So a few months back at PSU, I catered a party for fellow alumni Keith Goganious at our annual “Blue White Weekend”. During the course of the weekend, I ran into many old friends and Troy Cromwell one of them. As Troy and I caught up on all of the great things that have been happening with my show, blog, and cookbook, he invited me down to Ashburn, Va to cater a party that he and his wife Roxana would be hosting during the week of the Shawn Springs AYFL Football Camp. Of course I leaped at the opportunity…1.) I  want everyone to taste my food. 2.) I needed a vacation from my kids even though they are awesome. Mama gets tired too…..

Troy, myself, and D.J. Dozier….I am just a few years younger than my fellow Penn Staters :).  I have a very fond memory. On a trip to State, our school bus passed the “blue bus” which was  designated for the players. As we were all so excited to see the football team,  D. J. waved to us. That is my memory of him!!!!

As my menu was rather ambitious, I did lots of prep work before arriving in Virgina. However, I was fortunate to have three good friends assist me in finalizing my dishes the day of the event. Dawn Burks was the very first person I meet on the track team at PSU and we have been friends ever since. Adia Brown another dear friend from Penn State and an outstanding cook. And last but not least, Shona Sandlin the photographer, was one of the first athletes I coached when I came out of college.

As I said, the menu was ambitious…grilled chicken on the stick was one of the items..we worked well together and pulled off all the dishes in a timely manner

Troy and Roxana’s home is beautiful and a perfect space to host parties. Maybe they’ll adopt me… my appetizer bean corn salsa with homemade tortillas, crab dip with homemade pita chips, veggies, and some latin style shrimp

After spending the day cooking, we set up the dining room space for the entrees…..Old Bay Shrimp Pasta, Spinach Lasagna, beef and pork meatballs, chicken chorizo meatballs, green rice, chicken enchiladas, chipotle pasta, and chicken on a stick…I think that’s everything

After running back to the hotel to freshen up, we returned to the party ready to serve up some great food and I was anxious for everyone’s reaction to my recipes…

Troy’s daughter Logan and some friends enjoying the treats. What I have learned as a cook…If the kids say it’s delicious, you probably have hit the nail on the head

Dessert Nachos………a big hit with everyone

As the party was in full swing, my girl Adia who was the ultimate sous chef became the ultimate greeter!!!!

The party was for the coaches and their families…Quintus McDonald and Blair Thomas

Keith Goganious and I talking about his golf outing next year!!! Guess who is catering 🙂

Finally, I was relieved the food was a success. At that point, I decide it was time for me to take pictures with everyone….Lamar Thomas former NFL player and now coaches at Hampton University with Keith Goganious

We had just as much fun as the guests………….

Shawn Springs and Stanley Jackson were roommates at Ohio State…Both were drafted to the NFL…Shawn retired with the Redskins. Stan went from the NFL to the CFL for 7 years. These two are so grounded and very genuine people. Even if they are Buckeyes……

It was a great feeling to have people tell me how much they enjoyed my dishes and take my recipe cards to try the dishes on their own. Of course I want to thank Troy and the AYFL for having me, and my friends for all of their assistance….There weren’t a ton of left overs but I will share a dish that Roxana and Troy could make quick and easy with a few of the items…..

South West Salad…

For this salad you would use……

-black bean corn salsa

– grilled chicken

-fried corn tortillas

– iceberg lettuce

-shredded tex-mex cheese

– Chipolet Ranch Dressing (simply use a cup of store bought ranch dressing and puree two chipolet chilies with two tsp of adobo sauce in food processor….

Mexican Cannoli

It is common knowledge I love to cook with tortillas…this is a fried flour tortilla with a creamy chocolate filling and a raspberry whip cream

– 10  8 inch flour tortillas

– vegetable oil for frying

-cinnamon sugar mixture for tortillas (1/2 cup sugar to 1 tbsp cinnamon)

– 4 cups chocolate pudding

– 2 tbsp sugar

– 4 oz softened cream cheese

– 8 oz whipped topping divided

– 2 tsp raspberry extract

-chocolate syrup to drizzle on top


1. Roll flour tortillas and secure with a tooth pick (thread like a needle) and fry over a medium heat until golden brown.  Sprinkle immediately with cinnamon sugar…

2. In a medium bowl, blend pudding, sugar, cream cheese, and 4 oz of the whipped topping.

3. In separate bowl, mix the other 4 oz of whipped topping and raspberry extract.

4. Take a ziplock bag and spoon in chocolate mixture. Snip bottom of bag (this doubles as a piping bag if you don’t own one)

5. Take a wooden spoon handle (thin) and push through the fried tortilla. Now pipe the mixture into the tortilla.

6. Remove toothpick and cut tortillas in half and plate. Drizzle chocolate syrup and add a dollop of raspberry topping…..

Remember…..Who Do You Want In Your Kitchen On Game Day??