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Winning Tailgate Party

Created January 10, 2017
Have your tailgate party stand out from all others with a delicious selection of crowd-pleasing foods!

Get ready for the football season with these new tailgating ideas. Whether you love sports or just come for the party, tailgating is the place to be in the fall! 

A little pre-planning will make your day fun for you and your guests. Allow for time to prep in the days prior to the event, and invite your guests to bring a dish or drinks. I used to think I had to do every bit of it myself on order to be the “hostess with the mostess”. Wrong! Guests are delighted to contribute to the festivities.

Start by selecting a theme for your party. I went with the colors of the team we were rooting for. You can incorporate team memorabilia in your decorations. For a season of tailgating, pick themes for each party, like Mexican foods or grilling. A theme makes planning the menu easy. 

Here are a few tips for selecting winning foods for your party:

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Finger Foods. Prepare food that you can stand and eat, such as BLT Pops, savory pie pops filled with mozzarella, tomatoes, bacon and basil. Use a T-shirt cookie cutter and Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crust to create this appetizer on a stick.

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Boozy Food. Alcohol is finding its way outside of drinks and adding a kick to foods. I went a little crazy and included three boozy dishes into this tailgating party. I made sweet and saucy Apple Bourbon Chicken Wings, Chocolate Stout Chili and then ended the meal with individual bags of Maple Bourbon Caramel Corn.

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Prepare Ahead. Select some recipes that can be made ahead. Put the chili in a large thermos or slow cooker; serve in individual jars with corn chips on the bottom and top with cheese. 

Try slow cooker recipes that will cook while you sleep and be ready to go in the morning.

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New Twists on Favorites. Wings are a tailgate staple. These Apple Bourbon Chicken Wings are sweet and tangy. Serve the sauce on the side for dipping.

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Football-Themed Foods. Add fun with football-shaped food. I turned Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios® Bars into mini footballs by topping them with chocolate ganache and piping on white laces with Betty Crocker® cookie icing.

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