I have always loved Erma Bombeck’s wit.  This quote seems to appropriately go along with my Thanksgiving, Homegating and Rivalry Weekend theme.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends I hope all remember the loved ones no longer with us, the servicemen and women who sacrifice much to make our country safe, those less fortunate than us, and thank those who share our lives and love.

And be sure to thank the cooks.  Much time and love have gone into making the special Thanksgiving meals.

If the weather is nice, Thanksgiving in our home can be served outside.

Thanksgiving tablescape on the marsh photo by Kathy Miller

Thanksgiving tablescape with pumpkin soup bowls photo by Kathy Miller

This time of year is perfect for recipes containing  pecans.  I remember my south Georgia grandmother sending us a huge package of pecans from her area.  I am including 3 recipes using pecans, perfect for Thanksgiving appetizers or desserts.  Great for tailgating or homegating.

Pimento Cheese Ball, Pecan Praline Cookies, and Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball.

Pecan Recipes for the football and Thanksgiving photo by Kathy Miller

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball from Pam Hope, a huge Auburn fan.  Pam has contributed many great recipes for “Tailgating Through The South”.

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball photo by Kathy Miller

 This is a surprise to most guests.  It looks like the traditional cheese ball, but when people bite into it,

WOW  so sweet and so good!


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • graham crackers


  1. Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until fluffy.
  2. Gradually add sugars; beat just until combined.
  3. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.
  5. Place on plastic wrap, shape into a ball.
  6. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  7. Just before serving, roll cheese ball in pecans.
  8. Serve with graham crackers.


This is a surprise to most guests. It looks like the traditional cheese ball, but when people bite into it--WOW so sweet and so good! This makes a very large ball.  I like to divide in half, making 2 smaller balls.

Pam Hope via KathyMillerTime


Recipe Printed from

Pimento Cheese Ball

Pimento Cheese Ball photo by Kathy Miller

The pimento cheese recipe is from Jessica Parks Hurst, a Vanderbilt alumni and cousin.  This is Rivalry Week and she and I will be on opposite sides of the gridiron. I will still love her!


  • 1 3 (ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup monterey jack cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3-4 tablespoons pimentos, chopped
  • 2-3 tables


  1. Combine in a food processor, pulse to achieve desired consistency.
  2. Serve with crackers.
  3. This recipe should be refrigerated in a small bowl for 3 hours.
  4. Transfer to wax paper, shape into ball and roll in pecans.
  5. Refrigerate overnight.

By Jessica Parks Hurst via KathyMillerTime


Recipe Printed from

Pecan Praline Cookies.

Pecan Praline Cookies photo by Kathy Miller


  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped


  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In bowl of electric mixer, combine the butter and brown sugar. Beat until well blended.
  4. Beat in the egg until fluffy.
  5. Blend in the vanilla.
  6. Gradually add the flour mixture just until blended.
  7. Drop by rounded teaspoonful onto greased cookie sheets, placing the cookies 2 inches apart from one another. Flatten each cookie slightly with a fork.
  8. Sprinkle each cookie with approximately 1 teaspoon chopped pecans.
  9. Bake 10 minutes or until golden. Transfer onto wire racks to cool.
  10. While cookies are cooling, prepare the icing.
  11. In a 1 ½ to 2-quart saucepan, combine the brown sugar and whipping cream.
  12. Place over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the cream comes to a boil. Boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
  13. Remove from heat and blend in the powdered sugar. Beat until smooth.
  14. Drizzle cooled cookies generously with the icing.

By KathyMillerTime
Adapted from Red Rocks & Cinnamon Rolls, Marion Yadon


Recipe Printed from

After the stuffing challenge, I decided to try several new recipes featured in the Thanksgiving Southern Living issue.

This was the  favorite in my family, Two-Potato Gratin.  I think it can be revised to make it less fattening.  Of course it is the favorite.  Next time I will try using skim milk instead of regular milk and heavy cream.  Think it could still be good.

Two-Potato Gratin photo by Kathy Miller


  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1/4 cup butter divided
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 pounds white or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese (or substitute Swiss cheese)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Saute shallots in 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Stir in cream and next 5 ingredients. Cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool 15 minutes.
  3. Combine sliced potatoes and milk in a large, microwave safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and microwave at high 5 minutes. Drain mixture, discarding milk.
  4. Layer 1/3 of white potatoes with sweet potatoes.
  5. Spoon 1/3 of cream mixture over potatoes.
  6. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese.
  7. Repeat layers twice, and top with Parmesan cheese.
  8. Dot with remaining 1 tablespoon butter.
  9. Cover with foil.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 20 minutes or until browned. Let stand 10 minutes.

By KathyMillerTime
Adapted from Southern Living


Recipe Printed from

Sweet Potato and Yukon Gold Potatoes photo by Kathy Miller

Pimento Cheese Creamed Spinach (from November issue Southern Living).

Pimento Cheese Creamed Spinach photo by Kathy Miller

Wild Rice and Kale Casserole from November issue Southern Living.

I added pomegranate seeds on top for the color and crunch.

Wild Rice and Kale Casserole photo by Kathy Miller

And as promised in a previous post, Sweet Potato Stuffed Oranges.

Uhlma's Potato Stuffing with Gravy and Sweet Potato Stuffed Oranges photo by Kathy Miller

Use your favorite sweet potato recipe.  To prepare orange cups, slice 1/8 inch off bottoms to keep oranges from rolling over.  Flip the oranges over and remove the top third.  Scoop out the pulp and juice.

Fill the orange cups with your favorite sweet potato mixture and arrange on a baking sheet.  This can be done a day ahead.

Bake 45 minutes or until tops begin to brown.  Meanwhile prepare the topping.

Toast 1 cup chopped pecans in a saute pan over medium heat for 2 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup light corn syrup and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.  Cook until syrupy.

Off heat, stir in 1/4 cup bourbon and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Return to heat for 1 minute then spoon mixture over baked orange cups.

 And finally a little green.  I remember my mother serving Brussels Sprouts at Thanksgiving.  As a kid, I just couldn’t believe she could do this!  Now I love Brussels Sprouts and Midge Scelzo sent me this recipe.


  • 2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 slice of pancetta, diced, or bacon that is first blanched in water, then diced
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • Sprigs of thyme and rosemary
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Trim bottoms off sprouts, peel each leaf off, wash and drain well.
  2. In a heavy sauce pan with lid, cook pancetta and onion in oil until softened, add herb, salt and pepper. (This can be done up to this point and finished later).
  3. Add sprout leaves and wine, toss well, cover and cook over moderate heat until leaves are soft - about 5-10 minutes.

By Midge Scelzo via KathyMillerTime


Recipe Printed from

Rivalry Saturday will be an all day affair.  Need lots of appetizers and maybe a little leftovers for dinner.

Remember my Potato Stuffing?  We used the leftovers to top a Kitchen Sink Soup (also made from leftover vegetables and  turkey). 

Potato Stuffing drizzled with gravy tops a Kitchen Sink Soup photo by Kathy Miller

We drizzled leftover gravy over the potato stuffing.  Are we taking this leftover thing too seriously?  This was seriously good.

Potato Stuffing drizzled with Turkey Gravy tops a Kitchen Sink Soup photo 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.



  • Merle sauer says:

    Hi Kathy,
    It all looks so yummy. But my tummy will surly hurt if I eat most of those dishes.
    Have a wonderful thanksgiving.
    My menu is bland compared to yours.

    • You are right Merle, that some of these are rich! But I always make sure everyone loves the food on special occasions. Then I go back to cooking and eating healthy the next week! Thanks for your comment!

  • David Miller says:

    The sweet potato stuffed oranges are to die for, but I love all of these dishes.

  • Joy McCabe says:

    Your photographs, table setting, and food are absolutely beautiful.
    Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks for mentioning Live at Five at Four.

  • Sue Braddock says:

    Another great post, Kathy. Happy Thanksgiving to you and the family!

  • Dave Kempf says:

    Had not heard the Bombeck quip-funny.

    While I like pecans & always like Pecan Pie my wife introduced me to Walnut Pie. I like Walnuts even better than Pecans so Walnut Pie has become a favorite. Made just like a Pecan Pie but the Walnuts are substituted for the Pecans. Try this for an enjoyable alternative.

    Happy Thanksgiving-Go Cats beat Louisville!

    Dave Kempf

    PS How about the UK Basketball team this year? Unreal defense!

    • Dave, the walnuts sound like a great idea. I will have to try it. Should I put bourbon in it just like the traditional Derby Pie? You will appreciate this. The basketball games the other night…I wasn’t watching closely because I was visiting in NC with family. I made a comment about all the blue and thought Duke was playing at home. My Dave said, No that was mostly Kentucky Blue. You guys do travel well. And are looking awesome this year.

  • Dave Kempf says:

    Had not heard the Bombeck quip-funny.

    While I like pecans & always enjoyed Pecan Pie my wife introduced me to Walnut Pie. I like Walnuts even better than Pecans so Walnut Pie has become a favorite. Made just like a Pecan Pie but the Walnuts are substituted for the Pecans. Try this for an enjoyable alternative.

    Happy Thanksgiving-Go Cats beat Louisville!

    Dave Kempf

    PS How about the UK Basketball team this year? Unreal defense!

  • Liz Hynson says:

    These recipes looked wonderful!

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