Category Archives: Menu Plans

Packers v. Browns Menu Ideas

I apologize in advance to anyone who is from Cleveland or who loves Cleveland, but when I realized the Packers were playing the Cleveland Browns this weekend, I was a little disappointed.  I mean, what types of food can Cleveland really be known for? I knew this one was going to take some research.

Except it didn’t.

The first article I came across, entitled “100 Things that Make Cleveland the Best,” had tons of options for great food – more importantly great football food.  Who knew?? Clearly, not me.

Apparently, Cleveland has tons of farmers markets, is well known for ribs, chili, chili and ribs (who knew that was a combination on its own), pierogis, ice cream,  and Italian food.  Seriously, who knew???

At first I was tempted to make Italian Food, because we learned (well I learned, Ryan kind of learned)  to make homemade pasta while we were on our honeymoon.  Ryan and I took a cooking class while we were in Florence.  We were so jet lagged we slept through the start of our class, and had to wander around the local market in an attempt to find our group.  Luckily we did find them!!!

Ryan actually signed us up for this trip – he called it an investment in our future.  Well, little did he knew that he would be required to cook as well!!!!  Revenge is sweet!!  We made homemade pasta, ravioli, bolognese, and tiramisu.  All of the food was delicious, but I would say that my favorite part was watching Ryan cook!!!  He has not as inept as I have led you all to believe, but I still think that I will remain the primary chef in this house.

Look at that chef potential:




How does this all connect to Cleveland you ask? I swear that it does.  And I am getting to that point now.

Well, apparently married men take hints so much better than engaged men.  Remember how I so subtly hinted that I needed an electric knife?  Well guess what I got for sweetest day?  Yes, an electric knife, but I also got a pasta making attachment for my stand mixer!!!!  Sweet!!!  And guess what, Ryan passed up buying himself shoes to buy me a sweetest day present.  Now that is love!!!

And no I did not get Ryan a sweetest day present? Why? Because Murphy forgot to tell me that today is sweetest day.  Hahaha, just kidding. I am making him a fantastic dinner today, so maybe that will make up for it.

So, back to dinner.  I decided against Italian food, because I am saving that for a different game.  Instead, I am making a combination of ribs, chili, and pierogis!!!  You will have to check back in to see how it turns out.  Oh, and Ana, the worst rater in tuesdaynightboyfriend history, has been invited back to judge.  Wish me luck!!!

p.s. Ryan wants you all to know that he know has an Italian cooking certification, but he says that the certification only qualifies him to be judge food, not cook.   Another thing I have learned about married men — they are just as fully of bullsh*t as engaged men.

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Hello All!!  We are off to a bit of a delayed start this football season, because Ryan and I got married in the beginning of September and then went on our honeymoon!!!

For those of you that are wondering, yes Ryan did survive two weeks out of the country with limited access to football.  And yes, I thought it was glorious!!!  Too bad all of football season cannot be spent traveling abroad.

We got back at the end of September, and we started back on our cooking adventures last weekend.

For the Packer-Lions game we made Coney Dogs, which are apparently a Detroit delicacy.  Chili dogs also happen to be the meal that made Ryan realize he wanted to marry me.  I know I posted about this before, but last year we went to a Badger Football Game with friends and had chili dogs and chili burgers.  The food, game, and especially the company were great that day, but I found out later that there was more to the day than I knew.  Apparently, at some point during the cooking and/or eating  Ryan realized that wanted to marry me.  He said that he realized that he wanted this (I am not sure if he meant the chili, the football, or hanging out with me) for the rest of his life, so he decided to make it official.  Yes, ladies, food is apparently the way to a man’s heart.  Throw in a little football and its like the high-speed train to their hearts.

Needless to say, it was neat for me to have Coney Dogs be the first meal we made for football after returning from our wedding and honeymoon – it was apparently the catalyst to our engagement, and now it is part of the start of our marriage.  I am sure Ryan felt the same way – hahaha, kidding!  I think he was mostly happy that I sweetened the pot and made him chili fries as well.   Oh men, such simple creatures.

So, here is a picture of the food from last week:


And for those of you going into Murphy withdrawal, here is a picture of Murphy expressing his dismay over having to wear a tie:

Murphy Tie

It is a good thing he naps for a living and doesn’t have to actually wear a tie, or, heaven forbid, pants, every day.  (Yes the tie does say, Grill Master – Murphy wanted to get in on the cooking too.)

For the Packers-Ravens game we are making Pit Beef and Berger Cookies.  I may also make some Dutch Oven Bread just for fun.  We will see where the day leads us.

Happy Football Day to all!!  May Chili Dogs bring you all as much joy as they have brought me!!!

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A Super Bowl Sized Cook-Off

Today we are trying something a little different for football Sunday.  We are having a cook-off!!

I asked Ryan if he wanted a feast of traditional football foods – wings, burgers, chili, pizza, brats, hot dogs, etc. – or if he wanted something like lasagna.  To my surprise he said lasagna.

Well, one cannot just make lasagna on football Sunday.  There must be more to it.  So I decided to make into into a Lasagna-Off!!  Pasitsio versus Traditional Lasagna!!!!

So fellow bloggers, I ask you two questions . . .Who will win the Superbowl? And who will win the Lasagna-Off?


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A Manly Football Care Package

Ryan left, again.

Apparently the code of manhood, i.e., fantasy football, requires that the man species to leave the home and congregate with other man species on the divisional playoff weekend, drink beer, eat food, and grunt.  Estrogen not allowed.   So off Ryan went, yet again, to pay homage to the gods of football by drinking cheap beer and overeating.  I am sure they are engaging in high level conversation that is appropriately punctuated with burps/grunts and the occasional profanity.

I decided to be a good girlfriend and send him with an appropriate manly care package – extra-meaty chili and cookies (someone else was brining the beer).

DSCN4039 DSCN4040

I decided to make a girls weekend out of it, by ticking off some of the recipes I had on my list of Recipes I Need to Try as well as some other new recipes.  Here is what we are making:

  • Cinnamon Glazed Almonds
  • Pretzels with Queso
  • Pizza with Arugla Pesto, Goat Cheese, and Sundried Tomatoes
  • Spinach and Goat Cheese Bisque
  • Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
  • Maple Balsamic Crusted Pork Tenderloin
  • Butterscotch Bacon Cookies

Pictures to Come!!

Oh, and off course this will all be served with wine.  And for desert, Chocolate Wine with Cherry Bounce.  We are definitely the more evolved species.

Murphy has a love-hate relationship with cooking.  He loves the smells, and he loves that  cooking means snacks as the occasional item falls to the floor.  But cooking also means no one pays attention to him because everyone is busy cooking.  It is so hard to be Murphy:

It is so hard to be me.

It is so hard to be me.

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Packers v. Vikings – What to Cook?

Today, Ryan is heading to the Packer Game (yet another man weekend – he has such a rough life), so its just me and Murphy.  Not so sure what to cook for the game.

I associate Minnesota with Potato Soup (not sure why).  Maybe it is because the last couple of times the Packers have play the Vikings I have made Juicy Lucy’s and Potato Soup, and I really like potato soup.  I am feeling a bit under the weather, so I am thinking soup would be delicious.

Here is the burger I made for the last game . . .

Juicy Lucy

Any other suggestion out there?


p.s Murphy says hi . . .

Murphy Bow Tie

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Menu Plan – Packers v. Jaguars

Jacksonville was a challenging city to plan for.  It appears that they are known for three things when it comes to food: (1) a sandwich called a Lubi; (2) a sandwich called a “camel rider”; and (3) cherry limemade.

So I identified the food, what is my problem then?

My problem with the limemade is easy enough to understand — I lack the kitchen tools necessary to make limemade.

My problem with the Lubi and the camel rider is less clear.  How hard can it be to make a sandwich?  Well my problem is that I cannot figure out what the sandwiches are made of.  So, we shall see how today turns out.  Wish me luck.

Also, if you happen to know what either of these sandwiches are, please let me know.  There is still time to tweak my menu plan.

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Chili Over Everything

This weekend the Packers play the Texans.  Chili is apparently big in Texas.  I am on a mission to cook as much chili as possible to honor National Chili Month.  What a coincidence! So, what should I cook this weekend?? Well, of course, I should make chili, and of course I should put it over everything.

Here is what I am making:

  • Chili Over Spaghetti (possibly homemade – we will see how adventurous I am)
  • Chili Over Mashed Potatoes
  • Chili Over Fritos (Chili Pie)
  • Chili Over Homemade Fries
  • A surprise

Here is the preview of the surprise:

Ryan is already on his second.

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Drumroll Please . . . The Chili List

National Chili Month calls for extreme chili cooking.  I think I have finalized my list, and this is what I am going to try and conquer this month.

  1. Veggie Chili (Ryan will be disappointed, but I am sure he will get over it, there will be plenty of meat chili this month)
  2. Chili Dogs and Chili Burgers
  3. Spicy Chicken Pumpkin Chili
  4. Chili Verde
  5. Chili over Spaghetti
  6. Chili Pie
  7. White Bean and Sausage Chili
  8. Chili & Ribs

This list is subject to revision, especially if I come

I am supposed to be making chili tonight for tomorrow’s game, but we are off to a rocky start.  I am not feeling good tonight and Murphy ate my game day shoes.  Well, he at one of them.  But what good is one shoe.

Ryan might have to make the chili tonight.   eeeeeek.



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I Reckon Today is Football Sunday

Today’s post is dedicated to Ryan’s new idol, and my current nemesis, Tony Malone.

You see, Tony apparently has the best accent ever, I mean EVER.  Ryan went on a work trip with Tony and now has decided that he must speak like Tony.  So now words like reckon, bush-hogging, and other words I have never heard of have permeated Ryan’s vocabulary.  He has also decided he needs to speak in a Southern accent. (In case you are wondering, Murpy still barks with a Midwest accent.)

Anyway, because Ryan’s new idol is from Southern Mississippi and is a Saints fan and the Packers play the Saints today, I decided to dedicate this blog to the man with the voice, Tony Malone.  Here is hoping that if Tony were here, he would said “I reckon that is some good cooking.”

Without further delay, here is today’s menu . . .

  • Gary’s Gumbo (with a Wisconsin twist – check back later to see what it is)
  • Beignets

Also, Ryan’s review will be posted in his new Southern Voice.


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Week 1 – San Francisco

This week, the Packers play San Francisco.  After doing a little internet research I found out that San Francisco is known for seafood, cioppinio, crab, cheese, wine, sourdough bread, a desert call It-Its, and a lot of other things I am not going to list.  Please note that Rice-a-Roni is not in the list.  Apparently, the people of San Francisco do not agree that Rice-a-Roni is the San Francisco Treat. So, here is the menu this week:

  • Cioppino
  • Sourdough Bread
  • Ice Cream Sandwiches

The problem I am running into, is that neither Ryan or I are especially big fans of seafood, so I am going to have to make some adjustments. Oh, and everything will have a bit of a Wisconsin twist.

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