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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Your Tailgate Party Starts Here

By Sherrie Norris

Football is huge in the High Country right now and tailgating is at its peak, even if the Autumn leaves are surprisingly not. Record crowds are expected to be pouring into the area this weekend for a big game and two signature outdoor festivals, so make sure you pack lots of patience. You won’t be getting anywhere fast, I’m afraid. If it’s to the football stadium for your tailgate party, hopefully we can throw out a few ideas to make the day a real winner even before the game begins.


Ham Roll-ups

Pack of sandwich ham

Pkg. of cream cheese

Pickles (long spears)

Spread each piece of ham with cream cheese; place one pickle spear on top and roll up. Cover and refrigerate until time to serve. Cut each ham roll-up into four pieces. Secure with toothpicks.


Goal-post Goodies

2 cans refrigerated pizza crust

1 pkg. (16 oz.) Little Smokies or hotdogs, cut up

1 pkg. (8-oz.)shredded cheese (Colby/ Monterey Jack is good)

Spray 2 cookie sheets with non-stick spray. Unroll each pizza crust onto cookie sheets. Arrange Little Smokies evenly on each crust; pressing lightly. Sprinkle each crust with 1 cup of cheese. Bake at 425 for about 10 or 12 minutes until light brown. Cut into squares.


Touchdown Treats

1 pkg. yellow cake mix

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

2 eggs

1 cup cornflakes

1 cup butterscotch chips

3/4 cup quick-cooking oats

Heat oven to 350. Grease 9 x 13-inch pan. In large bowl, combine cake mix, brown sugar, margarine and eggs; stir by hand until well blended. Add cereal, butterscotch chips and oats; mix well. Spread in greased pan. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and cut into bars. Will make about 48.


Cheese Straws

4 cups plain flour

1 lb. shredded cheese

1 lb. butter or margarine

Pinch of salt

Dash of Tabasco sauce

Mix all ingredients together. Press through cookie press to form a straw or roll into ball and flatten with fork on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes, or until lightly brown.

Quick Ritz Cookies

Ritz crackers

Peanut Butter

Candy coating (white or chocolate)

Make a sandwich out of the crackers and peanut butter. Melt candy coating and dip crackers. You will be pleasantly surprised at the taste. Take plenty with you – they disappear like magic.


Grilled Potato Wedges

4 large baking potatoes

½ lb. of butter

2 Tbsp. garlic powder

1 Tbsp. paprika

1 Tbsp. hot sauce

1 Tbsp. salt

2 tsp. ground black pepper


Melt butter in a heavy pan over medium heat and add garlic powder, hot sauce, salt and pepper – stirring slowly to mix completely. Once combined, allow to cool slightly. Place potatoes in bowl and add butter mixture to coat thoroughly. Place potato wedges on grill to cook. Close lid and turn every 10 minutes or as they begin to brown, whichever occurs first. Cook until well browned and tender when pierced. You can even use some of the leftover butter mix to coat the grilled potato wedges! Enjoy!