it’s friday, gang! and football season is here. along with football food! i’m a midwest gal and grew up around big 8 and big 10 football as a die-hard
cornhusker iowa hawkeye fan. go big red hawkeyes! actually, i love both teams but seeing as i went to the university of iowa as did my father and nana those hawkeyes always get the first and last cheer. and since my kiddos went to minnesota and northwestern. i thought i knew college football, that is, until i moved to SEC country.
nothing really compares to it, actually. here, college football is a religion. and with histories of winning and success established by coaches like Bear Bryant and carried on by Nick Saban, i totally get it. success breeds success, and the SEC is no stranger to it.
but here in athens, it’s all about ‘them dawgs.’ and how about them dawgs? they are the talk of the town, and there’s a feeling that they’ve got a shot at the national title. we’re rooting for you Kirby Smart! opening kickoff was this past saturday, and although the boys had a little rust to shake off, they got the W., and that’s all that matters in the end.
football food is key this time of year so whether you’re heading to a tailgate or hosting a party at home, i know it’s tempting to run to the store and purchase prepackaged snacks. but we all know they’re not very healthy for us—greasy, full of salt, and extra sugar. so, to celebrate opening kickoff, this week, i’m gonna give you a healthy, homemade recipe and cocktail (of course!) to share with your guests. easy. peasy. and i know you’re gonna love it.
to kick off football season and football food i’ve chosen greek meatballs and a homemade tzatziki sauce. meatballs are a perfect appetizer for a crowd, and if you’re pressed on time on the day of the game, go ahead, make ‘em ahead, and freeze ‘em. this is a recipe from Rachael Ray. feel free to use either ground beef or ground lamb. i’m trying to be as authentic as possible, so i chose lamb.
- 2 slices white bread, 1-inch thick
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup milk, to moisten
- 1/2 seedless cucumber
- Kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons EVOO
- 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb or beef
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
- 3 tablespoons grated red onion
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
- 2 pinches cinnamon
- 3 cloves garlic, grated or pasted
- 1 large egg
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 4 pocket-less pitas or flat breads, cut into wedges
- 1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place a cooling rack over 2 baking sheets for roasting the meatballs and toasting the pita.
- Soak the bread in the milk. Peel the cucumber and grate into a strainer. Salt it and let it drain for 20 minutes.
- Pour the EVOO into a bowl, then add the meat and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Squeeze out the bread and crumble between your fingers as you add it to the meat. Add the mint, onions, oregano, cinnamon, 2 of the garlic cloves, egg and 1/2 of the lemon juice, and mix to combine.
- Using a small ice cream scoop, form the meat mixture into about 24 balls and place on the baking sheet. Roast to golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove the meatballs from the oven and place the broiler on high. Char the pita under the broiler, 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side.
- Press the cucumber in the strainer to get out the excess water and add to a food processor. Then add the yogurt, dill, remaining 1 clove garlic, zest and remaining juice of the lemon. Season the sauce with cumin and salt and process until smooth.
- Serve the meatballs with the sauce and pitas.
- I omitted the pita bread but they're a great addition to wrap your meatballs in then dunk into the Tzatziki sauce.
today, i’m wearing a simple ootd that’s easing into fall. the color palette is the first to get the nod for fall here in the south. yes, temps are hotter than heck this week, but a silk blouse (old, similar here and here) works any time of year. and a pair of jeans do too! this pair is from Ann Taylor, and i’m loving the fall-ish color. add a pair of sandals from Tory Burch and i have one foot in summer one in fall.
when i shop for silk blouses i typically shop high-end brands due to the quality. silk blouses are an investment so i’m not afraid to splurge since they last for years. Vince is one of my favorite brands and always has a nice selection of sik blouses. this blouse is at least five years old if not older. but i’ve linked newer versions below.
if you’re anything like my kiddos, all they need on game day is beer or wine. but it’s also fun to have a cocktail on hand. but remember our mantra, “easy. peasy”. today, i’ve got a three-ingredient cocktail for you: a negroni. all you’re gonna need for this one is gin, campari, and sweet vermouth. add a little lemon zest, and you’re off to the… endzone.
- 1 ounce gin
- 1 ounce Campari
- 1 ounce Cinzano Rosso Vermouth
- Pour ingredients over ice into a cocktail shaker. Shake or stir (with your finger) and strain into a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with an orange or lemon twist.
the ravello sandals are only available in blue and black. but i’ve linked several other options for brown sandals below.
looks like oscar is ready for some football food!
all right, gang. enjoy your weekend. let me know who you’re rooting for in the comments below. and remember: go dawgs!