Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Look for me Saturday mornings at 10 am CST on Fox 6 for Tide and Tigers Today during football season. I'll be sharing recipes and tailgating tips from Southern Livings The Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook with sports author and radio and television personality Paul Finebaum and Fox 6 Sports Director Rick Karle. To give you an idea of what to expect, think 3 stooges meets Southern Living... hilarious, informative fun!

We got together last week and I'm hoping to teach Paul a thing or two on how to use a piping bag! I asked them a few questions about Southern food, football, and game day in general. Although their answers were short and sweet, I thought you my be interested in what they had to you, the fans!

Paul Finebaum is quite the comedian in tailgating recipe
segments scheduled to air this fall on Fox 6.

Hosts and personalities of Tide and Tigers Today

1. Do you have any superstitions you practice before or the day of a football game?

Paul: No
Rick: Staying away from Finebaum.

2. It isn't an SEC game day unless...

Paul: Alabama's playing.
Rick: The smell of BBQ is in the air and the marching band's playing.

3. What team do you just want to clobber on the field?

Paul: Notre Dame
Rick: The TV station down the road.

4. What's your favorite Southern food?

Paul: My mother's fried chicken.
Rick: Grease...and fried chicken.

Bonus: Who is the greatest football player, coach, or icon of all time from a Southern school?

Paul: Bear Bryant
Rick: Coach Bryant

Um...I tend to agree with them on the last one :)

Check back on Wednesdays to learn more of what other game day notables had to say on the subject of tailgating, football, and Southern food faves.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Just pitch your tent out back if you're not able to jet over to Dallas Cowboy Stadium for the game. Grace your spread with these tasty vittles straight from Southern Living's The Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook. Now hop to it and pick up your copy wherever books are sold!

Catch the last of summer-fresh produce for this menu loaded with make-ahead options...and don't feel obligated to prepare everything, just pick and choose what sounds good to you.

Alabama Yella Hammer
Welcome guests as soon as they arrive to your door or tent with a signature cocktail.

Fried Green Tomatoes
These first string starters are fab topped with pimiento cheese plus add depth to burgers.

Pimiento Cheese-Bacon Burgers
Pick up good quality pimiento cheese for a shortcut or try with the Southern-Style Pimiento Cheese. Be sure and order several slabs of Allan Benton's BACON-- it'll take these burgers off the chart.

Watermelon, Mache, and Pecan Salad
Photo & recipe courtesy Southern Living
Watermelon, Mache, and Pecan Salad
Prepare the Pepper Jelly Vinagrette several days ahead.

3/4 cup chopped pecans
5 cups seeded and cubed watermelon
1 (6-oz.) package mâche, thoroughly washed
Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette
1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake at 350° for 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Cool on a wire rack 15 minutes or until completely cool.
Combine watermelon and mâche in a large bowl; add vinaigrette, tossing gently to coat. Transfer watermelon mixture to a serving platter, and sprinkle evenly with pecans and cheese.

Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette: Whisk together 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar, 1/4 cup pepper jelly, 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, 1 Tbsp. grated onion, 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper. Whisk in 1/4 cup veg oil in a slow steady stream until combined.

Mexican-Style Grilled Corn
So, you have that friend that's asked, "Hey-- What can I bring?" Here you go...easy, delicious, and foolproof.

Rebecca's Black Bottom Ice Box Pie
This ultra-decadent pie is the perfect dessert to serve when tailgating at home. It'll still be hotter than Georgia asphalt outside so keep it in the icebox until ready to serve.

My prediction for the outcome of the first football game of the season for the Crimson Tide? To quote Charlie Daniel's: "The South's gonna do it again..."

Saturday, August 25, 2012


The last piece of the ***Official*** football and tailgating season puzzle has
been set in place at our house. See you soon! Roll Tide.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


When compiling fun facts for "the fans" for Southern Livings The Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook, I had the opportunity to ask Ms. Terry and several other football notables a few questions in regards to Southern food and game day in general. There wasn't room to run it all in the cookbook but I thought you may be interested in what they had to you, the fans!

Terry Saban...Most know her
simply as Ms. Terry.
Photo courtesy of
Wife of Head Football Coach Nick Saban, The University of Alabama

1. Who is the greatest football player, coach, or icon of all time from Alabama?

Ms. Terry: There is good reason that every other someone or something is named after Bear. Coach Bryant left a legacy here that goes beyond mere tradition.

2. What team do you just want to clobber on the field?

Ms. Terry: about the one that beat you last time? Let's get it right this time! Remember how it felt to lose that game? We don't ever want to feel that again! Great motivation!

3. What is the most memorable SEC game you've ever been to? What made it so amazing...or devastating!

Ms. Terry: With 40 years of games behind us, I would say the big games have been the ones that have determined a National Championship, the Ultimate goal in college football.

4.  Regardless of what the sports reporters and critics declare, who do you personally think is your school's biggest rival?

Ms. Terry: I think everyone would agree that Auburn is our biggest rival. Anytime you have instate rivalries, they are special! When Nick coached at Michigan State, our biggest rival was the University of Michigan, with who we open this coming season in Dallas Cowboy Stadium!

Check back on Wednesdays to learn more of what Ms. Terry and other game day notables had to say on the subject of tailgating, football, and Southern food faves.

Monday, August 13, 2012


In many cases, we are fans of our teams long before we were even born, predestined to profess our die hard devotion and fall Saturdays to the excitement and mayhem we lovingly refer to as game day. A time set aside each year to make new friends, catch up with old ones, and reconnect with family members living in other cities and states over slow cooked meats and sauce or large vats of simmering gumbo. 

And I’ll admit it. I can be difficult to stomach during football season but the one thing that unites me with rabid fans from other schools is the promise of good eats on game day. We talk about it. We talk about it some more. And then we actually get down to preparing delicious snacks, libations, sides, main dishes, and desserts that are devoured before, during, and after the smackdown on the field. Some recipes may or may not involve team colors…it simply depends on one’s mood.

Tailgating. It’s become the ultimate family reunion or party across the South and the great thing about it is that everyone’s invited. Whether you’ve made reservations to attend the actual game or not or whether you plan to wheel on to campus or host a houseful of devoted fans in front of the flat screen television, anyone is welcome to participate.

Southern Livings The Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook. This MUST-HAVE cookbook for anyone who loves to tailgate on football Saturdays. Let me hit the highlights for you:
  • Delicious, carefully curated collection of Southern Living tested recipes perfect for game day and beyond
  • Grilling tips, make-ahead dishes, how to pack recipes for travel, how to make your tailgate special at home
  • Custom-created recipes for team cupcakes, deviled eggs, spritzers, and menus for each of the 14 SEC football teams
  • Southern Living's expertise highlighting each college town in regards to where to go and what to do on game day
  • First-ever tailgating guide approved by the SEC
  • Quotes from some of your favorite coaches wives, musicians, and past football players
Available anywhere books are sold.

This collaboration has been a long time dream of mine and I'm trilled to share these tailgating recipes and ideas with you whether your a Crimson Tide fan or an SEC football fanatic like myself. Let me know how I can help you this football's going to be fun.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Me and Mark Whitworth on Radio Row
Now that two of the most iconic Southern brands, Southern Living and the Southeastern Conference, are in cahoots, we're one step closer to bringing the lifestyle element of football full circle. There's no denying that this long standing Southern tradition of sharing slow simmered vats of gumbo and libations a plenty, before kickoff and long after the final tick on the clock is done on campuses across the South, equals one season long party that just gets bigger and better each year.
TN Coach Dooley...very hubba in person
AU Coach Chizik on Radio Row

To get the word out about the tailgating cookbook (yes, you heard right...more on that to come!), I got to attend SEC Media Days back in July here in Birmingham and hand out treats that can be found in Southern Living's The Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook. And boy... folks are excited!

Soon, I'll link you over to and let you hear what Commissioner Slive, SEC coaches, and sports professionals had to say specifically on the topic of tailgating and fan intensity. Until then, enjoy a few pics and sweets from 2012 SEC Media Days.

Southern Living Media Day Snacks:
Crunchy Pecan Pie Bites:
All-Time Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies:
Winning Team: Me & Julie Ward from Big

Each team helmet was displayed during the respective coaches press conference-- these were in the holding room.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Back at Southern Living, we've been gearing up for what's sure to be the very BEST tailgating season to come for Southerner's everywhere (more on that little surprise soon!) And it dawned on me that I've never shared with you the origins of my own die hard devotion... Enjoy.

The only thing better than 100,000 plus fans packed into Bryant-Denny Stadium with the Million Dollar Band playing in perfect time, color guards waving flags with “A”’s on them, and witnessing a sea of crimson jersey’s bust out of the end zone and onto the field before a home football game is when a fly over by the United States Air Force is scheduled to make an appearance as well...


My devotion to the Alabama Crimson Tide was determined long before I was born but the interesting thing is that I very well could have been a Georgia Bulldogs fan. When you take a look at our family tree, there are several instances where that should have been the case. So you may be wondering...what’s a nice girl like me leading the trash talking (It’s clean, I promise!) in Section K, Row 6, Seat 19 in Bryant-Denny Stadium at every home game in Tuscaloosa?  Surprisingly, my grandparent’s career paths had a lot to do with it. World War II, a need to move the medical school from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham, and a car ride when I was in first grade sealed my fate as one of the biggest Alabama football fans ever and prevented me from striking up Glory, Glory.

My dad’s father was a doctor teaching and researching medicine at Emory University just outside of Atlanta when Dr. Raymond Paty, the University of Alabama President at the time, asked my grandfather to move their 2 year medical program from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham to start a 4 year program. He was charged with securing the very best doctor’s from across the country to build the foundation of what is now UAB. One of the perks that came with being a faculty member was the pair of 50 yard line tickets to Alabama home football games at Legion Field. Let’s just say, he was hooked.

My mom’s parents grew up in Georgia and were huge Bulldogs fans but moved to Mobile during World War II. My grandfather, Doc, was chosen to head up the first dental unit at Brookly Field by way of a military order. They soon settled in to life on the Bay and a social calendar filled with Mardi Gras balls and deep sea fishing trips in the summer. As with any newcomer to the state of Alabama, you had to profess an allegiance to one of the major Universities. So Alabama it was and soon that commitment was passed down to their children.

My mom attended the University when Bear Bryant and Alabama football was at one of its peaks. Joe Namath was quarterback and the Crimson Tide won National Championships 3 of the 4 years she was there.  She completely engrossed herself in campus life, where she served as a Corolla Beauty and an active member of the Greek system. My uncle went to school there too. He signed on to be a cheerleader to ensure he wouldn’t miss any of the games.

So you may be wondering, when exactly did I accept the Alabama Crimson Tide into my heart? Well let me fill you in on the juicy scoop…

I was in first grade. My brother and my dad were talking football. I decided to join in the conversation not really knowing what I was talking about.

“What’s the Iron Bowl?” And with that, the quizzing began.

“The football game this weekend… between Alabama and Auburn.”

I knew what a football game was but I didn’t know who we were rooting for. How should I know anyway? Did I mention I was in first grade?

“So… who do we like?” I glanced over at the two of them. Their eyes met and they exchanged smug grins. My brother pounced.

"Who are you pulling for? Do you even know?” One Mississippi…two Mississippi…the pressure was on to come up with the right answer. Alabama? Auburn? My cheeks were pink and felt warm. It seemed like such a difficult decision at the time. I certainly didn’t want to be razzed relentlessly by the guys. I would never hear the end of it. I quickly weighed the possibilities before hesitating slightly, “…Al-Alabama?”

“You’re right," my dad said. "We pull for Alabama.” I swung open the passenger door of the tiniest little baby convertible you’ve ever seen, a gift from a client (He always seemed to bring home the most random things from folks.) I put my right foot on the pavement and peeled my sticky left thigh away from my brothers who had been sitting halfway on the gear shift and half way in the bucket seat. Alabama, I thought. Well okay. Let’s get busy.

Once I declared it, I owned it, and professed it relentlessly in class, on the playground, and to friends everywhere. The only time I was ever pulled aside by a teacher growning up was when I was in 4th grade for razzing an Auburn fan "relentlessly" (apparently) in class the week after our big Iron Bowl win...his mom felt like I had pushed the "fun" a little too far...oops.

Not until I got a little older did I stop and take a look at my family roots and history to understand how it had become such a huge part of our genealogy. For me, that’s where the passion began. Oh, and did I mention that I married the gentleman in Seat 20? Marrow. You’ve probably seen him on the Jumbo Tron because he never sits down during four quarters of play. They especially like to zoom in on him when things aren’t looking that great for the Tide, shaker in hand, yelling moral support to the players on the sidelines…it’s quite dramatic.

So get to stocking your closet with fresh crimson garb because it's about to get rowdy below the Mason-Dixon... especially in the houndstooth captial of the South.