We’re no less than 48 hours away from kickoff of Packers-Bears then Jets-Steelers.

Now, I’m not one to resort to using LOLCATS or Britney Spears GIFs to express how I’m feeling about this weekend. A well constructed sentence, poem, or verse gives the reader a nuanced understanding of the author’s state of mind in a way that a meme generator cannot match.

That being said, this is how I feel going into conference championship weekend.

Image via the Pittsburgh Zoo. Hat tip to @armsakimbo.

Baba Ghanoush

Lots of recipes that involve eggplant list all the ways you can help keep your eggplant from turning bitter. Resting them in salt, water, then salt again, waving a candle over the vegetable and saying a prayer, what have you. To be honest, I’ve never encountered a bitter eggplant so I don’t worry about all those steps, but you can go through the anti-bitter rituals if you like.

Also, some baba ghanoushes are fluffy white, some are nutty brown. They both taste the same, so don’t worry too much about the color here.

You will need…

2 medium sized eggplants
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, plus more for garnish
Dash of ground pepper
Toasted sesame seeds (Optional)

Pita chips for serving.

Preheat oven to 350º.

Wash and thoroughly dry both eggplants. Prick all over with a fork, and then gently grill over a low flame on an open burner. If you don’t have a gas stove, you can either use a grill pan or just skip this step altogether. (Grilling just adds a nice smokey element to your baba ghanoush, but it’s not necessary.)

Once charred on all sides, set whole eggplants on a lined cooking sheet…

And roast until completely soft. Should take about 25-35 minutes.

Let cool a few minutes for easier handling.

Once cool, peel off the skins from the eggplant and squeeze out any remaining liquid.

Either with food processor, blender or with good old fashioned elbow grease and some sort of pulverizing tool, mix together the eggplant and the rest of the ingredients.

Top with a little more paprika and sesame seeds.

Baba ghanoush, much like it’s cousin hummus, is one of those great snacks that always tastes better when homemade and is much cheaper than store bought varieties.

Unfortunately I don’t have a good win-loss record for this snack written down. Last time I made it was for the first round bye weekend, so no effect on the Steelers on Sunday. (I hope.)

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