Falling in Love Over Football (and Grasshopper Cake)

I fell in love with my now husband at a football game. We had actually been friends for quite awhile and he kept asking me out but I kept saying no. I felt like he was just too serious and responsible for someone I wanted to date at that time. In fact, I recall on our way home from a baseball game me telling him that I felt sorry for whomever he was going to marry because he was too “perfect” and so responsible. Nice, huh? We remained good friends, he kept trying, and I kept turning him down.

One day, the company I worked for offered me tickets to a Kansas City Chiefs game. I had been to a Chiefs game several times, but I knew that Nick, who loved football, had never been. I had three extra tickets and decided to see if my parents wanted to come up for the game and then I called Nick to see if he wanted to join us. He said yes and a few weeks later we were all heading to the game. It was that night, watching Nick interact with my parents… he treated them so well… that I got over my need for someone wild and crazy in my life and fell in love with Nick. We immediately started dating and the rest is history.

While dating, we would spend many a Saturday curled up on the couch watching college football. After we got married and bought a house, we still continued to watch football together, but eventually I began finding other things to do around the house to occupy my time. I began losing interest in “wasting” time watching football and found other things to do.

Now, Nick still watches football while I don’t. I like to sit in on the end of a game, but spending several hours in front of the TV is beyond something my attention span can handle these days. I know Nick feels the same way about some of the shows I watch too. Watching TV together is not something we do a whole lot of together anymore.

That is why I was so excited a few years ago when Nick introduced me to the TV show Friday Night Lights. It was one of his favorite books, and we both really enjoyed the movie. The TV show was something that we both really liked and we looked forward to our date nights of catching up on the most recent episodes. Then, in typical NBC fashion (meaning this always happens to us when we both get into a show we like that is on NBC) rumors began to swirl that they were not going to renew Friday Night Lights.  I was so disappointed. In fact, I was one of those crazy people who actually sent in $5 to the “Keep the Lights On” club to have mini footballs sent to NBC execs.

Well, the attempt to save Friday Night Lights and the TV date nights hubby and I were having worked, and Friday Night Lights returned this past week. To commemorate the occasion, I decided to make Martha Stewart’s Grasshopper Cake featured in the January 2009 edition of Martha Stewart Living. With a rich chocolate base and a creamy whipped Creme de Menthe frosting, this cake was worthy of such a special night. OK – well maybe not so special to you, but when you are married with three kids, anything that can get you back snuggling on the couch is worthy of special accolades!

Grasshopper Cake (from Martha Stewart Living Magazine)

Serves 8.

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into tablespoons
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons creme de menthe
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 12 Andes Creme de Menthe candies
  • 36 white sprinkles (which let me tell you… big pain in the rear if you have to dig through a jar of multi colored sprinkles!)
  1. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-by-12-inch cake pan. Line bottom with parchment, then butter parchment, and dust with cocoa powder. Tap out excess.
  2. Whisk cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in eggs, warm water, milk, sour cream, butter, and vanilla, mixing until smooth.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert cake onto rack, and let cool. Cake will keep, unfrosted and covered, overnight.
  4. Make the frosting: Mix whites and sugar in a mixer bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Heat, whisking constantly, until sugar dissolves and mixture is warm, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat. Whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Add butter, several tablespoons at a time, whisking after each addition. Add creme de menthe and vanilla, and beat for 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  6. Using a paring knife, cut corners off mint candies to shape each into a football. Press 3 sprinkles onto each, using frosting as glue. Frost cooled cake. Arrange footballs on cake in 4 rows of 3. Cake will keep, covered, for up to 4 days. Slice just before serving.

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  1. Kyle says

    Ooh, those look so good! I’m a sucker for mint. When you have multiple kids, the times when you and your sweetie can chill out together without distraction is so critical!

  2. says

    Isn’t that how it always is? I’m telling my love story right now and it’s got me reminiscing about our first years together. I’m with you… no matter how “ordinary” it may seem, sometimes watching TV together is the perfect solution to “together time.”

    Cats last blog post..Wings of Love – Chapter Two

  3. says

    What a great story! I love football, tooo…though recently it’s become more of a napping tv choice! However, I would gladly cuddle on the couch with someone watching football…glad you found an appropriate dessert to celebrate the occasion! BTW, I was looking for something and found the post where you talked about getting the “baby bug”…guess you had it more than you thought! :-)

    Claires last blog post..Pie and Pictures

  4. says

    The perfect dessert for date night…and so cute with the little footballs on top. It is interesting how we see a familiar person differently when they interact with people we care about well. He sounds like a jewel.

    Elles last blog post..More Persimmons

  5. says

    I thoroughly enjoyed this blog post, what a sweet story. I will def try to catch the show sometime. It just won’t be on a Friday night! Thank god for DVR and life and Obama and other important things.

  6. says

    I love your story! It reminds me of a man I once dated. I’m not at all versed in American football, but it was that Superbowl where Janet Jackson exposed herself during halftime. We were serious and he had been saying that he didn’t want another big wedding and felt bad that I did.

    I don’t know where he’d gotten the idea, but before I could say anything, he added, “tell you what, if the Seahawks ever make it to a Superbowl, I’ll marry you in a Catholic church.”

    We eventually broke up. By the time the Seahawks got to the Superbowl, I was living in Peru. My parents told me later that he had called for me.

    My father lied and told him I was engaged. I wasn’t. I thought about looking him up after that, but by then I’d met the man who’d become my husband and never did. I loved him, but he wasn’t the one for me, nor I the one for him.

    My story isn’t as happy as yours. I’m in accord, though: amazing things can happen over football, including getting an atheist to go through all the necessary rites to walk down the aisle of a church.

    Anaiiss last blog post..Sexy Snacks: How To Make Web Like A Porn Site

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