Excitement drives this gridiron gatherings tailgating ideas and recipes post down the field of football season is here dreams.
Pregame good times celebrated at home or on location to roast, toast, grill and gab before the game is almost as exciting as the game itself.
The return of high school, college and NFL football is not without a bit of mask-proof of vaccination controversy this year, but at least the return of high school, college, and NFL football with fans welcomed to attend under stadium and state guidelines with safety in mind is happening.
The football nation is gearing up for Friday night lights-Saturday gridiron gatherings-NFL Sunday soirees at stadiums and at home (yes, Virginia, there is an at-home option).
It is said that football is a religion, and the South the mother church of the football faithful.
Evidence of this is seen on any home game Saturday at Tiger Stadium.
Now, we all know football means fall and fall as a theme opens up the field to easy and affordable statement making food, beverage, and decorating choices to build upon.
Lighting sets a festive mood, especially at a late afternoon or evening tailgating event.
Outdoor candle lanterns paired with LED votives and pillars advance the tailgating area into chic dinner party territory, and why not!
3 Pack Candle Lights Flameless Wax LED Pillar Candles with Remote Control
You’re not locked into a particular theme other than casual yet elegant football tailgating finery.
You’ve got people to see, dishes to taste, and socializing to do.
Hit the remote and forget about it.
Shop flea markets and online swap shop sites for a new to you light fixture ready to become a lighting focal point to add to your tailgating area.
Give the fixture a good cleaning and perhaps a quick coat of spray paint, remove all the existing wiring, retrofit with LED pillar candles (easy peasy), and adorn with natural elements, string lights, mesh fabric in team colors, or a fall festive garland.
6ft. Pumpkin, Pinecone & Leaf Garland by Ashland®
Planning these ultimate pregame meet, greet and eat get togethers is part of the game day experience- a social event that counts as a prime style occasion for decoristas to seize the design and decorating opportunity to show your personal style.
Tailgaters are known for bringing their A-game to the game day tailgating tablescape.
The Grove at Ole Miss – Au Courant Floral Creation
Decoristas know how to style and set space and table by taking advantage of the season’s offerings.
Late summer sees sunflowers, lush greenery, magnolia leaves, and seasonal fruits and vegetables ripe for the decorating picking.
Corn husk wreath around the cake stand, candles, or a platter of corn tamales- how cute!
Build on the for the fall of it all theme by decorating with fall festive pine cones, pumpkins, vines, branches, gourds and flowers.
I can’t think of a better tailgating table runner foundation than this synthetic grass table runner.
Juvale Synthetic Grass Table Runner
Seasonal flowers, natural or spray painted branches, magnolia leaves or seasonal stems paired with vintage or in the style of vintage trophy or champagne bucket vases make impressive centerpiece presentations.
Fresh and festive flower bargains afford me the opportunity to load up on blooms of beauty.
Pick up a sunflower bouquets ($4.87 each) at Walmart.
Pop in eucalyptus stems in fall or team colors paired with gathered cotton team print fabric- fabulous!
Pack a plastic urn with magnolia leaves
Plastic urns are lightweight and easy to haul around game to game, and magnolia leaves a wonderfully inexpensive-natural-beautiful choice of centerpiece accent.
Mums and pumpkins, the unofficial official season and flower of fall and football, remind me of homecoming court corsages and crisp fall game day afternoons and evenings.
Cut out a pumpkin, add mums in team or seasonal colors, and voilà; fall is on the table.
Paired together as focal point centerpieces, mums and pumpkins naturally create the look of the season.
An easy DIY pumpkin centerpiece project is a couple bags of moss and an application of spray adhesive away from becoming a dazzling seasonal stunner.
The DIY project from Better Homes & Gardens adds succulents cuttings to the moss, and although lovely, I prefer the natural simple elegance achieved with just the moss.
Faux pumpkins easily become decorative darlings when painted in team colors and paired with a vintage style football.
Bargain bins, dollar, thrift, and big box stores and end of season clearance sales can be tailgating tabletop treasure troves.
Give the attic or storage closet a once over for football themed oldies but goodies to put to decorating use.
Leaktite 5 Gallon LSU College Bucket
Home Depot can’t seem to keep these 5 gal. LSU college buckets in stock at this time of year.
They transport well and qualify as a…
Pack, cart and store carryall.
Ultimate gift bag for the sports fan.
I lean towards selecting tablewares and serving pieces made from natural materials or with the look of for their durability and focal point factor.
You get a whole lotta bang for your buck as we are entering into the fall and holiday season where natural pieces and neutral colors complement and reign entertaining supreme.
Wheat Copper Pastry Server and Serving Spoon
Picnic Time® Kickoff Cutting Board & Serving Tray
There’s a time and a place for paper and plastic, and tailgating is the time for paper plates, napkins, and plastic drinkware.
Stacking draws the eye and frees up valuable tabletop space.
Brown or white paper lunch bags filled with snacks like popcorn, crackers, chips, and pretzels mixes and placed in baskets or on trays conquers the issue of a more visually appetizing way to present snacks and goodies in individual servings.
Now let’s look at a few more tailgating ideas and recipes.
Show your football in the fall spirit with this in the spirit of fall spirit.
Delish shows us this easy recipe and serving presentation idea for Apple Pie Vodka.
Mainstays 23-Ounce Football Cooler Glasses, Set of 6
Fellow tailgaters invited to join in the pregame ritual of gathering together over food and drink love to bring something to the tailgating table.
When our Callin’ Baton Rouge tailgating friends ask what can they bring my stock answer is fried chicken.
Pick up a basket, box or bucket of this tailgating food favorite and bring the delicious and the easy to the table.
Click on the link for the written instructions for Oven-Baked Texas Trash Bean Dip.
Lemony Spinach-Artichoke Dip Recipe
Pack up individual boxes for guests and serve along with individual dippin’ fixin’s such as crostini, chips, and/or crackers.
Lemony Spinach-Artichoke Dip Recipe
1 (14-oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 envelope dry vegetable soup mix
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 (10-oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
Assorted corn or tortilla chips
Stir together first 7 ingredients in a large bowl.
Drain thawed spinach well, pressing between paper towels; stir into artichoke mixture. Cover and chill 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
Serve with assorted corn or tortilla chips.
Kevin Belton’s Cookin’ Louisiana
Kevin Belton cooks Louisiana, and the parishes of The Pelican State love the taste of home.
Louisiana cooking hits the flavor button with its unique blends and mixes of spices, sauces, and syrups.
Garden & Gun – Photo by Eugenia Uhl
Kevin Belton’s recipe for Bacon Popcorn Drizzled with Creole-Spiced Butter is a marriage of unexpected flavor combinations resulting in a c’est si bon taste treat.
Back to the individual serving appetizers school of thought, after studying the staged image of the popcorn, loving the rustic, rusty, and fabulous decorative tin piece, it dawned on me how easy it would be to replicate the look with a new PVC ceiling tile.
Consider it a tailgating table investment piece, although the price per tile is under $20.
Milan 2 ft. x 2 ft. Glue Up PVC Ceiling Tile in Graphite Gold
Still love this option, too.
Southern Living – Photo by Greg Dupree
Unique sets an impressive table.
Stromboli is a pizza inspired full meal appetizer of epic eats proportions, and this recipe for Stromboli from Julie’s Eats & Treats will score with the crowd.
LSU Game Day Gumbo.
Great Northern Bean and Chicken Soup
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon minced garlic
2 cans Great Northern beans
1½ cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 32 ounce box chicken broth
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 cups water
Melt the butter in Dutch oven (or just toss the butter in with the veggies like I do). Add the sliced carrots, chopped celery and chopped onion. Sauté until onions become translucent.
Add shredded chicken, beans, bay leaf, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir to incorporate all the flavor goodness together. Add water, bouillon cube and chicken broth bringing to a boil.
Once a good bubbling boil is reached, reduce heat to low and allow soup to simmer for 45-60 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf and serve with crackers or cheesy corn cornbread.
Baskets come in as handy dandy serving and displaying option crackers, breads, and cookies.
Pumpkin Rattan Basket by Ashland®
Large Willow Basket by Ashland®
Sausage Pumpkin Soup
1 pound bulk pork sausage
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 cans (14-½ ounces each) chicken broth
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
½ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
In a large skillet, cook sausage and onion until sausage is no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a 4-qt. slow cooker.
Add the broth, pumpkin, syrup, pie spice, garlic powder and nutmeg. Cover and cook on low until flavors are blended, 3-4 hours. Stir in milk; heat through.
Serve with croutons, crackers 0r cornbread.
-Taste of Home
Philly Cheesesteak Recipe from Valerie’s Kitchen is gameday perfection.
What’s a tailgate without a good hamburger?
The seasoning trick begins with plenty of salt and pepper.
Cook the hamburger patties low and slow, throw in a handful or two of thinly sliced onions, perhaps some mushrooms, and go full-on flavor from there.
Have any of you tried a spoonful of Private Selection Hot Pepper Bacon Jam atop your hamburger patty?
Your taste buds will thank you.
Better Homes & Gardens – Photo by Blaine Moats
Apples and cinnamon and brown sugar, oh my!
The taste of fall and flavor suited to tailgating found in this recipe for Spiced Apple Hobo Packs.
Inquiring Chef’s recipe for Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Bars is fourth quarter (dessert) on the board delicious.
This recipe for Moist Pumpkin Bread with Maple Glaze from Butternut Baker includes pumpkin, maple glaze made with real maple syrup, and a crunchy streusel so rich and so delicious it will become your new fall taste treat obsession.
From pan to pack tote to platter, cookies, sweet breads, cakes, and brownies travel well and satisfy the sweet tooth of big kids who tailgate.
Dessert and coffee go together like football and tailgating.
Make mine a cup of Community Coffee- a Louisiana tailgating tradition.
Distinctive and delicious tailgating ideas and recipes sets the pregame party in motion to score an entertaining touchdown.