College football is in full swing.  This past weekend marked the start of conference play for many teams.  And for others the last easy game before competing for conference titles.

For the Oklahoma Sooners, a not so easy nonconference visitor, the Tennessee Volunteers came to town.  The final score does not reflect the intensity with which both teams played.  Oklahoma definitely thinks they are number 1 material…..Tennessee thinks they are back on track.

It's Tailgatin' Time with Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey photo by Kathy Miller

I think I will have to follow through with my challenge in last week’s post.

I said, “if Oklahoma wins I will make all 3 recipes featured in Oklahoma’s chapter in Loran Smith’s new tailgating book, “Spread Formation: Tailgating & Home Recipes From College Football Greats.”  Bob and Carol Stoops’ Sooner Coffee Cake, Barry and Becky Switzer’s Polish Sausage Soup and Jay and Rita Wilkinson’s Rye Bread Dip.  It’s a challenge!”

I am cooking these up for our homegating party this weekend.  We will be watching the Gators play Alabama in Tuscaloosa on the big screen.  Wish we were making the trip.

 The Florida Gators hosted the Big Blue Kentucky Wildcats last Saturday.  Most Gator fans dressed in Orange so they would not be confused with Kentucky fans.

Our tailgate at Pops’ Place began with the usual chips and salsa,

Tailgating at Pops' Place with chips and salsa and sausage photo by Kathy Miller

but included a few new recipes celebrating Kentucky’s  Bourbon tradition.

Kentucky Maker's Mark Bourbon photo by Kathy Miller

Kentucky Bourbon, Bacon and Pecan Party Mix

Kentucky Bourbon, Bacon, Pecan party mix photo by Kathy Miller

Bourbon and Pecan Party Mix photo by Kathy Miller

Brown sugar and Chipotle Pepper give a nice sweet/spicy counterbalance.

Kentucky Bourbon Party Mix photo by Kathy Miller


  • 1 bag (15 oz) Chex Mix® traditional snack mix
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1/2 pound bacon (6 to 8 slices), crisply cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 3/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder


  1. Heat oven to 300°F. Line two 15x10x1-inch pans with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix snack mix, pecans and bacon. Set aside.
  2. In 2-quart saucepan, heat brown sugar, butter and corn syrup over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until bubbly around edges. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally; remove from heat.
  3. Cool 2 minutes. Carefully stir in bourbon and chipotle chili powder. Pour over snack mixture; toss until evenly coated.
  4. Spread snack mixture on pans. Bake 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, to caramelize mixture. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Break into pieces. Store covered in refrigerator.

By KathyMillerTime
Adapted from


Recipe Printed from

 A big hit with our crowd.

Kentucky Bourbon Bacon Chex Mix

Another huge hit was My Old Kentucky Bourbon Slush, recipe given to me from Kentucky fan, Lisa Cochran.

My Old Kentucky Bourbon Slush recipe by Lisa Cochran photo by Kathy Miller

 I served the first few in mint julep cups to celebrate that famed bourbon drink, but we quickly switched to small clear cups.  Small because a little goes a long way.  In other words, strong on the bourbon.


  • 3 cups bourbon (I used Maker's Mark)
  • 1 12 (ounce) can orange juice concentrate
  • 1 12 (ounce) can lemonade concentrate
  • 4 cans water (use 12 ounce can)
  • 2 cups tea
  • 1 cup sugar (I cut back on the sugar. Just added a little Splenda instead of sugar).


  1. Mix all together and freeze (gallon freezer bags work well).
  2. Serve slushy. Will need to thaw some then keep in cooler packed in ice
  3. Delish!

By Lisa Cochran via KathyMillerTime


Recipe Printed from

Kentucky Bourbon slush photo by Kathy Miller

 For a  Tennessee game, you could substitute Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey for the Bourbon and serve in a Mason Jar ala Kenny Chesney.

It's Tailgatin' Time with Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey photo by Kathy Miller

 Fellow tailgatORS and friends, Rob and Suzanne Hinkley served Rob’s fabulous BBQ ribs and chorizo and andouille sausage, smoked at home then transported to the tailgate in coolers.

Rob and Suzanne Hinkley serving the ribs photo by Kathy Miller

Ribs by Rob Hinkley photo by Kathy Miller

Mostly orange at our tailgate!  We were glad to see Nick, Emily and Matt!

More orange than blue at this tailgate photo by Kathy Miller

Our corn hole game is made interesting by squaring off with one Tennessee board and one Florida board.

Dave and James playing corn hole photo by Kathy Miller

Virginia and Ralph have the best seat for corn hole watching.

Virginia and Ralph enjoy watching the corn hole game photo by Kathy Miller

Niece Hannah Hawkins, center, with friends Brittany, right and Danielle.  Hannah and Brittany were Florida Dazzlers together and Hannah is now a Jacksonville Jaguars Cheerleader.

Hannah and friends photo by Kathy Miller

Just about game time.  Enjoyed tailgating with Rob, Lizzy, Ryan, Virginia and James!

Getting ready for Florida/Kentucky game photo by Kathy Miller

The perfect send off to the game was Mini Blueberry Cheesecakes.

Mini Blueberry Cheesecakes photo by Kathy Miller


  • 12 paper cupcake baking cups
  • 14 crisp cookies (such as Lotus Biscoff)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Pinch of salt
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup blueberry preserves
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place paper baking cups in a standard 12 cup muffin pan.
  2. Pulse cookies in a food processor until finely crushed.
  3. Stir together cookie crumbs, butter and salt. Firmly press about 1 1/2 tablespoons crumb mixture into each paper cup.
  4. Bake at 325 for 6 minutes. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes.
  5. Beat cream cheese, and next 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended.
  6. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition. Divide mixture among prepared baking cups.
  7. Bake at 325 for 15 to 20 minutes or until just set. Cool on wire rack 30 minutes. Cover and chill 4-24 hours.


Kathy's Tip...I doubled the filling mixture to give a thicker filling to crust ratio.

By KathyMillerTime
Adapted from Southern Living


Recipe Printed from

Mini Blueberry Cheesecakes with orange roses from The Bouqs photo by Kathy Miller

While planning for the Kentucky game, I went to my new tailgating authority, Loran Smith’s new book,  “Spread Formation: Tailgating & Home Recipes From College Football Greats!”

  Everyone knows Kentucky is famous for Burgoo.  In his Kentucky chapter, Loran states, “fall, football and burgoo go well together” and includes Keeneland Burgoo, from Ed Boutilier, Executive Chef at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky.  I have included this recipe below.


  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 3 pounds stew meat, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 (12 ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 3 pounds frozen mixed vegetables (corn, lima beans, green beans)
  • 1 (7 ounce) can tomato puree
  • 1 (7 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 pound frozen okra, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon beef base
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco
  • 1 cup sherry wine
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 pounds potatoes, diced


  1. Brown stew meat with herbs and garlic.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and cover with water.
  3. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for a minimum of two hours, or until ingredients have been tenderized but do not dissolve. The potatoes should be "fork tender" but hold their shape.
  4. Adjust seasoning to taste, and thicken with cornstarch if needed.
  5. Serves 10-12

By Ed Boutilier, Executive Chef at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky
Adapted from Spread Formation: Tailgating & Home Recipes From College Football Greats!


Recipe Printed from

My “Tailgating In The Kentucky Bluegrass Country” painting celebrates Kentucky landmark building, Memorial Hall,  Lexington’s famed Keeneland Race Course, Calumet Farms and beautiful horse country picnic/tailgating spread featuring Kentucky Burgoo, Baby Hot Browns, an appetizer version of the celebrated Hot Brown Sandwich, Pecan Pie named for the famous horse race in May, and Benedictine.  I think that might be a Maker’s Mark Bourbon bottle and mint juleps on the truck’s tailgate!

Tailgating In Kentucky Bluegrass Country painting by Kathy Miller


Watch for upcoming stories from my tailgating travels.  I welcome your comments, recipes and any inside information on your favorite tailgating spots.

Come celebrate with me.  I’ll save you a seat at the table.


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