20141114_211933.jpg JOLet’s see now, we’ve got the BUC’s, BULLS, RAYS, ROWDIES, and now pre-season hockey has begun!  The LIGHTNING will start their highly anticipated season, which is right around the corner.  Everything in sports that a sports-fanatic desires, is right here in Tampa Bay!

Get that beer on ice and prepare those margaritas and Bloody Mary’s with all the trimmings.  Nothing better than fresh squeezed limes, and sea salt to line your frosted glass, and putting a beer pretzel with your Bloody Mary, wet’s the pallet for more!

Why not try making Antipasto skewers, beer marinated smoked or grilled chicken legs, a Greek potato salad, and a lovely fennel, jimca root, and red cabbage cole slaw, finishing off with mini-strawberry short cakes with whipped cream, for toppers!

For the Antipasto:

Bamboo skewers work nicely. Soak them in water, while you arrange the items you plan to use.

I suggest chunks of genoa salami, cherry tomatoes marinated in olive oil and basil, large green pitted olives, marinated artichokes, fresh basil leaves, cherry peppers, and marinated mozzarella cheese balls. YUMM!

For 30 beer marinated then smoked chicken legs, rinse and pat dry the drumsticks and place into  Zip lock bags and refrigerate until the marinate is ready.

Mix: 3/4 cup of olive oil, 3 tsp, paprika, 9 cloves of crushed garlic, zest of 2 limes, and juice from them. 2 tsp. cumin, 3 cups of beer, salt and pepper, and stir well.  Add to drumsticks, rubbing into each piece. Turn bags around during marinating to make sure each one gets the flavor.

When ready to smoke, take out of bags and pat dry.  Smoking around 260 degrees should get them done nicely.  If you prefer to grill, they are delicious that way, too.  I make a sweet chili with orange zest and juice to dip them in and it’s scrumptious!

Making a good Greek potato salad has its own secret….the feta cheese.  Place 1 – 5 pound bag of sliced red potatoes in salted water, bring to a boil, and cook until done.

Place in large bowl and add: 3 hardboiled eggs, chop 3 stalks of celery, 2-3 sweet onions chopped, put all together with the potatoes and add 1 cup of feta cheese, or more if desired. 1/2 jar of pitted Greek olives, mix the juice from 3 lemons and 1 cup of olive oil, salt and pepper and whisk into the potatoes. Make more if necessary. Toss well, and viola, delish!

I’m big on multiple kinds of slaw, so buy 1 large fennel, 1 large head of red cabbage, and a nice jimka.  Grate each into a large bowel, slice nice and thin 2-3 Granny Smith apples, toss in a bag of cherry cranberries and set aside.


Take a large sour cream, mix with 2 cups of mayonaise, add sugar or sweetner to taste, add to slaw mixture and mix well. This is very refreshing.

Mini-shortcakes can be used with strawberries, blueberries, apples, rasberries, or peaches, depending upon what’s out for the season and your preference.

Use 1 – 20 oz. box of Bisquick, add 1 1/3 cups of milk, 6 Tlbs. of sugar, and 6 Tlbs. of melted butter and mix until a soft dough forms.  Drop into ungreased mini cupcake pans and bake @ 425 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes of golden brown.

Clean and slice 3 boxes of strawberries, add 1 cup of sugar, mix with 1/2 cup of water and I use a potato masher, but leave nice slices of fruit, cook until it’s a nice consistency and refrigerate.

Take a quart of heavy whipping cream and beat until soft peaks form, add 1 Tbs. of 10x sifted sugar, and blend.

Get your list of family or friends you plan to invite and start preparing for a fan-feasting, sports spectacular delicious buffet.

Enjoy folks, look forward to our next menu that will make you stand out as one of the most fantastic parties you’ve ever thrown.