Saturday, November 13, 2010
Even though my beloved Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets aren't having a noteworthy football season, your favorite team may be. And even if they aren't, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't get together with friends to watch college football on Saturdays! I am firmly in the camp of preferring tailgates over the actual game, so I am always excited to plan out menu items for our tailgate. And while we're on the subject, let me share a few things about or awesome tailgate.
Since we all went to Georgia Tech (read: we're all super nerds), we prepare a spreadsheet at the beginning of each football season for food assignments. Two couples are responsible for meat, and that sets the tone for the remaining items: snack, appetizer, bread, sides, and dessert. Back in our rowdier days we had people assigned to signature cocktails as well, and they brought a signature cocktail that was usually related to the opposing team. I absolutely love our tailgate group, and I really look forward to game day. Joey and I are the first of our group to have a child, so Caroline always gets a lot of attention from our friends. And of course she eats it right up. At the last tailgate, we had her face painted. I thought they would just paint a little yellow jacket or GT on her cheek, but we walked away with this craziness:
Anyway, back to the subject at hand. If you are looking to host a game day party, I thought I would share some fun menu ideas. Chili is always a great choice at this time of year. It is easy to make for a crowd, low maintenance, and there are so many ways to dress it up. I built this menu around my new favorite chili, the pork and chorizo chili. Other great chili recipes that are worth checking out are the crockpot white bean chili and Chicken Chili. If you want to offer a second option, this Texas Tortilla Soup would make a great addition as well. Put out a big pot of chili, some sour cream, shredded cheese, lime wedges, jalapenos, etc, and let everyone customize their own bowl.
I always like to have some snacks and appetizers out when guests arrive, and its nice to have something to snack on during commercial breaks. Might I suggest ham and cheddar pretzel bites, roasted tomatillo salsa, and grilled BBQ chicken wings?
On to the main course! I am in love with this pork and chorizo chili. So smoky and spicy, with lots of great flavor. If you are looking for a vegetarian option, beer-glazed black beans would definitely be well-received!
Served with Jalapeno-Cheddar Cornbread and a side salad, this makes a great meal (though if I'm being honest, most guys won't eat the salad when also presented with chips, salsa, and wings).
And on to dessert, my favorite part of any meal! Cupcakes and brownies are always great options for tailgate and game-day food. I think that the s'mores cupcakes and Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes would keep anyone happy!
Have plenty of beer on tap, a big tv for game-watching, and you're set to go! Enjoy your weekend!