What comes to mind when the air gets cooler and the days get shorter? Camping, pumpkin carving, finding your way out of a corn maze? Those things sound great, but while some of us are out at the pumpkin patch, many others will be at the football stadium TAILGATING!  

 Tailgating is so popular and important to many Southerners, it almost outshines the game itself. Almost. (I have known friends who loved tailgating so much they never made it inside to see the game.)

 The opening battle of America’s Civil War at the Battle of Bull Run in 1861 was the first tailgating event. Spectators brought baskets of food and cheered for their “teams” during battle. This was eight years before the first football game between Rutgers and Princeton where tailgating gets its roots in college football.

 Tailgating is all about friends, food, and fun. While people in the 1800’s had minced meat and plum pudding in their baskets, we need to step up our gameday snacks a little!  Elevate your Southern tailgate with these 3 easy, make ahead, game day sides!

Come on over and sit a spell. Southern charm is served!™


Mississippi Sin Dip

8 oz cream cheese, softened
8 oz sour cream
8 oz French Onion dip
1 4 oz can green chilis
1 tsp Worcestershire
1 tsp garlic powder
2 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup bacon, chopped (or one package Real Bacon Bits)
1⁄4 cup green onions, chopped
1 French Loaf (optional)

Beat softened cream cheese, sour cream, onion dip, and green chilis, Worcestershire, and garlic. Add in cheddar, bacon and green onions and mix thoroughly. Slice the top off the loaf of bread and remove bread from the inside and reserve. Spoon in dip and replace top. Wrap in foil and bake at 350° for 1 hour or until hot and bubbly. Can also be baked in an oven safe dish covered with foil. Yummy with the reserved bread pieces or crackers!

Jalapeno Pimento Cheese

4 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1⁄4 cup jalapeno, chopped (jarred jalapenos are fine)
3 tbsp pimentos, chopped
1 tsp Tony Chachere’s or other Cajun seasoning

3⁄4 cup mayonnaise
1⁄2 cup pecans, chopped (optional)

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Spread on crackers, layer onto a sandwich, top a salad or stuff some jalapenos. Can’t go wrong anyway you eat it.

Texas Caviar

3 cans black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 can corn
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced

1⁄2 red onion, diced
1⁄2 fresh jalapeno, diced
1⁄4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1⁄4 cup olive oil
1⁄2 cup red wine vinegar
1⁄4 cup lime juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin

Combine all ingredients and let it sit overnight. Serve it on top grilled chicken, toss it in a salad, or dip with chips.

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