Hi, it’s Chris here from Celebrations At Home and I’ve got a fun way to make your ‘homegating’ party even more authentic. Take your home-based party to the next level by setting up your food on the back of a real tailgate! This will make you feel just like you’re at the big game.
This is a fun idea to really get your guests in the spirit of the game. Use your own, or a friend’s vehicle with an open back, and set up the food like you would if you were parked at the stadium. Drive the vehicle onto the lawn if you can, or just back it up onto the driveway.
To begin, I laid down a piece of plywood on the tailgate so the surface would be smooth and flat. Next I layered on fabric in our team colors and began placing our buffet items.
The ‘centerpiece’ is a drink dispenser that can be filled with kid-friendly punch, or a more adult version. Vintage crates and a picnic basket add to the on-the-go feel of tailgating.
The basket is filled with football cheering paraphernalia including a pennant, football, megaphone, and mini helmet. Although these are for decoration, you may find some guests want to play around with them. This could make for some fun photo opportunities!
Trail mix and football shaped Oreos are displayed in jars. I love to have easy-to-grab snacks on the table.
The main food items can also be ‘dressed up’ for the table. I served a white chili (recipe below) in cans and wrapped them with corrugated paper from the scrapbook aisle. This works like those coffee bands and keeps your hands from getting too hot while holding the chili.
Mini deli sandwiches are also served with several different combinations to choose from. Mix and match meats and cheeses so there is plenty of variety to choose from. These are wrapped in color coordinated paper and tied with bakers twine.
To add even more flair to the party, set up an easy-up tent and sling chairs. Turn on the radio, or even better, bring out a small television to watch the game.
Don’t forget the lawn games like corn hole, ladder ball, or bocce.
White Chili recipe
1 pound ground chicken
1 pound hot sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 can yellow corn, drained
1-4 oz can green chilis
2 packets white chili seasoning pouch
Cook the ground chicken and sausage over medium-low heat, breaking it up as it cooks through. Add chopped onion so it can cook with the meat. Drain and add to a slow cooker.
Add beans, corn, chilies, flavoring packets, and 3 cups water. Place lid on top and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4-6 hours.
There you have it, a tailgating buffet to start your home-gating experience right! Do you have Tailgate Fever this Fall? Be sure to follow us Homes.com on Facebook for a chance to win the Ultimate Tailgating Package valued over $2,000! And check out our Tailgating Guide for more resources, recipes and home-gating ideas.
Chris Nease is a home entertaining expert & creative party stylist who has spent 15 years specializing in small celebrations. As the Editor & Creative Director of Celebrations At Home blog, Chris shares ideas & tips for celebrating all occasions with unique & accessible style. She’s also a freelance writer and editorial stylist for the web and print, and has been published in Woman’s World, Yum Food & Fun for Kids, Cottages & Bungalows, and authored a chapter on holiday party planning for the book Clutterbug’s Guide to an Organized Christmas.