Check Out the GridIron BlogRSS
In 2012 I was on my first book tour and was scheduled for my first appearance in Andalusia, AL at a little place called Walker’s Business Machines. Why I had agreed to promote the book at a business machine store was beyond me but I was young, and green, and any chance to showcase the book, I took! Upon arrival, I was greeted by the type of people who are so sweet they give you diabetes. The red carpet was rolled out, the store promotions had been done, and the owner and staff all found time to visit with me in between signings. Did I mention that “business machines” really meant beautiful office furniture on one side of the store and adorable home decor and game day gifts on the other?
Also at my signing table was an addicting dip that I’ll admit that I ate more of than the visitors. Whoops! Which meant I couldn’t leave the signing without the recipe so Suzanne Williams wrote it down for me. (Handwritten recipes are always my favorite).
Below are all of the instructions for Walker’s Dip. It’s simple. It’s quick. It’s a crowd pleaser that disappears before half time.
Thank you, again, Walker’s and Ms. Suzanne Williams. I’ve never forgotten about my second home in Andalusia!
Xs and Os,
1 16oz Sour Cream
2 Packs Ranch Dressing mix
1 Package of Hormel Bacon Bits (Must be Hormel)
1 Package of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or two heaping handfuls)
1 Sprinkle of red pepper flakes to spice it up!
Directions: Combine sour cream, bacon bits, cheddar cheese in bowl. Once mixed, add ranch dressing. Mix again. Serve with Freetos or a hearty chip/cracker of your choice.
Because it isn’t fall (or September or October) without pumpkin everything, here is a semi-healthy pumpkin treat for your next game day dish.
Pumpkin Muffins (Footballs Optional)
3/4 Cups of granulated sugar
2 cups of all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup vegetable oil
1 29 oz can pumpkin (or two smaller 16 oz cans)
1 jar of Pillsbury Cream Cheese icing
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all liquids (pumpkin, eggs, oil and sugar) in large bowl, using an electric mixer until smooth and airy. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, baking soda, cinnamon). Fold in dry ingredients and then use electric mixer to combine all ingredients until batter is smooth.
Spray muffin pan with non-stick spray (or if you’re using muffin papers, spray those as well). Fill each section 3/4 full of mix. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. (Keep an eye on these and set a timer!)
Apply Pillsbury cream cheese icing liberally once muffins are cool. Place pre-bought football shapes on top of iced muffins for game day festivities.
For a heartier muffin, add one cup of chopped walnuts and or half cup of raisins.
Because the food is one of the best parts before the football, we are already getting our game day recipes together so that our in-season grocery shopping and menu planning is as easy as beating a PAC-10 team. Keep an eye out for Gridiron Belle recipes on Mondays and don’t forget to send in your favorite recipes to be shared!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwiches
By Molly Carter of Duchess of Fork as found on www.DuchessofFork.com
Originally found in Vie Magazine
….ever so slightly tweaked by the Gridiron Belles kitchen
INGREDIENTS: Gridiron Belles INGREDIENTS:
100 tiny twist pretzels 150 tiny twist pretzels
1 cup creamy peanut butter 2 cups creamy peanut butter
¾ cup brown sugar 1 cup brown sugar
¾ cup powdered sugar 1 cup powdered sugar
1 box semi-sweet baking chocolate 2 (12oz) bags semi-sweet chocolate chips
Mix peanut butter, brown sugar, and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until ingredients are well combined. Sandwich a heaping teaspoon of peanut butter filling between two pretzels. Store sandwiches in the fridge for an hour or two. Melt semisweet chocolate according to package directions. Dip sandwiches into melted chocolate, covering only half of the sandwich. Place sandwiches on wax paper and store in fridge until chocolate hardens and you’re ready to eat. Makes 50 sandwiches—but you’ll need more! So Gridiron Belles made 75 using the list on the right.
Best if served cold and freezes well. We recommend making a large batch early in the season and freezing until you need more!
If you’ve been wondering who is the brains–and the beauty— behind the awe-inspiring entertaining blog, Pizzazzerie, look no further! We are honored to feature Ms. Courtney Whitmore in Belles in Biz as the epitome of a creative, ambitious, dedicated and oh-so-talented Belle who has been inspiring pizzazz for all occasions for over six years. We already love her–and get LOTS of ideas from her website– and we know you will too. Please, allow us to introduce and welcome, Ms. Courtney Whitmore.
Team: Vanderbilt University
Graduated from: Vanderbilt University
Name of Your Biz: Pizzazzerie
Explanation of Your Biz: I’m a food and entertaining blogger, cookbook author, and I style and create recipes and party ideas for brands!
How did you get your start? After throwing lots of dinner parties for friends, I launched a blog to share photos from the parties. A few months later, I was lucky enough to land a book deal and get noticed by Tori Spelling as well as several local news channels. From there, I left my job and gave Pizzazzerie.com my full-time focus! And I’ve never looked back!
So tell us, what exactly is your role? I’m in my 6th year with Pizzazzerie. My role is pretty much everything. I’m creating blog posts, styling and photographic shoots, prop shopping, working with clients, social media, and everything in between. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes to running a site and styling.
Most challenging/rewarding part of your biz? The most challenging part of the biz is the ongoing momentum. It never ceases. There is always a holiday around the corner or more ideas to be styled. There aren’t very many lulls so it can get overwhelming. The most rewarding is seeing my creations up on the site for everyone to see. I love to get an idea, style it, photograph it, and then hit that publish button! I get such a thrill when I share ideas with readers!
What is one thing your biz would not survive without? My laptop! It goes with me everywhere I go!
What’s next? That’s a great question! This is such a fast moving industry that it’s hard to know exactly where it will go but I’d like to do another book at some point (maybe a children’s book) and continue to style for brands that I love and admire!
Work-life balance, fact or fiction? Fiction, I love my job too much!
Business advice to other Belles? For your own business to be wildly successful, you better eat, sleep, and breathe it! If you would choose that work over taking a nap or shopping at the mall, then you’re on the right track! You have to love it and have a huge passion for it because it’s a lot of work!
Favorite tailgate dish? Mini burgers!
Game day drink of choice? Tailgate punch (a beer based punch).
What do you always have in your touch down purse? My phone – so I can share pics on social media!
Coach Crush? Kliff Kingsbury
Heads or Tails? Heads
Who wins it all this year? Auburn!
Don’t miss out on any of Pizzazzerie’s latest and greatest– follow here!
What an off-season! It’s been a tremendously action packed off-season full of travels, Triple Crown winners, coaches-musical-chairs, coordinator hires, and SEC-themed weddings. Alas, it’s time to re-submerge ourselves into the glory of the fall and the highly anticipated SEC football season. This year brings new things to Gridiron Belles and we couldn’t be more excited. What you can expect on the blog this season:
MONDAYS: Outfits, Recipes and Tailgates, Oh My! You can never plan your outfit or tailgate menu too early. Mondays will give you ideas of outfit suggestions, our favorite recipes, interesting SEC sightings or recent photos of Gridiron Belles tailgating around the SEC. This gives you all week to wrangle what you need and to be inspired by what’s going on around you. If you have a favorite game day recipe you want to share, by all means, send it in and we’ll test it out! WEDNESDAYS: Serious Football. We’ll post the weekend’s match-ups, schedules and why in the world it’s important for you to watch, or not watch, the gridiron grit that weekend. FRIDAYS: Belles in Biz. We know that there is more to us Belles than being great on Saturdays. We are smart, motivated, talented and successful in a million ways outside of tailgating and being able to call plays for coaches. Here at Gridiron Belles, we celebrate strong women and want to highlight the Gridiron Belles in Business around the south. If you, or someone you know has started their own company, has made a difference in the community, or is otherwise pretty awesome, we want to hear about her! Drop us a line about her and we’ll feature her success story. Note, you want to pay attention to Fridays, because sometimes these are going to be accompanied by product giveaways! See instructions on how to win on each individual post. Xs and Os, Christie Leigh
They don’t call it the Bible Belt for nothing! Ole Miss is getting it’s rest on Saturday while they play Presbyterian at noon—don’t change your plans for this one. Our adoration for the DAWGS and Coach Richt (what a gent!) has to take a back seat to pulling for the home team. Georgia lines up against Kentucky at noon which will potentially give Stoops’ Troops a chance to regain momentum from early in the season all the while giving the DAWGS a “can’t lose” battle.
The Aggies head to the plains in an attempt to rattle the No. 3 Tiger’s cage. In typical Auburn fashion, they will likely use every minute of the clock to pull off the win. Auburn fans get the faith and Aggie fans don’t start “gigging” too soon… this will be a surprisingly long game.
The number one team in the country, Mississippi State (I still can’t believe I get to write that sentence), will put in their 3rd string against Tennessee Martin at 4pm on Saturday. A great move to rest up before the Starkville Bulldogs make the trek to Tuscaloosa next week.
Florida at Vanderbilt may be the highlight of the season in Nashville. With the Gators not exactly brimming with confidence and skills and Vandy looking for a win, this might actually be a good game. Might.
The game we’ve all been waiting for has the 8pm prime time spot. Every year this game has more on the line. Despite LSU’s 16th spot in the rankings, expect a battle for the history books. LSU has home field advantage, but don’t forget Saban knows how to play in Tiger Stadium as well. For some statistical talking points, here is what Edward Aschoff from ESPN wrote.
“Since 2007, this annual game has been decided by seven points or fewer five times, with LSU winning three of those games. Four times since 2007 the winner has worn the SEC crown. They’ve met as top-10 teams five times in that span and twice have been ranked No. 1 and No. 2. The winner played in the BCS title game four times, going 3-1, with the only loss coming at the conclusion of the 2011 season when Alabama beat LSU 21-0 in the BCS National Championship after losing “Armageddon” 9-6 at home earlier in the season.”
Happy Game Day eve, Belles!
Xs and Os,
PS- Don’t forget to send in your tailgating photos! email@example.com
12:00pm Presbyterian @ Ole Miss (No. 11)
Georgia (No. 20) @ Kentucky
3:30pm Texas A&M @ Auburn (No. 3)
4:00pm Tennessee Martin @ Mississippi State (No.1)
7:30pm Florida @ Vanderbilt
8:00pm Alabama (No. 5) @ LSU (No.16)
If you want to watch other conferences, you’ll have to go elsewhere for information. Below are all of the times for our beloved SEC kickoffs. So wake up early for your workout, get ready while watching Game Day, make a tailgate snack and get comfy for a full day of gridiron glory. It’s baaaaackkkk!
Xs and Os,
Thursday, August 28:
6:00pm ET Texas A&M (No.21) at South Carolina (No.9)
8:00pm ET Boise State v. Ole Miss (No. 18)
9:15pm ET Temple @ Vanderbilt
Saturday, August 30:
12:00pm ET Tennessee-Martin @ Kentucky
3:30pm ET West Virginia v. Alabama (No.2)
3:30pm ET South Dakota State @ Missouri (No.24)
4:00pm ET Arkansas @ Auburn (No.6)
5:30pm ET Clemson (No. 16) @ Georgia (No. 12)
7:00pm ET Idaho @Florida
7:30pm ET Southern Miss @ Mississippi State
9:00pm ET Wisconsin (No. 14) v. LSU (No.13)
Sunday, August 31:
7:00pm ET Utah State @ Tennessee
It’s time. You aren’t even sad to say farewell to summer. You know kickoff is less than two weeks away (13 days to be exact) and you’ve got nothing but your team’s colors on your mind. And well, probably on your body. (I’m currently in a navy dress with orange sandals…)
Here are the basics about each team in the SEC: current coaches, potential starting QBs, season opener times and SEC openers. We’ll keep prepping you as the season unfolds, for now, dive in, study up and clear your schedule for August 30! (QBs and game time subject to change).
Xs and Os,
Coach: Nick Saban
QB: Jake Coker (JR)
Season Opener: Saturday, August 30, West Virginia in Atlanta
SEC Opener: Saturday, September 20, Florida
Coach: Bret Bielema
QB: Brandon Allen (JR)
Season Opener: @ Auburn
Date: Saturday, August 30, 4:00pm
Coach: Gus Malzahn
QB: Nick Marshall (SR)
Season Opener: Arkansas
Date: Saturday, August 30, 4pm
Coach: Will Muschamp
QB: Jeff Driskel (RJR)
Season Opener: Idaho
Date: Saturday, August 30, 7:00pm
SEC Opener: Kentucky
Date: September 13, 7:30pm
Coach: Mark Richt
QB: Hutson Mason (SR)
Season Opener: Clemson
Date: Saturday, August 30 5:30pm
SEC Opener: South Carolina
Date: September 13, 3:30pm
Coach: Mark Stoops
QB: Patrick Towels (SO) or Drew Barker (FR)
Season Opener: UT Martin
Date: Saturday, August 30 12:00 pm
SEC Opener: @ Florida
Date: September 13
Coach: Les Miles
QB: Anthony Jennings (SO) or Brandon Harris (True Freshman)
Season Opener: Wisconsin
Date: Saturday, August 30, 9:00pm
SEC Opener: Mississippi State
Date: September 20
Coach: Hugh Freeze
QB: Bo Wallace (SR)
Season Opener: Boise State
Date: Satruday, August 30, 8:00pm
SEC Opener: @Vanderbilt
Date: September 6, 4:30pm
Coach: Dan Mullen
QB: Dak Prescott (JR)
Season Opener: Southern Miss
Date: Satruday, August 30, 7:30pm
SEC Opener: @ LSU
Date: September 20
Coach: Gary Pinkle
QB: Maty Mauk (Jr.)
Season Opener: South Dakota State
Date: Saturday, August 30
SEC Opener: @South Carolina
Date: September 27
Coach: Steve Spurrier
QB: Dylan Thompson (5th year senior)
Season Opener: TX A&M
Date: Thursday, August 28, 6:00pm
Coach: Butch Jones
QB: Justin Worley (SR)
Season Opener: Utah State
Date: Sunday, August 31, 7:00pm
SEC Opener: @Georgia
Date: September 27
Coach: Kevin Sumlin
QB: Kyle Allen (FR) or Kenny Hill (SO)
Season Opener: @South Carolina
Date: Thursday, August 28, 6:00pm
Coach: Derek Mason
QB: Stephen Rivers (SR) or Johnny McCrary (FR)
Season Opener: Temple
Date: Thursday, August 28, 9:15pm
SEC Opener: Ole Miss
Date: September 6, 4:30pm
While the rest of us may be battling dropping temperatures, inclement weather and an over all struggle to stay warm and presentable for all of game day, the lucky Georgia and Florida fans are heading to the beach for a cocktail party.
If we can’t go with them, we’ll just put together some gridiron-beach-chic outfits for them to use while soaking up the sun and beverages at St. Simon’s before kick-off. After all, you can’t wear just anything to the world’s largest outdoor cocktail party.
Don’t forget the sunscreen!
Xs and Os,
If you’re heading to COMO (“Columbia, MO” the nickname for the newest Columbia of the SEC) for the game this weekend, you’re going to need to bundle up. But, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to dress up.
Spurrier and his Gamecocks are making the cross-country trip to visit Coach Pinkle and his undefeated Tigers. Trust us, you don’t want to miss a play. And you certainly don’t want to be inappropriately dressed so use these outfits as some spirited guidelines.
Don’t forget to Tweet us your game day wardrobes wherever you’re watching the game.
Happy Game Day!
Xs and Os,