Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Food for Thought... or tailgating

Every year when football season rolls around, my friends and I plan our tailgates. Without a doubt, I am always begged to bring my "Seven Layer Taco Dip." I cannot completely take credit for the recipe as it originated from someone other than me. However, I have tweaked it to be my own and wanted to share it with you. It is SO easy, you can make it the night before, and I can guarantee it will be gone within an hour.

1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
1 (16 ounce) jar salsa
1 large tomato, chopped
1 bunch chopped green onions
1 (6 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1-2 bags tortilla chips
9x13 foil pan

1.  Take can of refried beans and spread as bottom layer in the 9x13 pan. (I use the foil pan so I can just throw it out when the dip is gone... because it is ALWAYS gone.)
2. Mix softened cream cheese, sour cream and package of taco seasoning together. Spread mixture as second layer on top of the beans.
3. Top the bottom two layers with salsa.
4. Place a layer of tomato, green onions and top with Cheddar cheese. Garnish with black olives. (You can add or remove ingredients. I like to add diced jalapenos! You may also add a layer of guacamole or lettuce if you please!)

I am by no means the next Emeril, Paula Deen or Food Network Star, but I have a few recipes up my sleeve. If you need any more ideas, recipes or have questions, just ask!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Best: to outdo, outflank, trump, beat out, crush, trounce. Synonyms: Auburn

What do Southern Living, Sports Illustrated and The Atlanta Journal all have in common? They see the Auburn that the rest of us see, and they LOVE it.

This week Southern Living named Auburn as one of the 'Best College Towns.' The criteria? "A population under 200,000 so that the school has an incredibly strong impact on the town. A lively local scene with good, affordable restaurants, independent boutiques, and support of the arts. A dedicated and active alumni base. A healthy dose of Southern charm." In a nutshell, that's Auburn! Check out the full story here.

Sports Illustrated can't seem to get enough Auburn and our traditions. Auburn has been named number 6 of 10 'Best Game Days' and we can't agree more! Keep up the good work Auburn fans. Full story here.

Sports Illustrated also named the Top 10 'Best Traditions' in College Football. Auburn fell right into the number 2 slot with our WAR EAGLE battle cry! I don't care if you even like Auburn, seeing that eagle fly and hearing the crowd roar is unforgettable. This tradition can give even the biggest Alabama fan goosebumps. 

Hit by a snowstorm
The Atlanta Journal travel section featured a story on Auburn just last week. Once again, Auburn prevails as the best of the best when it comes to traditions. Author Blake Guthrie speaks of Auburn as a place "steeped in tradition," and he says after an Auburn win Toomer's appears as though it "has been hit by a snow storm." Of any of the above, this is a must read.

We get e-mails and read stories frequently about the Auburn Family and the community. We know this is a place of tradition, that we have some of the best and most respectable fans, and that game day on the Plains is the best of the best. Keep up the good work Auburn and the surrounding community. "They" can say whatever they want and rank us however they please, but they can't take away our traditions and value.

Only 10 days until kickoff. Can I get a WAAAAARRR EAGLE?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Welcome to the Auburn Family!

It’s that time again! At the end of every summer in the Auburn-Opelika area I am suddenly stunned by the time added onto my drive to work… then the amount of cars on the road… followed by the impending doom of landing behind a school bus or Tiger Transit. 

My dorm room in 2006
Time to go back to school! I give the incoming freshman at Auburn University a warm welcome to the land I love and now call home. I remember my freshman year like it was yesterday. My parents drove me down from Chicago, helped me move into the dorm and headed back home. Reality sank in about 5 minutes after they left that I was totally alone... and knew absolutely no one.  I give a round of applause to the University for always encouraging me to get involved, pushing me to meet new people and offering FREE events & food left and right. However, it was nothing like what it is today. 

Welcome Week for Auburn University students is August 13-20. Events range from a discount on lemonade at Toomer’s Corner to movie night in the Student Center Green Space. Get involved! Go to at least ONE of the events the wonderful people of Auburn University and the surrounding community have planned for you.

Follow this link to find all 82 events that take place in only a 7 day span!! Below, I have highlighted at least one event I would suggest you attend for each day. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 13
Welcome Week Kickoff
5:30-8 pm in the Student Center Ballroom
It’s time to kick off Welcome Week! Once you are done moving in, come to the kickoff for live entertainment, food and fun! Students and families are encouraged to attend.

Sunday, August 14
Fan Day
2-4 pm at the Auburn Arena
Meet and get photographs from the 2011 Auburn football, soccer and volleyball teams and coaches. Fans will also have an opportunity to meet and get autographs from the 2011 Auburn University Cheerleaders, Tiger Paws and Aubie.

Monday, August 15
Toomer’s Tradition
Toomer’s Drugs- 100 N. College Street (Off Campus)
Come cool off with Toomer’s lemonade. Purchase a large lemonade all day for the price of a small.

Exclusive Target After-Hours Shopping Event, just for Auburn University
10:30pm-12:30am at Target in Tiger Town (Off Campus)
The Target After-Hours event is the perfect opportunity to get everything you need for a smart start to school, save time, money and meet lots of new people! Target will offer FREE buses every 20 minutes from the Hill, Quad and Village to Target (and back of course)! Free refreshments, great prizes, a gift bag and the whole place to yourself. Shop Target!

Tuesday, August 16
Screen on the Green
8 pm at the Student Center Green Space (Rain location: Student Center Ballroom)
Come and see the blockbuster hit, Fast Five, on the big screen. Bring a chair or blanket and your friends as the UPC presents a night of free entertainment. Free food will be provided for the first 750 students.

Wednesday, August 17
Trivia Night
7 pm Village Dining Hall
Have fun while testing your knowledge as you compete for prizes. More than $600 in cash and other prizes will be given away to event attendees. Light refreshments will be served.

Thursday, August 18
War Eagle T-Shirt Exchange
10am- 2pm in the Student Center- 2nd floor
As a way to welcome you to the Auburn Family, we’re offering an exchange of opposing college or university t-shirts for an Auburn t-shirt for free. To participate, bring a t-shirt from another college or university and make the exchange. Shirts will be donated to Alabama tornado victims. Limited quantities available for trade!

Friday, August 19
Block Party
6:30pm at the Student Center Green Space (Rain location: Student Center)
This event gives students the opportunity to meet new people and have a little fun during the chaos of starting a new semester. There will be inflatables and a variety of free food. You can enjoy live entertainment, connect with other students and learn how to get involved on campus.

Saturday, August 20
6pm at the Auburn Wesley Foundation- 131 S. Gay Street (Off Campus)
Join us for a Southern-style luau! We’ll have great free food, volleyball and other shenanigans. This is a great way to meet new faces. Hula skirt not required.