Happy National Tailgating Day

September 3, 2016

It's September everyone and time for tailgating. Happy National Tailgating Day! Here are some great tips and tricks to get you organized for your next tailgate. Whether you go to the stadium to watch a game or watch from home, check out these recipes and tips to make your game day GREAT! 

Here is my Black and Blue Buffalo Chicken and Cheese Dip. I have a blog post of my Top Ten Party Dips if you want to check out those recipes.  

 

I love to create a Big Game Burger Bar. I put burger toppings on a tablescape and label them. I give step-by-step directions to make each themed burger (I like to do at least 3 options) and then I add a visual, like the one pictured above. Of course people can mix and match and make their own unique creation, but most of the time they do one of my themed burger ideas. 

 

How do I keep my burgers juicy after grilling them? I add them to a slow cooker, yes you heard me right. I don't cook them in there, I simply let them steam to retain their moisture after I grill them. They will stay juicy for 2-3 hours. I simply add some water (an inch or so) to the bottom of a slow cooker and then I add cookie cutters to the bottom so the burgers don't sit in the water, they simply get the steam from the water. Feel free to add some soy sauce or worcestershire sauce to the water for an extra umami steamed smell. 

I then put the slow cooker on the "keep warm" setting. I then add add my burgers.

I sometimes add hot dogs and chicken along with the burgers, this way your guests can choose from a variety of proteins to make their own creation. The toppings work well for hot dogs and chicken sandwiches. 

 I do some of my burgers plain and some of them are cheese stuffed burgers. 

Here is a video from my last Big Game Burger Bar segment on WZZM TV13 - My West Michigan. Check it out!

 I also have some great ideas on decorating for game day if you are watching from home. Check out my Game Day Decorating segment on WZZM TV13. 

A successful tailgate is all about the preparation. Here is my tailgating checklist:

 

TAILGATING CHECKLIST-

 

COOLERS – PACKED WITH ICE (GREAT TIP IS TO FREEZE SOME WATER BOTTLES)

LABEL YOUR COOLERS – PREP ALL FOOD AT HOME AND PACKAGE IN ZIP LOCK BAGS

TENT OR CANOPY (ESPECIALLY IF RAINING)

CHAIRS AND FOLDING TABLE

GRILL AND ACCESSORIES

COOK WARE AND UTENSILS

FOOD – CONDIMENTS – DRINKS

PAPER TOWEL – PLATES – PLASTIC WARE – CUPS

BURLAP WITH CHALK

BLANKETS

 

 

I have a special tailgating box that I take with me when we go tailgating or when we are off-roading and I will be cooking on the trail. Here's what I pack in that box:

 

TAILGATING BOX –

 

TAPE

SCISSORS

PENS/MARKERS

SHARP KNIFE

FLASHLIGHT

CAN OPENER/BOTTLE OPENER/WINE OPENER

TOOTHPICKS

MATCHES

NAPKINS

COOZIES

FLASK/SHOT GLASS

RAIN GEAR

SUNGLASSES

SUNBLOCK

INSECT REPELLENT

PLASTIC DISPOSABLE GLOVES

FIRST AID KIT

LANYARD WITH MONEY/ID/TICKETS (WATERPROOF IF RAINING)

BUSINESS CARDS FOR NETWORKING

HAT

GLOVES

TRASH BAG/ZIP LOCK BAGS

 I have tons of burger recipes on my Boating, Boarding & Burgers page, check them out. Here is a real crowd pleaser, it's my Down-N-Out Burger. Every time I fly to L.A., the first thing that I must do is go to In-N-Out and have a burger. I love In-N-Out Burgers, so I came up with my homage to those famous burgers. 

 Recipe~

 

Down-N-Out Burgers

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

Special Sauce

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons dill relish
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon grated onion
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

8 slices thick-cut bacon

 

PATTIES

1 1/2 pounds ground chuck, 80/20
1 tablespoon canola oil
Kosher salt 
Freshly ground pepper

4 slices cheddar cheese
4 hamburger buns, split and toasted
Lettuce
Pickle Chips
Tomato
 

PREPARATION:

 

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees and pre-heat a grill to medium high heat.  

 

To make the sauce, add all of the ingredients to a non-reactive bowl and mix together until well combined.  Cover and refrigerate until assembly. 

 

Place the bacon on a slotted pan or parchment lined pan and cook in oven for 17-20 minutes, or until crispy. Lay bacon on paper towels to drain.

 

For the patties, gently form the meat into 4 equal patties that are slightly larger in circumference than the bun, then depress the centers for even cooking. Brush patties with canola oil and generously season both sides with salt and pepper. Grill for 10-12 minutes for medium, turning only once. Add the cheese for the last minute or two of cooking, making sure it is thoroughly melted.  

 

To assemble the burgers, add some sauce to all cut sides of the buns. Starting with the bun bottom, add some lettuce, pickles and a burger patty. Next, add 2 slices of bacon to each burger and then a tomato slice finishing with the bun top. Enjoy!

 

Also...don't forget to vote for me for Hallmark's Home and Family Show - Best Home Cook contest on the DreamJobbing Website. Here is the link to view my video and vote for me. Feel free to leave a comment below my video and tell them why I should be on the show. I would love to show some of my favorite family recipes, tailgating tips and my meals are memories message. #homeandfamilyhomecook 

 

 

 

 

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About Gina

Gina Ferwerda is a cookbook author, TV personality, food and travel blogger, business entrepreneur, and co-founder of the 100+ Women Who Care of Oceana County. 

 

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