tailgate tea (+ a tailgate shower)

Posted: October 21st, 2014

tailgate tea

My parents and their friends threw a wedding shower this weekend for some of our good friends–a friend I have known since the day I was born and his fiance (who happens to be the daughter of my mom’s college roommate….small world).  And since it is fall and Auburn is a big part of their lives (and ours), it seemed appropriate to throw them an Auburn themed backyard tailgate shower.

Sometimes I think that someone needs to create a reality show centered around my family getting ready for events.  It is mass chaos and general upheaval.  It would be like Restaurant Impossible, except at our house and with my parents’ house.  We are always too ambitious about what can be done beforehand (example: painting baseboards at the end of their house remodel the morning before Thanksgiving last year).  And for the first time ever this weekend, I actually started to doubt that we would be ready by the time the party began.  But we were ready, thanks to the fact that Gerrit and I were able to come over all day and the fact that the other hosts of the shower did so many wonderful things (including doing some of the things we didn’t have time for).

tailgate themed wedding shower

tailgate wedding shower

It was a lovely party with lots of BBQ and food and desserts and the most adorable decorations (the last of which we had no part in…the creativity of some people I know astounds me).

And of course there were drinks, too, which somehow Gerrit and I ended up being in charge of.  Gerrit’s contribution was that he homebrewed a keg of beer for the party.  And then I ended up making the Toomer’s Corner Lemonade and the tailgate tea while Evelyn was napping.

tailgate tea

Actually, I kind of took over the making of the tailgate tea from my dad because I wanted to know how it’s done.  It’s become a staple drink for football season, and every time we go over to my parents’ house it magically appears already made and mixed.  And when I ask my dad for the recipe he says, “It’s basically just tea and liquor,” which I realize and which is not helpful.

So, actually taking charge and making the tea was the only way I was going to get the ratios out of him.  And here it is.

I’m not really a huge drinker, but this, plus sangria and the occasional jack & coke, are my weaknesses.  I can do without the glass of wine at dinner, and honestly I hate beer (much to Gerrit’s dismay), but take some sweet tea and mix it with whisky and peach schnapps and I am sold.

tailgate tea

tailgate tea

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 gallons

This is one of my favorite drinks for football season. I'm not actually a big sweet tea drinker, but when you add the sweet peach and citrus flavors I'm hooked. It's such a simple drink to make, and always a crowd pleaser.


  • 4 iced tea bags
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 20 oz. bourbon
  • 28 oz. peach schnapps
  • 8 oz. sweetened lime juice


  1. Bring a kettle of water to boil over high heat. Set the tea bags in a small heat proof pot, and pour the boiling water over the tea bags (you just need enough water to cover the tea bags). Let them sit and steep for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Pour the tea into a large pitcher and add the sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Then add enough cold water to make 1 gallon of tea.
  3. Then stir in the whisky, peach schnapps, and sweetened lime juice. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve in glasses over ice.
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roasted red pepper pasta

Posted: October 16th, 2014

roasted red pepper pasta

I have made it no secret in the past that I do not like tomatoes.  And that’s a hard thing to deal with in life.  All the time I read a recipe for a pasta or a stew and think, “Oh, this sounds good!” and then I get to the last ingredient on the list and it is always tomatoes.

So pasta sauces have been a bit hard for me.  The plus side of this is that I’ve discovered some really great pasta dishes like pasta with sausage and tuscan beans and pasta with garlic and olive oil and mushroom marsala pasta.  The down side of this is that every single one of these pasta dishes is beige colored.  Not that there’s a problem with that.  But I’ve been generally teased throughout my life about my preference of beige plates. Read more »

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a day in the life {with a 2 month old}

Posted: October 13th, 2014

Just a typical day at home right now.  Tuesday, October 7.

8 am

8:00 a.m.  I let Evelyn sleep in a little bit later because we had all had a horrible night of sleep the night before.  She normally sleeps through the night these days, but Tuesday morning she woke up around 2:30 and wouldn’t go back to sleep for awhile. Read more »

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5 easy health changes

Posted: October 8th, 2014

easy health changes

After my explanation the other day of my efforts to be more concscious of the sugar I’m eating, I wanted to share with you a few changes I’ve made.  Most of the them are easy switches I’ve made which I know will benefit my overall health.

{1} Using natural peanut butter instead of regular peanut butter
I eat peanut butter sandwiches A LOT.  And have you looked at the sugar content on regular peanut butter compared to natural peanut butter?  Huge difference.  But be sure to look at the sugar content of your natural peanut butter, too.  There has been at least one kind of “natural” peanut butter I’ve picked up whose sugar content and ingredient list are almost identical to my regular peanut butter.

Also, if you have trouble liking natural peanut butter, take a few weeks and mix natural and regular peanut butter together, slowly decreasing the amount of regular peanut butter you use, until you are used to the flavor of natural.

{2} Eating healthier snacks instead of sweeter snacks
I’m a horrible snacker.  I don’t snack a lot, but with Evelyn draining so much of my energy, I’m finding I usually need a little something in the afternoon.  And I’m horrible about making it something sweet.  So I’ve starting buying some of my favorite whole grain crackers and cheese for afternoon snacks, and making a healthier version of something sweet (like the peanut butter oat balls) for my inevitable sweet craving.

{3} No extra sugar in my oatmeal
I love making some quick instant oatmeal for breakfast in the morning, but I’ve always put extra brown sugar in it.  This is a really easy habit to stop.  I just slowly decreased the amount I added in over a couple of days until I stopped missing it.

{4} Eating brown rice instead of white rice
Brown rice is so much healthier than white rice (and is better for blood sugar levels), and I like it just fine.  Yet I’ve always bought white rice without thinking twice about it.  Getting brown rice instead is such an easy switch though.  The only tricky part is remembering that it takes longer to cook, so I need to throw it in my rice maker a little earlier.

{5} Less dessert
Gerrit and I always have frozen yogurt in the freezer, and it is so easy to get into the habit of eating it nightly (especially with our new favorite–magic shell topping).  I’m trying to be better about not eating it every night and just have a little piece of chocolate after dinner instead.

Any other ideas?  I’d love more ideas of easy healthy changes!

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peanut butter oat balls (+ let’s talk about sugar & insulin)

Posted: October 6th, 2014

peanut butter oat balls
Here’s the truth: I eat way too much sugar.  When you break it down and think about not just the straight up sugar I have, but all the carbs I eat that my body processes like sugar, it is just way too much.

I mentioned awhile ago, when I said we were going to be having a baby, that I was surprised how quickly it happened.  I was pretty sure the journey of getting pregnant was going to take months and months and I was going to have to go through more prescriptions and treatments than I did.  And I guess I’d like to tell you a little bit more about that now. Read more »

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