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Publisher – Jeffrey Neil Fox Associate Publisher – Sara Ann Fox Operations – Eric Benjamin Fox Retail Directors – Richard Kelly, Brittany Cisneros and Susan Parker Director of Community Affairs – Jim The Colonel Griffin Graphics – Paula Custer & Mike “The General” Custer Director of Photography – Jeffrey Neil Fox Director of Development – Stephen Roger Fox Correspondent – Samantha Bond, Denis Crawford, Jared Bergstrom, Jeff Wagner, Sylvia Huddleston Food Critic – Jo Brody Weaver National Advertising Director – David Creighton Advertising Director – Jo Brody Weaver Advertising Director – Tony Holbrook

• RV, Boat And Car Storage Gear Up For the Game is the official magazine of Authentic Team Merchandise. The publication is wholly owned by Jesseric Enterprises, Inc. Copyright 2011 by Jesseric Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. Vol 4 #6 December 10, 2011. Reproduction in whole or parts is strictly prohibited without the expressed written consent of the publisher. We are dedicated and devoted to the hometown fans. For Advertising information and editorial review please contact publisher at Gear Up For The Game is a proud member of the Carrollwood Area Business Association (C.A.B.A.).

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Publishers Chalk Talk

by Jeffery Neil Fox Special Edition Super Guide

Rising Star – Retailer of the Year

Welcome to our annual Super Bowl issue of our Gear Up For The Game publication. We are dedicated and devoted to you, the fan of the hometown teams. I was praying that our Tampa Bay Buccaneers would make it to the “Big Show” this season, but to my dismay, our Pewter Partners did not fare well in 2011. I know I want to put many of the memories of last season behind me. As of press time, a new coach has not been confirmed to replace Raheem Morris who was fired at the end of the season. I do know that the Buccaneers owners, Brian and Joel Glazer, along with General Manager Mark Dominick have done an extensive search for a new coach. They have interviewed many candidates for the head coaching job for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and are committed to getting what they feel will be the best coach. The ownership continue to insist that they are committed to winning and want to give the team the best opportunity to compete and make the playoffs again. I suspect many changes are on the horizon with a new coach and coaching staff, great draft picks along with free agent acquisitions. I’m looking for a resurgence next year with the Buccaneers playing with intensity to fight their way to the playoffs. I still have vivid memories of when the Bucs won their inaugural Super Bowl back on January 26, 2003. We have declared that day a holiday and celebrate the day each year in our Bucs & Bulls Heaven retail super center. Can you think of a bigger day in the history of Tampa Bay that was more dramatic and important to the Tampa Bay area? One of our vendors nominated our Authentic Team Merchandise Bucs & Bulls Heaven enterprise for the Rising Star Retailer of Year Award. We are proud to report that we won the award for the State of Florida. As recipients of the award I was given an all expensed paid trip out to Las Vegas for the annual Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show. I had our picture as a winner representing Florida at the entrance of the trade show. All of the exhibitors/vendors/manufacturers recognized and congratulated us as winners of this prestigious award. The founder of the Sports Authority, Jack Smith presented me with the award at a breakfast banquet. Jack said that we were “the best of the best”. We have attended the show for the past two decades. It’s important for us to see the latest and greatest in new licensed merchandise and tailgate gadgets. I’m amazed at all the new products that are being made with the Tampa Bay Buccaneer logo and the University of South Florida logo. We always want to be the first to get in new products for our customers. We give feedback to manufacturers. Our fans are the best in the country and deserve the best. I hope you enjoy this issue of Gear Up For The Game. Share it with your friends and keep it as a part of your enjoyment of being a fan. You will enjoy the articles by our regular columnists Samantha

Bond, and Finish Strong Jeff Wagner. Sylvia Huddleston aka “The Pirate Lady” let her grandson Jared contribute an article for this issue Our food critic Jo Brody Weaver always comes up with the best recipes, Her food sensations are designed for both tailgaters that party outside their favorite sporting event and for those loyal fans that homegate in the comfort of their homes and backyards. It’s part of the fabric of our community to root and hoot for the hometown teams. Please patronize our advertisers and tell them that you saw their marketing message in Gear Up. We have plans on growing the magazine with more featured articles and photographs. We want to do whatever we can to help you improve the enjoyment of your favorite team and sporting event. Tampa has become the apex of sports for the State of Florida. We have the professional teams with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Rays, Tampa Bay Storm. My Alma Mata the University of South Florida is part of the Big East Conference in Football, Basketball, Soccer, Baseball, Volley Ball and Softball. I’m looking forward to the completion of the renovation of the Sun Dome on the USF campus. We recently launched our new online stores . Everything we offer is displayed and available for our mail order customers. The world has turned to the internet and we have aggressive plans on expanding our online enterprise. On select items we can now offer you merchandise on many other professional and collegiate teams. We have partnered up with many of our manufacturers and some items they can drop ship in your favorite team(s) items directly to you, Please check back to our web site often. You should let us be your gift headquarters. We do have something for everyone. I look forward to seeing you again with our next issue. Remember to Gear Up For The Game


Article by Jeff Wagner

Ok, so I got your attention, not your typical headline in a Sports related publication, but stick with me. Yes, here’s me and the love of my life, Dixie, “Finish Stronging” at a recent USF event. It is kind of like Tim “Tebowing” but since I can’t get down on my knees (if I did, it would take me a while to get up), I like to give my Father, Son and Holy Spirit all the Glory to the sky’s, while keeping my family finger, ring finger down to the earth. Isn’t it GREAT to be in the Tampa Bay area this time of the year! Oh, I know there are some negatives, like I’m already getting my notice to pay and renew my Buccaneer season tickets, but think of all the exciting things going on now! Besides, not having fall football around for several months, there are a lot of other things in town to fall in love with... How about USF basketball? Or Lightning hockey? When was the last time you went to one of these fun games? I went recently to a USF game and saw a Village People impersonator performing at half-time and loved it! OK, I’m showing my age, but all were laughing and enjoying the show. The Bulls beat a top 25 team also, so I’m confident there will be more of these as March Madness intensifies and the Bulls look for a postseason run! I’ll be taking my little brother from the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, to a Lightning game and these are extremely entertaining. He likes the love the players show out there on the ice! My Annual Sports Pool Charity Awards event, where my family and friends have now raised over $ 5,000 for charities, brings together many I love in February. It also gets me in the mood to shop for Valentine’s Day to the real special one’s. Oh, do you know they sell lots of nice jewelry at Bucs and Bulls Heaven, along with some nice, newer Finish Strong pewter bracelets! The Gasparilla festivities, Florida State Fair, Strawberry

Our Readers Are YOUR Fans! Like you, “Gear Up For The Game” readers are huge sports fans. They can’t wait for gameday so they can celebrate the excitement and festivities of big time college and pro sports. Our readers need your products and services to complete their expectations, to label themselves with their friends and neighbors as “hardcore” sports fans. THEY CAN’T DO THIS WITHOUT YOU! Our readers use your goods and services to enhance their gameday gatherings and make each event one to remember. E ERV ING RES ARKETTHE M R OR YOU ACE F ISSUE SP EXT Y! N ODA T

Festival, great outdoor concerts and more also get into full swing! We can’t forget the Gasparilla run, for those New Year’s resolutions either. Did you know, there are lots of “Finish Strong” items at “Heaven”, such as hats, visors, sweat bands, head bands and other motivational items? They have doggie shades, sunglasses for dogs/cats, so your stylish pet can be out with you on the sunny days ahead. Everyone will love you and your cute pooch! Well, don’t get me going on April, with the Rays starting back for real! I truly love Easter, celebrating Our Risen Lord, when Jesus died for us on the cross, with his last words, being “It is Finished”. In my opinion, he created “Finish Strong” If you are a believer, you might want to check out the “Believers Finish Strong” items. Tampa Bay friends, my prayer is for each of us to show some love to others, including our youth, college and professional sports programs. Let’s not stop believing (or BULLieving) in our wonderful Tampa Bay area in 2012!

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Packing is not something everyone takes the time to do well. It’s a weekend so just approach it from a timeline point of view. If travel day is Friday, wear some jeans with layers up top and carry a coat. It will reduce the bulk of your bag and let you keep going into the night without stopping to change into something warmer. Odds are where you’re headed is going to be colder than Tampa. Then pack in order of days and activities. Think Saturday-day, then Saturday night, Sunday trip home, and pack an outfit for each. Game gear is the easy part. Hint: Guys, please bring more than a pair of athletic shoes for Saturday night, even if jeans are the dress code.


raveling to see The Team is usually a weekend expedition. It may be a long drive or short flight or red eye to the West Coast. Regardless, you are going to a major city to enjoy a football game. Unfamiliar stadium, opposing fans and a strange city mean advance planning is paramount for a good time. First and foremost, you should want to go. I know we have all been on a trip where someone was not mentally on board. In retrospect, I wish I could have asked the person, “Why are you here if you don’t really want to be?” You know the one I mean, the spouse or friend who is talked into the trip and drags around with responses of “whatever” to any question offered their direction as a courtesy. Why even invite them? They’re just a downer. Leave them at home! Better to suffer the wrath and beg forgiveness for leaving them home than spend the time money and energy of having them along to ruin what would have been a good time. So if you’re going on the weekender, and you’re sure you want to be there, here is how to be ready. First, make sure you have transportation to and from firmed up. Nothing else will matter if the airline ticket or ride promised doesn’t materialize. If that sounds simple, just think about the one time you were stood up and the ride didn’t come pick you and your bag up. If you’re flying, make your own reservation. If you’re riding, know your ride. If your ride is a notorious last minute cancellation artist, have a back up. Tickets to the game should be in your possession. If you are willing to buy at the destination city, more power to you and your wad of cash.

If Sunday is another travel day, bring clean clothes. No one wants to sit next to someone wearing a dirty shirt and socks because they only packed only one change of clothes. It’s not necessary or advisable to bring three choices of outfit for each day when on a weekend trip, but an extra shirt comes in handy in case you have an unexpected encounter with a ketchup packet. Another way to make sure you haven’t forgotten something is to pretend you are going through your routine. Shower, shave, brush teeth, style hair, dress yourself and out the door is typical for most everybody out there. Pretend you are doing those things and put the items you need for each activity in your bag as you mentally go through your routine. Then, do the evening routine to make sure your contact solution, face wash and medications also make it in the bag. That’s right ladies, the bag. One bag and your purse makes you travel sized for the convenience of all. Besides, you never know when you are going to have to haul your own stuff from point A to point B. Carry a big purse and put your travel documents in it, then downsize to a

2012 Buccaneers Opponents

Home: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, St. Louis Rams, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers Away: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders

clutch when you have a safe place to stow the big purse. Once when I went to a resort I picked up a pre-printed list of what to pack. It sounds elementary, but I look at it when I think I have everything. For some reason, I always seem to forget to bring a belt. Also, sunscreen for your nose and cheeks should be on the list since many stadiums are open air. Don’t forget your phone charger! Finally, have a good time at the game and travel safely.

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the Tennessee Titans (who came so close to making it to the playoffs this year). The final big name that was traded away, was Sidney Rice being traded from the Minnesota Vikings to the Seattle Seahawks.

Some New Teams Appear This Season

By: Jared Bergstrom, Sr. Sports Editor, Fairmont Flyer, Kettering, OH Submitted By: Grandma Pirate Lady Sylvia Huddleston

It’s that time of year again. No not Thanksgiving or Christmas, but the Super Bowl! This is the first time the Super Bowl has been held in Indianapolis. Although Indy does has a Lombardi trophy on hand, they won’t get one this year because they didn’t have all pro quarter back Peyton Manning to lead them to the promised land this year to try to be the first ever time in modern day Super Bowls to be the team to win it in their own home stadium. I only have one thing to say and that is the Super Bowl this year will be a lot better than last year, I mean, don’t you have those games where it’s a blowout? Like the New Orleans Saints whopping the Indianapolis Colts 627. Those games are like one team having a contact practice, and the other team running around on the field like chickens running around with their heads cut off. I’m going out on a limb here and saying that the teams that made it to the big game last year (Steelers and Packers) won’t be there this year. This season was full of so many upsets, shockers, and time crunchers. Let’s review those games as we flashback on the 2011 NFL season.

From The Top “And with the first pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select Cam Newton, quarterback from Auburn”. That is what you heard when Roger Godell opened up the NFL after a locked out offseason. And as soon as the doors were opened, there were a lot of big names that were traded away from their normal teams, to go play for a new team. Including, the likes of Donovan McNabb, who was traded from the Washington Redskins to the Minnesota Vikings (who later on in the year lost his starting job to rookie quarterback Christian Ponder, and then released from the team). Matt Hasselbeck, was traded away from the Seattle Seahawks to

There were some new teams this year that shined in other’s dismay. Let’s break it down division by division to make it a little bit easier to understand. In the AFC South, no one expected the outcome of the division this year. Before I get too far ahead of myself, congratulations to the Houston Texans for winning the division for the first time in franchise history, and then winning a playoff game too! In my opinion, there are a couple of reasons why the Texans won the division this year. First, the Texans didn’t have to worry about the Colts and Peyton Manning, when the Colts beat them in Indy at the end of the season. Second, the Texans signed Wade Phillips, yes the former Dallas Cowboys head coach and son of the former Houston Oilers head coach, Bum Phillips. Adding Phillips as Defensive Coordinator made the defense step up 1000% from last year. Let’s talk about the Indianapolis Colts. (What much can you say about the Colts?) With Peyton Manning out for the season with a neck injury, they had to rely on a couple of quarterbacks this year. First, the Colts started with Kerry Collins, who ended up taking a hit early in the season and then was out the rest of the year with a concussion. Curtis Painter just wasn’t a good quarterback. Finally, they went with Dan Orlovsky, who did get the Colts their two wins this season and stayed strong right down to the end of other game. Maybe next year Colts…wait… not a Super Bowl championship, I mean a .500 record. The Colts also finished with the worst record in franchise history (2-14). The Tennessee Titans were one of the first teams that were on the outside looking in, as the other teams went on to the next step of the season. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t have a good season, because they did. And then the final team of the AFC South is the Jacksonville Jaguars. Well the Jaguars did a lot of stuff this year, not anything that affected their record, but the team in the front office. They fired the teams second head coach in team history, Jack Del Rio, and then they sold the team a couple of weeks later to an Iowa business man. AFC North - The AFC North was a down to the wire race for the division title again this year, but the Ravens ended

up holding off the Bengals to win the division in the final week of the season. The Ravens actually tied with the Steelers for the division, but the Ravens held the tie breaker by sweeping the Steelers and the AFC North division this year. Also the Ravens finished 8-0 at home this season. The Pittsburgh Steelers had to handle something that they don’t really have to do that much, which is play in the first round of the playoffs. From the beginning of the season, there weren’t high expectations from some for the Cincinnati Bengals. They proved the fans wrong? The Bengals secured themselves in the playoffs for the third time under current head coach Marvin Lewis. But the Bengals couldn’t do much, in their game against the Houston Texans, as the Texans routed them to a 31-10 loss. The Cleveland Browns had a normal Browns year, by not having a .500 record season, and wound up in the basement of the AFC North. AFC East- The AFC East started out looking like a three team race, but about halfway through the season the Buffalo Bills fell off of the wagon. The race was down to two. The New England Patriots ended up outlasting the New York Jets and won the AFC East again. The Miami Dolphins were also in the basement, again this year. Here is a fast football fact you may not have recognized. All three Florida NFL teams fired their head coaches in the same season. AFC West- The AFC West had an exciting ending. The division title literally came down to the final play of the season. For the Raiders to make the division, they had to win, as the Broncos lost earlier in the day. That didn’t happen. The Chargers stomped the Raiders right out of the playoffs. And the Denver Broncos secured their playoff spot as the 4th seed. This division had its fair share of activity during this past off-season. The Kansas City Chiefs fired their head coach Todd Haley. Interim Head Coach Romeo Cronell, will be Head Coach next year. About half way through the season, the San Diego Chargers stated that Norv Turner wouldn’t return next season. Now they say they won’t part ways next season. NFC North – The NFC North brought many of us to believe that the Green Bay Packers would follow up their Super Bowl victory from last year, with a division title this season. (You were correct with that) But, you probably didn’t expect them to have a perfect season. And, they didn’t. They lost to the Kansas City Chiefs. I picked that

upset. The loss didn’t seem to affect them, because they went on to win out the rest of the season. Our Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave them a run for their money. Then the dark horse, the Detroit Lions actually had a great season. The Chicago Bears were expected to go to the playoffs, possibly deep into the playoffs. But that didn’t happen. It was unfortunate they lost quarterback Jay Cutler. That put them in the dog house because they didn’t have a good back up. The Minnesota Vikings ended their first post Favre season poorly, as their record showed. The Vikings did do fairly, with rookie quarterback Christian Ponder. Look for them to be at the top of their division in a couple of years. NFC South - I don’t really even want to talk about the division this year. With me being an avid 16 year old Buccaneers fan, I expected them to do good this year, after going 10-6, almost making the playoffs last year and starting 4-2 this year. Then the disappointment set in, week after week. The Bucs went on a ten game losing streak. At the end of our season, we not only fired head coach Raheem Morris, but also fired the entire coaching staff. Talk about wanting to start fresh. I hope they make smart selections in their draft choices. Of course, the New Orleans Saints dominated the division again this year. The Atlanta Falcons barely squeaked in to the playoffs. The Carolina Panthers should feel like winners, even though their record didn’t show it. They improved their record from last year and have realized Cam Newton can be a good quarterback. They will move forward. Next season they can be in the battle for the division title. NFC West – The NFC West didn’t show much competition this year. The San Francisco 49ers walked away with the title early in the season and received a first round bye in the playoffs. They did all of that with a rookie head coach Jim Harbaugh and virtually their entire team from last year. The Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, and St. Louis Rams all combined for a losing record and good spots in the draft next year. NFC East – The NFC East brought a lot of hype. Many people probably were disappointed. The winner never had a record with less than ten wins and take the division. The New York Giants at 9-7, took this division. There were a lot of people who thought that the Philadelphia Eagles would walk away with the title. Even back-up quarterback

Vince Young called the Eagles a dream team. The Eagles just wanted to wake up out of this nightmarish season. The Washington Redskins looked so good early on in the year, but just fell off at the end. I expected the Dallas Cowboys to win the division, but they didn’t. Do you know why? Because they couldn’t hold fourth quarter leads and their secondary killed them. They also couldn’t capitalize on other team’s mistakes. And, by the way, I had so much fun at the WTB Tailgate Camp and attending the Buccaneer/Dallas game on December 17th. No one can take that away from me. It was worth the flight from Dayton. Now I will offer my Super Bowl matchup for this year. I predict that the San Francisco 49ers will play the Baltimore Ravens and the 49ers will win. Predicted Next Year Results: AFC Division Winners AFC North - Cincinnati Bengals AFC South - Tennessee Titans AFC West - Oakland Raiders AFC East - New York Jets AFC Wild Cards - New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens NFC Division Winners NFC North - Green Bay Packers NFC South - New Orleans Saints NFC West- San Francisco 49ers NFC East - Dallas Cowboys NFC Wild Cards - Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks I end my article with this to contemplate. Are my predictions actually for next season? Or, are these fantasy football predictions of mine? Let’s wait until the schedule comes out around the corner. This article was written for fun and experience, as a high school sports editor. I hope I gave factual information on the coaching changes and I hope you enjoyed my article. I will continue to support my Tampa Bay Buccaneers, one thousand miles away. GO BUCS!!

2012 Spring Schedule

Oct 7 Oct 8 Oct 10 Oct 13 Oct 15 Oct 17 Oct 20 Oct 22 Oct 25 Oct 27 Oct 29 Nov 1 Nov 4 Nov 6 Nov 9 Nov 12 Nov 14 Nov 17 Nov 19 Nov 22 Nov 25 Nov 26 Nov 28 Nov 30 Dec 3 Dec 5 Dec 6 Dec 8 Dec 10 Dec 12 Dec 15 Dec 17 Dec 21 Dec 23 Dec 27 Dec 29 Dec 31 Jan 3 Jan 5 Jan 7 Jan 10 Jan 12 Jan 13 Jan 15 Jan 17 Jan 20 Jan 21 Jan 24

@ Carolina @Boston @Washington @NY Islanders @Florida vsFlorida vsNY Islanders vsBuffalo @Buffalo @Nashville vsWinnipeg @Carolina vsChicago @Florida vsPhiladelphia @St. Louis @Winnipeg vsPittsburgh vsNew Jersey vsToronto @Florida vsFlorida @Minnesota @Detroit vsNY Rangers @Ottawa @NY Islanders @NY Rangers @Philadelphia vsNew Jersey vsCalgary @Columbus @San Jose @Colorado vsPhiladelphia vsMontreal vsCarolina @Toronto @Ottawa @Montreal vsVancouver vsCarolina @Washington vsPittsburgh vsBoston @Dallas @Phoenix vsColumbus

W 5-1 L 4-1 L6-5 SO L5-1 L3-2 SO L7-4 W4-1 W3-0 W4-3 L5-3 W1-0 L4-2 W5-4 OT W4-3 SO W2-1 OT L3-0 L5-2 W4-1 L4-2 L7-1 W2-1OT W5-1 L3-1 L4-2 L4-2 L4-2 L5-1 W3-2SO L5-2 L5-4 W5-4OT W3-2 L7-2 L2-1OT W5-1 W4-3 W5-2 L7-3 L4-1 L3-1 L5-4SO L5-2 L4-3 L6-3 W5-3 W2-1 W4-3 7:30pm

Jan 31 Feb 2 Feb 4 Feb 7 Feb 9 Feb 11 Feb 12 Feb 14 Feb 16 Feb 18 Feb 21 Feb 23 Feb 25 Feb 26 Feb 28 Mar 2 Mar 3 Mar 6 Mar 8 Mar 10 Mar 13 Mar 15 Mar 17 Mar 19 Mar 22 Mar 24 Mar 26 Mar 27 Mar 29 Mar 31 Apr 2 Apr 4 Apr 5 Apr 7

vsWashington vsWinnipeg vsFlorida vsLos Angeles @NY Rangers @Buffalo @Pittsburgh vsOttawa vsSan Jose vsWashington vsAnaheim @Winnipeg @Pittsburgh @New Jersey vsMontreal vsNY Rangers @Carolina vsOttawa @Washington vsCarolina vsBoston vsToronto vsSt. Louis vsBuffalo vsEdmonton vsNY Islanders @Philadelphia @Boston @New Jersey vsWinnipeg vsWashington @Montreal @Toronto @Winnipeg

7:30pm 7:30pm 7pm 7:30pm 7pm 7pm 7pm 7pm 7:30pm 7pm 7:30pm 8:30pm 1pm 1pm 7:30pm 7:30pm 7pm 7:30pm 7pm 7pm 7:30pm 7:30pm 7pm 7:30pm 7:30pm 7pm 7:30pm 7:30pm 7pm 7pm 7:30pm 7:30pm 7pm 7pm

By Jo A Brody Weaver

Is it just me, or maybe many of you fanatical sports fans, but didn’t this football season seem to fly by?  The Big Game is right over the horizon already and nothing makes me as creative for a gigantic party, than this end-of season finale.  We’ll all be rooting for opposite teams, wagering bets on the scores and who will be victorious, all which makes us realize that this is it, but oh, what a fun time!  We football enthusiasts just want a game that is the most exciting of the season!    Ladies and Gents, it’s time to focus on what colors to decorate your house, table, and what to wear, but it’s going to be a challenge.  How about some new ideas to serve?  We’ve been having warm and delightful days, mixed with days of frigid cold, but who knows, we may get another shot of “football” weather, just for the last game of the season.   That always makes us feel like we’re in the massive outlandish crowd of each team’s die-hard fans.   Now that can make a difference on what to prepare, so I am about to offer some neat ideas.   For a switch serving Salsa, why not try my “Super Gazpacho”, which is a scintillating combination of fresh

tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, and garlic. I like mine thick, not strained, but you can sieve the mixture if you desire. 3 Cups of chopped tomatoes (you can use canned)                       3 peeled, diced cucumbers 2 green diced green peppers 2 chopped cloves of garlic Place all into a food processer, chop well Add: ¼ cup or more of olive oil ¼ cup or more of cider or wine vinegar Salt and pepper to taste Chill thoroughly.  Serve as is, or with cubed crusted bread.  Delightful!   For another choice that everyone enjoys, a nice “Italian Wedding Soup” offers variety.   Cook at least 2-5 pound chickens in a large pot.  Add celery, onions, carrots, parsley, salt & pepper.  (I cook my soup all night long, refrigerate, and skim the fat.  Once you have a nice rich broth, strain it, trim the meat, and add back to the soup.  (I always use ground veal and hormone-free ground beef.)  

1 lb. each of ground veal and ground beef Add: 1 chopped onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 T. of parsley, ½ cup Parmesan and Romano cheese, ½ cup Italian bread crumbs, 1 T. of Italian Herbs, S & P to taste, 2 eggs and blend.  Roll into small thumb sized balls.  I fry them in olive oil.  Take Pastina or Ditalini pasta (1 box) place in boiling water (add olive oil and salt) place 2 bags of baby spinach, and cook until al dente’.  Place into a serving crock, add more cheese to taste.  Enjoy! Lots of appetizers are always on my table.  I like variety.  My Quiche is a bit rich, but so delicious.  Make your pie crust, but only bake it for 5 (five) minutes.  Crumble and sprinkle with l can of onion rings, and 2) push into the crust.  Add l cup of Gruyere cheese, and 1 cup of Swiss (I ask for very thin sliced for both) Meanwhile, combine: 4 (four) large eggs 1 cup of milk 1 cup of cream (or fat free half and half) ¼ Tsp. nutmeg ½ Tsp. of salt and pepper to taste Mix well and pour over the onion-cheese mixture.  Bake 15 minutes @425 degrees, then about 25 minutes @350 degrees, until a knife is inserted and comes out clean.  Especially enjoyed if cold out!  

We love baking a large Hebrew National Kosher salami. Take out of wrapper, slice cuts into it, place on Reynolds wrap, and bake.  Serve nice and brown with Dijon mustard and your choice of wheat crackers.   Marinated Mushrooms are delightful.  I put one half cup of cider vinegar into a pot, add a bay leaf, basil, oregano, salt and pepper, some water to tone it down, bring to a boil.  Meanwhile, wipe your mushrooms with a wet paper towel, pour mixture over them.  (Take out the bay leaf.)  Put toothpicks using your team’s colors and serve.   Mini Fillo shells can be used for many appetizer ideas.  I have to have my lox, so hard boil six eggs.  Take out the yokes and lightly mash.  Add four oz. of smoked lox shredded, 2 tsp. of capers, 2 tbsp. of fresh cut chives, zest 1 lemon, 2 tbsp. sour cream, 2 tbsp. mayonnaise, and 2 tsp. or more of red caviar.  (I mash the eggs whites some times, too)  Fill shells, garnish with fresh chives, or dill, and lemon.  Love It!!   Another idea is using Blue Cheese.  Soften 8 oz. cream cheese, ½ cup of blue cheese, 2 tbsp of butter softened, 2 tbsp. of fresh chopped chives, 1 tbsp. of lemon juice, roasted chopped walnuts with garlic power, mix together and fill shells. (Chopped Prosciutto is nice to add, or steamed shrimp).

For a really refreshing salad, I’ve tried this recipe, but of course, made it “my” way! Depending upon the amount of guests, for 4-6, take 3 tbls. extra virgin olive oil, two and one half (2 ½) tbls. apple cider vinegar, zest of 1 lemon and 2 tsp. of lemon juice, ½ (one half) tsp. sugar, for the dressing.  Add (3) diagonally thin- sliced celery, (2) fennel bulbs sliced diagonally, (2) firm granny smith apples julienned, Kosher salt to taste, and pepper.  I also add several diced fresh mint and sliced red onion.  So good!   Chicken Drumsticks are a must, so try this one.  For up to six (6) guests, use at least 18 drumsticks. You can use whatever rub you want, but first take a plastic bag, fill it with enough yellow mustard to coat the chicken and toss.  For my rub, I use grated garlic, zest ed tangerines, Kosher salt, pepper, and diced fresh rosemary (you can add some hot spice, if you wish).  Toss coated chicken into this mixture.  Either grill over charcoal, or put into the oven on a sprayed pan.  While these are cooking, take 4-5 teaspoons of molasses, 1-2 tbsp. of soy sauce, 1-2 tsp. Dijon mustard, 1 clove of grated garlic, 1 jar of pineapple preserves, and blend into a glaze. Pour it into a bowl and toss chicken into the glaze.  Place back on grill or in oven for around 10 minutes and the sauce caramelizes and put on table. A relish tray with a variety of olives, spring onions, radishes, cherry tomatoes, or such, is nice.  Sliced baguettes soaked in olive oil, fresh garlic, and parmesan cheese in a frying pan, until crusted is great.   3) We’ve got to serve some kind of seafood, so why not: Bloody Mary shots with oysters (I use Mr. & Mrs. T’s) serve with a celery stick, 1 shrimp, large green olive, 1 cherry pepper all on a skewer.  This is nice with iced cold beer, too. 

For a delightful punch, I use a bottle of champagne and add fresh pineapple juice, fresh mint, Kiwi slices,blueberries, strawberries, and ice cubes that were filled with Tonic water that fruit is added or use the soda flavor of your choice, and 1- 2 cups of vodka really put this together. My biggest end to this feast is my Tiramisu!  You’ll need 9 eggs, 1 ½ cups of sugar, 3- 8 oz. Mascarpone cheese, 3 cups of Espresso, 6 tbls. Amaretto or other coffee liqueur , 40 ladyfingers, ½ or more cup of cocoa, 4 cups of fresh whipped cream. Separate the eggs and take the yokes, 3 tbls. Espresso, sugar, Amaretto, and beat 2-3 minutes.  Add mascarpone and beat until smooth.  In another bowl, take the egg whites, 3 pinches of sugar, and beat into stiff peaks.  Fold in the mascarpone mixture.  Beat the whipping cream until stiff.  Pour the rest of the Espresso into a flat dish, dip one side of each lady finger and layer on the bottom of a large serving dish.  Spread mascarpone mixture, sprinkle with cocoa, add the whipped cream, then start another layer. Top with the whipping cream and cocoa and refrigerate 1 hour prior to serving.  Yummy!   And last item for this amazing “Big Game Party” should be something refreshing like green and red grapes, or other fruit choices that are dusted with fine sugar.  Just enough!  So let’s look forward to the “Big Day” whether or not our team is contending.  Who knows, we may be converted ….. For the day, of course!   Bon Appetite!       

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