Athens, Georgia
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Saturday Soiree- Tailgating at Home

The tradition of tailgating before a football game is a big deal in the States, especially in the deep south. At Southern Methodist University, where I went to college, we dressed up for game day, tailgated and rarely went to the game. We found that tailgating on The Boulevard was more entertaining than the actual game! While it is always preferable to be at the game, when life gets in the way, just throw a fabulous tailgating party at home.

Cheese Straws served in mason jars
Mini sandwiches
Boiled peanuts
Fruit skewers with chocolate
Brown sugar squares

Cheese Straws from Rebecca Lang
8 ounces extra sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup butter softened
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor process the Cheddar and butter until creamy. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and cayenne pepper. Add the dry ingredients to the cheese mixture in the processor. Pulse until the dough forms a ball. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into a 7 x 11 inch rectangle.

Using a pizza cutter, slice the dough in half lengthwise. Make 20 horizontal cuts (making each cheese straw approximately 3 1/2 x 1/2 in.). Gently move the cheese straws to an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until crisp and lightly browned on the bottom. Allow to cool completely on a baking rack.

Mini sandwiches with Chicken salad and Benedictine

Basil Becky's Basil Chicken Salad
4 cups diced cooked chicken- when time allows it is always best to cook a whole chicken and shred the meat
1 rib minced celery
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

In a medium bowl, combine chicken, celery, basil and almonds. In a smaller bowl, combine the wet ingredients and salt and pepper. Gently mix the wet and the dry ingredients and chill.

Serve on small yeast rolls- such as Sister's Rolls. Cut the rolls in half, place a leaf or two of arugula and add chicken salad. If arugula is not your favorite, use any type of lettuce.

For benedictine sandwiches- check out the recipe here- and use the same rolls as chicken salad sandwiches. Cut roll in half and add a slice of peeled English cucumber over the spread on each sandwich.

*TCH tip- serve stacked sandwiches on a pretty silver tray, as shown in the picture.

Boiled Peanuts- Rebecca Lang
5 pounds green peanuts in shells
1/4 cup salt

Rinse the peanuts with cold water. Place the peanuts and salt in a 12-quart stockpot or 2 large saucepans and cover with water. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 1/2 hours. Remove from heat and allow peanuts to sit in water for 30 minutes. Drain and serve. Makes about 15-20 servings.

* TCH tip- make extra boiled peanuts as these are sure to go fast!

Fruit Skewers
Pick any selection of fruit of you like such as strawberries, grapes, bananas, apples, kiwi, etc. and arrange on wooden skewers. I like to dip the strawberries in chocolate and place on the skewers. For this extra step- just buy the chocolate fruit dip found at your local grocery store. For the presentation, take a watermelon and pierce with holes. Place the skewers in the holes like above for a funky presentation.

Paula Deen's Brown Sugar Squares
1 egg
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square pan. Stir together egg, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl. Quickly stir into egg mixture. Add the nuts and spread in pan. Bake for 18- 20 minutes. Cookies should be soft in the center. Cut into squares.

Drink: Serve your favorite beer in a galvanized bucket with an abundance of ice. Also have a variety of cokes and bottled water on hand.

Dress: I love the school spirit blazer at edressme.com. Edressme has a nice selection of team blazers that are on sale for only $90-including Auburn, UGA, SMU, Harvard and Ole Miss. I would wear the navy SMU blazer with dark skinny jeans, a white tank underneath and gold glitter TOM'S for a casual tailgating at home look.

Decor: I like to have a touch of spirit in my home on game day and for me a little bit goes a long way. Add some team pom-poms to one side of the serving table and a megaphone to the other. I serve buffet style for events such as this and when doing so, I serve nothing but finger foods. These personalized plates from The Merry Martini are perfect for this occasion. Want more information? Just click on the image.

Music: Let the game day sounds fill the house, just turn on the tv and relax, your work is done!

*Images from bk.psu.com,goodhousekeeping.com, foodnetwork.com, myrecipes.com, owensfamilyadventures.wordpress, organizeeverything.com,themerrymartini, ericbarnes.files.wordpress



Caroline in the City said...

mmm sounds delicious for tailgating

Chic Coles (Cole Design) said...

Sounds like the perfect compliment to watching a game! Hope you have a great weekend!

style chronicle said...

We did the same thing at Virginia. Bow-ties and dresses -- often never made it to game. I do love watching a good football game! Perfect tailgating soiree.

Anonymous said...


My Passport to Style said...

Wow,what a fabulous spread!I think I need you over @ My Passport to Style today to help me celebrate My Passport to Styles, 3rd Birthday!
Sharon xxx http://www.mypassporttostyle.blogspot.com

Southern Champagne Wishes said...

All of this looks delicious. I especially love the cheese straws displayed in the mason jars. Really, is there anything better than homemade cheese straws? I think not.

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Once again I have found myself here right before dinner!! It must be the food calling me.. always something delish here. Have a great week. x Julie

The pale observer said...

You may (or may not!) be interested to know that boiled peanuts are quite common in Ghana and when I moved here from Canada years ago I'd never heard of such a thing. But immediately they are addictive!!! Surprised to find them here - great!

Fifi Flowers said...

YUM! We will be tailgating on Friday night... I might have to use your menu ideas... hmmmm

Deliciously Organized said...

that pup is adorable! could not agree more with you...tailgating always ends up being more fun then the game! thanks for the tips of having one at home!

Hanako66 said...

love this!!! we always host football viewings on the weekend and loving this menu!

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