The Texas A&M Aggies come to town (Knoxville) for a big SEC showdown game.  A sold out Neyland Stadium crowd will be waiting with the popular #CheckerNeyland initiative.  UT’s iconic checkerboard will be further enhanced with fans wearing orange or white, depending on their seat location.  This will be only the 7th time in Tennessee’s history of a CheckerNeyland.

Texas A&M has  built a huge stadium and it is adorned with WELCOME TO AGGIELAND AND HOME OF THE 12TH MAN!

[Spoiler alert!  These photos were taken at the old stadium.  I’m sure it’s much more impressive now!]

Welcome to Aggieland photo by Kathy Miller

Texas A&M students are famous for their “Howdy”.  The Aggies are known as the friendliest campus, welcoming all visitors with “Howdy”.  I’m hoping Tennessee fans will welcome the Aggies with a bit of Howdy too!

I attended a Florida/ Texas A&M game in College Park, Texas and thoroughly enjoyed the Texas tailgating.  You can read about it here.

Tex Mex food being so prevelant in College Station, I thought a few recipes with jalapeños would be appropriate for our Tennessee/ Aggie tailgate.  Rush out today to buy your jalapenos (and bacon).  You won’t be disappointed!

I first discovered this recipe from a Garden & Gun article on Martha Hall Foose’s Bacon Crackers.

Carrie Miller sent me another version which I definitely liked better.




Candied Bacon crackers fresh out of the oven photo by Kathy Miller

Voila!  Candied Bacon Crackers just in time for the Tennessee/ Texas A&M game.

Candied Bacon Crackers with jalapenos photo by Kathy Miller


  • 12 club crackers
  • 4 slices bacon cut into thirds
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 2 jalapenos thinly sliced


  1. Lay club crackers on a cooking rack in a baking sheet.
  2. Place 1 piece of bacon onto each cracker.
  3. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
  4. Add freshly cracked black pepper to each piece.
  5. Add one slice of jalapeno to center of each cracker
  6. Sprinkle again with brown sugar.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until bacon is cooked through.

By KathyMillerTime via Carrie Miller


Recipe Printed from

Another version with Wickles Pickle Relish…a hot delight.  Notice the Meet Me In…Knoxville plate, a gift from Tennessee Vol sister Kay!

Candied bacon wrapped crackers photo by Kathy Miller

On the Texas A&M side, I love this bacon jalapeno cheese ball!

Bacon jalapeno cheese ball photo by Kathy Miller


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1-2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and diced, halved
  • 2 dashes of Texas Pete hot sauce
  • 6 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled and halved
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted


  1. Mix cream cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic, cilantro, cumin, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, half of the jalapenos and half the bacon crumbles.
  2. Add salt and pepper if needed.
  3. Mix the toasted pecans, remaining jalapenos and bacon.
  4. Roll cheese mixture into a ball.
  5. Roll ball in the jalapeno pecan mixture.
  6. Chill 1 hour or more. Serve with crackers.


The colors, with the green showing through make this a pretty appetizer.

By Jill Barden via KathyMillerTime


Recipe Printed from

I loved visiting Aggieland for the Florida/Aggie game…It was the Aggies first SEC game and Johnny Manziel’s first game.  He was amazing, yet Florida won the game.  I loved meeting all the Aggies fans.  They were so hospitable.  I hope the Aggies will travel to Knoxville and will be treated to our Vol traditions…the Vol Navy…the checkerboard…the T with the Pride of the Southland Band, a rip roaring crowd at Neyland Stadium…Boy do I love college football and all its traditions.

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


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