Game Day Par-Tay

The University of Central Florida (UCF) football team isn’t exactly world-renowned. When our team is invited to play in a bowl game, it’s a pretty big deal.

Needless to say, the UCF vs. Rutgers bowl game in St. Petersburg gave UCF fans a great reason to travel two hours south from Orlando to party and cheer for our Knights.

Girls Gathering to Cheer for Our Knights!

Taco Night

On Friday night Ryan and I headed to St. Pete to my parents’ house to do some cookin’ and bakin’ to prepare for the pre-tailgating party we were hosting with my family the next day.

When we arrived, my mom had chicken tacos waiting for us for dinner.

Taco Spread

Taco Chicken

Taco Toppings

I enjoyed two hard shell tacos and a plate full of taco toppings and chicken in the form of a big taco salad.

Taco, Taco

Party Prep

After dinner I began baking and making some goodies for Saturday’s party.

I made walnut brownies with white chocolate chips and ooey-gooey Rice Krispie treats.

Walnut White Chocolate Chip Brownies

Sweet Treats

Though I wrapped up the goodies to save for Saturday’s festivities, more than one of the sweet treats made it into my mouth before they were put away for the next day. 😀

Pre-Tailgate Party  

Our pre-tailgate party was super fun!

My mom, sister and I worked hard to get all the food in order before everyone arrived while Ryan and our friend Ross (who arrived to our house on Friday night) left to pick up drinks for the party.

Food Party Table

Puppy Chow! (Peanut Butter, Chocolate and Powdered Sugar Chex Mix)

Chips and Guacamole

Party Table

The spread featured Rice Krispie treats, walnut chocolate chip brownies, pumpkin spice cookies, puppy chow, chips, salsa, guacamole, crackers, milk and dark chocolate and M&Ms.

Thanks to my mom for buying all the black and gold plates, cups, and utensils. I loved the festive UCF colors!  

Me and My Sister

Leslie wasn’t sportin’ UCF colors because she had to leave for a wedding, but she was able to stay and hang out for a little bit.

Mah Sister and Me

Ryan, our friend Ross and my dad enjoyed some beers while we watched Sadie and Ross’ adorable chocolate lab puppy Kona play and play and play.

Ross, Ryan and My Dad

Kona and Sadie Causin' Trouble

Sadie is officially the craziest dog in the world, so it wasn’t too long before Kona needed to take a breather…

Kona Resting

…followed by a nap.

Kona's Much-Needed Nap

How cute is this puppy!? Everyone threatened to kidnap her from Ross. She is so stinkin’ adorable!

When everyone arrived, we dug into the food and drinks!

Go Knights!

Hammin' it Up

We laughed a lot when we played a drinking game involving animal noises and motions. The picture below captures our animal roles. (I was an elephant.)  

Bunch of Wild Animals

(Please notice the wild dogs who continued to cause a ruckus throughout the party.)

We also enjoyed several shots, instigated by… my father! What a guy! 😀

Merri and My Dad - Shot Buddies

Group Shots

Father/Daughter Shot

Post-Shot Love

I loved eating, drinking and laughing with some of my favorite people in the world.



Takin' a Knee

(Our group likes to take a knee when we drink… stability, you know?)

Leah and Ashley

At around 3 p.m., we finally got around to eating some burgers, hot dogs, baked beans and pasta salad.

Hot Diggity Dawg

I forgot how good simple tailgate food can be!

The Game

After several hours of partying at my parents’ house, we headed out to tailgate with some other friends before heading in for the big game at 8 p.m.

Unfortunately UCF lost, but I had a great time with my family and friends and really didn’t care too much. 😉 Does that make me a bad fan?

All in all, yesterday was a great day full of good food, family and good friends! UCF should play in bowl games more often! 😀

Did You Try It Yet?

Well, did you?

Click here to accept the challenge I posted this morning.

This game is maddening!

Wanna know what’s even more maddening? Ryan got it on his first try in 15 seconds. It’s okay, you can hate him. I did. But only for .05 seconds and it was out of complete jealousy.

This game was making the rounds at work today and the agitation and anger felt around the office was intense. When I finally got it, I actually jumped out of my chair and did a fist pump. No lie.

The Fist Pump

I apologize for my tasteless selection of a picture of the cheater extraordinaire Tiger Woods, but go ahead and do a Google Images search for a fist pump and tell me what you find. 😉 Tiger. Tiger. More Tiger.


Lunch today hit the spot!

Pasta Bowl

  • Roasted garlic Carba Nada Noodles
  • Marinara sauce
  • Portobello mushrooms
  • Yellow squash
  • Broccoli

Friday's Lunch

Pasta, I love you.

Friday Night Happenings

After work today, Ryan, Sadie and I are heading to St. Pete to stay at my parents’ house for the evening. I plan on spending most of the night baking and preparing yummy goodies for our BBQ party before the big UCF bowl game on Saturday. Let’s go Knights! 😀

My friends will be arriving around noon tomorrow to enjoy hamburgers, hot dogs, other munchies and drinks before we head out to tailgate for a few hours before the game at 8 p.m. My friend Ashley is in town from Chicago and I can’t wait to see her!

Food on the agenda so far includes:

  • Hamburgers
  • Hot dogs
  • Baked beans
  • Pasta salad
  • Puppy chow (I’ll post the recipe for this one! So stinkin’ good!)
  • Rice Krispie treats
  • Chips and dip (guacamole, chili dip, spinach dip)
  • Veggie platter
  • Pumpkin spice cookies (aka the easiest cookies in the world – only two ingredients!)
  • Oreo balls (a la Jessica)
  • Apple slices with peanut and brown sugar cream cheese dip

I’m sure changes to the proposed menu will occur, but that’s the tentative list!

What’s your favorite food to enjoy at a BBQ?

Pie(s!) for Breakfast

I had every intention of making myself a tasty breakfast after our morning walk with Sadie. I was anxious to make several of the four pies I needed to make today (two for a party this afternoon and two for a work pot luck tomorrow), so I figured I’d get crackin’ and eat breakfast afterward.

Bad idea. Guess what I ended up eating for breakfast? Pie filling!

Pie Number One

First, I made a white chocolate and fudge mousse pie. It was super easy and I just prepared half a batch of Jello white chocolate pudding and half a batch of Jello chocolate fugde pudding before stirring in an entire container of cool whip.

Pre-Stirred Chocolate Mousse Pie

I poured the batter into a graham cracker crust. At the bottom of the crust, I smoothed out a layer of caramel topping and a half a cup of chopped pecans.

Bottom of Da Pie

White Chocolate Fudge Mousse Pie

So, for round one of my breakfast, I enjoyed what leftovers from ths white chocolate fudge mousse pie I thought were “too much” to fit into the crust. 😉

Pie Number Two

The second pie I made was a turtle pumpkin pie which used the same caramel and pecan surprise layer at the bottom of a graham cracker crust.

For the filling, I wisked together one cup of pumpkin, two packs of vanilla instant pudding, one cup of milk, one teaspoon of cinnamon and a half of a teaspoon of nutmeg until everything was thoroughly mixed.

I then added a cup and a half of cool whip. Ooooooh wow.


After pouring the mix into the prepared pie crust (and eating a bunch as my breakfast number two) I stuck this pie (and the two others like it I also made) in the fridge.


Before serving this pie will be topped with cool whip, caramel topping and more chopped pecans. I’ll be sure to snap a pic to share! 🙂

Turtle Pumpkin Pie Recipe

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. caramel ice cream topping, divided
1   Graham Cracker Pie Crust (6 oz.)
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. chopped pecans, divided
2 pkg.  (3.4 oz. each) Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 cup cold milk
1 cup  canned pumpkin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp.  ground nutmeg
1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip Whipped Topping, thawed, divided


POUR 1/4 cup caramel topping into crust; sprinkle with 1/2 cup nuts.

BEAT dry pudding mixes, milk, pumpkin and spices with whisk until well blended. Stir in 1-1/2 cups COOL WHIP; spoon into crust.

REFRIGERATE 1 hour. Top with remaining COOL WHIP, caramel topping and nuts just before serving.

You may also find this recipe here.

Sunday Plans

While I was preparing a plethora of pies, Ryan headed out for a soccer game this morning. I’ll be hitting the gym soon before we head over to a Thanksgiving pot luck party this afternoon. I’m excited to enjoy my second Thanksgiving meal of the year already!