Score big with a successful tailgate this fall!

With the return of live sporting events comes tailgating. This unique American gathering is often more anticipated than the sports it’s supporting.  A tailgate can take place anywhere from the parking lot of a stadium to your living room, but it is always themed around a sporting event. Hosting a tailgate party can be an excellent way to showcase your cooking skills while providing family and friends with a festive environment to enjoy a game. What makes a great tailgate event? Really just three things!

     1. People
     2. Environment 
     3. Food

People- First it’s important to know your occupancy limit! How many people can adequately enjoy the space? Second, your guest mix is equally important. A few things to consider: is this a kid friendly event? Will the sports be the focus? Complimentary vs contrasting guest attendance?

Environment- Will your event be inside, outside, or both? How much are you willing to theme your party? Will you need to supply anything to entertain your guests? How can you set up your venue to create the optimal experience?

Food- Is there an expectation for guests to bring a covered dish (potluck)? If so, it is always good to set parameters to ensure a well-rounded experience. Will there be any dietary restrictions? How will you ensure the food is held safely as to not make your guests sick? Once these few things are decided a theme can be developed and acted upon! Typically tailgate food is protein and fat heavy! While most people love a perfectly grilled hamburger, or your uncle’s buffalo chicken dip, I’d like to share a few healthier options that are sure to appeal to a wide audience. Enjoy!

Loaded Grilled Buffalo Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower cut into 8 
2 fl oz Olive basin “bacon” Olive oil 
4 fl oz Your favorite wing sauce 
6 oz Crumbled blue cheese 
1 bunch Chopped Scallions.
 4 stalks Diced celery

Toss cauliflower in olive oil with salt and pepper and grill.  Don’t be afraid to get some color on that flour!  Once marked on all sided place in a bowl and wrap.  Allow to sit for 30 minutes.  Unwrap and cut into bite size florets.  Toss in wing sauce until coated evenly.  Next add half the blue cheese, scallion, and celery and toss.  Place contents on a platter or bowl.  Garnish the finished snack with remaining blue cheese, celery, and scallions. 


Grilled Avocado and Shrimp Jammers 
5 avocados cut in half and skin removed 
Olive oil for grilling 
1 jalapeno pepper 
1/2 lb shredded pepper jack cheese
½ pt jar Kitchen Kettle Zesty Salsa 
½ lb medium shrimp peeled deveined and tail removed 
1 lime

Cut and remove the avocado skin.  Reserve one avocado for filling.  Toss 4 avocados or 8 halves with olive oil salt and pepper.  And grill on a hot grill.  Cross hatch the cross section and the back.  Remove from grill and hold.  Toss shrimp and jalapeno in olive oil salt and pepper. Grill shrimp till cooked through and remove from heat.  Grill Jalapeno till charred on outside. Remove from heat and wrap in bowl for 10 minutes. Chop shrimp, jalapeno, and one avocado and mix with cheese , ½ the salsa, and the juice of one lime. Place grilled avocado halves on a platter of choice and fill with mixture.  Top with one ounce of salsa.

Grilled Watermelon and Feta Salad
½ seedless watermelon 
1 pt blueberries 
1 lb feta cheese 
1 diced jalapeno 
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro 
½ bunch chopped mint
1 diced red onion 
½ lbs baby arugula
250ml Olive Basin Citrus Mint Balsamic 

Cut watermelon into 1-inch-thick slices and season with salt and pepper.  Grill over high heat. Remove and reserve.  Once cool dice into 1-inch blocks.  Add remaining ingredients and toss till all is evenly mixed. Place in a bowl.

If planning your own tailgate sounds like too much work – come out to our Tailgate Festival on Friday, September 17th from 9-5 and Saturday, September 18th from 9-6. We’re happy to handle all the cooking. If you visit, be sure to wear your favorite jersey to show your team spirit!

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