In West Virginia, fall means WVU football.

And there’s no better way to experience the magic of a Mountaineers game than hanging out with your fellow fans in the parking lots around Milan Puskar Stadium.

Last October, WV Living held a tailgate at WVU’s game against Oklahoma State. Our staff supplied the food, making dishes inspired by the Mountaineers’ foes in the Big 12 conference. Not to brag, but the grub got rave reviews—so we thought we’d give you the recipes to serve at your own Big 12 tailgates.

Whether you’re in Morgantown or gathered around the big screen, these dishes are sure to make your guests holler “Let’s goooooo…!”

Oklahoma State – Cowboy Caviar

Cowboys aren’t just from Texas. Saddle up to this tasty Oklahoma dish.

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can shoepeg corn, drained
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 cup vegetable oil
½ cup sugar
½ cup cider vinegar

1. Mix bean and vegetable ingredients together.
2. In a saucepan, combine oil, sugar, and cider vinegar. Bring to a boil and let boil until sugar dissolves.
3. Let oil cool and mix with bean and vegetable mixture. Serve with tortilla chips.
yield: 12 servings

Iowa State – Taco Pizza

Just mention Taco Pizza to someone from Iowa and they’ll wax poetic about Happy Joe’s, the first pizza restaurant in the country to offer the specialty.

1 premade Boboli pizza crust
1 cup canned refried beans
¼ cup taco sauce, with extra for topping
¼ cup pizza sauce
1 pound ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
1 (8 ounce) package mozzarella cheese shredded, or more to taste
1 (8 ounce) package colby jack cheese shredded, or more to taste
1 bag shredded lettuce, for topping
Doritos, for topping
Sour cream, for topping

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. In a skillet, brown beef until no pink remains, then mix with taco seasoning.
3. In a bowl, mix together refried beans, taco sauce, and pizza sauce. Spread bean mixture onto crust. Top with mozzarella cheese, then ground beef, then colby jack.
4. Bake 10–15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
5. Sprinkle with desired toppings and cut with a pizza cutter.

Hornfrogs’ Chili Con Carne

Texas chili? Need we say more?

1 pound lean (at least 80 percent) ground beef
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 large bell pepper, seeded, chopped
1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder, if desired
½ teaspoon sriracha sauce
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and chopped green chilies
1 (26-ounce) carton Pomi chopped tomatoes
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste or tomato puree
1 (15-ounce) can chili beans
1 (19-ounce) can red kidney beans (light or dark), drained and rinsed
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour Cream

1. In 3-quart saucepan, cook beef, onion, and pepper over medium-high heat about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until beef is brown. Drain.
2. Stir in remaining ingredients except beans, cheese, and sour cream. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
3. Stir in beans. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low, simmer uncovered about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until desired thickness. If chili seems too thick, add water or tomato juice.
4. Ladle into bowls and top with cheddar cheese and sour cream.
yield: 8 servings

Kansas State Wildcats – Bierocks

Bierocks is the official fall food of Kansas.

1 pound lean ground beef
⅓ cup chopped onion
2 cups chopped cabbage
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 tablespoons onion powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 ounces (½ cup) shredded cheddar cheese
2 (8-ounce) cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
½ cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
3 tablespoons horseradish sauce

1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. In large skillet, cook ground beef and onion over medium-high heat until meat is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain.
3. Add cabbage, garlic salt, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes or until cabbage is crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Cool 5 minutes. Stir in cheese.
4. Separate dough into 16 triangles. Press or roll each until slightly larger. Spoon about ¼ cup beef mixture on shortest side of each triangle. Roll up, starting at shortest side of triangle, gently wrapping dough around beef mixture and rolling to opposite point. Pinch edges to seal. Place point-side down on ungreased large cookie sheet.
5. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine mayonnaise or salad dressing and horseradish sauce. Blend well. Serve sauce with sandwiches.
yield: 16 bierocks

University of Oklahoma – Cornbread

Cornbread has a place of honor on Oklahoma tables. It even is included in the official state meal.

2 (6 ounce) bags Martha White Mexican Style Cornbread and Muffin Mix
1 (16 ounce) can creamed corn
1 egg, beaten
⅔ cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Line muffin tin with baking cups.
2. In a large bowl, combine cornbread mix, creamed corn, egg, and milk. Mix well and pour into muffin tin. Bake until golden brown, about 18 to 22 minutes.
3. For crispier muffins, don’t use baking cups and grease bottom of muffin tin with bacon grease, then preheat pan in oven for seven minutes before adding batter.
yield: 24 servings

University of Kansas – BBQ Brisket Dip

Kick up your tailgate with Kansas-style brisket.

2 packages of ready-to-use beef brisket
½ red onion, diced
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 (14 ounce) cans fat-free re-fried beans
1 cup barbecue sauce
½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1. In a skillet over medium heat, saute onion in 2 tablespoons butter. Once softened, turn heat to medium low. Stir frequently, adding additional butter as needed. Cook until onions turn a caramel color, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350°.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine meat and beans. Stir in onions, then spread into a 9×9 baking dish. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the top, cover dish in foil, and bake covered 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake 5 to 7 more minutes.
4. Serve hot with chips or crostini.
yield: 24 servings

Texas Tech – Tortilla Roll-ups

We couldn’t resist honoring Texas Tech’s tortilla tossing tradition.

6 (8 inch) flour tortillas
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
6 ounces deli meat of your choice, thinly sliced (turkey, ham, roast beef, etc.)
1 head romaine lettuce
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
8 ounces shredded cheese (we used cheddar and swiss)
1 medium white onion, chopped
Condiments to taste (mayo, mustard, pepper jelly)

1. Spread thin layer of cream cheese on each wrap, then add slices of meat and cheese. Top with romaine, tomato, onion, seasonings, and condiments to taste. Fill only ¾ of the wrap—any more and the toppings will spill out when rolled.
2. Starting with the filled side, roll tortilla tightly, tucking ingredients back inside as you go. Cream cheese on the remaining ¼ of the tortilla will help to close the wrap.
3. Place wrap on cutting board, seam side down. Cut roll-ups to desired size using a sharp, smooth knife. Each wrap should yield 6 to 8 roll-ups. Keep chilled until served.
note: For added color, add carrots, pickles, pickled banana peppers, or red, yellow, or green peppers.
yield: 36 roll-ups

University of Texas Longhorns – Sheet Cake

Haven’t you wondered what makes Texas Sheet Cake Texan? Is it because of its size? Or richness?

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
4 heaping tablespoons cocoa
2 sticks butter
1 cup boiling water
½ cup buttermilk
2 whole beaten eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup finely chopped pecans
1¾ stick butter
4 heaping tablespoons cocoa
6 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound (minus ½ cup) powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Grease an 18×13 sheet cake pan.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.
4. In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together. Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture and stir lightly to cool.
5. In a measuring cup, pour buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake for 20 minutes.
6. While cake is baking, make icing. Chop pecans finely. Melt butter in saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Add milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir together. Add pecans, stir, and pour over warm cake.
yield: 24 servings

Baylor – Bear Paw Cookies

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears kill you.

1 box milk chocolate brownie mix
¼ cup butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 large egg
2 teaspoons water
60 peanuts split into halves (about ⅓ cup) or almond slices
30 chocolate candy kisses

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. In a large bowl combine brownie mix, butter, water, and egg. Stir with fork to combine into stiff dough. Dough will seem dry, but will moisten as you stir. Knead briefly by hand in the bowl, if preferred.
3. Working with 1 even tablespoon of dough at a time, roll dough into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Cover remaining dough between batches to prevent drying.
4. Press candy pieces, points down and flat surfaces up, into the centers of the uncooked cookies. Press four peanut halves, split sides down, into the edge of each cookie to form claws.
5. Bake for 11 minutes or just until edges are set. Cookies may appear slightly undercooked, but do not over-bake. Cool 1 minute on pans. Transfer to wire racks with a thin metal spatula and cool completely. Store in closed containers.
note: Have chocolate kisses unwrapped and peanut halves at hand when rolling dough into balls. If you wait very long to decorate the dough balls, their surfaces will begin to dry out and the peanut “claws” may not stick as well after baking.
yield: 30 cookies


Add a little team spirit to your tailgate with cookies and cakes in a jar from Bonnie Belle’s Pastries in White Oak and Nutter Fort.

1520 Buckhannon Pike, Nutter Fort 26301, 304.622.7471; 20 Shaner Drive, White Oaks Bridgeport, 304.848.1100


photographed by Carla Witt Ford

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