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Impress Your Guests With These Tailgating Tips

As we head into September, autumn is rapidly approaching -

(even if the weather in your area may not feel like it yet!).

This, of course, means fall festivals, family trips to the pumpkin patch, fall-inspired craft beers, pumpkin-spiced everything and, of course... and tailgating!

As we all know, tailgate parties can be celebrated in a variety of ways.  Whether you are getting ready for the game in the stadium parking lot, in the comfort of your home or maybe even in your backyard, one of the things that always brings people together is the food!

Even if your team isn’t competing for a playoff spot or an appearance in a premier bowl game, the parties can still be fantastic and memorable.  And the food is central to these celebrations — it really is what can make or break a great party.

To help you prepare for your next tailgate, here are some ideas that will give your family and friends something to cheer about!


Keep it simple!

Remember, these celebrations should be fun for everyone -- the last thing you want is someone stressing over the food!

Plan out foods where you can do most of the preparation ahead of time, allowing you to savor the game-day celebration.  Dips and desserts can be made in advance, meats can be marinated overnight, and other ingredients can be prepped for a stress-free game day.  If your tailgating is starting early in the morning, you could even prepare some breakfast burritos the day before.


Flavor, flavor, flavor!

It’s tempting to just throw some “tried-and-true” hot dogs and burgers on the grill, but try to avoid the temptation and, instead, kick the flavor up a notch!

For example, if you are making wings, rather than just smothering them with barbecue sauce, try the Marinated Jamaican Jerk Wings or the Sweet and Spicy Baked Chicken Wings...this Asian-inspired sauce is so good it could also be used on chicken breasts, burgers and more.

A great trick to add a ton of flavor is to marinate your meat the night before…and you can marinate your veggies too.  Make a little extra marinade and set it aside to use it as a flavorful topping when the meat and veggies come hot off the grill.


Just a few ideas include:



Keep it in-season!

There is so much great late summer and fall produce, and including them in the party can take your festivities to another level.



Keep in mind, you can also creatively use in-season produce as the focus for your tailgate meal and impress your VEGETARIAN friends or family members:


Keep your dessert in-season too!

Ready to watch a dessert be devoured?  Make the Harvest Pumpkin Bars or Pumpkin Poppers (or Pumpkin Sheet Cake) and stand back!  (Plus, they are gluten free!)  You could also introduce breakfast cookies (that are delicious enough to enjoy anytime!) - try the Chunky Monkey or Chocolate Bliss Breakfast Cookies!

You could also serve up a delicious dessert hummus (goes great with apples), turn the Chocolate Chip Banana Bread into mini-muffins, or even throw some Banana Splits on the grill!



Belly up to the bar!

Yes, drinks are an important part of these parties, and food bars are another great way to feed a crowd and allow everyone to customize their meal.


Slow cooker magic!

The slow cooker is a great way to feed a crowd and it does most of the work for you!


Versatility is an asset!

Just like your favorite team needs versatility in its players, look for versatility in your food.  For example, Hatch Chile Guacamole could be your food MVP because of its amazing flavor -- serve it as a dip or a topping.   Seriously, this stuff is amazing and addictive...make a batch (or two) and watch it disappear! And, if you are looking for a crowd-pleasing and flavor-loaded side or appetizer, a few more excellent ideas include:



Of course, there is nothing wrong with traditional burgers and brats and other party staples once in a while, but we hope this provides a few ideas to break out of the routine and create an even more memorable and delicious game day experience for your family and friends!

Game on!


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2 Responses to Impress Your Guests With These Tailgating Tips

  1. Thank you for your advice yo keep the food simple. We’ve been thinking about tailgating for the first time and have been trying to find some advice. I’ll be sure to go over some of our options for some simple but delicious food.

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