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My name is Lisa and I'm a crafty girl with wanderlust working as an engineer by day. My blog chronicles projects in my home as well as pictures and stories from my travels.

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Entries in Football (5)

Saturday
Apr122014

Three Teams in Nine Days

Frank has been an avid sports fan ever since he was a young little guy. His very first love was Detroit Tigers baseball with University of Michigan football and basketball being added to his list of favorites shortly thereafter. By middle school he was avidly following the teams and has ever since. This year through a freak alignment of schedules we got to see all three of Frank's favorite teams in a nine day span at the end of March and beginning of April.

The streak began with a trip down to Indianapolis to the Midwest Regional of the NCAA Basketball Tournament to see Michigan play Tennessee. We took Friday afternoon off work and drove to Indianapolis getting there a few hours before the game at Lucas Oil Stadium.

We had nosebleed seats for the game but couldn't care less as long as we were there. Michigan was soundly beating Tennessee in the first half but in the second half Tennessee mounted quite an amazing comeback that had us on the edge of our seats. Thankfully, in the end Michigan held them off to win the game 73-71 and advance to the next round of the tournament.

Two days later we were walking to Lucas Oil Stadium to watch the Michigan-Kentucky game when we were stopped by a fellow Michigan fan. He had a pair of extra tickets that he got from work so he didn't feel right selling them but wanted to give them to another Michigan fan. The tickets were in the sixteenth row in the corner and we were excited to have such luck.

The game was really amazing with every possession quite exciting as the teams battled it out. The game was tied 72-72 near the end of regulation but Kentucky made a three with only 2.6 seconds left on the clock. Michigan made a heroic effort at a final play but when the clock ran out Kentucky won 75-72.

Although we were sad about the Michigan not making the Final Four we didn't mourn the loss too long. We drove back to Ann Arbor from Indianapolis on Sunday night after game and took the day off from work on Monday to see the Tigers play the Royals on opening day at Comerica Park with our friends, Tarek and Haneen.

We headed downtown early to hang out and get chicken shawarmas at Budapest Grill before the game. It was a beautiful day after the long winter and the game was great. Victor Martinez hit a home run in his very first at bat of the season. At the bottom of the ninth the game was tied 3-3 when Alex Gonzalez hit a walk off single for the Tigers to win the game 4-3. It was a fun way to kick off the baseball season. 

On Saturday it was time for the Michigan football spring game where fans can go to Michigan Stadium to watch the team practice and scrimmage. For Frank this means an excuse to have a spring tailgate and we had a small tailgate before the game. Frank also decided that this meant he needed another grill (a small traveling grill) which now brings our grill count up to five. Doesn't every family need a 2.5 grill per capita ratio?

The game itself wasn't terribly exciting but it was fun to catch up with the other tailgaters and hang out in the sun in the stands of Michigan Stadium. Spring has barely begun but Frank is ready for the fall and football season already.

All in all Frank was like a kid in a candy store seeing all of his team play this spring. He is all set for the Tigers to have a great summer and win the World Series followed by having Michigan football win the Big Ten this fall. I hope he is right!

Monday
Nov112013

Michigan Tailgate Cake: Winged Helmet Cake

On Saturday Michigan played Nebraska and Frank's tailgate theme for the week was Soups and Stews since the weather here has gotten a little chilly. I couldn't figure out a way to easily translate that into a cake so I decided to make a cake inspired by Michigan's iconic winged helmet for the tailgate.

I used a two layer chocolate cake recipe with the Wilton Helmet Pan to make the cake. I used some thinned white buttercream icing for a crumb layer and then used white icing to create a background behind the facemask and ear hole. I sketched out the lines for the wings with some icing and once I was happy with the shape I filled it in with maize and blue icing with a #16 star tip. I finished the helmet off by piping the facemask with some extra whipped chocolate ganache from the chocolate chili cupcakes I had made the day before. The facemask of the Wolverines' helmet is actually blue but I didn't think it would show up very well on the cake if I made it blue plus I think it is a crime to waste leftover chocolate ganache.

The tailgate was a lot of fun. It was a bit chilly but the sun was out most of the day and there was no miserable rain like two weeks prior at the Indiana game. Frank made his cheddar sausage soup which was perfect to keep everyone warm.

The game, however, was not so much fun to watch. Michigan played pretty poorly and for the second week in a row had negative rushing yards. They pulled ahead in the fourth quarter but Nebraska had a touchdown late in the game to seal their 17-13 win over Michigan. Hopefully the Wolverines fare better next week at Northwestern. Go Blue!

On a positive side note, my beloved Duke Blue Devils had a pretty good weekend with the football team beating NC State and the basketball team trouncing Davidson. The football team is now 7-2 which guarantees them a winning record which will be a first since 1994. I watched the basketball game on TV and all I can say is that Jabari Parker is awesome and I am looking forward to a great season. Go Duke! 

Wednesday
Sep112013

Michigan Tailgate Cake: Under the Lights II

This past Saturday Michigan played Notre Dame in Under the Lights II. Two years ago, Michigan Football had their first ever night game where they played Notre Dame in a game called Under the Lights. For that game I recreated the logo for the tailgate so I thought that I would do the same thing with the new logo for this game's tailgate cake.

I made a two layer chocolate buttermilk cake and iced it with buttercream icing. To recreate the logo I printed a copy of it scaled to fit the top of the cake. I then cut out the elements and traced around them on rolled out marshmallow fondant.

The letters were too small and difficult to do like that so I cut a rectangle shape that was the size of each of the letters and then free hand cut each letter from the rectangle. This made sure that they were all the correct height and width. I am not going to lie, this was pretty time consuming but in the end I think it turned out really cool and was worth the effort.

Frank made food poking fun at Notre Dame including chicken hash (since Michigan's head coach Brady Hoke said that Notre Dame was chicken for backing out of the annual match up after next year) and fried catfish sandwiches (in reference to former Notre Dame star Manti Te'o getting catfished last year).

Frank started tailgating by 8 am which meant that he was out there for twelve hours before the game. I felt that showing up in the afternoon for five hours of tailgating was more than sufficient. As always we had a lot of fun, hanging out and of course eating.

The game had an 8 pm kickoff but before the game Michigan Football legend, Tom Harmon, was honored. After a video highlight film his son, Mark Harmon (of NCIS fame), spoke as they added a legends patch to the 98 jersey that Tom Harmon wore.

The sun had just set when the team entered the field. During the first half Michigan was pretty dominant not allowing Notre Dame to get a first down on their first two possessions and ending the half up by two touchdowns.

Throughout the game during timeouts different Michigan sporting figures were recognized including the 2012-13 basketball team that made it to the National Championship game in April and 1960s basketball star, Cazzie Russell.

At halftime the Michigan Marching band performed a medley of Beyonce's songs with a video message from her prior to them taking the field. Before the game blue LED wrist bands had been passed out to fans so when they dimmed the lights for the halftime show it was cool to see the pinpoints of blue light throughout the stadium.

The second half was a little tough to watch as Michigan made some errors that looked like they were trying to give the game back to Notre Dame. In the end, however, the team pulled out a 41-30 win over Notre Dame.

It was a very long but fun day. Luckily next week the kickoff against Akron is at noon!

Tuesday
Sep032013

Michigan Tailgate Cake: Luau Theme

Saturday was the Michigan Football season opener so of course we were tailgating bright and early. Frank has not missed a Michigan Football game (home or away) since 1999 so if I want to see him it the fall I am out tailgating and cheering with him.

Frank's tailgates are pretty involved with a large number of people and ridiculous amounts of food and a theme, of course. This week was a luau theme so I made a pineapple cake with coconut cream cheese icing. To decorate the cake I used marshmallow fondant to make a Block M and then made a little hibiscus flower to go with the luau theme.

Frank featured foods with lots of pork for the luau tailgate starting with a pork hash with bacon in the morning and a suckling pig and ribs in the afternoon.

With a 3:30 kickoff against Central Michigan, we had a nice long tailgate. Several people wore blue and yellow Hawaiian shirts for the theme and there were a lot of leis as well. It was really great to see a bunch of the other tailgaters that we don't get to often see in the off season.

The game itself was pretty relaxing because Michigan pretty handily dealt with Central winning the game 59-9. Although watching exciting, nail biting games is fun, sometimes it is great to just sit back and watch your team dominate. It was a nice way to kick off the 2013 football season.

Next week Notre Dame!

Sunday
Oct142012

Michigan Tailgate Cake: Hail To The Victors

This week Michigan played Illinois for homecoming and the tailgate theme was Brazilian Steakhouse. I wasn't really sure how to translate that theme into a tailgate cake so I decided to make a cake with the first line of the chorus of the Michigan fight song across the front.

I started by baking a chocolate cake in two oval pans and then whipped up a double batch of buttercream icing, tinting it blue. Once the cake had completely cooled I leveled the layers by cutting off the crowns. I stacked the layers with some icing in between and then added a thin crumb coat of the blue icing over the whole cake.

After the crumb coat had dried I iced the cake with the blue icing and smoothed it over the cake. With the base of blue icing on the cake it was time for the fun part, decorating. I used marzipan that I tinted yellow to make the word "HAIL" and put that across the front of the cake. I also made a large block M and used skewers to make it stand on top of the cake. I added a little cocoa powder and copper tint to some more marzipan and made a little football to prop up in front of the block M.  

As a final step I made another single batch of buttercream icing, tinting half of it yellow and leaving the rest white. I put both colors in piping bags and piped a star border around the base of the cake in yellow. I used the white to add "to the victors" and add some laces on the football. 

Although the tailgate was a lot of fun, it was cold and toward game time it started raining. At the tailgate we were under tents, but we were completely exposed to the elements in the stadium. Being soaking wet and cold made watching the game a bit miserable but drinking a bunch of hot chocolate definitely helped.

Luckily the Wolverines dominated Illinois and when the score was 31-0 in favor of Michigan we decided that victory was ensured and it was okay to leave, watching the rest of the game back at the tailgate with the satellite TV under the tents. In the end Michigan won 45-0 for a decisive win. Bring on Sparty!

Do you root for any college teams? How did you spend your weekend?