Tailgating 101 (According to yours truly…)

As I mentioned previously, fall is upon us. We are on the CUSP of fall if you will. With that said, I think we should talk about something very close to my heart…

Tailgating!

Convert the back of your car into a fully-stocked bar with a set of shelves.

Just the idea of tailgating is genius. An excuse to get together with all your friends-OUTDOORS-wearing somewhat coordinated outfits (team colors, purple and gold y’all!), koozies, brews, food, and then of course the main attraction: FOOTBALL! For real though, I’d be lying to myself and all of you if I didn’t admit that there were a handful of times in college in which I skipped the football game altogether. Usually to nap and rally so I could be a real, live human later that night. I’ve always been a fan of my beauty rest, what can I say?!

So I thought today I’d put together a master post regarding all things tailgating. Selfishly, I will probably post a lot of things helping me to get ready for JMU Homecoming 2014, so get ready for a lot, a LOT, of tailgating inspiration.

Food.

Food is key for my tailgating experience (and I think everyone’s…) When you have a group of 20 people crowded around your car drinkin’ for a few hours you’re going to want to be sure you have the rations to keep their bellies full and happy. That’s why food is an INTEGRAL part of any decent tailgating experience.

Below you’ll find some of the recipes I’ll be putting to good use at JMU Homecoming this year.

https://i0.wp.com/recipeschmessipe.blog.com/files/2012/07/sliders1.jpg

http://recipeschmessipe.blog.com/2012/07/30/kings-hawaiian-baked-ham-swiss-sandwiches/

We’ve made this recipe but subbed out the Worcestershire sauce for Terryaki, just based on our personal preference. We also didn’t add poppy seeds, because that just seemed necessary. This is delicious and a great recipe for transport that you wouldn’t really need to have warm for the tailgate to make it delicious. Two big thumbs up on this one.

Bake until cheese melty.

http://gamedayr.com/lifestyle/recipes/bacon-cheddar-ranch-pull-apart-bread-tailgate-recipe-86783/

So this one is a personal favorite. I LOVE, LOVE, this recipe. It’s so easy that really once you make it, you’ll never need to follow a recipe for it again. I don’t make this very often because of how much I love it and my severe lack of self control when it comes to consuming an ungodly amount of carbs…it’s on that level. Some changes I’ve made to this recipe includes not using freshly cooked bacon…I used one of those handy little bags of Oscar Mayer bacon bits for salads. Works just as good, way more convenient (it may add quite a bit of sodium, but honestly if you’re eating this you shouldn’t be worrying about dietary restrictions). Another difference would be that I just grab one of those bags of the blended Mexican cheese. Again, just personal preference. Finally-this is a big one-I dare you to try swapping the ranch packet for a dill one. The first time I made this the grocery store was out of ranch so I tried the dill packet on a whim and I ended up loving it way more than the ranch version I later made. (Ummm can you tell how much I love this by all the notes I have? Sheesh.)

Sausage-Cheddar Balls

http://www.marthastewart.com/326848/sausage-cheddar-balls

So this is a new one that I haven’t personally tried out (but, I mean, it’s Martha so how could she steer us wrong?). Cheesy sausage balls are a Christmas-time family tradition, but 1. I’m not about to put that secret family recipe online, and 2. I don’t know it! Haha. But, if this recipe is as successful as my family’s, these should be a perfect tailgating staple. My great-grandma would mail these in a ziploc bag, within a package, to my family, all cooked and ready to go. All you had to do was pop them in the microwave for a minute to get them ready to go again! With that said, at a tailgate you won’t have a microwave so a hotplate or something similar should work just as good. If you don’t have something along those lines, the success rate of these cheesy, delicious sausage balls will depend directly on how drunk your tailgaters are hahaha.

Crispy crunchy goodness!

http://www.examiner.com/article/christmas-snack-recipes-ranch-oyster-crackers-recipe

This is another recipe that I haven’t tried yet. I”m not sure if I would even call this a real “recipe,” as it’s just seasoning on crackers, but hey…it sounds delicious! I definitely think I’ll be making a big batch of this easy mix to bring to the tailgate.

As far as beverages go…I’m not sure about y’all but I generally stick to beer at a tailgate.

WITH THAT SAID…I may have to bring the ingredients for this and mix it up:

http://gardenandgun.com/article/southern-staple-bourbon-and-ginger

It just sounds too good to pass up. Ginger soda and bourbon? Two of my favorite things combined into one amazing fall cocktail. It’s worth a shot!

Attire.

I always thought it was cute how at a lot of Southern schools they get very dolled up for game day. Let me just say that there is a distinct difference as to what is expected at different schools.

Insert tangent: I just discovered this site but sadly it’s really only for those schools south of the Mason-Dixon (Plus Boston College and minus JMU). Still though, some very cute stuff! http://tailgatequeen.com/ End tangent.

JMU Homecoming is the day after Halloween this year. It will be chilly. I will not be wearing a cute, little purple and gold dress. Or anything in dress form, for that matter. My attire will most likely be a jersey over a hoddie, jeans or leggings (Yea, I’m that girl. I work out almost every day, so if I wanna wear leggings, I will), boots, probably gloves, and if I’m feeling lazy in the hair stylin’ department-as is usually the case-I’ll go with a hat. Basically as warm as possible is the M.O. I am a huge baby when it comes to being cold (sweater in 70-degree weather over here), so the name of the game is warmth. Warmth and comfort.

This girl is doing it right. Cute. Comfy. Warm. http://belleoftheball45.blogspot.com/2014/09/saturday-night-football.html

Bonus: when it’s so cold you have to bundle for these things, that leaves plenty of places to hide airplane bottles. JUST KIDDING, I did not say that. I’m an adult.

Pulling it all together.

Personally I procrastinate a lot, which has led to a lot of browsing the internet. A lot of perusing buzzfeed, reddit, just the whole internet really. Well, on one of these quests with no real destination, I came across this gem:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/emofly/tailgating-hacks-that-are-borderline-genius?sub=2580416_1598520#g4tvg5

And if none of this really gets you ready for tailgating and the good ole’ alma mater…check out this bloggers tailgates. They really are some of the cutest and should definitely get you inspired!

http://www.ohmygoodnessgracious.com/2013/01/14/2012-tailgates-in-review/

Go Dukes!

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