While most people equate Thanksgiving with pumpkin pie, at some point, I decided that pecan pie (which I pronounce pee-cahn) was the better choice. Every Thanksgiving, I break out my Paula Deen cookbook (scandals not included) and make her bourbon pecan pie.

It's rich, creamy, and has enough bourbon in it to make your stresses float away when you take a bite. It's also surprisingly simple, so if you are short on time but want a major ROI for taste, I recommend it.

This is the recipe, should you be interested in using it. I sub the dark corn syrup for light, vanilla-flavored corn syrup.

Happy holidays,

M

 
 
My lunch of choice: mashed potatoes and salad. At least I'll eat mashed potatoes with skins mixed in now.
 
 

So, today was the official last day of classes for Cal Poly. This was the rec center at 9. I could get used to this.

 
 
 
 
They have a guacamole cart. Do you want to go there?
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The tostada salad
That's how it all started.  My husband new of my love for guac and Mexican food and found a new Mexican restaurant in SLO.  Since we first started going to Que Pasa on April 30, we have gone 4 times.  Seriously.  I have a problem and Que Pasa is enabling it.
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What's amazing about Que Pasa, compared to other Mexican restaurants (ahem, Pepe Delgado's), the service is wonderful and kind.  The water glasses are big and they refill them quickly.  And don't get me started on the salsa.
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Hunter's enchilada. Seriously. Look at this plate.
The salsa must be made from roasted tomatoes, because there are these little black specks that make me love it even more than I should.  The refried beans are smooth and don't feel grimy.  The Mexican rice is well-blended and the seasonings are delicious.  My go-to order is the tostada salad: a delicious dinner that's not too big.  I love the fact they add guac, fresh cheese, and corn salsa to the mix.  My mouth is now watering, but I can't tell Hunter.  I promised I wouldn't ask for Mexican this week.
Que Pasa Mexican Cafe on Urbanspoon
 
 
I think I would have made you proud today.

I used Bisquick for the first time today.  I used it to make a concoction with no recipe.  It's taking longer than I expected to bake.  I just hope it tastes good.

It's left over shredded chicken mixed with pineapple and barbecue sauce and biscuits.  

Thanks for helping me learn to be creative in the kitchen.
 
 
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What a bummer. I loaded up on it thinking it was guac, and it turned out to be green salsa.
As someone who doesn't really enjoy spicy food, it was a bit of a shock and created a huge desire for water.  Unfortunately, we were at a winery.  So, you can imagine what happened next.
However, the rest of the food (especially the carnitas), catered by Paso Robles Cafe, was fantastic.  I can't wait to go try it out at the restaurant!

 
 
 
 
My dad has always bragged about he can remember any experience in his life based on what sporting event was going on at the time.  He remembers the 1991 NCAA tourney in conjunction with my little brother's birth and Duke's national championship. (Full disclosure: I'm a Duke fan.)

I guess I inherited a bit of my father's talent because I recall NCAA tournaments based on what I was eating at the time.  I remember going with my mom to get take-out for the first time when Notre Dame defeated Purdue in 2001.  The business soon went under and so did the Hoosier state’s moment of stardom in the collegiate basketball universe.

Because I was raised as a Blue Devil fan by a man who is pretty diehard in his fandom, my siblings and I were given the opportunity to go to regional games growing up.  I went to Raleigh, my brother went to Memphis and San Antonio, and my sister went to Washington D.C.  In 2010, when Duke made it to the Final Four in Indianapolis, it only made sense that my dad would get tickets.

In the case of the 2010 tourney, I was in an interesting and unique predicament.  I share an alma mater with Brad Stevens, Butler’s head coach, I was by far a persona non grata on DePauw’s campus the week leading up to the Final Four.  The dislike grew once my friends found out that I had a ticket to the national semifinals games, especially because I’d be cheering on the “wrong” team.

On the day that I was to take my little sister to the games with me, I had a track meet.  Because I’m a klutz of unbelievable talent, I managed to scrape my hand open while warming up for my event.  As Julie and I drove to Indy to get to the games, eating the fruit snacks that came in a care package from my church, I realized how deep the cut was and how much it really hurt.  Once we got to Lucas Oil, I had one of the EMTs check it out and they deemed stitches unnecessary.  Then, being the supreme genius that I am, I decided I should eat nachos.  Long story short, I learned that a really deep cut on the palm of your hand. salt-covered tortilla chips, and a ranting Tom Izzo don’t mix.

My tournament-related food memories have gotten interesting since then.  In 2011, I stood in a Subway in Bowling Green, Kentucky, pleading with the workers to change the channel to CBS so I could watch the Bulldogs pull of an upset.  They didn’t, so we ran out of the store after getting our sandwiches to listen to the game on Sirius/XM.  The next weekend, I went on a date during the tournament and ended up staying for three hours with the guy watching basketball, drinking a beer, eating pizza, and talking.  My sorority sisters were convinced I had been murdered and called and texted me until I proved I was alive.

Last year, I forced my then-fiancé, (not the same guy I went on a date with) to drive six-hours to Columbus, Ohio, so that I could get my annual helping of Mach Madness.  Of course I coupled the trip with an adventure to Schmidt’s Sausage Haus in Germantown, who wouldn’t?  The biggest regret I have of the weekend wasn’t outrunning the crazy supercell storm on our way home, but rather not waiting in a long line for Skyline Chili nachos.  To this day, it is one of my biggest sports-related food regrets.

I guess what it boils down to is that I never know where my life will take me during March Madness, but I always make sure I’m having a good time with good friends and good food.  Who knows where this year’s tournament will take me, but you can be sure that I’ll be cheering, dancing, and screaming at the TV with some sort of delicious food nearby.