Monday, September 26, 2011

Football Party Recipes

It’s Fall (HOORAY!!!) and odds are most of us are/have been participating in, watching, or cheering on some kind of football team.  I don’t know about yall, but I grew up going to Clemson games every single Saturday if we played at home OR having a football party at our house if Clemson played away.  For many fans, a game is not a game unless a tailgate precedes it…either at home or on the back of a pick-up truck/SUV.  Since I live in Nashville now, it’s really hard for me to make a lot of Clemson games, so I’ve been attending my fiance’s alumni tailgates at MTSU.  This week is there homecoming and me and my roomie Claudia (another MTSU alum) are in charge of desserts.  I’m beyond excited about this….just the atmosphere of a tailgate puts me in the best mood.  Ahhh, love it!  So I began to start “googling” tailgate dessert ideas.  As you can see below, I sorta got a little side tracked because I saw all of these delicious recipes on the Southern Living website and just had to share.  Don’t they all look amazing?????  Now I want to host a tailgate at our place so I can make some of these.
 Slice tops from hearty round dinner rolls, and then let guests hollow out centers and spoon Super Quick Chili into them. Keep the chili warm in a slow cooker during the game.
Warm, creamy Baked Spinach-and-Artichoke Dip is always a big hit! This version has been lightened up.
Keep the secret to yourself, and guests will never guess that this tasty dish is actually good for them.

These meatballs are a football staple. Save yourself time by making them ahead. Place cooked
meatballs in a zip-top plastic freezer bag, and freeze up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator,
and cook, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly heated. Add this sweet-and-sour sauce on game day. 

You can save time by preparing the cheese dip up to a day ahead;
just cover and chill in an airtight container, and bake just before serving.

Be sure to serve these hot wings with plenty of cool beverages. Dip in Spicy Buffalo Sauce or Cool Ranch Dip.

Make the filling ahead of time to make these yummy spring rolls more friendly to your party preparation timeline.
It's southern tradition to have a little hot sauce with your turnip greens,
so be sure to offer guests several brands to choose from on the side.
Snip and arrange chives to garnish Spicy-Sweet Deviled Eggs. 
Smoked Cheddar and Gouda cheeses and sun-dried tomatoes provide a terrific twist on traditional pimiento. Spread on sourdough and dark wheat bread and cut into smaller sandwiches for easy pickup. Serve with grapes and apples.
Keep your game day party easy by making this tasty dip ahead of time.
Don’t they all look amazing?????  Which one is your favorite?  Ok…enough about this, I really do need to find cute dessert ideas for a tailgate…any suggestions???

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


FYI: I’m gonna go ahead and warn you…this proposal is a pretty long story…and has LOTS of pictures (please forgive me b/c I'm a hot mess in the majority of them)…but it’s def. worth reading…or I think it is at least.  Haha.  I’ll try not to leave out any major things.  Ready….Set….Go:

Background Information:
I had been planning this “Mother/Daughter” Vaca to South Carolina all summer for me and my Mom with my roommate Claudia and her Mom.  Now…for those of you who don’t know, I was born and raised in the great state of South Carolina and moved to Nashville a little over a year ago….well, Claudia and her Mom had never been to the SC so I decided that it would be the perfect opportunity to go and show them my home state.  I had everything planned out down to a tee of what all we would do during our time in SC.  We were flying into Charleston on Monday and doing all the touristy things there (take them to the Markets downtown, walk and shop down King Street, do a horse and carriage ride, go eat great seafood that night, etc) then on Tuesday, head to Myrtle Beach and stay there for a couple of days and do some touristy things….then go to my hometown (Lugoff) on Thursday afternoon  and have a party at my house and have tons of family and friends over that night…then my Mom was going to drive all of us back to Nashville and stay a couple of nights here with me.

Well, a couple of days before the trip, my Mom called and said that Bobby (my brother)  was able to take off work and come with us on our trip as well….so I was even more excited.  When Garrett (my boyfriend) heard that Bobby was going, he seemed pretty bummed about not being able to go on the trip b/c he originally thought it was a “mother/daughter” trip…plus he had to stay and work anyway b/c he was about to start law school.

Ok…I think that’s enough background knowledge.  Moving on to the actual proposal……

So we get into Charleston around 11ish and my Mom and Bobby pick us up at the airport.  YAY!  We’re finally there!  We get in the car and head to California Dreaming to eat lunch.  This restaurant is one of my family’s favorites…not necessarily for the food…but it is on the Charleston Harbor and the scenery is just beautiful there.
Mrs.Leigh Ann, Me and Claudia
Bobby, Me, Mrs.Leigh Ann and Claudia
So we’re all having a blast and enjoying our lunch and then the waiter comes to give us the tab…..and with the tab, he gives me a card with a rose. 
Do what????  I was SOOOOO confused.  But Momma had her camera out, so I turned around and posed and decided to open it and see what in the world it was.
Clue #1:
(you might have to click on it to read it better)
Ok…so after I read the 1st sentence, I knew it was from Garrett…but I was still just really confused.  I knew that a “royal road” meant King Street…and I figured the “place to buy some clothes” and “my favorite store” would be Dumas’ (one of our favorite stores on King Street…they have the frattiest clothes EVER!).  

….so here we go….we were planning on going downtown anyway, so we might as well go down King Street first.

The clue told me I’d find a clue by the cash drawer….so I walk into the store….and I feel really awkward and find a worker there and say “Hey, I think I’m on some kind of scavenger hunt.” And the lady just looks at me and smiles and says “Oh, follow me, I have something waiting for you.”
Again, there is a card with a rose….I was really confused but continued to play along and read the card.  

Clue #2
I was thinking in my head…ok, WHAT IS GOING ON???  I knew that from “there is a place where a basket is wove” was the markets….and then when I read “when you get there, just follow your nose” I knew that was probably the praline shop.  So we headed to the markets….

And sure enough….when we got to the praline shop…look what we saw:
I couldn’t do anything but smile and laugh.  I still didn’t know what the heck is going on….but I had fun with it.
Clue #3:
This one was easy…I knew this meant to go to the place for the Carriage Ride Tours….but then I start thinking “Humm…there’s a couple of carriage ride companies in Charleston….how does he know which one I had booked tickets for already????” and “Hummm…there’s not any stamps on these envelopes…how did they get to Charleston????”

But I tried not to read too much into it and played along….so we went to the Carriage Ride Tours and sure enough…another clue was there….

Clue #4:
So we went on a carriage ride tour and saw some amazing sites of Charleston…then headed to the hotel to check in.

This is where I saw a HUGE present wrapped behind the counter.  I told them who I was and they gave me the present.  
In my head I was hoping that this would be a print of the Pineapple Fountain by Jim Booth that I’ve had my eye ball on for the past two years…
and sure enough….it was!!!!  Along with another clue!!!!

Clue #5
Ok…so I knew the pineapple fountain was at Waterfront Park….and the pineapple is a sign of Southern Hospitality… more about that in my post here….so the clue MUST be there…then I reread it…and it said “find your LAST clue”…so that must mean him right?????  AHHHH!!!!!

So we all took showers and got ready and head to Water Front Park….and look who I see from a distance:

I walk up to him and give him a hug…then look at him and just start freaking out.
He laughs and gets on one knee and says “Lauren Geiger….will you make me the happiest man in the world and be my wife?”

Of COURSE I said YES!!!  Along with a lot of jumping and screaming and yelling OH MY GOSH!
I was still just so shocked that this was actually happening to me.  I kept pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.  This is the moment that I had thought about since I was a little girl.  It was just so great that my Mom and brother got to be apart and witness the whole entire thing.  Not too many Mom’s get to see their daughter get engaged and I thought it was so special that Garrett wanted to include her and Bobby. 

Apparently EVERYONE knew...Garrett had driven down to SC the night before and stayed with my Mom and drove down to Charleston that morning to deliver all of the clues everywhere.  He had asked Claudia weeks before to see what my game plan was that day so he could plan the clues accordingly to my plan.  

It was just perfect…absolutely perfect.  After the proposal we all went to eat and then enjoyed the rest of our trip.  Garrett couldn’t stay the whole week like we did (he really did have to work), but he got to stay a couple of nights anyways.

Here are a couple of other pictures from that night:
Us with Claudia and Bobby!!!
So yea…that’s it….sorry it was so long…I just tried not to leave out anything.  Haha.  And I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to do a blog post.  Things have been a little crazy around here trying to plan and all.  We’ve set a date…6/23/12 at a venue right outside of Charleston….at Old Wide AwakePlantation.  We both went to a wedding there last year and absolutely fell in love with the place.

I hope all of yall are doing great…like I said yesterday, I feel so out of the loop in the “blogging” world and can’t wait to catch up on all of your blogs.  I promise I’ll start doing better with updating my posts from now on.  Haha.  Hope yall have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Oh my goodness, I cannot believe it has been THIS long since I’ve done a blog post.  SOOO much has happened to me since my trip to South Carolina.  It might have been the best trip ever. …it was great to spend time with my family and show Claudia and her Mom my home state…BUT….we had a little surprise visitor on that trip….Garrett drove out to South Carolina and surprised me on the 1st day of our trip and proposed!!!!  AHHHHH I still can’t believe I’m engaged.

Here’s a sneak preview of what it looks like:
 I’ll do a post a little later explaining the whole proposal…I just wanted to say hello and let you know I’m back in my “blogging” world.  I have missed yall so much and can’t wait to catch up on all of your blogs.