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
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
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