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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. What a nice story! My husband was also not the wild and crazy guy I thought I was interested in. It is funny how what you think you want and what you really want (and what lasts) can be so different!

    katies last blog post..Bread

  2. What a great story! I love hearing about how people meet their husbands…it gives me something to look forward to :)

    Do you mind my asking how old you were when you met/married?

    mariss last blog post..Whole Grain Wheat Sandwich Bread

  3. What a sweet story! I love hearing about how couples meet and fall in love, often against common sense or first impressions :)

    Amys last blog post..Southern Weddings Magazine

  4. What a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing, and thanks for the recipe. The grasshopper cake looks really good!

    Home with Mandys last blog post..New Orleans: The Final Act

  5. This looks so yummy! Do you have any ideas for how I could do the frosting different? My son is allergic to egg whites. Thanks!

  6. I love mint and chocolate together! What a great story about you first dating your hubby, too. :)

    bensbaby116s last blog post..Peanut Butter m&m Cookies

  7. I’m thinking you are one wise woman and also that anybody that nice can be wild and crazy nice from time to time.
    The cake looks good but I just can’t go with the Andes Creme de Menthe.

  8. Boy, I am glad Dad and I behaved ourselves that time. We are super happy to have Nick in our family.

  9. I absolutely LOVED that story. It’s funny how we mature in our thinking and realize who actually IS the right type for us :)

    The cake sounds great too :)

  10. That’s a great story. We LOVE FNL–we were devastated when we could not keep DirectTV in our temporary home the last 5 months because it meant we missed all those complete (they are 10 mins longer) episodes. Now that we are moved in, our DVR is busy recording the NBC FNLs AND the DirectTV mid-season longer FNLs (so we can watch the DirectTV version when we catch up). My husband is not a football fan but just loves the show. I love both.

    Lauras last blog post..When Life Hands You Lemons…: Lemon-Goat Cheese Cheesecake… Parfait?

  11. Mmmm, this cake looks SO delicious! I will have to give it a try. The mint frosting looks soooo creamy and tasty.

    saras last blog post..Spicy Roasted Eggplant Penne

  12. Super sweet story, and the cake looks awesome too! I love Martha’s desserts!

    Donnas last blog post..Sausage, White Bean, and Escarole Soup

  13. chocolate cake and mint frosting?!?!?! why didnt i think of that LOL
    looks great girl :)

    Danis last blog post..#37) Old Faithful Banana Loaf

  14. Yum, this looks great – love the cute decoration on top!

    Saras last blog post..Glazed baby turnips

  15. Those are an adorable football treat full of all my favorite flavors and in honor of my favorite sport!

    I love the story about how you fell in love with your hubby. Too cute!

    sharons last blog post..The Pioneer’s Crash Hot Potatoes

  16. Great story and cake looks good too! To think I knew you way back then. In fact, I think I may be the very reason you met that great hubby of yours! You two are a great pair. I am loving your website!!

  17. That’s a very cute story, thanks for sharing. Will keep the grasshopper cake in my recipe file, looks delicious!

  18. kristen! i LOVE fnl–it’s quite possibly my favorite show. it seems like i get emotional during every episode, but in a good way. i love it.
    i also love your story and your cake–mint and chocolate are perfect mates, much like you and nick! :)

  19. Mmmm…that cake looks and sounds scrumptious, but then I’m a huge fan of chocolate and mint together.

    And some tell me the can’t stand mint. Go figure! ;)

    Thanks for a great share!

    Jjs last blog post..Don’t buy anything with peanut butter in it!

  20. That looks yummy. It would get my attention of the game for awhile. Half-time, anyway :)

    Gennaros last blog post..8 Presidential Inauguration Locations To Visit

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