Tis the season for Fall weather, warm sweaters, boots, football...and good tailgating food! In my family, every Saturday is a marathon of watching good football( Go BC Eagle and Buckeyes) and eating good food. Now, for someone like me, this always comes with a little bit of trepidation as to what I can actually eat at a tailgate and what I know will not be good for my stomach.
After years and years ( 26 to be exact) of eating however I like, and anticipating and dreaming about Saturdays when the food is abundant and my stomach is constantly full, you can imagine my despair when I finally realized that gluten and dairy do not agree with me. I was determined to not let these new found revelations affect my love of tailgating season though! Instead I channeled my energy into finding good recipes for everyone to enjoy and my stomach to thank me for later!
Thinking about your audience is vital when creating food for big amounts of people. While it can be tempting to try to bring your recipe for hummus and crudité...most likely people are not going to gravitate towards these foods when faced with the options of chili, chicken wings, nachos, and baked goods galore!
Remember to always choose a recipe that goes with the theme of your event. For tailgating that means chicken nuggets, sweet and sour meatballs, corn bread and chili, buckeyes, brownies, pumpkin bread, muffins etc...
As my family does this each weekend, my goal is to create two recipes a week that I feel will both appeal to the masses and still make my tummy happy! This past week was a night game, that means that the food can be catered towards "dinner inspired" items. I knew someone was bringing chili, so I thought to myself, what goes better with chili than corn bread! Now I can't eat corn, so these muffins are corn bread by name and taste only, there is no actual corn in them (tricked you!) Then I knew that I wanted to bring a protein (more for myself than anyone else) so I turned to my trusty chicken nugget recipe. This recipe is wonderful for large crowds and its a great munching food (perfect for tailgating!).
The Friday of the game, as I was sitting at a work event, I thought to myself, what do I want to do for a drink? I am a wine drinker normally, but that is not the best for tailgating, and I had a bottle of champagne sitting in my refrigerator...so I did what any normal human being would have done and made a spiked fall punch with a healthy dose of bourbon to warm me on the cold October night! It was a crowd pleaser and everyone asked for the recipe. You can find it under the drink section of my recipes.
Lastly, as I was sitting pondering about what else I might make, I started to crave peanut butter... I mean crave as in down right yearning for a spoonful of smooth, creamy, slightly sweet peanut butter. This craving led me to think of all things peanut butter, which reminded me of the buckeyes that people always bring to tailgates ( what? isn't that how your brain thinks too?) I knew I wanted to alter the recipe to make it more friendly to both my stomach and also the kids at the tailgate that are allergic to peanuts, so I made sunbutter buckeyes. Filled with protein, coated in a decedent, dark, dairy free chocolate, these buckeyes are better than the real thing...and better for you!
Remember that although tailgating season can be tough, it does not need to be overwhelming! Check out these recipes and many more on my recipe section to help you on your next day of football and fun!