanted a sweet potato pie like I used to have at your great grandmother’s during the holidays.  The icing on the cake, or pie if you will, was that we also had a Weekend Adventure planned to Santa’s Wonderland in College Station, TX.

The game, with all the intrigue leading up to kickoff, was basic fundamental football.  You could tell The U had no intentions of putting the game in the hands of the referees again and took care of business.  Despite a very tight game in the first half, 16 -14 UM, The U ran away with it in the 3rd  quarter which gave more playing time to 2nd and 3rd string players in the last quarter.

The pie was very basic in execution as well.  I thought it was a complicated endkaden-patatoeeavor, but after talking with my mom, it is a simple dessert to make.  The game ended with a score of 40 to 21 and the U closed the regular season on a 4 game win streak.  The pie, coupled with all the nostalgia, ranked an 8 of 10 for me and it was Mami’s first time having sweet potato pie.  Next time I make a sweet potato pie, there will be a few tweaks I would like to make to enhance the experience.  For example, making the crust from scratch and adding a crunchy element of some type on top. But overall, this one was really good.  The U’s next game is a few weeks away as we wait for the start of the “College Football Bowl Season”.

crust-and-patatoe

Ingredients:

1.  Take two sweet potatoes and place them in the oven at 350 degrees until the peel starts to blacken and pull away from the flesh of the potatocooked-patatoe

2.  After the potatoes cool, peel and place in a mixing bowl

3.  Add brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg

4.  In a separate bowl, mix a cup of milk, two eggs, melted butter, and vanilla

5.  With the mixer on, slowly add liquid mixture into the potatoes and mix thoroughly

6.  Add mixture into the pie crust and sprinkle the top with a little cinnamon

oven-ready

7.  Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for ~30 min or until filling is set and the crust is brown

Love you to “Infinity…and Beyond”

@Outer_space_dad

Food & Football Week 10 2016: The U vs Pitt

My Beloved Osito,

As we turn the page to week 10 of the college football season, and the first week of November, we can only hope that the football nightmare that was the month of October is behind us.  During October, we saw The U go from 4-0 and #10 in the Associated Press and Coaches Polls with Championship dreams to sitting at 4-4 with little, to no chance, of winning the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Coastal division.  However, in life and on the football field, when things get difficult and don’t go according to plan, you have to make a decision on how you will respond.  This week, we will see how The U responds at home against the Pittsburgh (Pitt) Panthers.

For us, the month of November brings back a sense of normalcy and calm.  This was the first Saturday since September that I didn’t leave home to help with our church’s Pumpkin Patch or ensure everything for the Fall Festival was going as planned.  We (you and I) spent this relaxing morning prepping the game meal as Mami got a much needed break to leave home and treat herself.

kaden-helper

The gamemascot meal for this week was derived in a sort of roundabout way. Let me explain.  As I mentioned earlier, the mascot for Pitt is the Panthers, so that was an automatic dead end given we don’t eat cats and I am 70% sure it’s illegal to hunt cats.  So that left me with the city, Pittsburgh, in the state of Pennsylvania (PA).  PA’s capital is Philadelphia (aka Philly) and if you ask anybody what food they think of when they hear Philly, about 8.5 out of 10 will say Philly cheese steak.  So that was the plan.

The game was very refreshing as the offense was able to move the ball on the first drive to score a TD.  However, on the ensuing kickoff, Pitt returned it to tie the game and I just knew The U was in for a fight.  Like the offense, I wanted something refreshing and instead of doing a traditional Philly cheese steak sandwich, I decided on loaded Philly cheese steak fries.  I mean after the success of the air fryer in week 9 I had to put the fryer back in the game.

Much to my surprise, given the previous 4 games, The U settled in after the Pitt TD and took control of the game.  On the field, the game was full of highlights from every position as The U coasted to a 51-21 victory and maintained a winning record.  The loaded fries were also good, but I left plenty of room for improvement.  My lack of execution caused the meal to suffer.  The main mistake was not setting the air fryer to 400 degrees causing the fries to take forever to cook and become soggy.  The next issue was the cheese.  While a traditional Philly cheese steak uses provolone or cheddar cheese, which I did, I should have made a cheese sauce because the meal was dry in my opinion.  However, the ribeye was cooked amazingly and kept the rating at a decent 6 out 10.  Next week’s match up will be against the Virginia Cavaliers.

Ingredients
Steak:
1. Take two ribeye steaks and flatten with a meat tenderizer
2. Season with Dale’s steak seasoning and a dash of Cajun seasoning
3. Grill for 3-4 min on each side

cooked-steak

Veggies:
1. Slice a whole purple or white onion and a green bell pepper (mushrooms are optional)
2. Place in foil and lightly coat in olive oil and season with Cajun, Adobo and crushed garlic
3. Cook on the grill for ~10-12 min flipping halfway through the process

Fries:
1. See Food & Football Week 9 2016: The U vs Notre Dame cheese-and-fries
Note: Ensure you check the temperature before cooking

Cheese:
What I did:
1. Took slices of provolone from the deli, cut them into smaller slices, and placed them on the hot fries
2. Covered fries with the steak and veggies and then added shredded cheddar cheese

What I should have done:
1. Take a small saucepan and place on med-high and coat with butter or cooking spray
2. Add 1/4 cup of milk and sit until bubbles start form on the edges
3. Add slices/chunks of American cheese (white or yellow) and stir until thickens (season as desired)

img_5127

Love you to “Infinity…and Beyond”
@Outer_space_dad

Food & Football: Week 1 2016 The U vs FAMU

My Beloved Osito,

It’s the most wonderful time of the year again, leaves are starting to change colors, the temperature is starting to drop (not really, in Houston, Tx it’s still 90+ degrees), and most importantly it’s college football season and more specifically Miami Hurricanes’ football season.  As you get older you will quickly realize that this is also the time of year that my adventures in the kitchen and out on the grill peak.  Every Saturday (sometimes Thursday’s depending on game schedules) each adventure is centered on the team The U will be facing that week. I’m sure I’m not the originator of this idea, but I have made it my own.  The idea is that we get to “feast” on the opponent while we watch The U “feast” on them on the field.  The first time we started this was in 2013 at our tailgate for U of Florida game with your Godfather, his first time UM game. I grilled alligator tail that day, the other (other) white meat, and we watched the “upset” of #12 ranked UF.  Fast forward to 2016, the kickoff of the Coach Mark Richt era (I grew up with him when he coached the “home” team UGA for 15 the past years) and hopefully the start of the next 30 for 30 “The U: Part 3 The Dynasty Returns”.  You missed this game since kickoff was at 5ct and you were already in bed after we went to the #15 U of Houston vs. #3 U of Oklahoma game. This is another story in itself. On this day, The U faced the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) Rattlers. I know what you’re thinking, “dad did you grill snake meat?” Well no, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. I found a place online (http://www.exoticmeatmarkets.com/rasnme.html) that sold Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake meat, but for 3 pounds at $299, I had to rethink my priorities. I ended up going the “cupcake” route. The term “cupcake” is used to describe a team that is knowingly inferior and not at the same talent level by design as its opponent. In college football, this is a team from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). Basically, big football programs pay these FCS schools millions of dollars to play them as a “warmup game”.  For this game, I had to call your grandmama to get her homemade red velvet cake recipe to use for my cupcakes. The recipe was oddly simple except for 2 secret ingredients that I was told to keep under lock and key. You’ve never seen secrecy until you ask an old schooler her cake recipe. It’s under tighter security than the Secretary of State’s Benghazi emails (you’ll have to google that).  Naturally, as with all recipes, I made my own tweaks for game purposes like using green food coloring for the cake instead of red, and adding yellow and red food coloring to the cream cheese frosting to get orange for the FAMU team colors.  I also injected the cupcakes with melted white chocolate to ensure they were moist.  I only ate like 2 since it would counter my efforts of getting a 6 pack of abs before I turn 30, and then I took the rest to church.  Overall I’ll give them a 6.5, but as your mom said “they just weren’t [grandmama’s]”.  Oh by the way, we won 70-3. Next game is against the Florida Atlantic University Owls. I’ll have to check the exotic meat market to see if Owl meat is even legal to consume, yikes!

Ingredients and Directions:

  1. Beat 2 eggs, 1.5 cups oil, 1.5 cups sugar, and 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  2. Mix 2.5 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 2 tablespoons of *******
  3. Add step 2 to step 1 with 1 cup buttermilk (gradually)
  4. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 bottle of desired food coloring and 3-5 *********
  5. Pre-heat oven to 350 and cake: grease and flour pan: fill cups 2/3
  6. Cook 15-20 min (varies per oven) or until done. Use toothpick to check
  7. Frosting: mix 8 ounces (1 pack) cream cheese and 4 ounces (1 stick) real butter
    1. Add 1 box powdered sugar until desired consistency
    2. Add 1 cup pecans; (don’t add if you’re still allergic to nuts)

img_4704Love you to “Infinity…and Beyond”

@Outer_space_dad