Friday, August 30, 2013

Tomorrow's Tasty Tailgate

You're tailgating tomorrow, right?

I certainly hope so.

Even if you loathe college football (in which case we probably can't be friends) and head home before kick-off, there's no better way to spend Saturday mornings in September, October, and November than lounging in a lawn chair, beer in hand, surrounded by friends.

This Southern Living Magazine article, which highlights what they call a "TAMU Aggies Tailgating Menu" (howdy cocktails, spicy queso dip, layered spicy black bean dip, Twelfth Man wings, beef fajitas and pico de gallo, and oven-baked churros) - inspired me to share a few of my favorite tried-and-true tailgating recipes.

Irish Coffee
Start your morning off right with a hot cup of coffee and a shot of Bailey's. This beverage is of course best on cool mornings, but I'm sure an iced version would hit the spot when the temperatures on Saturdays mornings reach 85 degrees by 7am.
Breakfast Tacos
A few years ago I learned that scrambled eggs can be cooked on the grill (in a pan, of course - don't just throw those babies directly onto the grill), and since then I love to start my tailgates with bacon, egg, and cheese - with peppers and onions thrown in there with the eggs while they're cooking - breakfast tacos.
Blueberry Power Muffins
If cooking eggs on the grill is too complicated for you, make these muffins ahead of time and bring them along. They're delicious, and they'll give you the boost you'll need to win that mid-morning beer pong tournament.

Appetizers/Side Dishes
Corn & Walnut Dip
I've taken this dip to countless tailgates and never have I NOT been asked to share the recipe. It's amazing.
BBQ Potato Salad
This bbq-infused twist on traditional potato salad goes over well with even the pickiest eaters and pairs perfectly with grilled burgers, chicken, pork, and vegetables.
Hot Chili Dip
When the weather's warm, stick with the corn and walnut dip. But when the weather turns cool, opt for this savory chili dip instead. I wonder when the weather will turn cool...

Main Dishes
Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
If grilled hamburgers, hotdogs, and/or chicken wings don't fit your tailgating style, give this tenderloin (the recipe explains how to cook the tenderloin on the grill - perfect for tailgating - but it can of course be cooked in the oven as well) a whirl.

Oatmeal Chocolate Fudge Cookie Bars
This one's for all the chocolate lovers out there. Make this dessert. Now. And then try not to devour the entire pan before the tailgate starts tomorrow morning.
A slightly lighter dessert for those of you who don't crave and gravitate toward chocolate in the same way I do. These bars could also be made with strawberries or blueberries; go with your favorite berry, or choose what's in season - either way, you won't regret making this delicious treat!

If you start shopping, dicing, cooking, and baking now, you'll still have time to whip up a couple of these recipes before tomorrow morning. And while you're at it, let me know where you tailgate - I'd love to stop by and join you for a blueberry power muffin or an oatmeal chocolate fudge cookie bar.

Happy college football season, friends!

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