Two-A-Days

IMG_0426     This is the time of year when football teams spend the time allowed by each state before school starts to begin their football drills. Usually the kids will be required to attend a morning drill and an afternoon drill. Those practice sessions can produce an appetite of a bear after hibernation. It is also very exhausting for a young man. Summers in Southeast Texas can be very grueling. August football practice at 8:00 AM and again at 4:00 PM the same day can be almost unbearable. Only the strong survive. And you better have enough carbs stored in your system to withstand the unbelievable drain of energy during these sessions. Hydration is another key element to survival. Those boys arrive back home after the morning session starving. Some days they will visit a local restaurant that features “all you can eat buffets.” I am sure the managers just about faint when they see those kids entering their doors. At least my two and the gang they hung out with! You know who you are…

Snack Menus for Two-a-Days – Notice this is just a snack

Malts

4 cups Blue Bell Ice Cream

2 cups milk

2-3 tablespoons malted milk powder

1 raw egg – optional

1 envelope Carnation Instant Breakfast Powder

In a 64-oz. blender jar start with 3 cups Blue Bell Vanilla Ice Cream; add one envelope Carnation Instant Breakfast(flavor of choice); one raw egg (optional); and enough whole (4%) milk to fill the blender jar almost to the top.

Peanut Butter on Vanilla Wafers (be prepared for a whole box to vanish)

A great breakfast normally consisted of toasted bread spread with peanut butter and served with orange juice instead of milk.

If you’ve never had the privilege of feeding two high school football players at the same time, you’ve missed the opportunity to understand institutional cooking. I exaggerate but at times it seemed that way. I remember buying trays of meat 14 to 16 inches long and dividing them into packets to have on hand. It was less expensive to buy in bulk. Just trying to keep them fed, clothed and driving kept me on a tight budget. Feeding those boys during two-a-days was a pretty monumental task. In between the daily drills those boys will eat you out of house and home. My youngest son’s coach once told him that he was the only kid they ever saw gain weight during two-a-days!

   Left over Lasagna

Freeze in 4” squares for snacks after practice.I always cooked pans and pans of lasagna for after the games on Friday nights. Several members of the front line (offensive and some defensive) along with their girl friends usually came to my house for lasagna after the home games. I would hurry home after the home games to put those large pans of lasagna in my oven. My family room was filled with bodies, tired and hungry after those Friday night games. Then the feast would begin.

Lasagna (American Style)

2 lbs. ground beef (ground round or ground sirloin)

2 large jars Prego Spaghetti Sauce (original)

Mozzarella cheese, grated & lots of it (3 to 4 cups or more)

Parmesan or Romano cheese (canned is fine; fresh is better)

Salt and pepper

Lasagna Noodles (boiled till just tender)

Brown the beef ground round in a large skillet with salt and pepper until you think it is done. Add the Prego Sauce, thinned with about one cup of water and turn the heat off. Remove the lasagna noodles from the boiling water and lay out on the wax side of freezer paper or wax paper. Place a paper towel under the wax paper to prevent wax from bleeding onto your countertop. This is a mess to clean up. Place one layer of lasagna noodles in the bottom of a 9×13 Pyrex dish. Next, place a layer of meat sauce and Mozzarella cheese. Add another layer of noodles and another layer of meat sauce and Mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle the entire top with Parmesan or Romano cheese. Place in a 350-degree oven until heated through and bubbly. Everything is already done so you are really just heating and melting all the cheeses. This will take about 30 to 45 minutes at least.

Serve with some great French bread and salad. Any leftovers can be placed in the fridge overnight, then cut into 4 inch squares the next day and placed in a ziplock bag for freezing. This makes a great lunch or snack for hungry kids.

I just cooked what I call American lasagna and thought it was pretty good. One of the girls was so cordial and really bragged about how good my lasagna was. Later on, I found out she is from one of the really old Italian families here in town. Embarrassing! Oh well, it disappeared so I suppose it was good.

So…….are you ready for some football! Let’s go!

Dallas Tales

The Big Chicken meets Dallas. The ‘Dallas’ of Dallas Tales. Dallas is a Jack Russell mix who just happens to be a girl! Well, I’ll be! You’re just gonna fall in love with Miss Dallas and all her adventures. She’s a real social butterfly. Her day didn’t start well this morning. She upchucked before breakfast. Tell you what, I’m just gonna let Dallas take over from here……….Mama (that would be my human Mama) just about freaked out this morning. I was just a little under the weather. I barfed right on her good rug in the den. She immediately decided I needed to visit the vet’s office. She told Dad to hurry cause she was takin’ me to the vet. We arrive and the look on that lady’s face. I don’t think she was too happy Mama didn’t call to let them know we were coming in. They put us in a room to wait. Did you know there’s a real bird in that waiting room? He was squawking at me something awful. Story is he can talk. Mmmmm…..I wonder if he knows I eat birds! Yep, I caught two baby turtledoves in my back yard a few weeks back and I sure have a taste for feathers now. Oh, a nice lady just came in with her cat. Lady, lady, over here. I love to meet people. Oh, yeah, I’m supposed to be sick. But lady could you just please pet me a little before the Doctor comes in to check me over. I think I’m feeling all better already.

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Dallas