by February 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,866 0

"Borderstan""Pork Sandwich"

Super Bowl Pulled Pork Sandwich. (Stephanie Willis).

From Stephanie Willis. Email her at [email protected], follow her on Twitter @shaw_girl.

See Lebodome’s Super Bowl XLVI Primer (and the Giants Will Win) on tips for how to enjoy Sunday’s Super Bowl game. Hint: Location, location, location (and food and dudes).

I can try to pretend I love football and have a big party planned for Sunday. But truthfully, my co-worker just told me the Super Bowl XLVI is Sunday and I have no idea who is playing. Or where.

Yet somehow I know Madonna is the halftime performer and Matthew Broderick is reprising his Ferris Bueller role in an ad. Clearly I have different priorities than sports fans. Even though I won’t be watching on Sunday, I want all of you to be Super Prepared for the festivities (see what I did there?).

So I found some great party friendly foods that use produce, meat and other divine things you can pick up at the farmers market on Sunday. Right before the big game starts… at noon, right?

  •  Collard greens get a bit of a party make-over in these grits-stuffed collard rolls.  If you’re expecting a large crowd on Sunday, this recipe is easily doubled or tripled for your party trays.
  • One of Keswick Creamery’s extra sharp cheeses would be perfect for these cheese straws. I often substitute cayenne pepper for the crushed red pepper flakes for an added kick. Make a big batch and pile them in bowls around your house for guests. Or, if you’re like me, eat most of them before the first guest even arrives.
  • Believe it or not, you can also pick up the blue cheese dressing for this buffalo chicken dip at Keswick Creamery this Sunday. And for a change of pace, pair the dip with kale chips.
  • Get fresh mushrooms at the Mushroom Stand and bacon at Red Apron Butchery for this mushroom and bacon dip. Sure you can serve store bought chips with it, but why not use fresh carrots from the market? Or even better, these beet chips!
  • Swap out frozen spinach for fresh in this spinach and artichoke dip. Simply saute the spinach for a minute or two to wilt it and let it cool. You can also pick up fresh garlic for this dip at the market. I’ve been tempted to substitute Keswick’s quark cheese for the cream cheese, but have yet to try it. If you do, tell us how it works.
  • If you want to serve up something besides Lay’s, these sweet potato chips are (in my opinion, at least) better than their regular potato cousin. I especially love the rosemary salt you sprinkle over the hot chips.
  • Grab some fresh pork from Smith Meadows for this slow cooker pulled pork dish. It’s mind numbingly easy to make and absolutely delicious. Plus it makes a LOT of pulled pork, which I assume one needs to cheer on their favorite team.
  • Finally, no Super Bowl party would be complete without buffalo wings! Fresh garlic from the market will help make these wings a little more local. I have yet to find chicken wings at the farmers market, but it doesn’t hurt to ask around on Sunday. And you can skip the recipe for blue cheese sauce and just serve the wings with Keswick Creamery’s blue cheese dressing!

Hope everyone has a Super weekend (too much?) and go [insert name of your favorite team here]!

by December 26, 2011 at 5:34 pm 1,264 0

New Year's Eve 2011

December 31: Staying home, going to a party or heading out to a club? (Alejandra Owens)

It’s almost 2012, Borderstanis. To help you get ready for the weekend, here are some tips from Laura, Stephanie, Alejandra and Ashley on where to go, what to cook, what to drink and how to cure a hangover.

Safety first: Don’t drink and drive. Ever. Have a designated driver, call a cab, make some kind of arrangements. If you find yourself without cash during the holiday season, you can get a free cab ride (up to $30) and the program is already running: Be Safe: Free Taxi Rides Available During Holidays. Call 800-202-8294 or #8294 of you are an AT&T wireless customer.

The Perfect Outfit

Current Boutique, New Year's Eve 2011

Still looking for a fab New Year’s Eve outfit? (Courtesy Current Boutique)

And for those Bordertan women still looking for the perfect outfit, here is some advice from Kate, Laura and Eliza.

by December 23, 2011 at 10:00 am 3,103 0

hazelnut-chocolate chip blondies

Hazelnut-chocolate chip blondies. (Stephanie Willis)

From Stephanie Willis. Follow her on Twitter @shaw_girl, email her at [email protected].

We all get it in our heads to host a festive New Year’s Eve party at least once in our adult life.  It usually starts with, “Wouldn’t it be fun to have the gang ’round to ring in the new year?”  Before you know it, a gathering of a few people has morphed into a bash that could rival Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve.

The inevitable panic of what to serve everyone can drive some to hit up the supermarket deli counter.  I cannot stress this enough: stay.away.from.the.deli.counter.

You can whip up some tasty eats that are party approved and easy to make. To get you started, here is a round-up of recipes from some of my favorite local foodies.

Deviled Eggs, Bacon Options

  • I love deviled eggs. Actually love may not be a strong enough word to describe my passion for this party staple. Zach and Clay over at The Bitten Word give it a sophisticated twist with this smoked salmon deviled egg recipe. You can make these ahead of time and pull them out to oohs and aahhs from your guests.
  • What better way to ring in the new year than with bacon? These bacon and leek mini quiches from Pete Bakes! use a crust that even the most kitchen-phobic host(ess) can master.
  • In case you are going for a bacon-themed party (which sounds like my kind of party), these asiago stuffed dates with bacon and smoked paprika are an instant party classic.
  • Speaking of bacon and cheese, these gruyere cheese and bacon cheesy puffs are a decadent way to ring in 2012.  Flaky, cheesy and with touches of pork? Who wouldn’t love ’em??
Circle Cheesy Puffs, Stephanie Willis

Circle Cheesy Puffs with gruyere cheese and bacon. (Stephanie Willis)

Wings, Brie, Pepper Crackers

  • The lovely Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s party wings were the talk of a DC Food Blogger event last January. And rightly so.  These Asian inspired wings are a delicate balance of sweet and salty on your tongue.  Bonus? They’re super easy to throw together.  The recipe calls for fermented black beans but if you can’t find them, don’t panic.  I have made this recipe without the aforementioned beans and they were amazing.
  • I love the look of these black raspberry brie-bites from Not Derby Pie. People will think you spent ages delicately putting them together but they are a breeze to assemble.
  • These savory parmesan black pepper crackers from Jenna over at Modern Domestic pack quite a tasty punch.  Pile them high in your favorite serving bowl for people to graze on as they toast their way into 2012.


  • And to add a sweet cap to the evening, might I recommend hazelnut-chocolate chip blondies. Blondies are one of the easiest desserts to make and these have Nutella in them. NUTELLA!
  • If you’d like to be a bit more ambitious with your New Year’s Eve dessert, this chocolate bourbon pound cake is just the ticket. Not only is it delicious, it will look beautiful on your new milk glass cake stand.  I’m not the only one who asked Santa for one of those this year, am I?

So fear not, party host(ess) with the mostest! You can bang out phenomenal looking trays of appetizers in no time flat. Take a deep breath, plan out your menu and, most of all, enjoy yourself.

Have a safe and happy start to 2012, everyone!


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