JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- As football season ramps up, it’s the perfect time to get together with friends and family to celebrate your favorite team.

Whether it’s high school, college or pro football, they all deserve a great tailgate! Prolific blue ribbon winner, Linda Skeens stopped by First at Four Thursday to show the team how to make some of her favorite dishes for your next tailgate.

Cheesy Pepper Pita Crisps (makes 32)


4 Pita Breads

1/4 cup olive oil, divided

1 1/2 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

2 16 oz. jars of roasted bell peppers, drained

1 tsp. garlic powder

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Pre-heat broiler
  2. Open each pita so you have eight rounds
  3. Using 1 tbsp. olive oil, brush the inside of each round, and sprinkle with paprika, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper.
  4. Broil 1-2 min. until pitas start to brown.
  5. Slice peppers into thin strips.
  6. Heat 3 tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  7. Add peppers and garlic powder. Cook, stirring for about two minutes.
  8. Top each pita with the pepper mixture and cheese.
  9. Broil for two minutes or until cheese melts.
  10. Remove from oven and cut each pita into quarters with a pizza cutter.

Hawaiian Sweet Ham Rolls


1 package of King’s Hawaiian Rolls

1 lb. deli ham

1 package of Swiss cheese slices

1/2 cup butter, melted

3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp. mustard

2 tbsp. brown sugar


  1. Cut rolls in half and line the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking pan with roll bottoms.
  2. Layer the ham slices, then the cheese, and place the tops back on.
  3. Mix butter, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and brown sugar. Pour over the buns.
  4. Cover tightly and let sit in the fridge for four hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, bake for 15 minutes, uncovered.

Cheesesteak Dip (Serves 12)


1 tbsp. olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese

1 15 oz. jar Cheez Whiz

1 cup salsa

1 cup deli roast beef, chopped

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Tortilla chips


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add onion and bell pepper, and cook until softened.
  4. Reduce heat to medium, add cream cheese, and stir until softened.
  5. Stir in Cheez Whiz, salsa, and roast beef.
  6. Spread into a shallow (1 1/2 qt.) baking dish, and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until bubbly.
  8. Serve with tortilla chips

You can also find these recipes and more in her cookbook, Linda Skeens Blue Ribbon Kitchen which is for sale on her website.

You can also purchase a cookbook and have it signed this weekend. Linda will be at the Maple Tree Book Store for the Harvest Moon Festival in Gate City, Virginia from 12-2 p.m. on Saturday, September 23. Later that evening, she will be at the Heritage Festival at the Old Courthouse and Bundy Log Cabin at Dickensonville, Virginia from 3:30 to 5 p.m.