A Dickson Tailgate Tradition

Wow, we had an eventful week in the Dickson household. I’m not sure which was more exciting; getting locked in the garage with a squirrel or finding out my daycare bill is going down. I think I’ll call it a tie. The squirrel seems to be gone thanks to some strategically placed duct tape and I’ve already made plans for the extra cash in December, so now I can focus on the task at hand. This week is our last regular season home game and we are sticking with tradition, serving my mother-in-law’s fantastic chili and a variety of other goodies. Usually we serve cinnamon rolls with our chili (if you grew up where we did, you know anytime chili was on the school lunch menu, so were the most amazing cinnamon rolls you’d ever eat), but this week I was craving Puppy Chow and I’ve already made cinnamon rolls this year.  Don’t be mad, honey.  Cinnamon rolls or not, this menu is just what you need to keep your tailgate guests warm and content until game time.


2 boxes Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix

2 eggs

2/3 milk

2 tbsp honey

18 little smokies (or 18 slices of hot dog, about 3/4″)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray three mini muffin pans generously with cooking spray or line with mini cupcake liners.  Prepare muffin mix according to directions and stir in honey.  Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 full.  Cut little smokies in half and put in the center of the muffin batter.  Bake for 8 minutes.  Allow to cool in the pan for a couple of minutes then serve with ketchup and mustard.  If you are making these the night before like I did, you can reheat them in the oven of wrap them in foil and heat in a pan over medium heat on your grill.


This dip is adapted from a beautiful layered dip my friend Alicia makes.  I’m just too lazy to layer it.

1 1/2 packages (12 oz) neufchatel or cream cheese

1/2 cup diced roasted red peppers

1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts (if you don’t have marinated ones, just use plain and add a couple tablespoons of italian dressing)

1/2 packet of ranch dip mix

Add all ingredients to a food processor and mix until the dip is a slightly lumpy texture.  Serve with crackers or bread.


My mother-in-law raised four kids and they were social, so she was often cooking for a crowd.  I can always count on her to make large portions and this chili is no exception. This recipe makes a lot of chili, but don’t worry, you will eat it because it is delicious. I’ll post a picture of my bowl loaded with chili, cheese, Fritos and green onions later.

1 very large (1 gallon) can chili con carne

1 equally large can tomato sauce

3 cans kidney beans

3 cans pinto or chili beans (or 2 pkgs dry beans, soaked overnight)

3 cans diced tomatoes with onions and green peppers

2 cans diced tomatoes with lime and cilantro

3 cans Ro-Tel (or tomatoes with green chiles)

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 lbs cooked ground beef or turkey

3 tsp chili powder

salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in an 18 qt. roasting oven.  Cook on medium heat for 30 minutes (about 350 degrees).  Turn the oven to low (200-250 degrees) and cook for another 1 1/2 hours, stirring regularly to avoid burning on the bottom.  Serve chili topped with shredded cheese, sour cream and crunched up Fritos or tortilla chips.


My friend Jessica and her mom made this treat all of the time when we were growing up.  We regularly request Jess makes it these days when we go on trips together. It is an addictive snack and I could eat an entire batch!

9 cups rice cereal (Chex, Crispix, etc)

1/4 cup butter

1 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla

2-3 cups powdered sugar

Pour cereal into a large bowl.  Melt butter, chocolate chips and peanut butter in a sauce pan over low heat until smooth.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Pour mixture over cereal and stir well.  Dump cereal into an extra large zipper bag or plastic container with a lid.  Add powdered sugar and close container or bag.  Shake and turn until cereal is coated with powdered sugar.  You can then spread the mixture on wax paper to cool if needed but I usually just pour it from the bag into a large bowl and it is cool enough.


Our menu this week also includes JLo’s Hot Wing Dip (see earlier blog post for recipe), guacamole, party mix and loaded brownies.  My cocktail of choice is lemonade, ice tea and vodka, with a splash of Rose’s sweetened lime juice.  Have a great week!



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