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5 Tailgating Ideas

15 Oct

source: shutterstock.com

Tailgating season is underway!  No matter if it’s your favorite NFL, college or high school game, tailgating can be a lot of fun.  Besides bringing your folding chairs and favorite drinks, there are other ways to have some fun before the game.  Here are a few ideas to inspire your next tailgate

Host a Chili Cook-Off Football Treat Cups

Why not have everyone bring their own chili and host a cook-off?  Have everyone vote on their favorite chili and the prize could be anything from a homemade trophy to a game souvenir.  You can serve your chili in these fun new tailgate chili cups which also make clean-up so easy! Here’s my favorite go-to recipe that has won me a few cook-off’s:

CHILI RECIPE

1 lb. ground beef (I suggest 90% lean so you don’t have to drain the fat)

1 lb. ground turkey

1 packet McCormick’s chili seasoning

1 packet McCormick’s Hot chili seasoning

1 green bell pepper – diced

1 red bell pepper – diced

1 onion – diced

2 tsp garlic

2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes

1 can light kidney beans (drained)

1 can dark kidney beans (drained)

optional: red pepper flakes

Directions: Mix beef and turkey in a crock pot with onion, garlic and chili seasoning packets.  Cook until meat is brown (keep chopping up and mixing meat with seasonings).  Test to make sure meat reaches 165 degrees.   Add remaining ingredients and let cook on low for 4-5 hours.  Stir every so often.


Play Baggo / Corn Hole

photo credit: sbnation.com

Who doesn’t love a fun game of corn hole / baggo?  You can buy boards for your favorite team or even make your own and paint them. Baggo is great fun for sports fans of ALL ages (and keeps the little ones busy while you cheer on your team!).


Set up a Taco Bar / Walking Tacos

photo credit: bartaco.com

A taco bar is a great way enjoy portable eats before the game.  You can either cook and bring the food to set-up or you could order it to-go from your favorite taco place.  Keep warm foods in crock pots and cold foods (like cheese and sour cream) in coolers before set-up.  An alternative is to set-up a walking taco bar. Get a box (from a warehouse store) of small bags of Fritos® and you pour chili, cheese and other toppings into the bag.  Some topping ideas include squeezable sour cream, green onions, salsa, etc.  The nice part is you can walk around with your “walking taco” with no mess!  Here’s a great recipe: https://tastesbetterfromscratch.com/fritos-taco-salad/


Personalize your Party Supplies

We Tailgate Harder Than Your Team Party Collection

Impress your guests with personalized tailgate party supplies you can coordinate with your favorite team color.  You can make set-up and clean-up a breeze with personalized plates, napkins, cups, koozies and much more.


Set-up a Bloody Mary Bar

Row of assorted Bloody Marys in plastic red cups.

Score a touchdown with a Bloody Mary bar!  Assemble all the essentials and let guests pick their favorite garnishes.  You can “up” your Bloody Mary game by adding candied bacon, shrimp, chicken wings, olives, beef sticks, cheese cubes, etc.  Don’t forget long wooden sticks (we have personalized stir sticks which would also be great!), worcestershire sauce and hot sauce.   You could use personalized plastic cups for easy clean up, too.  Bloody Mary’s are the official “pre-beer” drink perfect for Sunday games.

Cheers to tailgating!

Enjoy,

Jennifer

6 Scary Good Halloween Party Ideas

17 Sep

HalloweenHalloween is my favorite holiday!  I love everything from the costumes to the candy to the decorations.  If you’re planning a party for kids or adults (or both), we have six ideas to help get your party started from food to decorations.

1. Witches Potion

photo credit: womansday.com

We love this punch recipe for both kid and adult parties.  We found this recipe on WomansDay.com and it’s super easy!  We would simply add vodka for an adult party.  You can garnish drinks with gummy worms, plastic spiders or snakes. 

INGREDIENTS:
  • 8 c. ice
  • 1-liter bottle lemon-lime soda
  • 1 qt. lemonade
  • 1 c. pomegranate juice
  • tubes red decorating gel
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Place ice cubes in a large pitcher or glasses. Add soda and lemonade and stir to blend.
  2. Gently add pomegranate juice at the top of the pitcher or glasses to keep the color concentrated.
  3. Squeeze some gel on the lip of the glasses and pitcher.

2. Stay for a Bite Party Supplies

Stay for a Bite Party Decorations

Bring on the scary good times with personalized Halloween party supplies! We love the Stay for a Bite collection where you can personalize your cups, napkins, plates, favor boxes and much more to impress your guests.


3. Spooky Ice Cubes

photo credit: goodhousekeeping.com

One of the easiest and most fun way to add some fun to your Halloween party is to freeze plastic spiders in ice to make your drinks extra spooky! Simply use ice cube trays, add small plastic spiders and fill with water and freeze.  Note:  Be careful with small children as this may pose a choking hazard.  


4. Spiderweb Nachos

photo credit: womansday.com

These spiderweb nachos from womansday.com are not only adorable by delicious!  Serve with tortilla chips for a great party snack.

INGREDIENTS
BEAN LAYER:
  • can lowfat refried black or pinto beans
  • 1/4 c. chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. hot Mexican chili powder
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • large plum tomatoes
MIDDLE LAYER:
  • 1 1/2 c. thick and chunky salsa
  • 1 c. shredded Mexican cheese blend
GUACAMOLE LAYER:
  • ripe Hass avocados
  • 3 tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. minced red onion
  • large jalapeno chiles
  • 1 tsp. salt
WEB:
  • 1 c. reduced fat sour cream
Decoration: a clean plastic toy spider
DIRECTIONS
  1. Make Bean Layer: Scrape the mixture onto a 12- to 14-in. round serving plate and smooth into a 10-in. circle with a spatula. Arrange tomato slices around edge of bean layer to make a border.
  2. Make Middle Layer: Drain salsa in a strainer to get rid of excess juice. Spread over bean mixture, leaving some of the bean layer showing around the edge. Sprinkle cheese over salsa, leaving some of the salsa layer showing.
  3. Make Guacamole Layer: Halve avocados; remove seeds and spoon flesh into a medium bowl. Add lime juice, onion, jalapeños and salt, and mash until fairly smooth. Spoon over cheese layer and spread into an even layer.
  4. Make Web: Place sour cream in a ziptop bag; seal bag and snip a small tip off one corner. Pipe a spiderweb design over guacamole and onto the plate. Decorate with toy spider. Serve with tortilla chips.

5. Party Favors

Halloween Pumpkin Hanging Gift Tags with Organza Bags

No matter if you’re throwing a kid or adult party, everyone loves a favor!  Our personalized Halloween Pumpkin Hanging Gift Tags come with organza bags ready for adding your favorite candies.


6. Glittery Pumpkins

photo credit: HGTV.com

A great way to add some fun Halloween decor is to decorate your own black glitter pumpkins!  They look great on front porches, tabletops and fireplace mantles.  We found this DIY tutorial on HGTV.com.

Happy Halloween!

XO,

Jennifer

5 Great Labor Day Recipes

3 Sep

photo credit: shutterstock.com

Labor Day is around the corner and it’s the perfect time to fire up the grill and celebrate the unofficial end to summer.  We found 5 great recipes sure to inspire a Labor Day get together.

1. Grilled Corn with Chili Honey Butter

photo credit: today.com

Nothing says summer like corn on the cob!  We found this delish recipe on Today.com and think it would be the perfect addition to any grilling menu.

Ingredients

  • 8 ears corn, husks and silks removed
  • 8 ounces (1 stick) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Flaky sea salt, for serving

TECHNIQUE TIP: Wait to remove husks until just before cooking to keep the corn moist and fresh.

Preparation

1.  Preheat grill to 375°F.
2. Place ears of corn directly on heat. Let char 2-3 minutes per side, about ten minutes total.
3. While corn cooks, whisk together the butter, chili powder, cayenne and honey in a bowl until smooth and evenly combined.
4. Brush the hot corn with the chili honey butter and season with sea salt. Serve with extra butter and salt on the side.

2. Rainbow Coleslaw

photo credit: FoodNetwork.com

Coleslaw is the perfect side for any BBQ and we think this recipe from FoodNetwork.com is not only colorful but tasty, too.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon whole celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large carrots, julienne
  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 2 cups shredded purple cabbage

Directions

  1. Combine the apple cider vinegar and honey in a large mixing bowl and whisk until combined. While continuously whisking, slowly pour the olive oil in to emulsify the dressing. Sprinkle in the celery seed, salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir to combine.
  2. Add the carrots, green cabbage and purple cabbage. Toss with the dressing and transfer to a serving dish.

3. Potato Salad

photo credit: Bonappetit.com

A classic potato salad is always a crowd pleaser.  We love this recipe from BonAppetit.com that adds in red onion, bell peppers and relish for some kick.

Ingredients

  • 10 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 3 lb.)
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. Morton kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sweet relish
  • 3 Tbsp. yellow mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, cut into ¼” pieces
  • ½ medium red onion, cut into ¼” pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced ¼” thick
  • paprika (for serving)

Preparation

Step 1

Bring potatoes, 1 cup Diamond Crystal or ½ cup plus 1 Tbsp. Morton kosher salt, and 3 quarts water to a simmer in a medium pot over medium heat; cook until tender, 18–22 minutes.

Step 2

Meanwhile, using a slotted spoon, carefully lower eggs into a large saucepan of boiling water and cook, adjusting heat as needed to maintain a gentle boil, 10 minutes. Transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water and let cool until just slightly warm, about 2 minutes.

Step 3

Remove eggs from ice water. Gently crack all over and peel; discard shells. Cut eggs in half lengthwise and scoop out yolks into a medium bowl. Coarsely chop egg whites; set aside. Mash yolks with a fork until smooth. Add mayonnaise, relish, both mustards, and remaining 2 Tbsp. Diamond Crystal or 1 Tbsp. Morton kosher salt; mix well. Fold bell pepper, red onion, and celery into dressing.

Step 4

Drain potatoes; let cool 5 minutes. Peel with a paring knife; cut into ½” pieces. Add to dressing and gently toss; fold in reserved egg whites. Cover and chill at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

Step 5

Sprinkle with seasoning before serving.

4. Peanut Butter Bars

photo credit: preppykitchen.com

Want to be the hit of the party?  This recipe is from my own Grandma who made these at every BBQ and she was known for these.  Now I make these for get togethers and I am always asked for the recipe (or to make more!).

Ingredients

  • 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 18 oz. peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)

Frosting:

  • 1 12oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 12oz package milk chocolate chips
  • 1 stick butter

Directions

Mix above ingredients until moist.  Press into a 9×13 pan.  Heat butter and chocolate chips until melted.  Frost and refrigerate for at least two hours.  Cut into squares.

5. Dreamy Fruit Dip

photo credit: Tasteofhome.com

Fruit dip is refreshing on a warm day and a great way to enjoy some delicious summer fruits.  This recipe from TasteofHome.com is super easy and you can make it ahead of time.

Ingredients

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup marshmallow creme
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • Assorted fresh fruit

Directions

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in marshmallow creme. Fold in whipped topping. Serve with fruit. Store in the refrigerator.

Happy Labor Day!

XO,

Jennifer