08 February 2010

Take me back to New Orleans.

I fell in love with New Orleans before I even went there. I've only been once, but it is still my favorite city in the world. It's just like no where else, and it's so hard to put that love into words. If you haven't been, you must go, and I sure hope to get back there many times. (And if you put a Central Grocery muffuletta in front of me right now, I would eat every last bite in all its meaty glory, despite my current status!) And if there was ever a band that personified a city, it would be Cowboy Mouth, who I have been lovingly seeing since I was 19 years old. Like their hometown, you can't really describe a Cowboy Mouth show without sounding a little doofy. But it's amazing and fun and makes you feel a little smooshy inside. They haven't been back to Michigan in a while, so it was very very exciting to spend this past Friday night celebrating Lisa S.'s birthday with a Cowboy Mouth show in Royal Oak.

That's Lisa sporting her new birthday cap (seriously, is everyone sick of my hats yet? haha) -- fits like a glove!

Enjoy a little CM on me!

Now, I couldn't possibly care less about football. BUT how cool is it that I saw Cowboy Mouth Friday, then New Orleans was playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday? It was like kismet! If you're ever going to get me to care about who wins a Super Bowl, it's going to be for my special NO!

Lisa and Brad Z. and Sarah and Mike came over for a little partay, and what else COULD I make but muffuletta snacks? Once I found a perfect olive salad mixture a week or so ago, I knew it was meant to be.

This olive salad is by far the best I've found, and I'm always on the lookout for a good NO substitute. It's Puckered Pickle (ha) Alpino pizza topping, and I found it at Meijer (I'm pretty sure). It's coarsely chopped, which makes it easier to work with for small bites, and, speaking of bite, it's nice and spicy -- so watch your scoop size (ahem, I'm looking at you, Mike. ha!). Handy tip: This topping is good for all sorts of dishes, including just dumping it in a bowl of hot pasta. Anyway, for these snacks, I also discovered another new product: sandwich flats. Round like a bun, but flat like bread. I cut them into small squares, then topped them with provolone, salami, and the olive salad. I also made a few veggie ones so I could enjoy as well. Delish.

The spread.
*Thanks to Lisa for the delicious veggie tray and edamame hummus (see below!).

Waiting for her snacks.

Brownies seemed like a good football dessert, so I decided to whip some up. I figured I had everything I'd need to make them from scratch, so I made my first from-scratch brownie attempt.

Based on what ingredients I had at home, I went with cake brownies from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I SWEAR I read the recipe correctly -- no mistakes with sugar this time. But they still tasted... a little weird. Better after I sent Brad to the store to pick up frosting for me. But still a little weird. Maybe it was the pecans? Or the consistency? They were ok -- they did the trick for the most part -- but I do not recommend this recipe, and I won't be making it again. I'd make box brownies first.

So, as you know by now, New Orleans won. I like to think my muffuletta snacks were the lucky charm. Whatever the case, George was very excited (* insert sarcasm here *) for his very first Super Bowl party.

Can I go to bed yet?


Alison said...

What a cute idea - mini mufalettas for the game! Sounds a lot better than nachos and chili. :) I have to admit, I will eat anything, and I mean anything, but I do not like Cajun food at ALL. I hated the food in New Orleans and go berserk when anyone suggests dinner at Quarter Bistro!

Mrs. Church said...

** GASP! ** haha! Not like the food in New Orleans?! I refuse to believe it. ha ha ha ha :)