January 30, 2017

On Sunday, the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons will go head to head in the Super Bowl. The Patriots are no stranger to the Super Bowl as this will be their ninth appearance. However, this is only the second time for the Atlanta Falcons.

I fondly remember a family vacation to Atlanta, Georgia, as a child. My aunt Marilyn Pierce moved to Atlanta to manage an apartment complex, and we took advantage of her kind offer to visit her new home in a new city. Aunt Marilyn took us to see The Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel in downtown Atlanta. It is the second-tallest all-hotel skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere with 73 floors featuring a revolving restaurant on top. The Sun Dial Restaurant boasts a 360-degree view of the Atlanta skyline.

Atlanta is known for its fast-paced culture and Southern-comfort food, and Georgia growers are proud of two of their biggest crops — peanuts and peaches.

Sweet and Spicy Peanuts

For a little crunch during the game, munch on sweet and spicy peanuts by Taste of Home. They are covered with a caramel-like coating and a kiss of heat.

3 cups salted peanuts

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons hot water

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon Sriracha Asian hot chili sauce or hot pepper sauce

1 teaspoon chili powder

Place peanuts in a greased 1½-quart slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the sugars, water, butter, hot sauce and chili powder. Pour over peanuts. Cover and cook on high for 1½ hours, stirring once.

Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: 4 cups.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake

I discovered Paula Deen’s Gooey Butter Cakes several years ago. They are ooey gooey and full of butter. There are a few different variations, but one can never go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate.


1 (18.25-oz) package Devil’s food cake mix

1 egg

1 stick butter, melted



1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened

1 cup creamy peanut butter

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 stick butter, melted

1 (16 oz) box powdered sugar (3 3/4 cups)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 13x9-inch baking dish.

For the cake: Combine all the ingredients and mix well with a mixer; press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

For the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth; add the eggs, vanilla, and butter. Beat together. Add the powdered sugar and mix well.

Pour peanut butter mixture over the cake mixture and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, Do not overbake, the center will be a little gooey but will set up as it cools.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.


Peachy Orange Punch

The littlest Falcons fans will go crazy for this fizzy and sweet drink.

5 cups frozen unsweetened sliced peaches

2 (6 oz) cans frozen orange juice concentrate

4 juice cans water

2/3 cup sugar

2 1/2 cups ginger ale

orange slices, for garnish

Puree sliced peaches in blender. Pour into large pitcher or punch bowl. Stir in orange juice concentrate and water. Stir in sugar, stir until dissolved. Stir in ginger ale. Immediately pour into tall glasses. Garnish with orange slices.


Georgia Peach

Peach cocktails are sweet and refreshing. Puree plenty of peaches to keep on hand and keep Falcon fans happy.

5 oz (1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons) canned peaches in heavy syrup (from a 15 oz can)

2 fresh limes

3 oz (1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons) whiskey

2 tablespoons sugar


whipped cream for garnish (optional)

Ahead of time: In a blender, puree entire can of peaches. Transfer peach puree to a bowl or pitcher. This makes enough peach puree for 3 preparations (6 servings). Keep chilled. Rinse blender and return to base.

To prepare two drinks: Juice two limes and pour lime juice into the blender. Add whiskey, 5 oz (or one-third) of the peach puree and sugar. Fill a 14 oz serving glass with ice, then add ice to the blender and repeat, another one more glass of ice. Blend until smooth. Pour into two cocktail glasses. Garnish with whipped cream if desired.