A college student, outdoorsman and avid reader, Jake Fanning arrived here for Christmas to a glistening blanket of snow covering his home in the Burnside community.

Jake is a freshman at the University of Mississippi studying Biology and Political Science.

He is the 18-year-old son of Laura and Robert Renfrow  and Penny and Brian Fanning

Jake, who was eager to share his favorite recipes from The Grove, is very involved when it comes to student organizations at Ole Miss.

Recently selected as an orientation leader, Jake will spend a portion of his summer on the campus welcoming thousands of incoming freshman.

However, his involvement doesn’t cease there.  Jake is also a member the Associated Student Body Freshman Forum and Ole Miss’s Mock Trial team.

Being at home for the holidays is very important to this Neshoba native.

When home Jake enjoys deer and duck hunting with his older brother, Dylan, catching a good read and spending quality time with friends and family.

“It’s comforting and refreshing to come home and see everyone that I have known for so long, but by the end of winter break I am ready to go back to Oxford,”  Jake said.

He loves The Grove so much because “it is the closest thing to the Neshoba County Fair that I have found.”

The Grove is a great social outlet for Ole Miss and also a great way to network, he said.

Along with the social aspect, Jake said his favorite thing about The Grove is, of course, the food.

“Everyone’s true Southern hospitality comes out in The Grove,” he said..

Jake enjoys visiting friends’ tents and sharing delicious finger foods before going to get ‘rowdy’ in the student section, he said.

Below are several of his favorite tailgate foods.

Lou’s Chex Mix

6 cups Rice Chex

6 cups Wheat Chex

6 cups Corn Chex

1 box (124 ounces) Cheez-its

6 cups pretzels

1 bag (8.5 ounces) Cheetos

1 pound pecans

1 can (15 ounces) mixed nuts

2 bags (8 ounces each) rye chips

4 sticks of butter

2 tablespoons season-all

1 tablespoon lemon-pepper

1 tablespoon ranch seasoning

1 1/2 tablespoon. garlic powder

2 tablespoon crushed red pepper

1/4 cup worcestershire

2 tablespoon liquid smoke

1 teaspoon cayenne

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Gently mix Chex, Cheez-its, pretzels, Cheetos, nuts and rye chips in two roasting pans.  Heat butter and seasoning, stirring constantly until mixture is fully combined.  Pour mixture evenly over each pan, carefully stirring as it is being poured.  Gently stir the snack mix and seasonings with a slotted spoon until thoroughly coated.  Bake for two hours, stirring gently every 15 minutes.

Ranch Cheddar Chicken

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 (1-ounce) package Ranch Seasoning and Salad Dressing Mix

3 cloves garlic, minced

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/3 cup breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly oil a 9x13 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.  In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, cheese, Ranch Seasoning and garlic.  Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, to taste.  Place chicken in a single layer onto the prepared dish and top with mayonnaise mixture.  

Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.  Place into oven and cook until completely cooked through and golden brown on top, reaching an internal temperature of 175 degrees about 25-30 minutes.  

Serve immediately, garnish with parsley, if desired.

Ranch Oyster Crackers

10-ounce oyster crackers

1 package. dry ranch seasoning

1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dill weed

3/4 cup olive oil

Pour oil over crackers.  Mix dry ingredients and sprinkle over crackers.  Let set to let the oil and seasonings soak in.


Sausage Muffins

1 box Red Lobster garlic biscuit mix

1-pound pork sausage

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Brown sausage in a skillet and drain excess oil.  Mix biscuit mix with water, sausage and cheese.  Spoon into miniature muffin pan and bake for about 13 minutes or until done.

Barbeque Chicken Sliders

12- pack dinner rolls or Hawaiian sweet rolls

3 cups cooked chicken

1/2 cup BBQ sauce

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

6 slices pepper-jack cheese

1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped

2 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Slice rolls in half, lengthwise.  Place the bottom half on a 9x13 baking tray.  Spread the chicken evenly on the rolls, followed by BBQ sauce, red onion, cheese and parsley.  Place the tops on the rolls.  Brush with melted butter.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Whoop Juice

8 cups cold water

1 can (12 ounces) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed plus 3/4 cup thawed lemonade concentrate

2 liters ginger ale, chilled

1 liter cherry lemon-lime soda, chilled

Ice ring – optional

In a large bowl, combine water and lemonade concentrate.  Stir in ginger ale and lemon-lime soda.  Top with an ice ring if desired.  Serve immediately.