Posts Tagged by football

The Rookie Handbook: How to Survive the First Season in the NFL

So, you’re a big-time NFL dude now. What happens next, rookie? How will you make friends? What should you wear? Who will teach you the handshakes or share the secrets of halftime food?
Here’s what’s ahead of you: rigorous training, complicated playbooks, financial conundrums, intense pressure to perform—and temptation. Welcome to the big leagues.Informative, smart, funny, and beautifully illustrated, The Rookie Handbook has everything NFL rookies need to know to survive their first season of pro football, straight from veterans Ryan Kalil, Jordan Gross, and Geoff Hangartner. The three authors have a combined thirty years of NFL experience, but they too were rookies themselves, once upon a time.

Discover gems like “Dream Car”, “The Demand for Tickets”, “Endorsements”, “Rookie Haircuts” and the locker room “Bathroom Logjam”. Be smart about the media, occupational hazards, nicknames and negotiating a jersey number. You can even learn about the quickest ways to get cut from the team. So much you don’t know, grasshopper.

Much like rookies, NFL fans only know what they see on TV or read—obsessively following Rich Eisen and scouring obscure blogs for fantasy football info. But when it comes to what goes on in the inner sanctum, behind the locker room doors, it’s a mystery. The Rookie Handbook is the insider’s guide to that exclusive club, pulling back the curtain to reveal how players act and think—and what they do when no one is watching.

Awesome read for any NFL fan!

(affiliate link)

Source: BlogsRelease



Superbowl Party Recipes and Tips

Superbowl Recipes

It was the best of times…it was the worst of times.   Yes, I know this is A Tale of Two Cities, but today, I use it to describe what can only be hailed as the best and worst day of the year…Superbowl Sunday.  This, of course, is the undisputed biggest day of football season (with Opening Day a close second in my book.)  Football could only be better if the LSU Tigers had been in the National Championship game!

However, it also marks the END of football season…

*moment of silence*

*muffled sob*

*waving my little New Orleans Saints flag*

So, like millions of homes in America, nay, the world, let’s go out with a Hail Mary and an end zone dance! (cave man chest bump optional)  Whether you’re big on planning ahead, or are a last-minute culinary whiz, we’re arming you with recipes, and tips and tricks for entertaining with ease. And while the big game is synonymous with gluttonous indulgence, we’ve also included recipes for a couple of healthier options geared toward those of us looking for lighter fare on a day defined by beer, Buffalo wings and bratwurst.

Many thanks in advance to my blogging friends who contributed to this amazing list!  Please be sure to visit them and enjoy their fabulous-ness!

Beer Cheese Soup

1. Beer Cheese Soup from Nest Full of New

Taco Ring

2. Taco Ring from Pampered Chef

Meatball Sandwich

3. Meatball Sandwich from Verses From My Kitchen

Superbowl Cookies

4. Superbowl Cookies with Team Colors

White Trash Puff Balls

5. Amazing White Trash Puff Balls

Loaded Mashed Potato Bite

6. Loaded Mashed Potato BitesGourmet Popcorn

7. Gourmet Popcorn Three Ways from Verses From My Kitchen

Potato Nachos

8. Potato Nachos from Priscilla Bakes

Cuppla Cookies

9. Cuppla Cookies

BBQ Ranch Wonton Cups

10. Barbecue-Ranch Chicken Wonton Cups from Cheerios and Lattes

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

11. Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs from MOMables


12. Red Velvet Cake Cheese Ball from SnapCreativity

Frito Pie

13. Good old Frito Pie from the Pioneer Woman


14. Beer-Candied Bacon from Tide and Thyme


15. Loaded Baked Tater Tot Dip from Averie Cooks

onion dip

16. Best Ever Onion Dip from Nest Full of New


17. Pizza Rolls from The Girl Who Ate Everything

PB & J Bars

18. Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookie Bars

Double Chocolate Nutella Filled Cookies

19. Double Chocolate Nutella-Filled Cookies from Nest Full of New

5 Spice Chicken Wings

20.  Five Spice Chicken Wings from Better Homes and Gardens


21. Corn Salsa from Chef In Training

bourbon meatballs

22. Bourbon Whiskey Meatballs as seen on Tasty Kitchen


23. Popcorn Bar from Pen N’ Paperflowers (LOVE this idea!)

It’ll be a day of stress-free feasting thanks to this play-by-play guide that provides timed steps and instructions for putting together the whole menu without missing a minute of the game.

Throw the Flag: Don’t stop at decorating with your team’s colors; add yellow and red napkins to mimic the referee’s flag and the coach’s challenge flag. This simple decorative touch will add some interactive competition to your spread.

It’s Football, Y’all: Many things can easily be cut  or shaped into footballs. Don’t have a football-shaped cookie cutter, print a template from the internet and transfer it to some cardstock or cardboard. Then simply place it on your brownies/cookie dough/sandwich bread and cut around it. How about a football-shaped cake pop? A mini-meatloaf? Calzones? Rice Krispie Treats?

The Perfect Spot: Keep things simple by positioning food near the television, with sweets kept separate from savory dishes. You don’t want guests to be forced to choose between watching the game and eating. It’s a Super Bowl party, not a seven-course dinner.

Pre-game Warm-Up: Include a mix of both hot and room temperature foods, the latter of which can be prepared and set out ahead of time – ready in bowls before guests arrive.

Get Into the Spirit: Opt for more unique beer options to pair with your snacks, and don’t forget the citrus! Add a splash of fresh lime to Corona, an orange wedge to Blue Moon or a lemon twist to Ayinger.

Call for Substitutions: It’s not all about the booze. Don’t forget to include kid-friendly drinks like freshly squeezed lemonade or fruit-filled iced tea for those who are looking for beverages that don’t have to be shaken or stirred. On the other hand, how about a “Hail Mary” Bloody Mary Bar?

Post-game Wrap-Up: The last thing you’ll likely want to think about after the game is more food. But bidding goodbye to your guests with a parting gift of homemade granola, a container of yogurt and bottle of orange juice makes for a stress-free Monday morning with breakfast already in the bag (in team colors, of course!)

What will you be doing for the Superbowl this year?  Have any favorites recipes you can share?  I’m pretty good at yelling really loud at the TV, but since my team didn’t make it this year, I’ll probably be focusing more on the commercials and the halftime show!

Which Tailgater Are You?

I ran across this infographic and thought it was 1) spot on, and 2) really cute. So how could I not share it? So, which tailgater looks like you? You probably know at least one of all of these! I think I’m a cross between the Martha and Tammy Taxi!

16 Tailgaters You Meet in College Football

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.


(ENDED) The Way Boys Wash Dishes #Giveaway #CascadeShiningReviews

This review and giveaway was made possible by Double Duty Divas and CascadeI was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.

(Be sure to read all the way to the bottom to learn how you can win a Cascade Prize Pack and, in a separate giveaway, a dishwasher!)

This football drought has gone on long enough – it’s finally game time!  Not only was our fantasy football draft this weekend, but it was also the first game of the season for LSU.  Geaux Tigers! Although our football fantasy league lives in New Orleans, three of the teams are based here in Atlanta and we participate by phone and computer on draft day. We hosted a Draft Party for the locals, and as you can imagine, that meant a bunch of big, goofy boys and me.

I try to “help” these guys do good things at home for their wives and girlfriends, and today that meant a quick lesson on loading the dishwasher. (A serious pet peeve of mine because there there really is some physics behind it that many don’t understand.) Cascade Platinum is going to do its part in making this job easier on the guys and getting up all back into the game in no time.


First, Cascade Platinum delivers Cascade’s ultimate clean for dishes. It’s a premium product designed to achieve a clean so powerful it helps to keep the dishwasher sparkling while also delivering immaculately clean dishes each and every time. It even works on 24-hour stuck-on food!

Next, and my favorite part, you can skip the pre-wash. Cascade Platinum works best when food soil is left on the dishes because its special enzymes latch onto that food, breaking it down so it can wash away. If there’s no food soil, there’s nothing for the enzymes to attach to and your detergent isn’t working its hardest for you. This is  the physics part.

Third, something I didn’t know is not to worry about food left on the dishes damaging your machine or pipes. There is a garbage disposal built into the bottom of almost all dishwashers that works exactly like the disposal in your sink.

For the draft party, I made a box of brownies the night before because you really can’t go wrong with brownies, right? The hard part was not eating them before the party the next day!


Also on the menu was this amazingly delicious and simple Mac ‘n’ Cheese from Ree Drummond herself. I just adore her.  This stuff is unbelievably yummy!  (thank you to my sweet daughter for cooking this for us while I was running around getting everything ready for the party!)

Mac n’ Cheese (courtesy of The Pioneer Woman)


 4 cups dried macaroni (any shape pasta is fine (even whole wheat), but this is the traditional variety)

 1 whole egg, beaten

 1/4 cup (1/2 stick Or 4 tablespoons) butter

 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

 2-1/2 cups whole milk

 2 teaspoons (heaping) dry mustard, more if desired

 1 pound cheese, grated (use your favorites here – sharp cheddar and Monterrey Jack are yummy)

 1/2 teaspoon salt

 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt (we always use Zatarains’ Creole Seasoning for a tiny little Cajun kick)

 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

 Optional spices: cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme


  1. Cook macaroni until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain.
  2. In a small bowl, beat egg. In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn.

Pioneer Woman3. Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick.

4. Reduce heat to low. Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth.

5. Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth. Add in cheese and stir to melt.

Pioneer woman

6. Add salt and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed! Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine.

Serve immediately (very creamy).

Pioneer Woman

Just before the draft started, we loaded the dishwasher. Yes, it was weird, but everyone gathered around to chat about the “correct” way to load it, how their moms always did it, and why their way was the right way.



It was pretty funny to watch. I gave them a few tips from Cascade and left them to it. The interesting thing was that the water didn’t get turned on at all!  I hadn’t even soaked my brownie pan.  We’ll see how this works out.

(I couldn’t get all the boys in the picture for anything. Wish I would have held the brownies as collateral!)


Cascade.How Boys Wash Dishes

So, to say I was a skeptic is an understatement. The fact is, though, that Cascade Platinum really, really, worked on my dishes. We’ve used a store brand cleaner forever and didn’t realize how “not clean” our dishes were. Check out the brownie pan that sat overnight – no soaking, no rinsing.

Bownie pan


OK, I’m convinced!  Would you like to try this at your house?  Cascade has very generously offered this super cool gift pack to a lucky Nest Full of New reader.  It includes:

  • Cascade Platinum
  • Cascade Platinum Rinse Aid
  • Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Cheese grater
  • Oven mitts

Cascade Prize Pack

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Connect with Cascade on their website here, or on Twitter and Facebook!


My guests will be sharing their thoughts on Cascade Platinum – how about you?  Have an opinion to share? Head to the Cascade website to leave a short review of Cascade Platinum including this hashtag – #CascadeShiningReviews . One reviewer will win a Kitchen Aid Dishwasher!