Orange is one of my favorite colors.  In earlier times, I rarely used orange in flower arrangements,  garden planting, home decorating and especially when choosing my wardrobe.  I always gravitated towards reds, pinks and purples.  It wasn’t until I started painting landscapes, that I realized without orange the other colors do not pop.  (Try painting a Georgia tailgating scene with only reds.  It just doesn’t work.)  The oranges help by warming up the painting.

And for me during football season, Orange is the only color.

Especially when I go to a Tennessee Tailgate.

A Tennessee Tailgate with Joy McCabe and Cheryl Wilburn photo by Kathy MillerOur trip to the Tennessee/Florida game in Knoxville began with a celebration at my sister’s home.  We celebrated a belated birthday to me and the “house divided” family being together for the big game.  Kay always decorates with orange and white and usually adds just a little blue for Elizabeth and James, the only Florida fans in our midst (except for Dave who tries to be diplomatic).

Beautiful cake with Go Vols from Magpies, Knoxville, Tennessee photo by Kathy Miller

The gorgeous cake with Go Vols is from Magpies, famous in Knoxville.

“All butter, all the time.  All real, all fresh and every day. That’s our process. At Magpies, cake is what we do.”

Thank you long time friend, Peggy Hambright.  I can’t believe I used to babysit you!

Kay’s bar setup.  Love the orange and white straws and mason jars.  Also I think there are a few PBR’s in the ice bucket.  Bottles though.  Not tall boys.

Pregame party at Kay's with PBR photo by Kathy Miller

Such great fun being with my sisters, Lucy and Kay and my great friend, Robin.  We are the button girls.  Robin always wears an Auburn Mom button and her Go Vols Go button.

Lucy, Robin, Kathy and Kay sisters photo by Kathy Miller

Thank you Kay and Lucy for a wonderful party.

Game Day Saturday.  12:00 games are always difficult when you are trying to set up a tailgate.

James, Kathy Lizzy and Dave arrive for UT tailgate ready to walk to stadium photo by Kathy Miller

We didn’t have to worry because Tennessee friend, Joy McCabe was in charge.  Joy has been featured on my blog many times with her wonderful recipes and creative parties.  Joy also hosts a tailgating segment on WBIR station in Knoxville.  Visit Joy’s website for many more recipes.

Live at Five at Four WBIR cooking with Joy McCabe photo by Joy McCabe

Joy rounded up the troops and many friends contributed to the tailgate.  Neil Durrance has an old Suburban with 423,000 miles used just for tailgates.

Neil Durrance's Suburban with 423,000 miles used just for tailgating photo by Kathy Miller

Looks pretty good!

 Neil grew up in Florida, but played baseball at Tennessee.  Thank you Neil, Becky and Joy for coordinating coolers, packing the Suburban and transporting to the tailgate.

Our Tennessee tailgating contingent photo by Kathy Miller

The tailgate was fabulous.

Tennessee and Gator helmets with Tailgating napkins


 Love the Tailgating napkins I found at Theophilus, my favorite store in Brevard, NC.

Everyone temporarily leaves the tailgate to participate in The Vol Walk.

Tennessee Tailgate getting ready for Vol Walk photo by Kathy Miller

The Tennessee band leads the Vol Walk.

The Pride of the Southland Marching Band photo by Kathy Miller

Vol Walk with the Power T flag photo by Kathy Miller

It was a chilly morning with these cute Tennessee coeds wearing hats and scarves.

Cute Tennessee Girls photo by Kathy Miller

Lizzy, James, Dave with Joy at Vol Walk photo by Kathy Miller

Fists Up Defense

Vol Walk with Fists- Up Defense photo by Kathy Miller

The Bandilitos, a group of middle and high school band directors,  roam the crowd stirring up passions with their Rocky Top playing.

The Bandilitos playing Rocky Top photo by Kathy Miller

Back to the tailgate.  Time to eat!

Joy’s Cornbread Salad can be made in a traveling casserole container

Cups at tailgate Joy thinks of everything photo by Kathy Miller

 or for serving at home, in a trifle bowl which shows off all the lovely layers.

Layered cornbread salad in trifle bowl photo by Joy McCabe


  • 1 (1 ounce) package Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup Hellmann's mayonnaise
  • Prepare ranch dressing early in the day or the day before and refrigerate.


  • 2 packages of your favorite cornbread recipe
  • 2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chilies
  • Add chopped green chilies to cornbread batter. Bake and cool cornbread according to package directions.


  • 2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans or black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cans sweet yellow corn, drained and rinsed
  • 12 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Layer in a large bowl or large deep sided serving dish (a glass trifle bowl looks great)
  2. Half of the cornbread, crumbled
  3. Kidney beans or black beans
  4. Green pepper
  5. Vidalia onion
  6. Half of the ranch dressing
  7. Half of the cornbread
  8. Tomatoes
  9. Yellow corn
  10. Half of the ranch dressing
  11. Crumbled bacon
  12. Shredded cheddar cheese


Note: This salad can be assembled the day before serving. Store in the refrigerator.

By Joy McCabe via KathyMillerTime


Recipe Printed from www.kathymillertime.com

Joy’s Game Day Hot Dogs with Special Sauce.

Game Day Hog Dog with special sauce photo by Joy McCabe

Hot Dogs

  • 12 hot dogs
  • 12 hot dog buns

Hot Dog Sauce

  • ½ cup catsup
  • ½ cup mustard
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup chopped sweet onion


  1. Cook hot dogs in boiling water for 10 minutes.
  2. Place hot dogs in bun and wrap each hot dog in foil.

Hot Dog Sauce

  1. Combine all ingredients and serve as a topping on hot dogs.

By Joy McCabe via KathyMillerTime


Recipe Printed from www.kathymillertime.com

Joy's buffet tailgate photo by Kathy Miller

My favorite “keep your food hot” tip from Joy,

“Years ago I figured out a way to keep the hot dogs hot by placing quart sized canning jars filled with boiling water in the bottom of a cooler. Wrap the hot dogs individually in foil and place them in the hot cooler. Sometimes I cut the hot dogs in half. I’ve found people want a smaller serving at a tailgate.  One surprise, after the hot dogs have been in the hot cooler, you’ll find they are steamed perfectly and so yummy especially topped with my hot dog sauce. Hot dogs will stay warm for one or two hours.”

Hot Dogs sitting on Mason jars filled with hot boiling water photo by Kathy Miller

“It looks like moonshine, and people always ask if I’ve hidden moonshine under my hot dogs in the cooler. Here’s a picture of the hot water bottle used to turn my cooler into a steamer/warmer. Perfect for game day hot dogs.”

Water in mason jars for game day hot dogs photo by Joy McCabe

 Neiman Marcus Cookies

Neiman Marcus cookie photo by Joy McCabe

Neiman Marcus Cookies

Serving Size: Yields 5


  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 1/2 cups quick oats
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 12 oz bag semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans


  1. In a bowl combine flour, oats, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer cream melted butter and sugars together.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the mixing bowl gradually.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
  6. Roll into balls or use a cookie scoop and place on cookie sheet.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

By LeRae Collins via Joy McCabe
Adapted from Neiman Marcus


Recipe Printed from www.kathymillertime.com

 Joy’s Carrot Cake is always a hit and for a tailgate she makes it in a sheet pan for easy portability; but if you are homegating, just look at this presentation!

Joy McCabe's Carrot Cake photo by Joy McCabe


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups grated carrots


  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 (16 ounce) box 4x powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped


  1. Blend together eggs and oil.
  2. Sift sugar and other dry ingredients together.
  3. Add to egg mixture, mixing well.
  4. Add carrots. Blend well.
  5. Pour mixture into two 9 inch cake pans which have been greased and floured.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes. If a 12½x8x2 inch pan is used, bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.


  1. Cake must be completely cool before frosting.
  2. Cream together cream cheese and butter.
  3. Add sugar, vanilla, and nuts, mixing well.
  4. Frost the cake between layers, top, and sides or frost the top of the 12½x8x2 cake.

By Joy McCabe via KathyMillerTime


Recipe Printed from www.kathymillertime.com

 On another table we served Ann Bodie’s Blue Cheese Spread.

Ann Bodie's Blue Cheese Spread photo by Kathy Miller


  • 2 tablespoons pecans
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • ½ cup blue cheese, crumbles
  • 1 8 ounce block cream cheese


  1. Place pecans, parsley, and chives in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped.
  2. Add blue cheese and cream cheese and process until smooth scraping down the sides if necessary.
  3. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator at least 8 hours or up to 3 days before serving. Serve at room temperature with Stoned Wheat Thin crackers or Triscuit crackers.

By Ann Bodie via Joy McCabe


Recipe Printed from www.kathymillertime.com

 Joy is unbelievable as you can see.  She made all of the above recipes even after recent shoulder surgery.  Thank you Joy!

Ann and Jerry Bodie could not be with us because they were traveling in Europe.  But their delightful son and daughter-in-law, Davis and Meghan, joined us.  Meghan made wonderful Buffalo Chicken Sliders.

Meghan & Davis Bodie at the Tennessee tailgate photo by Kathy Miller


  • Family sized pack of boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 12 ounce bottles of Franks RedHot Buffalo Wing sauce
  • 1 package Ranch dressing mix
  • Yeast dinner rolls
  • 1 bottle Ranch dressing
  • I jar hamburger sliced dill pickles


  1. Place the chicken breast in the crock pot and cover with a bottle of Franks Buffalo Wing sauce. Sprinkle the ranch dressing mix packet over the top and cover.
  2. Cook on low 8 hours.
  3. Once cooked, shred the chicken with a fork. (I usually add a little more buffalo sauce at this time.)
  4. Let simmer for around 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, cut the yeast rolls in half.
  6. Add some ranch dressing and dill pickle slice to the crown of the roll.
  7. After the chicken has simmered, add a spoon full to the bottom of the roll, top and serve.


If you are taking them to a tailgate, I cut squares of aluminum foil and wrap each one individually. I get my rolls from Sam's Club. They come in a bag of 36. The number the recipe makes really depends on the amount of chicken in the pack. I get the family sized pack from Sam's, so that is more chicken than a family pack from the local grocery store.

By Meghan Bodie


Recipe Printed from www.kathymillertime.com

 Many fans traveled from great distances for this game. Kathi and David Kraatz from Oklahoma met up with friends, Cheryl and Steve Wilburn from Houston, Texas.

Kathi and David Kraatz with Cheryl and Steve Wilburn photo by Kathy Miller

Thank you Tennessee friends for welcoming our Gator family into your midst.

House Divided, Kathy, Dave, Lizzy, James photo by Kathy Miller

Meanwhile just southeast of our tailgate, The Vol Navy was in full swing.

The Vol Navy in Knoxville, Tennessee photo by Kathy MillerHundreds of boats make their way up the Tennessee River to “boatgate” before the game.

My “Tailgating With The Vol Navy” was inspired by this photograph.  Prints of this painting are available and make great Christmas gifts for your special Volunteer.

Tailgating With The Vol Navy painting by Kathy MillerA new tradition for the pregame warmups had the Volunteer players and members of the Pride of the Southland drumline performing a “Circle of Life” warmup drill.

Pregame warmup drill with Pride of the Southland's drum line and Tennessee players, Circle of Life Drill photo by Kathy Miller

Pride of the Southland drumline performing Circle of Life pregame warmup drill photo by Kathy Miller

A Gator drummer looks on.  A new tradition for the Florida Drummers…Green drums  as in Gator skins.

Gator Drummer watching UT drumline pregame warmup drill photo by Kathy Miller

I always love the bands!  Such a part of the college football pageantry.

Gator band members enjoy pregame photo by Kathy Miller

Surrounded by Gators.

Kathy surrounded by Gators photo by Kathy Miller

Gator Moms

Gator Moms photo by Kathy Miller

The University of Tennessee’s Pride of the Southland Marching Band performs a fabulous Pregame Show, including facing the opposing fan section and playing the visitors fight song.  Such a great tradition.

Tennessee's Pride of the Southland Marching Band and Pregame show with Drum Major photo by Kathy Miller

The players run through the T.

The T in Pregame Show Pride of the Southland Marching Band photo by Kathy Miller

Neyland Stadium was orange and white checkerboard all over thanks to fans wearing orange or white based on their seat locations.  Such coordination!

Orange and White Checkerboard photo by Kathy Miller

 Tennessee has a big game with Ole Miss this weekend.  Enjoy The Grove!

In celebration of the Florida/Georgia game, Loran Smith will be signing copies of his book, “SPREAD FORMATION:  TAILGATING AND HOME RECIPES FROM COLLEGE FOOTBALL GREATS!”on the porch at The Plantation Shops on Amelia Island, Friday, October 31 from 11-2.

I will also be signing prints of my “Tailgating Through The South” series at The Plantation Shops, that same day, October 31, from 10-4.

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.


  • Dave Kempf says:


    Looks like you had a great time “going home”. Like the hot dog trick.

    Noticed you didn’t mention Florida’s 2nd “hold the clock” trick to get W’s against UT & UK-LOL.

    • I had better be careful here, my husband and kids will be reading.LOL
      Kentucky sure is looking good. We were at that game in Gainesville. WOW
      You will have a tough one at LSU this Saturday.
      Thanks always for your comments!

  • Joy McCabe says:

    Your Tennessee tailgating post is great! We really enjoyed the day with you and your family. Please plan to come to another tailgate next year. Hope to see you then if not before. We’ll be in touch!

  • Laura Huffman says:

    I love the picture where you say that everyone leaves the tailgate to go on the Vol Walk….. looks like everyone except Dave, who stays behind to guard your things – and raid the beer cooler?? haha. Looks like it was a great day, and what fun for the Millers to all be together! Love you all!! xoxo

    • You are a riot! I thought the same thing. He was pouring a Mimosa from our cooler. It was early. You are the best and a hoot. Hope you had fun in Mammoth! Heads Carolina, Tails California! Polk Salad Annie, Gator got your Granny.

  • James says:

    We had a great time! Tennessee fans were extremely hospitable!

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