Aloha Tailgating Season!

It’s that time again.  College football is upon us, which means my house is filled with the sounds of ESPN, the Pac 12 Network and any other program which might possibly show highlights or updates about our alma mater.  My husband is a crazy college football fan, but I have to admit for the longest time I had only lukewarm feelings about the sport.  Then, somewhere along the line, the guy figured out I will get into just about anything if it means I get to throw a party.  And boy, have I gotten into it!  We have been hosting tailgate parties for about five years now and they just get better and better.  This year is no different and this weekend we will carry on our tradition of hosting a luau for the first home game.  Our menu includes: Kalua Pork with Hawaiian sweet rolls and sweet chili sauce, Hawaiian banana bread, ramen chicken salad, SPAM-etizers, teriyaki chicken skewers and more.

Here are a few recipes for your lei-wearing, hula-dancing, I-can’t-believe-football-season-is-finally-here-and-I’m-tailgating crowd!

2 cups sugar

1 cup butter, softened

3 ripe bananas, mashed

20 oz can crushed pineapple

3 eggs, beaten

4 cups white whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

¾ tsp kosher salt

1 cup dry roasted macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

½ cup sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cream the sugar and butter with a mixer until fluffy.  Stir in banana, pineapple and eggs.  Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl and slowly mix into the wet ingredients.  Fold in macadamia nuts and coconut.  Pour into two loaf pans sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

* Quick breads taste best when frozen for a day or so and then thawed out.  I made mine Thursday and after the loaves cooled I put them in the freezer.  I’ll take one out Friday night and it will be perfect come tailgate time.



Dice up two cans of SPAM and marinate half in sweet chili sauce and half in teriyaki Tabasco sauce.  Put a cup of toothpicks next to your bowls and you have an instant appetizer



This salad is always a crowd pleaser!

1 large head Napa cabbage (or savoy if you can’t find Napa), thinly sliced

1 bunch green onions, sliced

6oz pre-cooked grilled chicken, finely chopped

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

2 packages dry Oriental top ramen noodles, crunched up

6 oz slivered almonds

1 package ramen noodle seasoning

1 tbsp sugar

¼ cup soy sauce (low sodium is preferred)

¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar

2 tbsp canola oil

½ cup water

Dash of pepper

Dash of garlic powder

Spray a large cookie sheet with non-stick spray and spread the almonds and ramen noodles evenly.  Broil on low until lightly browned, set aside to cool.  Chop and slice cabbage, green onions and chicken.  Mix the almonds and noodles together with the cabbage, green onions and chicken.  In a separate bowl, mix the remaining ingredients with a whisk until the sugar and seasoning packet are dissolved.  Pour dressing over salad, using salad tongs or your hands to incorporate the dressing into the salad.  Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over top.



Having a very curious two year old and living in the Pacific Northwest are both reasons it isn’t practical to dig a pit in my back yard and cook a whole pig in the traditional Hawaiian Luau style.  But this recipe is definitely a satisfying second to real Kalua pig.  We like to serve it with Hawaiian sweet rolls and sweet chili sauce so people can make their own sliders.


5-6 lb boneless pork shoulder

¼ cup Hawaiian sea salt

1 large sweet onion, sliced into rings

1-2 large bananas, sliced

1 small can crushed pineapple (optional)

2/3 bottle liquid smoke (more or less depending on your preference)

Trim any large pieces of fat from the pork and score it deeply in a crisscross pattern.  Rub Hawaiian sea salt (or any coarse sea salt) into the pork and place it in a 7 quart slow cooker.  Place the onion and banana slices on top of the pork, pushing some pieces into the crevices.  Pour the  liquid smoke over the pork. Cook on low for 10-12 hours. Shred the cooked pork with a fork and serve.  We cook this the night before and reheat it in our propane slow cooker at the tailgate party.

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