By Ann Cipperly
Auburn University Campus Club friends Michelle Reed, Deidra Bell and Debbie Richbourg were co-hostesses for the Garden Party with wine tasting for a recent members’ event. The ladies, who enjoy cooking and entertaining, are sharing recipes from the Garden Party and also their favorite recipes for tailgating before and after Auburn football games.
Michelle and John Reed’s lovely home and garden was the setting for the Garden Party. On the back patio with a towering stone fireplace, tables were arranged with party fare to serve with the white and rose wines for tasting.
To serve with the rose wine, Michelle created easy pick up Spinach and Artichoke Crostini topped with strips of roasted red pepper. Debbie Richbourg made her tasty Homemade Pepper Boursin Cheese to serve on crackers for this table.
Assorted cheeses and fresh fruit were offered at another table to pair with pinot grigio and chardonnay.
In the kitchen, Michelle arranged charcuterie and cheeses with olives and nuts to accompany pinot noir.
The wines for tasting were selected by Clayton Cawthorne of Pinnacle Imports. The sommelier presented an overview of the wines being sampled and the food pairings.
Afterwards, guests meandered through the garden, relaxed on the porch or at a table under the pergola covered with jasmine. Vases of fresh flowers accented tables, and potted blooming plants were banked against each side of the porch steps.
As guests sampled the foods and toured the garden, they also viewed art and crafts showcased by Lauren Duncan of The LocAL Market. Noted local artist Nan Cunningham also attended.
Tempting desserts were served on the front porch with sips of prosecco. Deidra Bell prepared her popular Lemon Blossoms, while Debbie Richbourg created her special Mini No Bake Cheesecakes. The desserts were attractively presented garnished with fresh fruits.
The Campus Club Garden Party was an indoor and outdoor event with over 100 members attending. Susan Stanley of Opelika is president of Campus Club, which now has a membership over 400.
The Reeds enjoy entertaining and opening their home for special events. They have held a couple of rehearsal dinners and other parties in the side lawn.
Dr. Michelle Reed is retired from East Alabama Medical Center, while John works with the Alliance Insurance Group and is a photographer of Auburn sports for USA Today Sports Images.
Since John is busy photographing Auburn football games, they enjoy entertaining at home after the games. Michelle is sharing her “go to” after ballgame recipes.
“One of the great things about living in a college town is being able to reconnect with close friends every fall,” says Michelle. “Some of our best gameday memories are made when we are all back at the house, everyone in comfy clothes with their feet up, rehashing the day and enjoying a casual meal.”
Since everyone is hungry after the games, Michelle prepares dishes ahead to have ready to heat and serve. “Our crew likes some spice, so we tend to prefer Mexican and chili dishes,” she adds.
Their favorite make ahead dishes include Crockpot Chicken Chili, Chicken Enchiladas and Mexican Pot Roast.
Michelle is also including a favorite dessert, No-Cook Peach Ice Cream. The recipe uses half and half instead of milk to provide more of a gelato consistency. Michelle serves the ice cream with Debbie Richbourg’s Old Fashion Pound Cake.
Debbie also enjoys cooking and is sharing the recipes for the Mini No Cook Cheesecakes and Homemade Pepper Boursin Cheese she made for the Garden Party.
The Boursin Cheese is great for tailgating too. Her other go-to recipe for tailgating is her husband Rick’s Cheese Olive Ball. Both cheese spreads can be prepared ahead and are popular for tailgating before or after games, as well as other events.
“No family gathering is complete without Rick’s Cheese Olive Ball,” says Debbie. “I have a niece in Tuscumbia who puts in her request for one to take home every Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“Rick is the primary cook in our house,” Debbie adds. “I am the baker/dessert maker, cornbread and crock pot soup master.”
Debbie, who graduated from Auburn in 1974, worked for the State of Alabama, while Rick was a project manager for Associated Mechanical Contractors in Montgomery. After retiring, Debbie wanted to return to Auburn where they have family.
Deidra Bell grew up in the Beauregard community. Now that she has retired from working with the Alabama Career Center in Opelika, she has more time to spend with grandchildren. Her husband Mack is retired from Uniroyal.
Deidra’s Lemon Blossoms were popular at the Garden Party and are also delectable desserts for tailgating. The are made quickly using a cake mix and glazed for a fresh lemon taste. Deidra also makes these for family beach trips.
Her other recipes for tailgating include Pork Tenderloin Sliders with Balsamic Glaze, Grape Salad and her Mom’s Brunswick Stew.
Clip and save the following recipes to have on hand for the football season. The recipes offer a variety of scrumptious dishes to serve for fall parties, tailgating and after game entertaining.
Cipperly can be contacted by email at email@example.com.
Spinach Artichoke Crostini with Red Pepper
Spinach artichoke dip, homemade or purchased
Sliced French baguette, toasted
Roasted red pepper strips (can be from jar)
Spread dip on slices of toasted bread. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Bake or broil just until cheese melts. Garnish each crostini with a small strip of red pepper.
Crockpot Chicken Chili
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into 1-2-inch pieces
Garlic seasoning (I use Southern Flavor)
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
½ sweet onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. garlic, finely chopped
1 can cannellini beans, undrained
1 can sweet kernel corn, drained
1 can mild green chiles, chopped, drained
½ medium jar salsa
2 cups unsalted fat-free chicken broth
1 pkg. McCormick’s white chicken chili seasoning
½ cup to 1 cup half and half
Assorted toppings: tortilla chips, avocado, sour cream, chopped onions, jalapenos and shredded cheese
Season chicken pieces with salt, pepper and garlic seasoning. Sauté in olive oil until nicely browned on all sides. Remove from skillet and reserve. In same pan, sauté onions, scraping pan well, until golden. Add chopped garlic and cook another minute.
Meanwhile, cut chicken into smaller pieces, 1/4-1/2-inch. Place in crockpot. Add onion/garlic mixture, cannellini beans, corn and chiles to crockpot.
Mix salsa, broth and chili seasoning, pour into crockpot. Cook on low 4-6 hours, at least.
At the end of cooking, check for seasoning. I usually add a bit of cumin and thicken with ½ cup to 1 cup half and half.
Serve with assorted toppings of choice.
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
2 cans chopped green chiles, drained
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
10 large flour tortillas
Combine chicken, soup, sour cream, chiles and 1 cup of each of the cheeses for enchilada filling.
Place a generous amount of filling near one end of each tortilla, roll and place tightly packed in casserole dish. Cover with remaining 1 cup of each cheese.
Can refrigerate at this stage until ready to bake.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Serve with salsa.
Mexican Pot Roast
3-3 ½ lb. chuck roast
Garlic seasoning (I use Southern Flavor made in Selma, AL and available at Publix)
2-3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
8 oz. can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
Two 4 oz. cans diced green chiles, mild, drained
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
3/4 cup unsalted beef broth
1 tsp. sugar
2 pkgs. yellow rice mix (I use Zatarain’s)
Generously season roast with salt, pepper and garlic seasoning. Brown on all sides in vegetable oil.
Combine next 5 ingredients, mixing well, for cooking sauce.
Place roast in crockpot and cover with prepared sauce.
Cook on low setting for at least 8 hours. As the meat tenderizes, pull apart into smaller pieces several times, if possible, or at the end of cooking, if you have been at the game all day.
Prepare yellow rice per package instructions. Serve roast and sauce over rice in shallow bowls. Serves 6-8.
No-Cook Peach Ice Cream
3 lbs. fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped, divided
½ cup sugar
1 quart half-and-half, divided
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
12 oz. can evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Puree all but ½ lb. of the peaches with sugar and 2 cups half-and-half in a blender or food processor (in batches, if necessary).
In a gallon ice cream freezer container, mix together the peach mixture, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla and remaining ½ lb. of chopped peaches.
Add enough half-and-half to reach the fill line of the container, about 2 cups.
Freeze ice cream per manufacturer’s instructions.
Serve with Debbie Richbourg’s Old Fashion Pound Cake!
Old Fashion Pound Cake
6 eggs, at room temperature
2 sticks butter, softened
3 cups sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour ( I use a whisk rather than sift)
1 cup heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
Grease and flour tube or Bundt pan. Mix sugar and butter together until smooth. Add one egg and beat for 1 minute as you add each egg.
Begin adding flour by making a little well in mixture. Add a little flour and cream until you have it well mixed. This will make a crunchy top.
Pour into prepared pan and place in a cold oven and turn oven to 300 degrees and bake 90 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool completely before removing from pan.
Mini No Bake Cheesecakes
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
Three 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tsp. lemon (I use Realemon bottled juice)
2 tsp. vanilla flavoring
1 box mini vanilla wafers
Topping options: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or chocolate or caramel ice cream topping with chocolate chips or chopped nuts
Mix all filling ingredients until smooth. Do not over mix. Use mini cupcake liners. Place one mini wafer in bottom of each liner. You can place the liners on a cookie sheet or in mini cupcake tin pan.
Spoon the cream cheese filling over the wafer. Refrigerate until ready to add toppings and serve.
Options for toppings are blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or any fruit you like.
You can also spoon chocolate or caramel ice cream topping with mini chocolate chips or nut pieces.
Cheese Olive Ball
1 jar dried beef (Armour brand is in a glass jar usually near tuna fish)
About 20 stuffed olives
Two 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
Chop the beef very fine. Reserve half of chopped beef.
Chop the olives into very small pieces.
Mix cream cheese and chopped olives. Then mix olive mixture with half of chopped beef and roll into ball.
Roll ball in the other half of chopped beef until it is coated.
Serve with crackers. Finger lickin’ good!
Store cheese ball in refrigerator.
Homemade Pepper Boursin Cheese
1 stick salted butter, softened
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/8 tsp. dill weed
1/8 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. lemon pepper
1/8 tsp. dried sweet basil
1 tsp. cracked pepper
Beat butter and cream cheese and add spices; blend well. Good served with crostini. Store in refrigerator.
Tomato Basil Crockpot Soup
Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches.
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 jar roasted red peppers
Chopped onions to taste
Chopped bell pepper to taste
Cracked black pepper to taste
¾ tsp. dried sweet basil
1 carton (about 4 cups) vegetable stock
1 can Campbell’s Tomato Bisque soup
1 small carton (1 cup) heavy cream
Toppings: sour cream and grated cheese, optional
In a blender, pulse can crushed tomatoes and jar of roasted red peppers.
In a crockpot, add tomatoes and red pepper mixture, chopped onions and bell pepper with cracked black pepper to taste. Add dried sweet basil, vegetable stock and tomato bisque soup. Cook 3-4 hours on low in crockpot.
Turn off crock pot and add one small carton of heavy cream. Garnish with cheese or sour cream before serving.
I use crockpot liners so the clean-up is easy.
1 box (18 ½ oz.) yellow cake mix
3½ oz. instant lemon pudding
¾ cup vegetable oil
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3 Tbsp. water
Preheat oven to 350.
Coat miniature muffin tins with nonstick spray. Combine cake mix, pudding, eggs and oil and blend well with electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes. Fill muffin cups halfway full.
Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from tins.
To make glaze, sift sugar into bowl; add remaining ingredients. Stir with a spoon until smooth.
Dip warm cupcakes into glaze or set cupcakes on wire racks with wax paper underneath and pour glaze over them. Let glaze set for about an hour.
8 oz. carton sour cream
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 lb. seedless grapes (washed, de-stemmed and dried)
¾ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
½ cup chopped pecans
Blend cream cheese and sugar together until smooth.
Blend sour cream and vanilla together. Combine two mixtures together in large bowl; gently fold grapes into mixture.
Combine brown sugar and crushed nuts, sprinkle evenly over top of salad – do not stir.
Lower Calorie Salad
For a lower calorie salad, can substitute Splenda for sugar and use low-fat sour cream and cream cheese. If grapes are very sweet, may reduce sugar.
Pork Tenderloin Sliders with Balsamic Sauce
2 pork tenderloins
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1½ tsp. coarse salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 1/3 cups balsamic vinegar
4 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
Slider rolls or small yeast rolls
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly oil a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Place pork in baking pan; season with salt and pepper.
In a small saucepan, bring vinegar and brown sugar to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
Roast pork for 5 minutes. Brush with half of the vinegar reduction. Cook 5 minutes more and coat with remaining vinegar mixture. Roast 10 minutes longer or until temperature reaches 155. Remove from pan. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.
Place pork with a little sauce in rolls. Can spread rolls with Dijon mustard and add a slice of red onion, if desired.
Mom’s Brunswick Stew
5-6 lb. Boston butt
3 cans tomatoes (puree in blender)
1 large bottle catsup
1 large bottle Lea and Perrins Worcestershire
Juice of 2 lemons
1 can cream corn
1 can whole corn
Boil roast and chickens seasoned with salt and pepper until tender. Remove fat and skin.
Cut meat into small pieces. Add remaining ingredients and cook in a slow cooker for about 2 hours or simmer on stovetop.