Sandra Lee Favorites: Celebrate the Big Game With These Texas-Inspired Treats


Sandra Lee
End Zone Eats

A little imagination is all you need to extend the football mania to your game-time menu. Take this eye-catching football pizza, for example. Make a crust using refrigerated or homemade dough—or grab a prepared one at the grocery store—then shape it into an oval. Top with sauce and grated Cheddar and mozzarella, then arrange a generous layer of pepperoni in the middle—in the shape of a football, of course. Form laces from string cheese.

Sandra Lee
Houstonian Cocktail

In a large pitcher, combine 1 cup cider, four 12-ounce bottles chilled lager, four 12-ounce bottles hard cider and 8 ounces of rum. Pour into eight chilled pint glasses. Add apple slice to each glass and serve.

Super Mary
In a large glass combine 3 ounces vegetable juice; 1 tablespoon cocktail sauce; half an ounce lemon juice; 1.5 ounces vodka; and 2 dashes celery salt, red-hot pepper sauce, black pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Pour into another large glass. Pour back and forth until blended. Fill a tall serving glass with ice. Strain mixture into ice-filled glass. Garnish with a pickle spear, olives and celery sticks.

Pan Con Tomate
The biggest football game of the season is almost here, and this year, it’s in Houston. But before you dust off a typical Tex-Mex-themed tailgate, just remember this: Authentic Houston cuisine features ingredients and influences from more than 90 countries. Maybe try one of my favorite recipes from BCN’s chef, Luis Roger, and his Barcelona-inspired Spanish cuisine: Pan Con Tomate.

Cut a loaf of country bread (Pan de Payes) in 1-inch slices and toast until golden brown and crisp throughout. (You may also grill the bread.) Cut tomatoes in half, with the seeded sides exposed. Rub tomato while squeezing onto bread until one whole side is covered in tomato pulp and seeds. (You may use more than one tomato per slice.) Dress the slice of bread with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Slice to preferred size. Suggested toppings: fried quail egg, Jamón Ibérico, roasted bacon with creamy Havarti cheese.

Surprised by Houston’s diversity of food? You might also be surprised to learn that its Theater District is second only to New York City’s with its concentration of seats in one geographic area. And, of course, what makes Houston really special is its people; in fact, more than 10,000 volunteers will be working together to make game day a signature Houston event.

​These are just a few of Houston’s best-kept secrets from BBVA Compass’s list of “51 Things to Do in Houston.” See the rest of the list at