I love this time of year.  The Sweet Sixteen  of college basketball is here.  After hours spent around the water cooler discussing who should be in, who should be out, why this conference is best, and why that conference had too many teams, we are ready to move on to the next level.

My Tailgating Through The South project is expanding with many different states and schools represented in the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

I believe tailgating can be accomplished anywhere;  on a college campus, outside a basketball arena, or in the homes of fans watching one of the most fun sporting events: The NCAA Basketball Tournament.  It’s all about the people, the gathering of family and friends. It’s about the food and the tradition of sharing meals.  It’s about the passion for favorite schools and teams.

  Thank you to all who sent in recipes from your favorite schools.  Please keep them coming as we march to the Final Four and the Championship Game.

The first team into the Sweet Sixteen was Florida.  They looked very strong with their awesome defense.

Everyone loves deviled eggs at a tailgate.  Carla’s Gator eggs are a special treat.  The Wickles pickle relish adds a unique twist.

Carla's Gator Eggs deviled by Carla Spalding photo by Carla Spalding

CARLA’S GATOR EGGS- Carla Spalding


  • 1 dozen hardboiled eggs, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons Duke's mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 7 shakes of Crystal Hot Sauce
  • 4 teaspoons Wickles Relish
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
  • Olives, cut in half for topping
  • Small sprigs of fresh dill


  1. Cool eggs completely and peel, then cut careully in half.
  2. Scoop yolks into bowl, mash until fine.
  3. Set whites aside.
  4. Add each of the next five ingredients one at a time, mixing thoroughly with egg yolks.
  5. Generously fill white halves with yolk mixture. Add olive half to top of each egg.
  6. Finish with dill sprigs.


Kathy's comment... If you have never tried Wickles, put it on you bucket list. "A deliciously wicked pickle" and the same goes for their relish!

By Carla Spalding via KathyMillerTime


Recipe Printed from

The Louisville Cardinals were the second team to make it to the Sweet 16 with a win over St. Louis.

The state of Kentucky is known for many different foods and beverages, such as burgoo, benedictine, that famous horse race pie (Derby), Bourbon, and mint juleps.  Louisville, in particular is known for Hot Browns,  originally created at The Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.

This is a wonderful appetizer version of the legendary Hot Brown Sandwich

Baby Hot Browns Louisville, Kentucky photo by Kathy Miller


Baby Hot Browns by Lisa Cochran via Kathy Miller photo by Kathy Miller

Baby Hot Browns

Serving Size: 12-24


  • 24 party bread slices
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup sharp cheddar shredded cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup roasted turkey, chopped or shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided
  • 5 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced


  1. Arrange bread slices on lightly greased baking sheet. Broil 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Melt butter in saucepan on low, add flour, and cook, whisking until smooth. Gradually whisk in milk until thick and bubbly.
  3. Add cheese until melted.
  4. Stir in turkey, salt, and pepper. Top bread evenly with mixture. Sprinkle evenly with parmesan and 1/2 bacon.
  5. Bake at 500 degrees for 2 minutes until parmesan melts.
  6. Top with tomato and sprinkle with remainder of bacon.


An appetizer version of the famous Brown Hotel's Hot Brown Sandwich

By Lisa Cochran via KathyMillerTime


Recipe Printed from

Michigan was a winner over Texas.  I am still waiting for a Michigan fan to send me a great recipe!

Connecticut upset #2 seed, Villanova.  UCONN fans, send me a recipe.  When researching foods from Connecticut I discovered  Election Cake.   This is similar to a fruit cake and was made around election day.

Dayton, an 11 seed, upset both Ohio State and Syracuse to grab a berth in the Sweet 16.  In honor of their win over the Ohio State Buckeyes (and being from the same state) I am including  a Buckeyes recipe.


  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening


  1. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and confectioner's sugar with hands to form a smooth stiff dough. Shape into balls using 2 teaspoons of dough for each ball. Place on prepared pan, and refrigerate.
  3. Melt shortening and chocolate together in a metal bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water. Stir occasionally until smooth, and remove from heat.
  4. Remove balls from refrigerator. Use a fork or toothpick to dip ball into melted chocolate. Return to wax paper, chocolate side down, and remove toothpick. Repeat with remaining balls.
  5. Refrigerate 30 minutes to set.

By KathyMillerTime
Adapted from Melissa Ross Celebrity Chefs Event


Recipe Printed from

Growing up in Ohio, Melissa makes these every Christmas.  I tasted them at “CELEBRITY CHEFS”, a benefit for The Salvation Army in Jacksonville, FL.

Michigan State usually makes a good impression in the NCAA tournament having made appearances in 18 consecutive years.  Their coach, Tom Isso is one of the best in the business.  Green is also an important color.  Not many teams are green.  We will celebrate their green colors with a tailgating or game day favorite, Guacamole.


It's All About Green Guacamole photo by Kathy Miller


  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed (1 or more)
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced (save some of the green tops for garnish)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Favorite hot sauce
  • Chopped cilantro to taste


  1. Cut avocados in half, remove the pits, peel and coarsely chop in a bowl.
  2. Add the lime juice. (The lime keeps the avocados from turning brown.)
  3. Add the green onions, garlic, jalapeno, salt and pepper.
  4. Mix, add hot sauce if desired.
  5. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and sliced green onion tops.

By KathyMillerTime


Recipe Printed from

I love a basic guacamole and add ingredients based on the school.  I use orange with my Tennessee or Florida guacamole, red tomatoes with my red schools,  and lemon with many schools.  The citrus is a must to keep the avocados from turning brown.

Wisconsin beats Oregon.  Wisconsin means cheddar cheese.  This beer cheese spread makes a large quantity.

Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese Spread photo by Kathy Miller



  • 2 pounds sharp cheddar cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Tabasco, to taste
  • 1/2 bottle dark beer
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Cut the cheese into cubes and place in a food processor. Process until smooth.
  2. Add garlic, worcestershire, mustard, and Tabasco. Blend well.
  3. Add the beer, a little at a time, while continuing to beat the cheese, until the mixture is a good and firm.
  4. Stir in the salt, and refrigerate.
  5. Serve on small slices of rye or pumpernickel bread or crackers.


I use this recipe all the time. I substitute the kind of cheddar cheese based on state or theme. (Just like I do with my hot sauces and guacamole!) This one is in celebration of Wisconsin's basketball season. Use Wisconsin Cheddar.

By Kathy Miller via Bill Bunning


Recipe Printed from

 Beer Cheese Spread -courtesy Bill Bunning for my TAILGATING THROUGH THE  SOUTH series.

My good California friend, Laura Huffman, who always supports my Tailgating, SEC and football enthusiasm,  is a San Diego State Alumni!!!  Congrats to her team for advancing to the Sweet Sixteen.

Laura Huffman’s famous blueberry pie is always a treat for our family.

Bluberries for Laura Huffman's blueberry pie photo by Kathy Miller

Laura’s Blueberry Pie ready for the oven.

Laura's Blueberry Pie ready for the oven photo by Kathy Miller

Watch for my next post on Thursday with the other 8 Sweet Sixteen teams.  

Our bracketology contest with recipes from your favorite NCAA school is in place.

I will post recipes from the winning schools, states or teams, beginning with the Sweet Sixteen.  If you have any great recipes to share please post in the comment section at the end this story or email me at

I would love to include your recipes and have readers vote on their favorites.

I have posted so many stories on Tailgating In The South, but this is your chance to celebrate the other parts of the country!

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




  • James says:

    Laura’s blueberry pie is awesome!!

  • Darleen Robertson says:

    Kathy ~ you did it again, another FANTASTIC blog today! I really liked how you tied in the wins and the recipes together. Dang, if I had known, I would of had breakfast first. They all sounded so “yummy”, now I’ starved, lol. So enjoying your writing…xo ~ Darleen

  • sec1fan says:

    Thanks Darleen. Dave and I had the Baby Hot Browns & It’s All About Green Guacamole last night for dinner. Hopefully I will have another good 8 recipes by Thursday for the beginning Sweet Sixteen.

  • sec1fan says:

    James, you have enjoyed Laura’s Blueberry Pie many times.

  • Laura Huffman says:

    Yikes! I didn’t get my blueberry pie recipe figured out in time for you to get it in your blog! I’m sorry, I didn’t know you were doing it so soon! Thank you James for your compliment on my pie. I will make one for you anytime!

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