Tiger Tailgate 201

The college football season continues in full swing with top-ranked teams toppling, and underdogs celebrating across the country.   I’ve wanted to do a follow-up post  to Tiger Tailgate 101 about game day at Clemson, one of the country’s top-ranking tailgating schools according to the Huffington Post, but the Tigers couldn’t seem to eek out a victory the past few Saturdays.  Today, however, they won decisively over competitor Georgia Tech, so, here’s another look at Tiger Tailgating.  (In the spirit of full disclosure, these pictures were made at the Clemson-Miami game a few weeks ago.)
Lovely Girlfriend’s parents invited us to tailgate with them, and Lovely’s mother and I had a great time planning our menu.  A few of our favorite students invited friends to stop by and grab a ham biscuit before the game. IMG_2464T and her mom Miami gameHere’s Lovely and her sweet mom, who has three children enrolled at Clemson this fall—a senior, a junior, and a freshman!
tiger tailgate Miami gameMister T&C and I are excited to see Son1, Lovely, and all their friends.IMG_2460Pink Martinis and Pearls, a brilliant baker and devoted college mom, inspired me to make these cupcake toppers for a fun dessert.  The cake is just a simple yellow cake; the chocolate butter cream frosting is from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook.  Four dozen of these went pretty quickly!IMG_2461Lovely and Son1 are standing at the bottom of the hill that all the little kids slide down on cardboard.  I have seen a few tipsy adults try to “surf” the hill, as well. 

One of the Mister’s favorite tailgate foods is Bean Salad.  It’s fat-free and extremely tasty, perfect with tortilla chips or even as a side dish with a light supper.  The original recipe is from Southern Living magazine, which you can find on their website.  Below is my slightly adjusted version.bean saladBean Salad
Mix together:
1  (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1  (15-ounce) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1  (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1  cup  frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1  small red onion, finely chopped
1  (4.5-ounce) can diced green chiles 
1/4  cup  fresh lime juice
1  or 2 teaspoons  hot sauce, such as Texas Pete or Tabasco
1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
1/2  teaspoon  Jane’s Krazy Mixed-up Salt
Chill overnight.  For best flavor, serve at room temperature. 
IMG_2466 Our dear friends, the Rs, also joined us for the pre-game festivitiesIMG_2469 Lovely, Little, and I in our Tiger orange.  The girls are standing on the curb, about six inches higher than where I am, so that I will not “tower above them.”  IMG_2468Lovely and her family are Tigers through and through!
The weather was perfect for an afternoon game.  It was chilly in the morning and late afternoon, but plenty warm during the game.  For a hot dish, we served macaroni and cheese, a Southern classic.  On some menus down South, it’s even listed as a vegetable!  Don’t I wish.  Son1’s roommate’s mom graciously shared her recipe, which makes a great side dish for Sunday or holiday dinners.macaroni-and-cheese Macaroni and Cheese
10 oz elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
2 cups of cottage cheese (not fat free)
1 cup of sour cream (not fat free)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
3 cups of shredded cheese (I use 2 cups sharp cheddar and 1 cup mozzarella—reserving 1 cup of the cheddar to use on top)
Mix all ingredients together and top with one cup of the cheese.  Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
T and friends Miami gameSon1 and Lovely with their friends, way up in the upper deck, on top of the world.
Ah, college.


  1. I love your tailgate posts!! The sea of orange everywhere! Your cupcake toppers turned out so cute. I bet you got lots of compliments. I'm going to try your bean salad. It seems to have just a touch of exotic flavorings to make it unique. Yum! Looks like you had the tiger by the tail for this tailgate! ;) xoxo

  2. Looks like such a great time - I'm in dire need of a good tailgate, but weekends have not allowed this of late. I can't believe your friend has 3 kids at Clemson! I don't even want to think about when my 2 are in college at the same time. Here's hoping we win the lottery before then! :)

  3. It was a fabulous game wasn't? We are just getting ready to head back to the low country. Hownin the world did you do the toppers? I would love to steal your idea for our next tailgate.

  4. DOTR took his bff (the UT fan, but like DOTR a college fb fan always happy to see a game no matter who is playing!) so I didn't have to get up at the crack of dark thirty--9am--to go with him. They had to pick up our neighbor and friends at the Clemson airport and then headed to a great tailgate of GT/Clemson fans. In ATL particularly, there are fans of every persuasion in every group big and small, so it's not difficult for us to "mix" successfully! Love the recipes, especially the bean salad. Sounds like something we would love!

  5. What a perfect day. I have to say, Lovely resembles you a bit:). Way to go Son1.

  6. What a wonderful day! Must admit that tailgating at Clemson is lots of fun. And that weather DID look gorgeous... As did your family and Son1's girlfriend!

  7. Pink--You know I couldn't have made those toppers without your inspiration. Now I will be using them for every occasion--especially tailgates and milestone birthdays!

    JMW--The Wildcats are playing well. You need to plan a tailgate party near the television if you're not at the stadium.

    Belle, Pink Martinis and Pearls deserves all the credit! Click on her link in my post and you'll go straight to the instructions.

    Mom on the Run--I hope you make it up here for a game sometime--I'd love to meet you! Hope your husband enjoyed the game--or at least the party!

    Princess, LPC, and Bevy--It was a really fun day with great food and wonderful company.

  8. Fun .. I just love college tailgating! We are going to Ole Miss this weekend for BIG party in The Grove. Can not wait!!


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