Tablescapes, Iron Bowl Party

I know you all are thinking about Christmas shopping, decorating and recipes…well, it’s still the height of football season here in Alabama and there is no bigger game all season than the Iron Bowl.  Watching the Iron Bowl is a tradition at our house, and every year we gather friends and family in the Man Cave and turn on the big screen to watch the time honored rivalry between University of Alabama and Auburn University as they play it out on the gridiron for bragging rights for the next year.  I learned early on that Southerners, take their football SERIOUSLY, and this game is the game of the year.

Welcome to the Man Cave, the inner sanctum, male heaven with everything a man could desire…Refrigerator, full bath, kitchenette, pool table, dart board, big couch and ottoman and a viewing bar.  One of my husband’s friend’s commented, “Man I would just live down here if I were you!” Ha, HH does spend a LOT OF TIME here on the weekends!

One half of the man cave is set up for billiards and the other half is the TV viewing area.  The pool table actually makes THE perfect buffet table, let me show you how we set it up…

Away go the cue sticks and balls and out comes

this lovely water proof tarp we bought at Home Depot. We cut it down to a size where it fits the pool table and hangs over the edges about 6-8 inches.

Then we cover one end with a white cloth, one end with a crimson cloth,

we lay a piece of houndstooth fabric lengthwise

and another piece of an Alabama printed fabric across the table in the center

Hungry Husband is a fabulous assistant, he runs up and down stairs carrying all my decorating needs!  He brought this large ceramic elephant down from the living room and with a little tucking the “tablecloth” was ready for further embellishment.  You are probably thinking, “why doesn’t she just sew it all together?”  Because this way I can still use all the components in other ways.

I got this wire mesh ribbon “elephant” at a crafts fair and I think he’s so cute!  You can see the kids corner in the background where we set up a little table and got out some toys.

The mesh elephant is perched on one side of the large white elephant, with HH’s prized autographed football front and center.

On the other side is an Alabama flag and a couple more elephants…

I created a garland with this off white woven fabric ribbon by wrapping some red sparkly ribbon and some houndstooth ribbon loosely around it,

and wove it through the elephants.  I added some be-ribboned white pumpkins and some peanuts for the elephants.  That poor little Auburn tiger in the midst of all those elephants…Brave!

I placed the platters on the table so all I had to do was bring in the food.  Things get crazy at the last minute, with the excitement of people arriving and I try to get as much in place as possible.

HH insists on fresh flowers and we found these beautiful red roses when we went to the grocery store, Alabama’s colors of course

but Auburn’s orange and blue is a little trickier!  We found these sort of orange carnations and cut the last of the hydrangeas from the garden, and with some orange pumpkins, a tiger pitcher and some blue ribbon, and tiger striped plates, the flowers look pretty cute!

We also bought Alabama & Auburn themed giant chocolate chip cookies…I was going to make cupcakes, but I decided these would do just fine!  Sometimes you just have to give yourself a break and simplify!

Even though HH and HHjr are Alabama alumni,  I went to school in California, DD went to Ole Miss and her hubby is an loyal Auburn man so we try to keep things a little even around here…we will have some Auburn guests too which makes for friendly rivalry during the game.

Almost more important than watching the game, notice I said almost, is the food.  Sometimes our guests all bring a dish, but this year I had lots of help from DD, HH & HHjr., and ours being a family of cooks, we all wanted to be in on the menu and cooking.  We do appetizers rather than a meal, so guests can nibble throughout the event.  This dictates that the choices are easy to eat, and will hold well, and nothing is too complicated.  I usually bring out the old standards and make the table the star of the show.

Everything’s ready!

I love my son-in-law, NG, he is so not shy about digging in!

here’s the menu:

Tiger Bones, aka Caribbean Chicken Drummettes

Alabama Biscuits aka Cheese Biscuits with Ham

Triple Tiger Dip aka Spinach & Artichoke Triple Cheese Dip

Top Dogs on a Roll aka Gourmet Smokies with Caramelized Onions

Red & White Tidy Bites aka just regular Pigs in a Blanket for the kiddos

Top Dogs on a Roll

jazzed up pigs in a blanket with mustard and caramelized onions


  • 20 mini smokies
  • 20 small dinner rolls [Sister Shubert’s]
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • sweet hot mustard or mustard of choice
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil


  • Cook onion in butter and olive oil over medium low heat until caramelized, about 20 minutes.
  • Slice rolls in partially in half lengthwise, like a hot dog bun, not cutting all the way through, forming a pocket.
  • Spread mustard on the inside and top with a few caramelized onions and 1 smokie.
  • Place buns on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until heated through. Makes 20 mini dogs.

Rumble in the Jungle aka 5 Minute Mystery Dip

Proscuitto Basil Pinwheels

Choco Marshmellow Popcorn Squares

Iron Bowl Cookie Cakes

Everyone had lots of fun!!

Here’s one of the recipes we served


Course Appetizer
Cuisine American


  • 1 jalapeno seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 tsp cayenne
  • 2 tsp allspice
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 4 green onions chopped
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 lime juice
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3 lbs. chicken drummettes


  • Combine all ingredients and puree. Marinate chicken overnight for best results, then grill. Serve at room temperature. Makes about 16 appetizer servings.
Keyword Caribbean chicken, chicken drumettes, Christmas party food, drumettes, grilled chicken

The Holiday Bowl games will be coming up soon, so I hope you have some fun with your game day plans!

Merry Decorating!

Thanks for visiting, stop by again soon.  Please leave me a comment so I know you were here!

I’m joining the Tablescaper for SEASONAL SUNDAY
Between Naps on the Porch for METAMORPHIS MONDAY
The Gunny Sack for WHAT’S IN THE GUNNY SACK?
Savvy Southern Style for WOW US WEDNESDAY
Between Naps on the Porch for TABLESCAPE THURSDAY
Rattlebridge Farms for FOODIE FRIDAY

The Everyday Home for “Better Late than Never” Thanksgiving inspirations

Alderberry Hill for Make the Scene Monday

The Dedicated House for Make it Pretty Monday

check out these amazing blogs!

2 Responses to “Tablescapes, Iron Bowl Party”
  1. This looks like fun! I will admit to knowing little about college football as I attended a small Jesuit college with no team. The people around these parts are rabid for either Mizzou, K-State or KU depending on which side of the Missouri/Kansas border you live. When Mizzou recently went to the SEC, I didn’t understand what all the hoopla was about. Still don’t. Maybe I’ll figure it out over time. I cheer for those who are really into college football, though, because the level of excitement is really over-the-top and infectious. I see that University of Alabama soundly defeated Auburn 49-0. Egads! That couldn’t have been much fun for your daughter & her husband! 🙁 I’m glad you guys all enjoy getting together each year for this fun rivalry. The table is super creative!

  2. Thanks Alycia, you’re right the game was kind of a blow out BUT all the guests had fun eating anyway! The guys decided to keep the table set up for the SEC champs game next Saturday…it never ends around here! You will get in the swing of it soon with Missouri now being in the SEC you will hear lots more in your area. Looking forward to seeing what you’re up to next! Thanks for visiting and commenting

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: