Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and the Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #TailgateRefreshed #CollectiveBias
This summer has been such a special one for our little family! We celebrated summer end’s this weekend, and enjoyed reminiscing on our adventures thus far. Our family moved from Indiana to Oregon in May, and it has been such an adventurous summer in our new state. We have completely fallen in love with this place, catching our own crab and picking our own berries. We visited multiple farmer’s markets, preserving produce for the fall months. As we wrapped up the boys’ first week of school last week, and the sky started sprinkling on us Friday. It immediately felt like fall around here as the air got chilly. I’ve said it on this blog multiple times, we are a football family. So, I decided prepare some of our favorite fresh finds from summer’s bounty and pair it with our favorite fall activity: football. In my opinion, no football party is complete without new COCA-COLA® ZERO SUGAR. I crafted a simple Portland inspired party with fun plaids and fresh produce from local Farmer’s Markets to fresh crab we caught ourselves on the gorgeous Oregon Coast. I grabbed several size options of COCA-COLA® ZERO SUGAR from my local Albertson’s grocery store, I wanted a two liter to use for recipes and varying can sizes for my guests to enjoy.
The new COCA-COLA® ZERO SUGAR has more real Coca-Cola® flavor, still without any sugar. Is the sound a Coca-Cola can opening complete nostalgia for anyone else? I find myself being immediately transported to the porch swing of my grandmother’s country home.
We had such a wonderful time at our football bash on Saturday. It is always so nice to practice hospitality, I love having friends around. I wanted to keep the details simple and allow the food with its naturally sourced ingredients really shine. I had a simple plaid bed sheet I decorated my farmhouse kitchen table with, I always want to encourage people to invite friends over. As I’ve gotten more seasoned as a mother and party hostess, I’ve began to understand that simple, relaxed parties are the most memorable ones. I want my guests to leave my house, filling physically and emotionally full. I want their sides to hurt from laughter, I want them to remember how they felt in our home.
For our dear friends, I prepared a tomato based crab soup. I combined flavors from my Southern childhood, my five years in the Midwest, and our months in the Pacific Northwest. Soup is always a great thing to serve to large numbers of people at parties, because it is so filling and affordable. I created a simple “toppings” bar with choices like: crackers, chives, and hot sauce. I normally prefer serving food at parties buffet style, but the gloomy weather outside really demanded an intimate family style meal. Guests were able to enjoy their COCA-COLA® ZERO SUGAR from a fun drink cart. We broke bread (literally) and dipped it into this phenomenal soup. We laughed, sipped, slurped, and enjoyed a football game on the muted television. The first big Oregon rain fell in the background as we enjoyed a Marionberry/Apple pie I prepared. This pie was heavenly. I have attached the recipe below so you can enjoy it with any fruit you’d like. That pie was particularly special to me, because I just had the opportunity to pick those apples at a local orchard last weekend. It is so important to me to fill my home with foods that are nutritionally rich and locally grown. Of course, I also wanted to provide some snack foods since a football game can last around four hours. I put out my signature deviled eggs, and some cocktail sausages prepared with a little barbecue sauce and COCA-COLA® ZERO SUGAR.
As your family makes the exciting transition from summer to fall, I hope you’re able to savor some of your local cuisine as well as the new COCA-COLA® ZERO SUGAR. Above all, I hope you can savor some quality time with your own family and friends.