Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Kickoff Week: Veggie Wraps

Half of the fun of tailgating is snacking on delicious food all day.  My mom is a master tailgater.  She has all kinds of recipes and pairs them all well.  For the cold games there's always at least one soup.  If I'm at the tailgate, there's always my favorite cookie--the peanut butter ones with a Hershey kiss on top.  Today though I'm talking about those cute little things up above--veggie wraps.  I love having these at tailgates because they are bite size, yummy, and actually not too bad for you.  I know, health really isn't on the mind when tailgating, but with these, you don't have to feel bad about eating them all day.

So here's what you need:
  • 1 large broccoli crown
  • 1 jalapeno--diced
  • 5 green onions--diced
  • 1 red pepper--diced
  • 1 yellow pepper--diced
  • shredded cheese (your choice, I use a mix)
  • Soft tortillas (I'm partial to the Mission Carb Balance ones)
  • Italian dressing dry package
  • 16 oz. cream cheese (I'll normally do low-fat)
Basically once you get everything chopped up, it's super easy.  Make sure any liquid is drained from the vegetables. 

Mix the cream cheese and dressing and then slowly add in vegetables. 

Then you spread the mixture on the tortilla.  Make it about 1/4 inch thick, but after you make it once, you can just do it to taste.  Once the mixture is on the tortilla, sprinkle it with the shredded cheese.
Then you want to roll it up tightly.  It can get a little messy because the cream cheese will want to squeeze out. 
Afterwards, you can wrap it in saran wrap or not.  My mom wraps it, but I don't.  I didn't feel like it made a difference.  You then want to refrigerate the rolls for awhile until firm.  Often I prepare this the night before, and let them refrigerate over night.  You can really do it for as long as you want.  Once you're ready to take it out of the fridge, slice them.  The longer in the fridge, the easier it is to slice.  Then EAT, enjoy the day, and yell for your team!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tailgating Culture

Tailgating at Clemson
When Stephanie, of one of my absolute new favorite blogs Newlyweds: North, announced this link-up, I knew I had to participate.  Even though I've never done a link-up. Even though my home computer has decided it can't turn on. (I'm currently writing this in safe mode so we'll see what happens.) The only real issue was what in heaven's name would I write about for just ONE post.  See here's the thing.  I am a sports fan as previously noted.  I looove college football.  I love more than one Division I college football team.  Do I write about one of the schools?  Do I post recipes?  Do I reminisce about some legendary games?  Do I just do a photo dump?  Do I post about my favorite tailgating traditions?  Well maybe I'll eventually do all of these.  However, today I'm going to talk about tailgating culture.

I became a college football fan in the great state of Indiana with the greatest conference there is. (Nothing you can say will change my mind about that so don't even try SEC fans. It's Big Ten all the way.)  Here's the thing though.  The Midwest is laid back.  It's a meat and potatoes region of the country.  I should probably say a meat and potatoes and corn region really.  In fashion that translates as t-shirts or sweatshirts, tennis shoes or flip-flops, and jeans.  In my 4 (very fine--thanks Drew Brees) years at Purdue in which I attended every home football game, I don't think that uniform varied.  We did start wearing khaki or jean skirts during the ridiculous hot first games, but that's it.  I never thought twice about it. If it said Purdue or was black/gold, it went.  Here's the other thing.  About mid-October in the Midwest, it starts to get cold.  Very cold.  Cute dresses even with boots will not cut it.  They just won't.  Not that the idea ever crossed our minds at the time, but if it did, we would have been nuts to try.  Take a look at this gem and see my proof:

This is my friend Deepti and me at the Purdue/IU game our sophomore year.  We are wearing ski coats, ski hats, and anything we can find over our mouths.  (Mine was the Drew Brees towels they passed out.)  The ONLY reason we stayed through that whole game was because once we won, we secured our berth to the granddaddy of them all, the Rose Bowl.  But this post isn't about legendary games. :)  If I had worn a dress, I would have been in the hospital.

Flash forward a few years later.  I moved to the South.  Clemson, South Carolina to be exact.  I brought my love of college football with me, and it could not have been brought to a better place.  Clemson is a FOOTBALL TOWN. It did not take long for some orange to seep into my blood.  However, I had culture shock.  The first time I visited Ben to go to a game, girls were wearing dresses (cute, orange ones) and HEELS.  I still have trouble with the heels thing.  How could you stand in heels through an entire game?  How could you tailgate in grass in heels?  The truth is that I still don't know.  I didn't think I would ever fit in.  However, after 5 years of living there, tailgating, and attending games, the dresses grew on me.  Girls looked cute AND were spirited.  I stopped really seeing heels.  Cute sandals and boots ruled the day.  It doesn't get super cold so boots and long sleeves were enough for later games.  The culture of football in the South is just different.  It is one that to a certain extent I adore.  Everything on Saturday revolves around the game.  There is nothing like seeing the sea of orange in Death Valley with the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance.  There is so much excitement when the players get off the bus to run down the hill.  At that point, t-shirt or dress doesn't matter.  It's the game that does.

Last year I moved to Missouri, a Midwestern school that joined a southern league.  I only attended one game last year, but I saw a mix.  I think the culture here has been more of the laid-back, casual one that I was used to in college, but I think there was also some pressure to adopt some of the southern, dressier football culture. It's interesting, and I'm looking forward to seeing how that culture develops here.  In the end though, cute dresses in school colors or jeans and t-shirts bearing your school's name, as long as you enjoy the day and support your school, the fashion works. 

I'm going to try to do one recipe post tomorrow too, but we'll see. Thanks for a link-up on one of my favorite topics Stephanie!  Now for the photo dump.

Sea of orange

In the south, you can watch the game from the tailgate.

Watching the game from a tree--he's a Forestry professor so what can you do.