Strike up the fight song, and dress in your finest (funnest?) team-fan attire! Football season is finally here, and along with the sport comes one of my favorite ways to socialize and entertain – the traditional tailgate party. Whether it’s Friday night high school football, a Saturday college game, or a pro-game on Sunday, a tailgate party sets the perfect mood for the game. While tailgate parties are expected to have yummy food and plentiful adult beverages, there’s no need to exhaust yourself getting ready for the celebration before the big game. You can still score big without wearing yourself out.
It’s a no-brainer to have the theme of your game-day party to be, well, the game! This is easily achieved by incorporating your team colors throughout the tailgate area. Of course there’s tons of team-branded merchandise in the stores and online that is geared specifically toward tailgating; it’s also easy to find great DIY ideas online for making colorful team decorations perfect for a tailgate situation. Garland made of pennants in your team colors, paper products, serving dishes, and more are all easy ways to incorporate your theme.
Although many folks are perfectly content to have something good to eat, a couple of “cold ones” to drink, and a place to sit down and people watch, it’s a good idea to have other activities for those who need more action. Throw in some fun toys and/or big games that translate well to the tailgate situation. Cornhole, Giant Jenga, footballs, and frisbees are all good choices.
One of my favorite things to have at a tailgate is a bushel basket full of blankets and quilts (in team colors if possible) for when the sun goes down and things get chilly. Tailgaters will be happy to have something to wrap up in to keep warm. Guests might even borrow a blanket to take in the stadium when the weather turns cold. This is just one little detail that frozen football fans won’t soon forget.
Ultimately, what your guests will really remember are the delicious foods and drinks you serve. Unfortunately, this is where a lot of people go overboard and make a lot of work for themselves. It’s really not necessary. Here are 3 Bellisari’s recipes that only have 3 or 4 ingredients and are perfect for your next tailgate party (whether you’re outside in a parking lot or at home in the comfort of your own TV room.)
- Saigon Street Pull-Apart Sandwiches – Bellisari's Gourmet Convenience – These pull-apart sandwiches are a hearty addition to any tailgate spread. Small enough to be a finger food, but full of protein, spicy and melty cheese, and wrapped in delicious croissant, these are sure to be a fan favorite! Dip a piece in more of our Saigon Street Sauce for extra points.
- Buffalo Chicken Dip in Phyllo – Bellisari's Gourmet Convenience – Only 4 ingredients, yet oh so flavorful! Way easier than wings, this dip will score big points with the fans!
- Lasagna Dip – Bellisari's Gourmet Convenience – This nod to the delicious Italian dish doesn’t contain pasta, but this dip is loaded with sweet Italian sausage, cream cheese, and our Bellisari's Calabrian Pepper and Sweet Tomato Fennel Spread. With only 3 ingredients, nothing is “out-of-bounds” when it comes to dipping in this yummy recipe, but I usually serve it with tortilla chips or sliced French bread.
One issue when tailgating is often the question of how to keep foods warm? The nice thing about all of these recipes is that they can easily be kept warm in crockpots or on hot plates. Hopefully you have access to electricity or can plug into your car. Happy tailgating from all of us at Bellisari’s!