Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

After a wonderful evening of Trick or Treating, we came home to hand out candy to all the many ghosts and goblins that had invaded our neighborhood. I thought I had bought more than enough goodies, but we were completely out by 8:15. The Trick or Treaters were out in full force tonight! We had big fun!

To make a great day even better, our team got a big (41 to 14) victory!

The Knuckleheads are happy, Coach is happy...Gridiron Girl will rest easy tonight.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Fun With The Pumpkins

The kids love using their Mr. Potato Head parts to decorate pumpkins. I use a small screwdriver to punch the holes, then they can easily push in the pieces. We still like to carve some large pumpkins, but using the Mr. Potato Head parts on the little pumpkins is way more fun for the kids. They like to decorate their pumpkins over and over again!

We've been doing a lot of fun activities this week because our Halloween festivities will be cut short by a football game tomorrow evening. We've done all kinds of fun crafts. We've made pumpkin pie and pumpkin cookies, and we ate way too many Reese's Peanut Butter Cups! We've been to carnivals, school parties, a pep rally and even a circus! And course we watched It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie's a tradition, don't ya know!

I love Halloween and I love hanging out with my little Knuckleheads!

~Gridiron Girl

The Raingutter Regatta

My little Tiger Cub just competed in his first Raingutter Regatta. Basically, he was handed a block of  wood that he and Coach had to make into a boat, to race against the other scouts.

For the race, there were two raingutters set up on sawhorses and filled with water. Each Cub had to get behind his boat and blow it to the finish line. There was some pretty serious competion, but my little Cub won two of his races! In the end, he didn't win a trophy but there was ice cream...and to a 6 year old little Knucklehead, nothing beats ice cream!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Maiden Voyage

Coach and The Knuckleheads testing out their entry for the Cub Scouts' Raingutter Regatta.
More photos of the actual event tomorrow. Tonight, I sleep.

Putting Away My Soapbox...for now.

This post was going to be a rant about racism being alive and well in Small Town, Texas. Believe me, I could hop up on that soapbox and rage on at length. I was going to write about how it crushes my sole everytime we go out to dinner with our players and hear all the loud mumbles and grumbles and whispers about "all those big black boys". I even thought about telling you that some kids actually came up to some of the players recently and told them, "We don't like your kind around here" and "My daddy says we don't like black people". But I'm not going to write about that stuff, it's just TOO MUCH.

Instead, I'm going to tell you about some really great young men. Young men who are kind, and respectful, and smart, and funny. Young athletes who are using their God given talents to make a better life for themselves. Young men who care about their education and their community. Young men who would give up a night of freedom to help their coach's wife pull off a super fun Fall carnival for the children.

When no one else would step in to help with the carnival, our players gladly stood up and volunteered to save the day. They helped run all the booths, they handed out treats, they painted faces, they played with the kids, they judged the costume contest...They did it all, and we could have never pulled it off without them! They handled themselves with class and maturity (except when they discovered the hair paint!) and I couldn't be more proud of them!
And I still love them, even though they did this to my little Knucklehead.....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Our Not So Typical Tuesday Night

One little Knucklehead rode an elephant...      
and a pony.

The other little Knucklehead had Cotton Candy for dinner!

There were upside down motorcycles...

and amazing acrobats!

Lots of shiny balloons...

and animals with bad teeth.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Big Daddy's Dirty Rice featured on Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen!

I was pretty excited to discover that my recipe for Big Daddy's Dirty Rice landed a feature spot on The Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Big Daddy's Dirty Rice

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
2 Tbsp bacon grease
3 cans chicken broth
1 cup water
3 cups rice, uncooked
1 lb smoked sausage, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
3 Tbsp crushed garlic
3 Tbsp Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning
1 tsp black pepper

In a heavy stock pot, cook ground beef and pork in bacon grease until very done (when you think you've cooked it long enough, cook it some more). Add smoked sausage, onion, greens onions, bell pepper, and celery. Cook until onions start to become transparent. Stir in garlic and parsley. Add chicken broth and water to meat and vegetable mixture and bring to a boil. Add rice and seasonings. Bring back to a boil, stir once, reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook until rice is done and liquid is absorbed. The rice freezes well in Ziplock bags. Microwave to reheat.

Note: It is extremely important to use a a heavy, thick bottomed pot for this recipe so the rice will not stick. Avoid lifting lid during cooking, except to stir once, to avoid scorching.

This recipe was created by my Daddy years ago and is a much requested favorite at family reunions, church potlucks, holidays and tailgate parties!

Thanks Dad!

Beauty and Bedlam

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Game Day Grub ~ Broccoli & Cheese Stuffed Pistolettes

Broccoli & Cheese Stuffed Pistolettes

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
2 cups chopped broccoli
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilis
1 can of Cream of Chicken soup
1 small block of Velveeta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 dozen pistolette rolls*
Melted garlic butter

Brown ground beef, toss in onions and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add broccoli, tomatoes and soup. Mix well and add cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste, remove from heat and set aside.

To prepare pistolette rolls, cut a small piece off the end of each roll and scoop out the inside. Now spoon the broccoli and cheese mixture into the rolls and replace the piece of bread that was cut off. At this point, the rolls can be frozen for future use or baked. To bake, brush the tops of the rolls with melted garlic butter and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until pistolettes are a nice golden brown. Enjoy!

* Pistolettes rolls are small French rolls. If you can't find them in your area, any sturdy roll that will hold the stuffing will work.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fall in Full Bloom

I'm working on some more intersting posts, but I wanted to hurry and get up some new pics for those of you who are tired of looking at my spooky spider.

As I walked around the yard yesterday evening (let's discuss that more in a minute), I couldn't get over how beautiful my flowers were looking after all the rain and mild temps. Just a couple of weeks ago they were tired and fading from a long, hot summer. They have obviously been refreshed and are now putting on quite a show! We may not have all the beautiful changing leaves that so many of you get to enjoy each Fall, but our view is not so shabby either!

So back to the walking around the yard business...
It's just something we Southern ladies do, we walk around our yards and admire our stuff. My Grandmother did it, my Mom does it, I do it. We grab a glass of sweet tea or cup of coffee and we wander around the yard admiring the flowers, filling bird feeders, checking in on our spiders and the little lizards and frogs that live in our gardens. We cut frest flowers to bring in the house, we dig up bulbs to share with friends and we baby the roses that have been passed down for several generations. It's not uncommon at all to go outside in our jammies and rubber boots, and we couldn't care less if the neighbors see us, because they're just out admiring their yards too!

When I go back to Louisiana to visit my parents, there two things I can always count on, a delicious meal waiting on the stove and a walk around the yard with my Mom. She's pretty amazing when it come to beautiful yards, I swear she can take a dead stick and make it bloom! So, as much as I enjoy walking around my own yard, there's nothing I like more than going home and having a stroll with my Mom. It's just what we do. : )

And for the record, all the flower photos on this post were taken in my yard yesterday, so just maybe my Mama's green thumb is starting to rub off on me!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Decorating for Halloween

I've been trying for a week to get a picture of this super creepy, yet strangely beautiful, spider that's taken up residency on our back patio. She didn't seem to mind if I came in close for look at her amazing work, but the second I would pull out the camera, she would run off and hide... camera shy I guess. Late yetserday evening, I was finally able to snap a quick shot of her while she was too busy spinning her web to notice me.    

Monday, October 19, 2009

Just A Game

I'm so glad that these little Knuckleheads still think that it's just a game. I love that they're always smiling and having fun no matter what the scoreboard says. If you look closely you'll see all the empty bleachers around them. We have to sit by ourselves when our team isn't doing so well. I don't want them to see all the people screaming at our players and saying bad things about their Daddy. Mostly, I don't want them to see Mama punch somebody in the face for saying bad things about Daddy and the team that she loves so much. (I wouldn't really do that, but sometimes I'd like to)! ;-)  Most people just don't get that it's not just a game, football is a big business and it's what puts food on our table and shoes on our feet. My husband and his team work long, hard hours and put in more blood, sweat and tears than most people could ever imagine. The coaches go out there and put their jobs on the line every Saturday and the players are fighting for their futures.
So no it's not just a game, but for now I'm okay with my Knuckleheads thinking it is.

~Gridiron Girl

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Vampires Be Gone ~ Roasted Garlic

One of my favorite things in life is fresh roasted garlic on a warm piece of multigrain bread, sprinkled with fresh Parmesan cheese. It's simple, but oh so delicious! If you've never roasted your own garlic before, please do. I promise you'll wonder what took you so long.

To roast garlic, all you have to do is cut a small piece off the top of the bulb to expose all the cloves inside, drizzle with olive oil, add a sprinkle of salt and fresh ground black pepper. Then, just wrap it in foil and bake in a 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes. When the garlic is ready, just squeeze the bottom of the bulb and the roasted cloves come right out!

Cooking the garlic takes away a lot of it's intensity and results in a soft, buttery clove that is excellent spread on bread, stirred into mashed potatoes, added to soups or served with steak. YUM! I think I'll go have some right now!

~Gridiron Girl

P.S. It keeps the vampires away!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Boo Y'all! ~ Coke Can Ghosts

Here's another quick little craft idea for the kids ~ Coke Can Ghosts!

Easy! Easy! Easy!
Rinse and dry the Coke cans and let the kids stomp on them until they are flat. Spray paint the cans white and let them dry. Now, all the kids have to do is draw some eyes and add some fun embellishments. Voila! Super cute little ghosts for the kids to hang on their bedroom doors!

Happy Haunting ~ Gridiron Girl

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Our Little Tiger Cub and His Biggest Fan

I'm one tired mama this morning! We spent last night running from one event to another, celebrating the accomplishments of our little Tiger Cub. First we attended his school's Honor Reception, where he received an award for A Honor Roll. There was cake, it was good! Next, we went to his Cub Scout meeting where he earned a handful of new badges. Great. Do you know how hard it is to sew those thick badges on the uniform? My fingers are still bleeding from then last batch! Now where's my glue gun?!

I really am proud of the little Knucklehead, he's pretty awesome... just ask his little sister. Now if we could just get him to earn that ribbon for Excellent Conduct! Unfortunately, our boy has clinched the title of Class father, like son. Oh well, at least they're both super smart and mighty handsome!

~Gridiron Girl

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Kids in the Kitchen ~ Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread

This is hands down the best Pumpkin Bread recipe I have ever tried! It was submitted to by Laurie Bennett. A big thanks to my friend DesertKat for sharing the link! This recipe is super easy to whip up and it makes 3 loaves or 3 dozen muffins. It is delicious all by itself, but I added a little cream cheese icing, just to take it over the top!


1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans.

In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.

Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
This was a great recipe to get the kids involved in! I don't know which they enjoyed more, the mixing or the decorating (with help from Big Mama).
Speaking of decorating, Big Mama (my wonderful Mom) bought the kids the coolest cupcake and cookie decorating set from Kuhn Rikon Switzerland. It comes with 5 sturdy, easy to squeeze decorating bottles and 5 different tips. We all loved decorating our pumpkin cupcakes with them and have lots more fun ideas for future decorating projects! THANKS MOM!
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