Originally written on Chicks in the Huddle  |  Last updated 11/5/12
Oh, this 2-5 season has me so down in the dumps, I hardly know what to do with myself. There are times that I am so angry with the Saints that I want to write each one from our coaches to players and ball boys and ask them why they are doing this to me. What have I done in my past life that is (or was) so horrid that I’ve befallen this less-than-500 fate? This doesn’t even take into account that those nasty stinking pigeons from Atlanta are undefeated. When I think of that, my head starts to implode and I search for my smelling salts. One way that I’ve dealt with my recent entry into this new realm of utter depression and ammonium- sniffing is to throw my attention and effort elsewhere–to an event that combines some of my greatest loves: my son, the Little Rooster, the Saints, and fantastic eats.  The Muscle Team®, presented by Rouses Markets, is a high profile MDA signature event to raise funds for the local chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The concept of Muscle Team® is to gather New Orleans area athletes and celebrities and pair them with a MDA buddy, a local child or family member living with a muscle disease or ALS. Featured at the first annual Muscle Team® will be MDA Champion of Spirit Award Honoree Steve Gleason. Gleason, and his wife Michel, will accept the award to honor his commitment and dedication to make a positive difference in the lives of those living with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), a disease that falls under the MDA umbrella. “We’re expecting a great night and a great crowd at the first annual Muscle Team,” said April Catarella, Executive Director of the Greater New Orleans MDA. “So many people have helped us prepare for this event and we (MDA) are looking forward to introducing the community to a few of our heroes – the local children and adults who live every day with muscle diseases and ALS.” Little Rooster showing off his muscles And, that is where my family steps in. My son, James, (aka the Little Rooster) was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (otherwise known as CMT-1A) when he was 12 months old. I was diagnosed with this disease as well when I was three years old. Living with CMT has brought many challenges, including James’ progression of the disease over the last couple of years. He has handled these changes with such grace, dignity, and determination to overcome that he is my hero, much like Steve Gleason is to many others. Yet, I would not have been able to get through this time that included innumerable doctor’s visits, paperwork than only an archivist could relish, and the suspension of my livelihood, including the chicks, without the support and guidance of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. They have made a difference for my family. And, James and I are thrilled to be a part of the “Muscle Team” as he will serve as an MDA buddy for celebrities: Jeff and Johnny Curtis, Blake Dean, John Fourcade, Brother Frommeyer, Chef Brian Landry, Thomas Morstead, Jason Navarro, Zach Strief, Danny Wimprine, and more. The event will be held Wednesday, November 7th at Harrah’s Hotel in downtown New Orleans in the Vieux Carre Ballroom. A private VIP reception will begin at 6 p.m. with the main event and silent auction beginning at 7p.m. For more information, please check out www.mdaevent.org/2012nolamuscleteam In honor of this wonderful upcoming event, I present a knock-out recipe from MDA sponsor, Rouses Markets,  Bayou Braised Dat-Wurst With Peppers. So, chow down and come join us Wednesday night! BAYOU BRAISED DAT-WURST WITH PEPPERS 1 ½ pounds Rouses Fresh Green Onion Sausage 2 of your favorite Louisiana Beers 3 bell peppers, 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 orange cut to 1/8 inch strips 1 large white onion roughly cut to ½ inch pieces Using a sharp knife, puncture holes randomly in the sausage. Add enough beer to cover the sausage completely. Cover the pot and bring the beer to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sausage is cooked through (about 10 minutes on each side). Cook until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Transfer sausage to a platter and set aside. Reduce the remaining liquid in the pot to an almost syrup consistency. Add cut bell peppers & onions. Cook on medium heat for five minutes or until desired consistency stirring constantly. Cut sausage into six inch pieces and place back into skillet so that each piece can absorb the sauce. Place sausage into bun and spoon peppers onto sauage.
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