Superbowl Sunday XLVIII

Anyone else call this ‘Superbowl ex-el-vee-ei-ei-ei‘?

There are a few holidays that make me feel very American abroad, and where the two official holidays are Fourth of July and Thanksgiving, the one unofficial holiday is Superbowl Sunday. Though, I could strongly argue for a case to make it a day off, a bank holiday, because I’ve seen the lengths at which men and women abroad will go to watch the game. In fact, my Superbowls abroad might be celebrated with more ceremony than my Superbowls at home.

In China, we had two Superbowls; that’s two years where we watched football at 7am in the morning. The first year was my favorite, it was when the DiploMan and I hosted, playing a mediocre quality TV feed projected onto our pull-down screen, complemented by breakfast and Irish coffees. Our curtains were drawn for the occasion, and since our group of friends all took the day off from work we ended up spending the day indoors, curtains drawn the whole day, playing card games and watching ridiculous adult comedies.

The next year we decided to go out and watch the game, at a popular Irish pub in Guangzhou who fed us a big English Breakfast. Beers and Beans at 7am, yum.

This year, when I caught wind that the Superbowl would play between the hours of 2-6am, I thought surely no one would be crazy enough to watch the Superbowl. I figured a delayed feed it would be, that I would wake up to a Facebook feed of activity as I do every other morning.



But no, I was wrong, and there was not just one, but two Superbowl parties here in Dar (and more that I’m sure I just wasn’t invited to). Never underestimate the determination of Americans! Only here in Dar, can I say that I’ve had a 2am rooftop viewing of the Superbowl. With one television playing a crispy clear version aired by AFN (Armed Forces Network), and another screen projecting the a low-quality Slingbox broadcast, important for us only for the occasional glance at commercials, I thought to myself, we sure as heck make for a compelling argument to declare Monday a day of rest.

Baked French Toast

This recipe is perfect if you plan on having a lazy Sunday morning.  Or, in my case, are prepping for a 7am breakfast on Monday morning and don’t want the hassle of prepping individual batches of French toast and them frying them to order.

Baked French Toast

**adapted from the Smitten Kitchen


  • 1 loaf white bread.  Use Challah if you can as indicated in the original recipe.  I, for obvious reasons, could not find Challah here in China.
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp. Bailey’s Irish Creme
  • 3 tbsp. Kahlua
  • zest of one orange


  1. Generously grease one 9×13-inch baking dish with salted butter.
  2. Cutting each slice of bread in half diagonally, layer the triangle pieces of bread in tightly-packed layers, making sure to overlap some edges so no spaces are left.  Keep layering until the bread is gone, which will be about 3 thin layers.
  3. Whisk milk, eggs, sugar, salt and booze.  Pour the mixture over bread.  Grate the zest of one orange over the top, and sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar.
  4. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight
  5. The next morning, take the pan out of the fridge- the bread will have absorbed the milk custard while you were sleeping.  For an extra moist french toast (one that resembles a dense bread pudding) beat one more egg with one more cup of milk and one more shot of Bailey’s, and pour over the top layer.  This is not necessary- use your expert culinary judgement on this one.
  6. Bake at 425F for 35-40 minutes, until slightly puffed and golden on top.  Remove from oven and let it rest 5 minutes.  Cut into squares, serve with as many toppings as you please.  Next time I’m making a cream cheese whipped topping for this.

Yield: 8-10 generous servings

Before and After a trip to the oven.

Superbowl Monday

Superbowl Tradition in the U.S. is pretty simple.  From my experiences celebrating on both coasts, the day comes down to a few things, food (chips, salsa, chicken wings, 7 layer dip), and alcohol being the most important.  I know plenty of non-sports fans that love Superbowl Sunday, simply as it provides a reason to take part in a gluttonous showdown once a year.

I’m both football fan as well as greedy pig.  So in an effort to watch the game as it played live, we had our good friends over for a 7:30am kickoff.  Yes, 7:30am Monday morning.  And keeping with tradition, we had plenty of food and booze available.  I’ve never had Bloody Marys and Irish Coffees during a football game, but I’ve got to say, it’s not bad at all.

Thanks to Taco Night less than a week ago, we had plenty of fixins left in our fridge, which gave me the idea for breakfast tacos.  I nixed the effort to make chicken wings, which seemed wholly inappropriate for 7am on a Monday morning anyways.  I scrambled up some eggs, bacon, and these breakfast potatoes below, and voila!  The perfect pairing for an Irish coffee and football game.

I’m liking these new traditions.

Breakfast Potatoes


  • 5 or 6 medium-sized potatoes, I used Russet but red potatoes are fine too.
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste


  1. In a large pot bring water to a boil.  Place the whole potatoes into the water and cook on Medium for approx. 30 minutes, or until fork tender.  Remove potatoes from water, and set aside to cool for 30 minutes.
  2. With the skin still on, dice potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes, running the knife under cool water between slices to prevent sticking. In a large pan or dish season potatoes with oregano, cumin, dill and chili powder.
  3. In a large saute pan that you’ve just used to fry bacon or sausages (because you’ll obviously serve one if not both when you serve breakfast potatoes) toss in the onions and saute on med-high.  The onions should brown fairly quickly.  Cook, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes.
  4. In several batches, spoon the potatoes into the pan, seasoning liberally after each addition.  After the last of the potatoes are added, stir a few more times so the potatoes are evenly seasoned.  If you like your potatoes with a little more char and crisp, leave them in the pan for longer and flip every few minutes.

Yield: 6 servings, but everyone likes potatoes so maybe less!