Tailgating Season

With my five kids out of the house I don’t cook like I used to.  Hubby and I don’t need all that food in the house (or so I tell him!)  I figure I cooked the first thirty years, dh can cook the next thirty and then we’ll renegotiate :).  But there are times when I do cook…A LOT.  Holidays and tailgating seasons have my kitchen bustling.

If you haven’t noticed, it’s football season which means seven weekends in the fall I’m the tailgating queen.

I don’t have to cook as much for the games as I used to.  When the kids were in college we’d have thirty or forty hungry college kids descend on the tailgate.  Now we’re usually down to about half that.  This Saturday, however will be different.  It’s a night game, which means we’ll be tailgating from six AM until the game starts at 5 and expecting a large group.

On the menu this week is party mix, popcorn chicken, hamburger/cheese dip, smoked turkey, caramel bars, crab bagels, dip, meat/cheese/crackers, spicy pretzels and pepperoni bread.

Now that some of my kids have their own kitchens 🙂 they help out by bringing a dish each.  Which means my preparation is down, which I love!  But right now I have two pans of bars in the oven and five grilled turkeys to carve before bedtime….

I’m always on the look out for ideas for tailgating treats.  Anyone have any favorites foods/recipes ideal for those game get togethers?

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13 Responses to Tailgating Season

  1. Leanne Banks says:

    Kylie, you are one amazing woman! 5 grilled turkeys to carve before bedtime? Sheesh! I’m fond of ghiradelli double fudge brownies. They are right for every occasion.:) xo, Leanne

  2. kylie brant says:

    Leanne, hard to go wrong with brownies! I do a bar recipe with butter pecan cake mix base, melted caramels, chocolate chips and bits of brickle. To die for 🙂

  3. Cindy Gerard says:

    5 grilled turkeys? Are you serious???? What is WRONG with you, woman? It’s not like you don’t have a full time job, books to write and a life to live. 5 turkeys? really. Makes me tired just thinking about it.
    As for tail gating ideas – mine would be something like chunks of Italian bread and dipping oil. The lazy woman’s tail gait style.

  4. lois greiman says:

    Holy shorts, Kylie, my only advice is to play dead!!

  5. kylie brant says:

    They were small turkeys, Cindy. Those 4 pound smoked turkey breasts? Wonderful on the grill.

    Keeping things warm was a problem until we purchased a gas generator. So we haul that and I plug in 4 or 5 crock pots and we have a buffet 🙂

  6. kylie brant says:

    LOL, Lois. Aside from the cooking (and hauling all the stuff, and getting up at 3 AM to go) it really is a fun time hanging out with family and friends. But at the end of the season I’m usually plenty ready for it to be over.

  7. CateS says:

    We all make ourselves sick with Texas caviar [black beans [rinsed], canned sweet corn [drained], black eye peas [drained], chopped tomatoes, cilantro, chopped green onions, chopped red onion and about 8 oz. of good italian dressing [ or you can do your own spicy vinegrette]. Mix & chill overnight if you can to blend the flavors.. serve with chips… lots of chips…
    Oh and the ever present – Velvetta cheese melted with a can of Rotel mixed in…
    We try to tailgate kinda simple [it helps that no one has college aged kids to feed!!] so we can stay away from the generator deal… Oh…. college kids – equals brats in beer with lots of fixins’

  8. kylie brant says:

    Cate, you’re right about the brats! We hauled the grill along last time. Had breakfast burritos in the morning and brats after the game. I’ve seen the Texas caviar you describe…might have to whip some of that up sometime!

  9. Pamk says:

    caremal bars those sounds yummy. How bout posting the recipe pretty please.

    • kylie brant says:

      Sure Pam, here it is:

      Mix one caramel cake mix with 1 stick of butter (melted) and 1/3 cup of evaporated milk. Press half of the mixture to the bottom of a greased 13 x 9 pan. Cook on 350 for 6 minutes.

      Unwrap 1 pkg. Kraft caramels. Mix caramels with 1/3 evaporated milk over low heat until smooth. Pour over the bars. Scatter 6 oz. of chocolate chips over the top. Scatter half a bag of bits of brickle or heath toffee pieces over the top of that.

      Take the remaining mixture and drop small bits over the top of the bars until mixture is gone. Scatter remaining brickle pieces on top. Cook on 350 for 20 minutes.

  10. Um…tailgating. Is that, like, following too close to the car in front of you?

  11. kylie brant says:

    No, Kathleen, much more fun 🙂 It’s a *reason* to get up early for a football game. ‘Cuz when it comes to the game, I’m pretty much outta there after halftime 🙂

  12. Laurie G says:

    Our tailgates have hamburgers and brats with lot’s of grilled onions, 7 layer salad, corn on the cob and zuchinni slices on the grill, with chocolate chip cookies and Mississippi Mud bars for dessert. Wine coolers and beer for beverages.

    Your tailgate sounds very gourmet!! Bon Appetit!

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