Tailgate Time – Score Big Taste with Homestyle Ranch Cornbread Muffins & Veggie Salad

Even though I’m married to an ex-high school quarterback and am mothering our pint-sized progeny who can really tear it up on the turf himself, I don’t know squat about the rules of football. Sure, I can tell when a touchdown is scored and can sense when something is going badly based on the crowd’s rowdy reaction. Other than these obvious tip-offs, I’m a failure at football fandom -- except when it comes to tailgating.

Whether under the glow of the stadium lights in an NFL parking lot on at the picnic tables at a Pop Warner scrimmage, I can turn any pre-game gathering into an epic, epicurean event. To me, enjoying good food with great friends and family not only provides fortification for several hours of exhausting screaming and foot-stomping but also serves as a way to create long-lasting memories, even when the actual game turns out to be not so memorable. My husband might ask, “Honey, remember that game where you made the pulled-pork quesadillas with that awesome mango sauce?” or a friend might recall how we had to fight the kids off to get our fair share of homemade cinnamon kettle corn. Even if the game was lost, our stomachs always score! This year, I’m kicking off football season right with a delicious tailgate meal inspired by some of my favorite Litehouse Foods products.

Ready To Go on Serving Tray at Tailgate Party Ready To Go on Serving Tray at Tailgate Party


I’m ready to rumble and stop those hunger grumbles with a no-fork-required main dish of Roast Beef on Homestyle Ranch Cornbread Sliders. The “buns” of these sliders are made with cornbread muffins infused with down-home flavor and moistness from Homestyle Ranch Dip and little bits of onion and herb goodness from the Instantly Fresh freeze-dried line of herbs.  So easy to prep and transport before the party starts, I simply slice each muffin in half and slip in deli roast beef and Havarti cheese before serving. My recipe for the Homestyle Ranch Cornbread Muffins is super simple to make and you can follow your own taste preferences when it comes to the fillings – roast beef, turkey, pulled pork and a variety of cheeses are all delicious options.

Crunchy Rainbow Salad Pairs Well with Homestyle Ranch Cornbread Sliders Crunchy Rainbow Salad Pairs Well with Homestyle Ranch Cornbread Sliders


It seems potato chips, popcorn, nuts and other salty snacks are often go-to munchies at tailgate parties, probably because they pair so well with beer. I’m not nixing these weekend splurges, but I always like to serve a minimum of one healthy side dish as well.  A no-fuss, no-recipe idea that stays fresh in my cooler until ready to eat is a crunchy veggie salad. I mix my favorite artisanal cheese crumbles and nuts with a bag of pre-prepared, shredded raw vegetables found in the produce section. Top with a drizzle of salad dressing (this week I’m craving Litehouse Food’s lower-calorie Fuji Apple Vinaigrette) and – voilà – a colorful, crunchy and crazy-fit side dish appears. To eat easily while mixing and mingling with tailgate guests, serve this salad in small clear plastic cups – this helpful tip makes clean up a snap too. Enjoy the food, enjoy the fun and let the games begin!

Homestyle Ranch Cornbread Sliders Make a Great Tailgate Entree Homestyle Ranch Cornbread Sliders Make a Great Tailgate Entree


Homestyle Ranch Cornbread Muffins

Serves 6 | Finish in 30 minutes

Football season is here! Get ready to rumble (and answer hunger grumbles) at your next tailgate party with this easy recipe for Homestyle Cornbread Muffin Sliders. Pair with crunchy, colorful shredded veggies topped with your favorite artisanal cheese crumbles, nuts and salad dressing for nutritious game-day noshing.


1 cups stone-ground cornmeal,
1/2 cup all-purpose flour,
1/2 cup whole wheat flour,
3 Tbsp sugar,
2 tsp baking powder,
1/4 tsp baking soda,
5 Tbsp butter melted,
2 large eggs lightly beaten,
1 cup Litehouse Food’s Homestyle Ranch Dip,
1 Tbsp Instantly Fresh Red Onions,
1 Tbs Instantly Fresh Chives,
2 tsp Instantly Fresh Parsley,


Preheat oven to 400F. Spray 12-count muffin tin with baking spray.

In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.

In a small bowl, add melted butter (cooled), eggs, ranch dip, Instantly Fresh Red Onions, Instantly Fresh Chives and Instantly Fresh Parsley; whisk well.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients; stir just to combine, taking care not to over mix.

Spoon batter evenly among 12 muffin tins that have been coated with baking spray.
Bake on center rack in 400F oven until turning golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center pulls clean, about 15 minutes.

Let cool in tins for 5 minutes, turn onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

Serve alone or slice in half and fill with the sandwich ingredients of your choosing.

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