Now that football season is well underway, it’s time to gather your friends and family and enjoy the game (and the pregame) with an expertly packed menu for tailgating. Tailgating is a time-honored tradition that calls for fun games, great food, and tons of team spirit. But in order to ensure that everyone has a great time, you have to plan ahead for the perfect outcome.
Your menu needs to be the perfect combination of delicious and portable. You need to make sure you have all the essential tools on hand. You of course need to plot out the drinks and location. To help make all of those decisions a little easier, we’ve got your outdoor feast planned for you, from exactly what foods to make to how to pack them and what to bring!
What to Make
Picnic food should be simple, easy to pack, and easily transportable. Unless you really want to impress guests with your stellar cooking ability, you don’t need to do anything fancy. Finger foods like sandwiches, spreads and dips with pita chips, cookies, and other items that don’t require utensils are ideal. For ease of serving and preparation, you can also include on the menu some make-ahead dishes that are weather-appropriate, like casseroles, chilis, and baked pastas. If you want a little greenery and decide to make a salad, it should be mixed on the spot instead of pre-made to avoid wilting vegetables due to the dressing. Remember, you don’t have to cook everything: bringing a few staples, like chicken wings from your favorite spot, is completely acceptable. Also, don’t forget the drinks! Always have water on hand, and some tasty hot toddies to keep warm.
Employ Food Safety
Think about how you transport the food from your home to your destination. If driving in a car, keep the food with you in the air-conditioning instead of the trunk, which can be several degrees hotter. If you are bringing raw meats and poultry to cook on-site, keep them in a separate cooler by themselves to avoid cross-contamination. Be wary of high-risk foods like meat, poultry, cheese, hot dogs, and mayonnaise, which should not spend more than two hours at room temperature. If it’s out longer, discard it. As a rule of thumb, keep cold food cold (40 degrees or lower) and hot food hot (140 degrees and above) to avoid food poisoning.
This article was originally published October 28, 2013
RV Tailgating: It’s Time To Pack Up & Prepare For Your Next Tailgate Party!
Every fall, the annual battle starts. Army vs. Navy, Vikings vs. Packers, even Duluth Central High School vs. Duluth Denfeld High School.
Whatever your favorite team, now is the time to fire up the RV and head to the stadium parking lot.
RVs and motorhomes are great for tailgating. You can load up a crowd and have your own small party before a concert, sporting event, parade, or most any other outdoor event you can think of!
If you’re going RV tailgating, you will be joining thousands of people who enjoy the festive atmosphere while partying with fellow parking lot participants.
Heck, there’s even a web site for this! Tailgating America is loaded with useful information that will make your next tailgating adventure a roaring success.
For the most part, all you need to do is pack up the barbeque or smoker. (The fancier the better.) After all, tailgating is all about the food. That, and having lots of fun new gadgets and gizmos that take your tailgating to the next level.
Since food is the main attraction, you’re not going to get by with simple hot dogs and hamburgers. Oh no… this is an all-day event. Your tailgate party menu should cover the full day from breakfast through midnight snacks. So it’s time to put on your chef hat and do some serious research. The crowd you bring, as well as those within smelling distance of your grill, will be expecting a world-class buffet.
Here are some fabulous tailgating recipes to fill out the whole day and keep everybody happily munching throughout the event.
Securing a good spot in the parking lot will depend on your arrival time, so plan to get there early. Besides, we all know it takes 8 hours to slow smoke a whole hog. Bring your “A” game and this could be a training run for one of those high-dollar barbeque competitions. Or maybe you’ll want to follow the NASCAR circuit.
The Tailgate Party Planner can help get you started. According to them, the most important tailgate recipe is “Jim’s Tail Gate Beer” :
1 – Cooler
3 – Bags of Ice
1 – Case of Beer
Not too difficult to make, but nevertheless a mandatory dish to ensure the party will get off on the right foot. (Be sure to check with the stadium or facility you’re headed to, as not all will allow alcoholic beverages in the parking lot.)
Be sure you decorate your RV appropriately, because you don’t want anyone to be confused about which team you’re supporting, or where your loyalties lie. It’s a good idea to bring lots of colorful balloons and banners to run the entire length of your RV.
Lots of people come for the party in the parking lot and never even make it inside for the event itself. So, if you have a satellite dish and receiver, you may want to bring it so you can set up that big screen TV outside your RV!
Don’t forget the face paint (or body paint) and team flags. There’s no such thing as going overboard when it comes to decorating your vehicle… or your body! The more outrageous, the better. After all, you want to get some attention, right?
If there is any doubt in your mind about how to coordinate a successful tailgate party, have a look at YourTailgateParty.com. There, a team of professional tailgaters will provide you with all the ins and outs to help turn your tailgate extravaganza into a world-class affair.
Failure is not an option. If you’re headed to a football tailgate party, for example, just know that your team is counting on you to represent them and make your tailgate party a winner. If you don’t feel you’re up to the competition of the professional leagues, then start small. Being king of the high school parking lot will lead to bigger and better events in the future. Work your way up the ladder by conquering college level tailgating next. Then you’ll be ready to carry the ball to your next goal: the major leagues. Some day you could even become a legend like The Commissioner of Tailgating.
I’ve been involved in RVing for over 50 years — including camping, building, repairing, and even selling RVs and motorhomes. I’ve owned, used, and repaired almost every class and style of RV ever made. I do all of my own repair work. My other interests include cooking, living with an aging dog, and dealing with diabetic issues. If you can combine a grease monkey with a computer geek, throw in a touch of information nut and organization freak, combined with a little bit of storyteller… you’ve got a good idea of who I am. To date, I’ve shared my RV knowledge in over 300 articles here at The Fun Times Guide! Many of them have over 25K shares.
Mini Turkey, Basil, and Herb Focaccia Sandwiches
- 1 can refrigerated pizza crust
- olive oil
- garlic powder
- dry Italian herb blend seasoning
- shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 container herb & garlic cheese spread
- 2 vine ripe or Roma tomatoes, sliced
- Fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 pound sliced smoked turkey from the deli
This is a great pot-luck pasta salad and you don’t have to worry about the stability of mayonnaise here. Use any small pasta as they fit nicely into the jars, and adjust the amount of vinaigrette to suit your taste, whether you like a more moist salad or drier one. I love the extra protein added by using the chick peas in this, and the colorful salad looks so pretty.
How to Pack for Tailgating - Recipes
Menus and tailgating recipe ideas for the football season. They need to be fun, easy to grill and above all tasty! Many of my recipes below can be prepared a little in advance and that makes the whole tailgating event that much easier to cater for.
As someone of European origin it took me a while to get used to the idea of tailgating because the expression in UK English means something completely different.
If you were to ask an Englishman what tailgating is he would desribe somebody driving too close behind him at high speed on the motorway, something a million miles away from opening the tailgate in the stadium car park and enjoying a barbecue cookout ahead of the ball game.
And as you can see in the picture above, it's not just the tailgate that gets opened, many come equipped with everything bar the kitchen sink (and some even bring that). There's seems to be a whole industry built around it.
So for tailgating recipe ideas the concept is keep it simple, use the grill but make best use of fresh ingredients to deliver something a million miles better than the pre-packed stuff in the supermarket.
Simplicity also applies to serving and eating too so I've got a load of finger food recipes for you, just check out out barbecue food appetizers, all of them are great on the grill.
Keep it simple with my grilled hamburger recipes, in addition to the recipes there's loads of information about how to make and grill the perfect hamburger. It's not difficult and once you've mastered the art it could be a game changer!
Finally we can't discuss tailgating recipe ideas at the sports stadium without mentioning the hot dog. or should that be the Brat? If want a quality sausage, something that's going to stand out from the crowd then either of the recipes below are easy to make and ideal for the grill.
Homemade Bratwurst Recipe - aka the Wisconsin sausage, this is the real deal.
Great to serve with beans and with a right chilli kick is my chaurice sausage recipe.
Easy to pack, quick to grill and bursting with flavor, that has to be the order of the day and if you fancy something a little more sophisticated then prepare in advance and go for one of my barbecue rub recipes. Simply take your chosen spice mix in a shaker and when you get to the stadium, up end the shaker and liberally apply to a steak or a chicken breast.
If you're new to tailgate grilling check out my how to grill guide where you'll find all the tips and information to ensure that your first outdoor cooking event goes off perfectly.
Having said all of the above, I've just bought a little pizza oven so next time you come back to this page expect to find some pizza recipes too!
Note: - The concept of having a picnic in the car park prior to a rugby match is starting to take off in the UK. I don't particularly like rugby but it is always worthwhile spending some time in the car park and seeing what's on the menu!
Tag Archives: tailgating recipes
There’s nothing to get you into the holiday spirit like this cooler weather and some holiday shopping! This weekend is the perfect time to begin your Christmas shopping and there are several opportunities to support local crafters at the same time.
The Junior League of Murfreesboro hosts its annual Hollyday Marketplace this Saturday, November 5th at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center from 9:00am – 5:00pm. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door. Tickets are available at: CB&S Bank, Ray Hines, Carla & Co, E.Allen, Mimi’s Boutique, Merle Norman, Write Impression, The Greenery, Murfreesboro Toy Company, Reeves-Sain, F&M Bank, Lascassas Drugs, and Mills Family Pharmacy. There will be dozens of local vendors and retailers on hand. This is great way to shop local, plus you’ll know your family and friends are getting one-of-kind gifts!
While you’re at the Avenue, stop by the Belk Charity Sale. From 6 am – 10 am, shoppers at Belk will receive 20 – 70% discounts throughout the store. To participate, you must purchase a $5 ticket to the sale from one of the more than 50 participating nonprofits (who get to keep 100% of the ticket sales) or from the store directly. Your ticket entitles you to $5 off your first purchase including cosmetics and fragrances, 25% off shoes, 60% off fine jewelry, 25% off kids, watches, handbags, dresses, juniors, and much more. In addition, the first 100 customers in each store will receive free Belk gift cards ranging in value from $5 to $100, and a chance to win one of three $1,000 Belk gift cards awarded company-wide.
From 10 am – Noon, Yankee Candle Company (also at the Avenue) will be hosting a Holiday Open Housing featuring giveaways, special offers, and “other surprises.”
If you’re heading to Franklin, you don’t want to miss the 21st Annual Franklin Holiday Craft Bazaar at the Williamson County Ag Expo Area (off exit 61 in Franklin). There will be more than 150 vendor booths plus a photo op with Santa for the little ones. There will also be a classic car expo. Just $2 gets you into both events. The event runs Saturday, Nov. 5 from 9 am – 4 pm and Sunday, Nov. 6 from Noon – 4 pm. Click here for the event flyer.
If you’re not into shopping this weekend, load up your furry friends and head to Nashville for the Nashville Woof Walk Fun Run and Community Dog Walk on Saturday, November 5 from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM at Centennial Park . The event is free. This includes the community dog walk plus lots of family and pet friendly activities including free pet wellness screenings by veterinarians from Banfield® Pet Hospital as well as arts and crafts, a bounce house, face painting, and fitness demos.
And even though MTSU is away this weekend, you can cheer them on Saturday night on Fox Sports South as they take on UT at 6 pm. Go Blue Raiders!
With the cooler weather and no home game, this would be the perfect weekend to gather some friends for a casual dinner or tailgating party (which is exactly what my friend Diane thought of doing)! We can’t wait for some great comfort food and even better company. Check out two of my all time favorite party/appetizer recipes below. Enjoy!
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch salad dressing
1/2 cup FRANK’S® REDHOT® Buffalo Wing Sauce
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cans (12.5 oz. each) SWANSON® White Premium Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained
HEAT oven to 350°F. Place cream cheese into deep baking dish. Stir until smooth.
MIX in salad dressing, Frank’s RedHot Sauce and cheese. Stir in chicken.
BAKE 20 min. or until mixture is heated through stir. Garnish as desired. Serve with crackers or vegetables.
VEGETABLE PARTY DIP
(I have no idea where this one is from…heard it from a friend and I love it…great flavor and so easy to throw together. I serve it with sugar snap peas, carrot sticks, and crackers, but you could use pretty much any vegetables).
Food Hacks for the Best Tailgate Ever
Tailgating is the perfect blend of fanatical sports pride, savory foods that you can't believe were cooked in the back of a truck, and plenty of delicious beer (and stronger stuff). You're entertaining while being entertained, which is part of the reason that nothing compares to spending game day at a tailgate. But pulling off the perfect tailgate takes finesse and know-how -- something seasoned tailgaters are well aware of.
Even the most avid tailgaters are guilty of making this simple "newbie" mistake: they always forget something.
Despite the tailgating checklists and the mountain of things loaded into the car, you're likely to forget to pack something. And there are other common tailgate travails from food going cold too soon to a precious beer bottle being dropped. But don't panic, we've pulled together some great hacks that will have you covered for every disaster ranging from squished chips to a buggy tailgate site.
All you need is a little ingenuity and a bit of inspiration. Your tailgate trash will become highly valued treasure after your read these hacks that will improve your game day.
25 Tailgate Games the Whole Family Can Play
The only thing better than going to the big game is playing one of these tailgate games first.
We know you love football&mdashand we do too&mdashbut let's just take a minute to reflect on what's really the best part about watching the big game: all the tailgating that happens beforehand! There are a few important elements to throwing the perfect tailgate. First, there's the easy tailgating recipe ideas. Once you have perfected the balance between healthy Fall recipes and easy chicken wing recipes, it's time to plan the tailgating activities. And if you're keeping your tailgate festivities at home this year, all of these games are backyard-friendly. We've rounded up our absolute favorites that fit right in with your football decorations. Each has the potential to bring your group closer together while maximizing the excitement of the entire day. And yes, if we do say so ourselves, these games really just might steal the show. Jumbo-size versions of checkers, dominoes, and Connect 4 allow you to play the games you've always loved in a bigger, more inclusive way, while newer additions to the roster of the best tailgate games give you a chance for some fresh fun (think: steel ladderball games and "Trick Tac Toe"). A little (healthy!) competition never hurt anybody in fact, we have a feeling it'll only add to the exhilaration of the day.
13 Awesome (and Massive!) College Tailgate Cocktails
You go all out on game day, so why settle for lukewarm beer? These spiked drinks can be made ahead in mason jars: Just twist on the lids and pack with ice in a cooler, and you've got impressive cocktails that won't interfere with your pregame rituals (body paint, grilling and bean-bag toss, natch). Pace yourselves&mdashthese drinks are enormous. Plus, try our best tailgate food ideas!
You wouldn't expect Jameson &mdash or any whiskey, for that matter &mdash to go so smoothly with lemonade, but together, the two pack one awesome punch, much like the Fightin' Irish.