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Taste of Franklin: Gameday goodies that are sure to score


For most folks, fall is about fun, fellowship, friends, family, faith and, of course, football. Whether you’re planning a big gathering with church friends, a low-key harvest-time party or an all-day football viewing, a hearty spread of tasty eats is a must.

“Nothing like a get-together with your church friends and family to share tasty fall dishes and exchange recipes,” said Amy Dolan McCollum. Together with her daughters and a few friends, McCollum has put together a menu sure to suit any fall party. “When you gather with friends and family to watch the big game, you must have hearty snacks and sweet treats. These recipes come from diehard football fans; yet, even people who aren’t huge fans still love to get together and share delicious foods.

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball


  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup real butter, softened
  • 1/4 tsp. real vanilla extract (not imitation)
  • 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 Tb. brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup finely-chopped pecans


1. In a mixing bowl, mix the first three ingredients until fluffy.

2. Gradually add sugars then chocolate chips.

3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate two hours.

4. Form into a ball inside plastic and wrap tightly. Refrigerate another hour.

5. Roll in pecans just before serving.

6. Alternatively: If you don’t have time to refrigerate the mixture and roll it into a ball, put it in a bowl and sprinkle with the pecans and mini chocolate chips.

7. Serve with graham cracker sticks.

Mama’s Cheese Ball


  • 16 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
  • 6 oz. thinly sliced ham
  • 1 cup finely-chopped pecans


1. Combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onion and ham in a bowl. Mix well.

2. Shape into a ball. Or, for a fun alternative, mold into a football shape.

3. Roll in pecan pieces.

4. If you choose to shape like football, you can use pecan halves as the laces.

World’s Greatest Slush Punch
I like to serve this red punch as “Roll Tide Punch,” and it’s also perfect for Valentine’s Day or Christmas. To make it “War Eagle Punch” or to serve for Halloween, trade the strawberry and orange Jell-o for two packages of orange. For Halloween, I freeze plastic spiders in a frozen ring to top off the punch.


  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 oz. package of strawberry Jell-O
  • 3 oz. package of cherry Jell-O
  • 48 oz. pineapple juice
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 32 oz. orange juice
  • 4 2-liter bottles of Sprite or ginger ale


1. Bring the sugar, water and Jell-O to a boil in a large stockpot. Boil for three minutes.

2. Mix in the pineapple, lemon and orange juices.

3. Divide mixture into two gallon zip-top bags and freeze flat on a baking sheet.

4. Combine the contents of one bag with two bottles of Sprite or gingerale in a punchbowl.

5. Stir until slushy.

6. Repeat steps four and five with second bag and remaining 2-liters.

Taco Soup
This was a favorite of my FACS students. You can also prepare it in a slow cooker or InstantPot, instead of on the stovetop.


  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch dry mix
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, not drained
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 cans chili beans

Toppings: sour cream, Fritos and grated cheese


1. Brown the ground beef with the onion. Stir and break up the meat as it cooks. Drain the grease.

2. Put browned meat/onion mixture in a large saucepan and add the taco seasoning packet and Hidden Valley Ranch packet. Add 1/2 cup water and simmer until well mixed.

3. Add tomatoes, corn and beans and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.

4. Serve with Fritos, sour cream and grated cheese.

Corn Salad
Anna Beth Gunderman Pressnell


  • 2 12-14 oz. cans of corn, drained OR 3 cups of fresh corn off the cob
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
  • 5 oz. Fritos chili corn chips


  1. Combine all ingredients except Fritos in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Just before serving, stir in Fritos.

Apple Brickle
Debra Spillers


  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 package almond brick chips (7.5 oz) or English toffee bits (10 oz.)
  • 3 medium tart apples, cut into slices


  1. In a bowl, beat cream cheese, sugars and vanilla.
  2. Fold in brick chips or toffee bits.
  3. Serve with apples.

Ham and Cheese Sliders
Deedra Moore


  • 24 Hawaiian Sweet Rolls (sliced in half, into a top layer and bottom layer)
  • 1 lb. Black Forest deli ham
  • 1 lb. Swiss cheese
  • 6 Tb. butter, melted
  • 2 Tb. mustard OR spicy brown mustard
  • 2 Tb. sugar
  • 1 Tb. minced onion
  • 3/4 Tb. poppyseed


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 9×13 dish with aluminum foil.
  3. Place bottom layer of rolls in dish.
  4. Place half of ham on rolls, then place cheese on top of ham, then place remaining ham on top of cheese.
  5. Mix melted butter, mustard, sugar, minced onion and poppy seed.
  6. Brush some of the mixture on top of the top layer of ham, then place the top layer of rolls on.
  7. Brush remaining butter mixture on top of rolls.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, covered with foil.
  9. Remove foil and bake another five minutes.
  10. Cut into individual sliders and serve.

Texas Caviar
Leah Gunderman


  • 2 cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans white shoepeg corn, drained
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onion, chopped
  • 1 large or 2 medium bell peppers, diced
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2-3 tomatoes diced or 2 cans diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 large bottle Zesty Italian dressing
  • Optional: hot peppers
  • To serve: naco chips


  1. Combine all ingredients and chill overnight.
  2. Serve with nacho chips.

Mexican Dip
Marla Goad


  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • Small jar Picanta sauce
  • 4-8 oz. cheddar cheese


1. Mix first three ingredients together and pour into a baking dish.

2. Top wish sauce and cheddar cheese.

3. Heat in microwave or oven until bubbly and cheese is melty.

4. Serve with tortilla chips.

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Vickey Cook


  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 cups oats


  1. Bring sugar, butter, cocoa and milk to a boil and boil for one minute, no longer.
  2. Add vanilla, peanut butter and oats.
  3. Stir all ingredients with a  wood spoon and boil on medium heat for one minute, no longer.
  4. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper or parchment paper and let cool.