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Category: Southern Newlywed

Any Friday Night Lights fans in the house? (Raising my hand high!) Tami and Coach’s life had its ups and downs through the five seasons we followed them, but it always centered around family and football. Kutter and Lauren are in the same mold, including the ups and downs AND the sweet love story. From a tumultuous start to their relationship to the simple ways they like to spend time together, I loved learning more about these two and their five favorite date nights!

Thanks to Ally and Bobby for these wonderful photos!

Names: Kutter and Lauren Miller
By day: He is a Texas high school football coach and health teacher and I am the owner and lead wedding planner at The Simply Southern.
Where they live: Currently, Weatherford, Texas about 30 miles west of Forth Worth, but being married to a coach means that could change at any time!
Their love story: I am a North Carolina girl — born and raised in Raleigh. I moved to Texas to go to college for athletic training, and was assigned a clinical rotation with the football team at a local private high school. At my first football game, this really cute coach came up and introduced himself. I wanted to talk to him, but it was against my college’s rules for me to date a coach that I worked under. After much debate, I decided to ask for his number, and then invited him to a football game date the next weekend.

Soon after our return we were found out, and I was suspended from the Athletic Training program at my college. My world felt like it was crashing down around me, but he was by my side through the entire process, and I knew that if we could make it through all of that in the first few months we had known each other, then we could make it through anything. On June 27, 2015 we tied the knot in my hometown. Our ceremony was at 9:30am, followed by brunch, and by 1:30pm we were off to our honeymoon as newlyweds!

Five Favorite Date Nights:

1. Tossing the football. Being married to a Texas high school football coach means my life looks a lot like a scene out of Friday Night Lights. We met on the football field, our first date was a four-hour road trip to watch the Sooners take on the Horned Frogs, and a lot of our dates revolve around football season and finding ways to spend meaningful time together despite the hectic schedule. Some days we take the football and play around in our backyard, or we’ll walk the nature path behind our house with our dogs. Other times we make a date night out of going to scout upcoming opponents! One perk of coach life is that we get free tickets to local football games, so we frequently have date nights to TCU football games. Our lives really do revolve around the sport, and we never get tired of it!

2. Downtown and local eats. We love dressing up and heading downtown to explore. We make a trip out of it, and if the weather permits, always try to eat outside. I love trying new restaurants, and eating local is one of my favorite ways to find the best cuisine. It always evokes good conversation, and I love the small town feel.

3. Camping. Coming from families that grew up camping, I love to tie my hair up and have a relaxing weekend outdoors — we’ll bring the dogs, unplug from technology, and enjoy nature to its fullest. Sometimes we fish at the lake, other times we explore the countryside, but no matter what, we have uninterrupted time for meaningful conversation and to enjoy each others company.

4. Past and future. Between the busyness of football season and wedding season, date nights in are some of my favorites. We love to lounge around with a glass of wine and take a walk down memory lane. I am still amazed by all of the things that we have been through as a couple, and I’m in awe of how we got to where we are. We also love dreaming about the future on these slow nights in!

5. Ice cream. Whether we’re at Goodberry’s in Raleigh or Sweet Sammies in Fort Worth, we love to take trips for ice cream. There’s nothing more refreshing in the Southern heart, and it gives us a good excuse to just focus on each other!

Thanks so much, Lauren and Kutter! Find lots more date ideas in the Southern Newlywed archives.

emily Written with love by Emily

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The fall season is officially under way in our neck of the woods, which means the South’s favorite fall season sport is in full swing, as well: football!

Appetizers and snacks for any good tailgate need to be easy to prep and carry, and generous enough to feed a large crowd. The recipes here all do just that!

I’ve rounded up some of our favorite tailgate recipes to share with you today (including two from my personal recipe box!), and the Southern Weddings gals shared their favorites, too. Whether you’re hosting a party yourself or looking to bring the perfect appetizer to the next tailgate, one of these is sure to have everyone asking you for the recipe (the true compliment of any great cook).

Nashville is known for chicken and waffles. To help you pull this classic off with ease, I’ve made my version super simple, with ready-made ingredients. Mini frozen waffles and chicken tenders cut small and drizzled with a warm maple and pepper jelly syrup make the sweetest start to your menu.

You can even assemble these onsite with toothpicks and serve on a team color coordinated tray. (My personal preference would be orange for my UT Volunteers, of course.)

This recipe is so easy to make that this card is more shopping list than how-to, but it’s still a definite pin and save to your recipe box!

Download and print the Mini Chicken & Waffles recipe card.

When I moved to the South, I quickly realized that all gatherings are required to have a cheese dip of some fashion, and this Buffalo Chicken Dip version is always a hit.

This dip be baked in the oven and served in its dish, or you can premix it in a dip-sized crockpot to carry with you and keep nice and hot during cooler weather.

To take the presentation up a notch, try serving it in mini individual glasses with celery sticks. I love anything mini, and it looks so fun presented this way on the table!

Download and print the Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe card.

Now for a few favorite tailgate recipes from the other SW ladies:

Marissa: My go-to game-day appetizer is Conecuh on the grill. It’s an extra-easy dish with good ol’ Alabama roots. Add some festive toothpicks with flags and some spicy mustard, and you’re good to go.

Nicole: Bacon jam served with mini biscuits! I’m not a sports person, but I am a big fan of tailgate food! I’ve found it tends to get smothered on not only the mini biscuits I usually bring, but the rest of the game day foods, too. It tells me that everyone loves it :) Bonus: it travels so well!

Jess: If you’ve spent just a few minutes around me, you probably know that I’m a big fan of guacamole. Fresh guacamole is always a crowd-pleaser, but I love using the Pioneer Woman’s Grilled Corn Guacamole recipe if I need to kick it up a notch!

Emily: This recipe is NOT what I’d call healthy, but is that the point of a tailgate? No, I think not. Spicy corn dip is delicious right out of the oven, but still great even once it’s cooled to room temperature. You will be the life of the party if you arrive with this dish in tow!

Kristin: Between being able to make it the night before and it not requiring cutlery to enjoy (pass the corn chips, please), this recipe for “Texas Caviar” is one of my go tos for afternoon tailgates (or game watching parties)!

Do you have a favorite tailgate recipe to share? Link up to it in the comments below!

Written with love by Amber

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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Consider today on the blog your guide to a delicious weekend! Between Amber’s favorite tailgate recipes (coming up next!) and our friend Jacin’s homemade apple cider recipe, y’all are in for a treat. Read on for her simple instructions, and make plans to head to an orchard with your beau sometime soon!

Thanks to Kelly Anne Photography for these photos!

From Jacin: This recipe is sooooooo yummy!! And fun to make. It takes awhile, but it’s worth it and the house smells amazing afterward!

Jacin’s Homemade Apple Cider
Yield: 9-12 servings

— 14 medium-sized assorted apples
— 2 oranges
— 3/4 cup brown sugar
— 5-6 cinnamon sticks
— 1 whole nutmeg
— 1 Tablespoon whole cloves
— 1 teaspoon whole allspice
— water
— tall stockpot
— cheesecloth
— potato/avocado masher

— Wash fruit, cut into halves or quarters, and place in a large stock pot (seeds, peels, and all) along with all other ingredients.
— Fill pot with water, leaving about 2-3″ of space from the top of the pot.
— Boil uncovered for an hour, stirring frequently to prevent burn (an old New Englander tip to prevent boiling over is to put a wooden spoon across the top of the pot!).
— After an hour, cover and simmer for 2-3 more hours, crushing fruit with your masher and stirring occasionally. Taste and add more sugar or seasoning to your liking.
— Remove from heat, let cool, and strain all contents through cheesecloth into a clean container. Make sure to get every last drop from the cheesecloth, as that’s where the flavor is!
— Pour into Mason jars and keep refrigerated. Serve hot with cinnamon stick garnish or cold with bourbon.

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Kyla Fetzner reply

    Yum! This sounds heavenly.

  2. avatar jacin reply

    yay! i hope everyone enjoys it!

  3. avatar Sue reply

    This looks amazing. And as the days get cooler I am craving apple cider! I may even try to make this as it looks like it is worth the effort. Love the photos! 😊

  4. avatar Lisa reply

    Cannot WAIT to try this, and these pictures are so fun!!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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