Early morning kickoffs are the bane of my existence, as it's hard to get properly in the spirit(s) at 11 AM Central. Fortunately, cooking this meal was surprisingly easy:
To start - a libation! It's going to be a cloudy 46 degrees for kickoff at PJS, so we should start with something to warm us up:
Ahh, my two favorite food groups: caffeine and bourbon!
8 ounces strong or extra bold coffee (I use espresso shots, but to each their own)
1 ounce bourbon (or more if you like it stronger)
1 ounce butterscotch sauce
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, cold
To make the drink: Brew coffee according to your machine. Add butterscotch to coffee and mix to combine. Pour bourbon in the coffee and mix to combine. Transfer coffee to something with a spout for easy pouring. Set aside.
To make the foam: Place heavy whipping cream in bottom of glass and use the blender attachment on a hand mixer to beat cream until soft peaks form, about 1-1 ½ minutes.
Assemble: Tilt cup with foam at angle and pour coffee along the wall of the cup to leave the foam as undisturbed as possible. Finish with butterscotch drizzling on top.
Next up - appetizers. As this is a brunch tailgate, we're going to have a breakfast theme. And what better appetizer can there be for a football game than:
Fruit and Yogurt Parfait
I know, I know - guys think of this as girly food. But we're going to make ours with delicious protein packed Greek yogurt, topped off with fresh berries and figs. Protein and fruit - this is MUSCLE food, guys! Mmmmm.
I think we're a little light on carbs. And pork. And eggs. BRING ON THE BREAKFAST YUMMINESS:
Egg Bake Casserole
Really doesn't get more tailgate friendly than a casserole dish. I'd never heard of an egg bake before I moved to Wisconsin and I'm really not sure how I survived all those years camping without it. My favorite recipe involves eggs, cheddar cheese, ham and hashbrowns but I've seen them with everything from leftover turkey to crescent roll crust.
For those seeking pure carby breakfast goodness, we also have:
Cheese Blintzes with Applesauce
With the Honeycrisp Apples coming in, there is no better time to enjoy this melt in your mouth deliciousness. And with Cheese Blitzes you also must have...
There is nothing on this planet tastier than a fresh cheese blintz and a crispy potato pancake, topped with homemade applesauce.
At this point, I'm so stuffed I can't think about more food. So let's refresh our palettes with a light cocktail:
The Suffering Bastard
No, that is not some sort of reference to our 5 game losing streak. Well, it's not an intentional one. If you've never had one of these, you're missing out - it's the perfect way to refresh and revive at the end of a meal. The lime and mint cleanses your taste buds, while the ginger settles any tummy trouble from over indulging.
1 ounce bourbon
1 ounce gin
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 dash Angostura bitters
4 ounces chilled ginger ale
To make: Pour ingredients into an ice-filled Old Fashioned glass and top with ginger ale, adding more ice if needed. Garnish with a sprig of mint or an orange slice.
We're just about done here but wait! What sort of hostess sends her guests off without dessert???
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
If there was a way to make those strawberries blue, these would be perfect. You get the heart health benefits of dark chocolate and the antioxidant punch of berries. I'm practically serving you people salad!
Ok, now that we're contentedly dealing with our second food coma in 48 hours, let's talk football. Louisville is good. Period. They came darned close to knocking off undefeated Florida State, and just beat Notre Dame. Their defense is noticeably outperforming ours of late, and they've had more luck in both 3rd and 4th down conversions this season. There's a reason they are 8-3 and ranked #22 by the Playoff Committee, folks.
And yet...I'm feeling ridiculously hopeful that the team we saw come out and hang with Mississippi State for most of 4 quarters is due for a repeat performance. Patrick Towles absolutely despises UofL. This team knows what a win will do. These seniors are fully bought into how they want their final season to end up. Maybe I've had one too many Suffering Bastards, but I think we're due to deliver the upset win we came SO CLOSE to getting twice this season.
What say you, ASoB peeps?