Superbowl LI H-TOWN

It is such an honor for Houston to host the Superbowl this year. Even though neither one of the Texas teams made it, the experience of having the event in town is quite amazing regardless.   We are not Falcon or Patriot fans.  The activities are around the George R Brown convention center which is next to Minute Maid Park.  NRG stadium, where the game will be played, is a distance away from the activity.  I’m always amazed at how many people can park and get into this area in the 4th largest city in the USA.  It took us about 45 minutes at least to get in and thankfully we bought the NFL Experience ticket online because they were sold out.  There was a long line for security check.  Discovery Green is right in front of the convention center with plenty more going on accessible for free.

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The NFL experience had a series of activities you could do.  There was a 40 yard dash, passing targets, kicking targets (punts and scaled down field goals).  There was autographing from varies players, viewing of the Lombardi trophy, displays of Super Bowl rings, plenty of photo opportunities like a 3-d life size player for every team that you can climb up and stick your head in.  There was a stage setup as NFL draft day where you can stand on the stage holding up the jersey for your team!  They had mock up news rooms where you could take pics as if you were reporting live in the studio or at the game.  There was a kid zone, with a football field for the kids to play on complete with stands.  They had a referee area demoing what they do on instant replay.  They had virtual reality, and just so many things.  dash

Outside is Discovery Green, here there was a concert and Fox Sports setup, more stuff to see…even an ice skating rink!  All things NFL are pricey.  The NFL experience cost $40 a ticket, I was able to get in free and also got parking for free, it’s $20 at least to park. All of the sites outside were free and there were so many people there.  Elton John slipped in the back of the Marriott Marque (right in front of us!!!)

I’m really glad we went.  If your city is hosting the Super Bowl, that is special!  There is no way we would pay the game ticket price to be there live, so like the majority we will be having our Super Bowl spread at home and watching the game on TV.  I baked a chocolate cake that I cut in the shape of a football.  Had to freeze it so that I can frost it.  Then our main dish is a stadium snack tray…idea from Pinterest of course!!

I made this cake twice, once was a disaster with an 8inch pan the second time with 9 inch was better using a template (instructions online).  Let me just say chocolate cake is the HARDEST thing to frost.  It takes so much patience!

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I also saw so many snack tray ideas.  When we do snack trays they are so boring.  For Super Bowl we wanted to do something special!  This is the outcome…. Lots of work but my son really liked it so that is worth it!

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Superbowl LI H-TOWN

Mardi Gras Super Bowl

February 9th is Fat Tuesday!  In Galveston, there are Mardi Gras celebrations…why?  I really don’t know other than we are neighbors with Louisiana.  One of these days I will go check it out Mardi Gras in Galveston.  This year there is no time!  I understand why Louisiana-New Orleans celebrates Mardi Gras because they were settled by the French.  Mardi Gras is a French Catholic celebration.  It’s the day before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.  I have always known Mardi Gras as a big party.  Music, parades and people drinking and eating.  So it’s party hard before a period of fasting and being really good 😉  I have gone to Rio for “Carnival”, but never to New Orleans during Mardi Gras.  There are celebrations in the Caribbean Islands as well.  Typically locals tell me they stay away from it, that after years of it, it gets to be too much.  It is fun to see the dancing and vibrant costumes.

This year I plan to have a Mardi Gras theme for super bowl.   And of course that means over doing the food and making it Cajun style.  I’m ok with a party of 4.  The kids might have some people over and that would be great!  I don’t think any of us are really excited in particular about this football game.  However, it is tradition and it’s a good excuse to get together and eat!

I consulted Pinterest for a good gumbo recipe and scored!  I will have that cooking in the crockpot all day.  I am going to fry shrimp that can be put on French bread to make po-boys.  We are having spicy crackers with cheese and andouille sausage, jalapeno poppers (that’s just my Texas addition to it) and king cake!  I have never had king cake and think it’s interesting that if you get the piece that has the baby figure inside it symbolizes luck and prosperity. Before they had the little plastic babies they used beans, which seems safer!

I will look for some purple, green and gold plates and will have some beads to wear.  To drink, we will have some mock tail hurricanes.  I think it will be fun!

The gumbo is in the slow cooker and I still have 5 lbs of shrimp to peel and I need to go get the plates.  We are going to do commercial bingo (a tip a friend of mine gave me) and I need to go get some prizes.  I think for this group a gift card to a fast food place will be good.

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I love going to the grocery store HEB.  My daughter spied the cake hiding in the basket when I texted her back this picture as an answer to “what are you doing?”.  She wants a king cake from a bakery.  I am no connoisseur of king cakes, this one from the HEB bakery will have to do.  I think the HEB bakery is really good.  They have all sorts of baked goods. I never knew there was a variety of filling options for king cake.  We got cream cheese and pineapple.  Cinnamon and pecan praline I would think are the more traditional. They also have other fruit fillings.

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So a little on the details…the hurricane is equal parts (shot) of pineapple juice, orange juice, a squeeze of lime, a splash of agave nectar, all shaken (you can add a shot of rum). Then you pour a splash of grenadine on top and you get the really cool blend of colors. The grenadine sinks to the bottom.

 

 

 

Mardi Gras Super Bowl