Most sports fans are equally passionate about their tailgates and their team.  What are some of the top foods served up at tailgates?  While fan favorites vary, here are some of the most popular foods served up at tailgate celebrations:

·         Chili

·         Wings

·         “Stuff on Sticks”

·         Burgers

·         Sausage

·         Pulled Pork

·         Ribs

·         Nachos / Tacos

·         Layered Dips

·         Potato Salad

·         Brownies (cut ‘em into fun football shapes!)

Tips for a great tailgate:

1.      The Menu:  Plan a menu that takes advantage of foods in peak season, from grilled zucchini early in the tailgate season, to chili topped potatoes later in the season. Also, plan your menu to balance out your “labor”.  Don’t include too many dishes that require extensive time or effort.  Balance more complex dishes with simple to prepare items or pick up pre-made items (such as Meijer deli meat trays, vegetable trays, salads and fruit platters).

2.      Offer a variety of foods:  Include several healthy options and add in a few indulgent treats for fun.  Balance high calories foods, such as bratwurst, with fresh vegetables and light dips.

3.      Have snacks available:  Fruit, nuts, crackers, cheese, chips, dips, hummus; you get the idea.  Make sure that food is available whenever your tailgating guests are enjoying alcoholic beverages.  For a lighter sweet treats, serve sliced Michigan Apples with light caramel apple dip (coat apple slices with pineapple juice to prevent browning).

4.      Keep it safe:  Hot foods need to be kept hot—a propane or charcoal grill can help to keep foods warm outdoors.  Keep cold foods chilled using coolers packed with plenty of ice.  Store coolers in a shaded area (even when it’s cool outside—the heat of the sun can raise the temperature inside the cooler).

5.      Have plenty of non-alcoholic options available.  Water, carbonated beverages, tea (iced or hot), and coffee drinks are great options to alcohol.  Try preparing special beverages for your guests, such as a simple blend of pink lemonade (2/3 cup) with cranberry juice (1/3 cup).

Game Day Recipes:

These simple and delicious recipes are sure to please any hungry crowd!

 

Fiesta 7 Layer Dip

 

Serves 14 (1/2 cup servings)