Despite the fact that my team did not win last week’s game, the night was still a success since we feasted on football snacks while watching the game. Even though we attend very few games, we embrace the tailgating tradition. In fact, the only thing better than tailgating at the game is tailgating at home.

  • No rain, heat, cold, or other weather related challenges.
  • No worry about food borne illness due to food kept at the wrong temperature.
  • No warm drinks due to lack of ice.
  • No fighting mosquitoes, flies, or other insects.
  • No loading the car with coolers, tables, chairs.

Instead, we prepare tailgate recipes in the comfort of home and then feast not just pre and post game, but throughout the entire game. Our tailgating may occur in our air-conditioned living room, like it did last Friday night, or on the patio or deck, weather permitting; but wherever the tailgating occurs, it’s the food and drink that make it special.

Last week’s tailgate menu included Cocktail Meatballs, Steamed Shrimp, Cheese and Crackers, Potato Skins, Hurricanes, and Strawberry Cupcakes. I’ve been pinning tailgate food recipes to Pinterest so I should have plenty of ideas and recipes for the whole season. This week I’m leaning toward Buffalo Chicken Dip, Rotel Cups, Chips and Salsa, and Sugar Cookies. It’s going to be another great game regardless of the scoreboard.

Cocktail Meatballs

This has been a family favorite for over 30 years, but now that I buy frozen meatballs instead of mixing, rolling, and frying them, it’s much less work.


1 bag of Hormel frozen meatballs

15oz. jar of chili sauce

15oz. jar of grape jelly

After warming the meatballs in the microwave, place them in a pan with the chili sauce and jelly over low heat. I prefer to make them in the crock pot so the meatballs stay warm throughout the game.IMG_0818

Strawberry Cupcakes


1 package white cake mix

1 package frozen sliced strawberries in sugar (thawed)

1/2 stick butter

4 oz. cream cheese

powder sugar

red food coloring (optional)


Prepare the cake mix according to the package directions, but instead of adding water, add all but 3 Tablespoons of the juice from the strawberries (reserve the 3 Tablespoons of juice for the frosting).

Fold the strawberries into the cake mix.

Spoon mixture into cupcake pan lined with cupcake papers and bake according to package directions.

Cool before frosting.


Beat the butter, cream cheese and 3 Tablespoons of strawberry juice with an electric mixer until smooth.

Slowly add powder sugar until the proper consistency and frost cupcakes. Add a little red food coloring to give more of a strawberry appearance.


More recipes can be found on my Pinterest Tailgating board.