I always have my eyes peeled for fun, exciting, innovative, unique,cutting edge; you get my point, sports themed items. Sometimes I’m in complete awe of people’s creativity i.e. my Penn State Sportula. A spatula with the Nittany Lion carved out in the metal to emboss my burgers. Sometimes I wonder how a person ever received a patent for their idea. And sometimes I realize people are simply marketing geniuses. While my daughter and I were shopping for a birthday gift in the Hallmark store, we came across this candle. Paige has a keen eye as well.

Yes….the First Down Candle 


By George those folks at Yankee Candle are the marketing geniuses I was referring to. Way to get the fellas in on the world of candles and scents. What does a First Down smell like you might ask? Well…I must first come clean and tell you my olfactories are all messed up due to a tragic fall down the steps when I was about six (a big thanks to my brothers for that). At any rate, my sense of smell is weaker than the average person. But as Paige and I sniffed away, wafted away, and all we could come up with is… “it smells manly” perhaps “Old Spicy like”. Now we didn’t poll any of the other customers for their opinions, but we are sticking to our assessment of “manly”. Probably good for a “Man Cave”. Cleaver! Perhaps you would burn this during your home football party or at the tailgate. A little something to get you in the mood. Again, just genius!

Pumpkin Funnel Cake with Cream Cheese Dip

Funnel Cake 2 003

Sometimes you know I’ll do a throwback recipe, especially on my busy days. Here’s one from attending the Baltimore Blast Soccer game back in January. My daughter Paige had this at the games so I figured I’d go to my “county fair roots” and make a Pumpkin Funnel Cake…..


  • 1 quart oil for frying
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar mixed + 1 tsp cinnamon for dusting


  1. Place the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, egg, brown sugar, pumpkin puree (or 100% pure pumpkin), milk, and pumpkin pie spice until a smooth batter forms.
  3. Mix together the powdered sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. Check oil– if you have a thermometer, it should be around 375º. If you don’t have a thermometer, flick a couple of water droplets in the oil. It should bubble, but not pop out of the pan.
  5. Scoop about 1/2 cup (it should be a little less than 1/2 cup, since a lot of it will stick to the measuring cup) into a gallon sized ziptop bag.
  6. Snip off a small corner of the bag and pipe the batter into the hot oil in a circular pattern. Let fry for a few seconds, until golden brown on the bottom, and then turn over (using a fork or tongs). Let fry for a few more seconds until golden brown.
  7. Remove the funnel cake with a fork or tongs and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Dust with the cinnamon powdered sugar and enjoy warm!
  8. Repeat process with remaining batter (I was able to use the same bag for all of the batter by simply placing the bag in a shallow bowl. When I spooned the batter into the bag opening, it didn’t ooze out of the hole, because the bag is sort of laying on itself. Just carefully pick it up, pinching the corner with the hole until you’re ready to pipe it into the oil.)

Cream Cheese Dip


4 oz softened cream cheese

2 cups confectioner sugar

1/2  cup of milk

1 tsp Vanilla


1. Put all ingredients in large bowl and mix. Start on low speed to not “cover” yourself with the confectioner sugar. Blend until smooth.

Give this great fair treat a try…..

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