tailgating part 3

Standard

Okay so. If you’ve been following along with my tailgating series (you can catch up here), then you should be up to speed on what it takes to have a fun tailgate. However, I’ve intentionally left off one very important item that will be discussed in depth in this post. FOOD! Hello! What is a tailgate without food? Is it really even a tailgate? That’s debatable.

So. A lot of people grill out while tailgating. You know, burgers, hot dogs, and all that jazz. If that’s you’re thing, then skip ahead to the section where I talk about side dishes. I also know that many people are fans of picking up food and bringing it down to the stadium, like from Chick Fil A or your favorite local BBQ restaurant. And that’s a great option! Many restaurants offer tailgating packages. But if you’re anything like me, you have a party of 5 people that attend your tailgates, and about 5 different opinions on what the “main course” should be. This sometimes results in waiting until the very last minute to decide on food and thus it is too late to place an order. Here are some viable options that require little prep work, are easy to transport, and are sure to be crowd pleasers.{Recipes at the bottom}

1) Tacos. I know what you’re thinking. Who eats tacos at a tailgate? Well. I do, my friend. It’s so easy! You cook all the meat before you head down there, and you prep all of your toppings, too. Get some plastic containers. One for meat, one for onions, one for tomatoes, one for black olives. Whatever your fancy. A couple bags of cheese and a tub of sour cream. Throw it all in your cooler, and when you get to the stadium, pull it out and have a taco bar! Don’t forget your taco dip for a side item. Scroll down for more info on that.

2) Home made BBQ. Throw a Boston butt in the crock pot the night before, shred it right before the game, toss it in a container, and BAM! But don’t forget your favorite sauce! Chips are an easy option to go with, but you can always go all out with all the regular fixin’s and sides.

3) Breakfast casserole. If it’s an early afternoon game, you want to get to your tailgating spot so early that maybe the sun hasn’t come up yet. So breakfast is the perfect option. Get up a little early, mix it all together, and throw it in the oven while you are in the shower. When it’s finished, wrap it in some tin foil and a towel and hopefully it will still be warm by the time you get there. If not, it’s good cold, too. There are about a hundred different variations of breakfast casserole, but I like the kind that uses hashbrowns. Yummy!

4) Chicken salad croissants. One of my favorites! This is also good on early afternoon game days, because you’re starving again by the time the game lets out. Just mix up some chicken salad, and buy a couple croissants at the grocery store, and enjoy your team’s victory! I like to make my chicken salad with an already cooked rotisserie chicken from my local grocery store. Pull it apart using the skin and everything for extra flavor. I also like to use grapes, celery, and pecans in mine. Just add mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and a bit of garlic powder, and you’re set!

Once you have your main dish figured out, you’re going to want to have some side items, too. There are the standards, pigs in a blanket, vegetables and dip, chips and dip, etc. But let’s branch out a little bit.

Have you guys seen these mini corndog muffins on Pinterest that everyone is talking about? Apparently they’re delicious. I’m not a big fan of corndogs, so I don’t think these would be a staple at my tailgate, but they sure look easy to make!

A staple that I go to just about anytime I need to supply a finger food is what I call sausage cups. I make them for just about every work function, and for lots of tailgates as well. They’re not difficult to make, but they can be slightly time consuming, and slightly delicious.

I once tried to make one of those pizza rings, where you wrap mozzarella, and pepperoni in pizza dough in a cute little ball and put it in your bundt pan and bake the whole thing. It turned out okay, but I wasn’t overly impressed. While it seemed like the perfect side dish, I can’t recommend it to you. However, these pizza pockets look delicious, and could probably made in a much smaller portion for a more finger food type of dish.

One thing you can never go wrong with is a layered taco dip. This is an awesome dish that is always in demand and can be made in less than 5 minutes. Literally. I’m not one for all the extraneous items like lettuce and black olives. I like to keep my taco dip basic. Beans, sour cream, salsa, cheese. BAM. But much like the breakfast casserole, there are about a hundred different variations of this recipe, so you’ll have to adapt to what suits you best, but don’t rule it out. My dip is always in demand. By like two people. And they asked one time. Exaggerations just sounds so much better than the truth. Oh. And don’t waste time with a fancy dish. Make it straight in the plastic container you plan to take to the tailgate.

look at this fancy-ness!

Now it’s on to desserts. I don’t really have a lot of advice on dessert, because they are all pretty much make them before then take them down there. There’s not really a way to get around that. So you can be as elaborate as you want with your dessert! I would recommend a cake in a cake carrier, or cupcakes in a cupcake carrier, as opposed to a cute plate or platter. It’s just easier to deal with, ya know? So that being said, here a couple of cute football themed desserts you might want to try!

football whoopie pies!

football pie bites

this looks delicious

cute! i love that it doesn’t look too professional. easily attainable. less disappointment when mine look completely jacked up.

football field fudge

Ta Daaaa! What a tasty tailgate! If you wanted a recipe, check below for links to recipes. If you have any questions about the versions I make that I referenced above, just send me an e-mail and I’d be happy to share what I can with you!

Be sure to check out the fourth and final post in my tailgate series about gameday dress! Can’t wait for this one!

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