Mini Sweets Issue 1

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HOMES OF THE ATLANTA FALCONS A Snapsshot To Their Humble Beginnings



Fan Favorite Game Day Party Recipes MINI SWEETS ISSUE 01 • SEPTEMBER 2017

what's inside? 4 Tips for Hosting a Sports Themed Party

11 The Making of the Bird Cage

Party recipe for Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls.

13 Homes of the Atlanta Falcons

3 Editors' Note 6 Game Day Party Recipe: Sliders 7 Game Day Party Recipe: Black Bean Chili 8 Game Day Party Recipes: Jalapeno Popper and Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls 9 Repurposed Space for Entertaining

Setting up the perfect entertainment space for hosting sports theme parties.

From the Editors

Are you ready for game time?! We certainly are! As we both were born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, sports is part of our lives. Sports are a huge ordeal down south, both college and professional, but particularly NFL and college football. It's no secret that Sunday afternoons and Monday nights are reserved for watching your favorite teams pair up against their competition. So we thought this welcomes a perfect opportunity to give you guys a special Southern Sweets issue edition, called Mini Sweets, to celebrate and kick off the football season. We're sharing with you our tips for hosting a sports themed party, several of our favorite game day recipes, and a look back at the homes of the Atlanta Falcons as the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium just opened its doors. So sit back, grab a snack, because it's game time!


Tips for Hosting a Sports Themed Party Go the distance by hosting a big game bash that guests will be cheering about until next season's opening-day kickoff. by Michelle Gowdy

It's all in the details and a little can go a long way. Major sporting events like the SuperBowl, World Cup, or the World Series are great opportunities for gathering friends and family for drinks, food, fun, and games. A little advance preparation may include invites to aid in making your seating arrangements, simple decor to showcase your team spirit, and a variety of party snacks, finger foods, and drinks to loosen the crowd. The rest of the work simply lies in watching the game and that in itself will typically encourage friendly competitiveness and social interaction among all your guests. We've had a few opportunities to host our fair share of sporting events and we'd like to share with you some helpful tips to create your own perfect sports party mix. TIPS FOR HOSTING A SPORTS THEMED PARTY | 4

01 Decorations It's all in the details. Show your team spirit by setting team colored balloons or hanging garland around the entertainment or dining space. Add simple tabletop centerpieces to carry the theme and add a whimsical touch.




02 Bite Size Appetizers Quick bite size snacks are always a fan favorite to grab. Keep these items easily accessible, perhaps placed on serving trays throughout the room or on the coffee table in the center of the room. Our go-to favorites include meatballs, popcorn, and jalapeno poppers.

03 Desserts

Cake pops, brownies, mini oreo cheesecakes. Need I go on? No need to opt out of desserts if you have special dietary restrictions. There are great sugarfree and vegan dessert options too.



04 Entertainment Space Try and create a comfortable viewing space as much as possible, as guests will be in and out of their seats cheering, eating, and socializing. Make use of pillows on the floor or other floor cushions for comfort and additional seating. More importantly, make sure the television will be in clear visible sight for all your guests.

05 Invitations



Create your own informal inviation or evite to send out early to friends and family in order to help you prepare for food and seating accomodations.

06 Adult and Kid Friendly Drinks A mixed crown will surely need a little something for everyone. Include both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

07 Other Games A change of pace or commercial breaks can allow time for other fun activities for adults and kids to enjoy like darts, card games, Shout!, or beer pong.

08 Food Spread What party would be complete without any food? Keep guests full and satisfied by offering a food spread variety to satisfy all ages and taste buds of your invited guests. Sport games can sometimes go long periods of time, especially if they go into overtime, so be sure to keep the food and beverages replenished throughout the event. As they say, better to have more than not enough.

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Sliders BBQ CHICKEN SLIDER Place 4 skinless chicken thighs seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder into a crock pot. Add 1 cup of bbq sauce and half an onion sliced and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours. Once the chicken is cooked, use two forks to pull the chicken apart. Add additional bbq sauce if desired. Place chicken on bun with your favorite toppings. A semi homemade alternative would be to purchase a rotisserie chicken from your local grocery, pull the meat from the bone, chop and toss with your favorite bbq sauce.

BUFFALO CHICKEN SLIDER Chop 3 skinless boneless chicken breast into quarters. Season chicken with season salt. Make an egg wash by mixing 2 eggs with 2 tbsp of water. Mix 2 cups of self rising flour with 1 tsp of each: garlic powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Heat 1 cup of vegetable oil


in skillet. Dip chicken pieces into egg wash, then into the flour mixture, and finally into heated oil. Cook chicken until golden brown on eat side (about 2 mins per side). Once chicken is cooked, toss in hot sauce and place on bun with your favorite toppings. A semi homemade alternative would be to use chicken from the grocery store deli or frozen food section.

PHILLY CHEESESTEAK SLOPPY JOE Season 1 pound ground meat with season salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Brown ground meat in skillet

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with half a chopped onion and half a chopped bell pepper. Drain meat. Add 1/4 cup of beef broth and 1/2 cup of provolone cheese to cooked meat and let simmer until cheese is melted. Serve on a toasted bun with your favorite toppings.


Black Bean Chili Ingredients: 1 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, chopped 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (optional) 1 Serrano pepper, chopped (optional) 1 poblano pepper, chopped (optional) 2 tbsp minced garlic 1 lb ground beef/turkey/chicken (optional) 1 tbsp salt 1 tbsp cumin 2 tbsp chili powder 1 tbsp oregano 1 8 oz can chili beans 1 8 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained 2 8 oz cans crushed tomatoes or chili ready tomatoes

Directions: Heat olive oil in pot. Add onions oil on low heat and cook until translucent. Add garlic and peppers to onions and simmer until tender. Add ground meat and seasonings. Brown meat on medium heat. Add beans and tomatoes. Cook on medium low heat for 15 minutes. Taste the chili and see if any spices need to be added (salt, chili powder, garlic powder, etc). Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Serve with cilantro, sour cream, and shredded cheese.

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Jalapeno Popper Ingredients: 3 jalapenos 1 8 oz container of cream cheese 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded 1 pack wonton wraps 1 cup vegetable oil small bowl of water for sealing wontons

Directions: Chop jalapenos. Remove the seeds and membrane to make poppers less spicy. Put jalapenos and cheese into food processor. Pulse until mixed thoroughly. Stuff each wonton with about 1 tablespoon of mixture and roll up (see wonton package for directions on how to roll). Place rolled wonton onto wax paper. Ensure wontons are not touching. Refrigerate wontons for 30 minutes. Heat vegetable oil. When oil is heated, cook wontons until golden brown. Serve hot.

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Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls Ingredients: 1/2 lb cooked chicken, shredded or chopped 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded 1/4 cup cream cheese 1/2 cup hot sauce 1 cup vegetable oil 1 pack of egg roll wraps small bowl of water for sealing egg rolls wax paper

Directions: In small skillet, heat chicken and hot sauce. Once heated, add shredded cheese and mix until melted. Once cheese is melted, remove the mixture from the heat and cool for 15 minutes. Stuff each egg roll with about 1-2 tablespoons of chicken mixture and roll up (see egg roll package for directions on how to roll). Place rolled egg rolls onto wax paper. Ensure egg rolls are not touching. Refrigerate egg rolls for 30 minutes. Heat vegetable oil. When oil is heated, cook egg rolls until golden brown. Serve hot with blue cheese or ranch dressing.


Repurposed Space for Entertaining Designing Livable Spaces as a Reflection of Us by Michelle Gowdy

One thing I’ve learned being a homeowner, is that your home should be a reflection of you and your personality. What’s important to you? What things bring you joy that you would want to surround yourself with? And how can we make this home echo our lifestyle? Those are the questions I always ask myself when I design spaces in my home. I realize what works for us, may not work for the next person and vice versa. And that’s okay. When we bought our home almost two years ago, the previous homeowners actually utilized their formal living space as a formal living room. It was a dark hunter green color with minimal, but dated brown leather furniture, a standard style light fixture, and one lonely looking bay window towards the front of the room, as seen in the ‘Before’ photo on the next page. We immediately knew this look was not going to last for long. Those dark walls had to go. Despite my aunt’s pleading efforts for me to keep that wall color (because she loved it so much), I wanted something light and airy. More of a neutral color so it can go with anything, even if years down the line, I choose to update my accent colors or repurpose that room again. I certainly envisioned the labeled "living room" as my office space. It's spacious enough to house my desk and bookcases, create a seating area for guests and clients, and I could have a wall length picture gallery of my personal artwork. That is, until my husband wanted to expand his man cave space and get a pool table. REPURPOSED SPACE FOR ENTERTAINING | 9


Needless to say, I was not thrilled with his idea...AT ALL...initially. I wanted my office and a pool table was not on my decor vision board. After much debate, not only did he successfully convince me we should get one, but I actually got more excited than him. We love having our family and friends over to hang out, have dinners, game night, etc. so it made perfect sense. Most people have formal living rooms they never use or allow anyone to enter, but we wanted to utlize every room of our home and create spaces that are entertaining and reflect the things we enjoy doing.


My husband took lead transforming this space. He actually picked out the new light fixture at a home salvage store when we were vacationing. I attempted to install the vinyl wood planks myself (horrible disaster), so he did that as well. I wanted to keep the mix of industrial and rustic with contemporary, as that's the style throughout our home. We now use this room very frequently and it's a nice overflow entertainment space when we host different events. Even if we're not entertaining, my husband and I can still enjoy the space.

Decorating Tips and Pointers

I used Benjamin Moore's Aura Interior paint in the Shale color. Always do comparative shopping for deals. I price watched the pool table at 3 different sites and saved hundreds. Saved over $1000 by using vinyl wood planks from Lowe's, typically used for flooring, as our back wall feature. REPURPOSED SPACE FOR ENTERTAINING | 10

The Making of The Bird Cage How this Dirty Bird Fan Rises Up to the Occassion by Koya Tyson

I bought a house for three reasons: a large kitchen, large master closet, and my Falcons room. When I purchased my home, the basement had blue carpet tiles and generic off white walls. The ceiling was not finished, but the beams and pipes were spray painted black. I saw a great space with lots of potential. Much like the team it would celebrate.

or add accents that will illuminate the room.

My first task was to paint the walls. I actually like the exposed beams and pipes so I decided to keep them as they were. It gives the room a lofty feel. I had grey paint leftover from another project, but I wasn't sure if it was enough to paint all of the walls. I figured painting the longest wall in the room would be best but once the wall was completely covered, I realized there was enough paint to do the entire room. This changed my plan. However, the grey was somewhat dark and I did not want a super dark basement.

There is one large window at the end of the room to give some natural light and there's a full length mirror on the opposite end to reflect that light. The trim in the room is bright white to assist with brightening the room but something more was needed. There is an alcove in the room which leads to other rooms in the basement.

When painting a basement, you have to consider lighting. Basements typically don't get a lot of sunlight so you need to consider colors that are not too dark

"I saw a great space with lots of potential. Much like the team it would celebrate."

I decided to give the room a pop of color, red to be exact. This would brighten the color palette in the room without being too over the top. It was perfect and only required a quart size of paint. Once the paint was dry, it was time to decorate and plan my first Falcons football party in The Bird Cage.


Decorating Tips and Pointers

Move your older furniture to another room in your home. I bought a red sofa years ago, with the thought that it would eventually end up in my basement, but my old dining room chairs were a perfect fit also. My mom no longer wanted her old china cabinet and I was happy to repurpose it and make it into a bar. Sports decor is really expensive. Check out the clearance section during the off season or use resell sites like Ebay. I decorated the walls with various jerseys purchased off Ebay. Since these will never be worn, I purchased kid size large or extra large jerseys. A kids medium jersey is the perfect size to make a pillow cover. A fun and easy DIY project are tile coasters. I purchased some square tile for less than $1 from Home Depot and modpodged some paper coasters I got from a local bar onto them. Bud Light has official NFL logo cans/bottles every year. Buy a six pack and use them for decoration.

GAME DAY Tips and Pointers I keep extra trash bags and paper towels in the basement. This makes clean up a lot easier. I have a refrigerator in the basement that I keep water, wine, and beer in for game day. I also use it for additional food storage during the holiday season. Party City, Walmart, and Target have paper goods for all major sport teams. I like to purchase a few of the napkins, cups, and plates at the beginning of the season. Then I get solid red, white, or black to supplement my supply. Put out a handful of the paper goods with the team logo out at each event to decorate the table, but underneath, have the solid color supplies. The Dollar Tree is your friend. They have tons of party supplies all for $1. If you don't live near a Dollar Tree, you can always order online at


Homes of the Atlanta Falcons 18

A Snapshot To Their Humble Beginnings In 1966, Rankin M. Smith founded the Atlanta Falcons. Since their beginning they have had 3 homes: the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, the Georgia Dome, and now, the MercedesBenz Stadium.

ATLANTA-FULTON COUNTY STADIUM Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium was built in 1966 to house the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta Braves. This was the inaugural year for professional sports teams in Atlanta.

GEORGIA DOME The Georgia Dome opened its doors in 1992, at which time it was the world’s largest covered stadium by capacity. The Georgia Dome was built to house large conventions, trade shows, concerts, and other major events. A few of the events hosted at the Georgia Dome include the 1996 Olympics, Super Bowl XXVIII in 1994, and Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000.


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Mercedes-Benz Stadium On August 26, 2017, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium opened its doors as the new home to the Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta United Football Club. The $1.6 billion structure can hold up to 83,000 people. It will host the 2018 College Football National Championship Game, the 2019 Super Bowl game, and the 2020 Final Four.




Creative Directors: Koya Tyson / Michelle Gowdy Editors in Chief: Koya Tyson / Michelle Gowdy Photo Credits: Josh Andrews, US Department of Agriculture, MSGT Joseph Pittelli, Taij Harris, Evite, and Adam Reid

contact us Atlanta, Georgia MINI SWEETS ISSUE 01 • SEPTEMBER 2017


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