Keep it Simple Kids!

So here’s the thing about tailgating… If you want to host a great party, you have to find a way to serve delicious food efficiently, whether you have 10 guests or 30.  Let’s face it, your guests are football fans; they come to tailgate parties planning on eating and drinking a little too much in a short period of time.  No one wants to wait around while you carve a giant side of beef.  You can make things a lot easier on yourself by getting creative and modifying a classic favorite, like we are doing this week with our Philly Cheese Dip Sandwiches.   Set out a few dips and cold cuts to hold the crew over and then serve one great salad along with your show-stopper.  Oh, and don’t forget the cocktails and cake truffles!

JLo’s HOT WING DIP

4 oz container crumbled blue cheese

12 oz light sour cream

1 can chicken breast, shredded

1/2 bottle hot wing sauce (I like Frank’s)

Crackers and/or sliced baguette

Celery sticks

Mix the first four ingredients and pour into a casserole dish.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Allow the dip to cool for 15 minutes before serving with crackers and/or sliced baguette and celery sticks. This dip is also good prepared ahead of time and refrigerated.  You can re-heat it or serve it cold, like we’ll be doing at our shindig.

SURE TO PLEASE PHILLY CHEESE DIP SANDWICHES

¼ lb. deli sliced roast beef per guest (I usually ask for it to be sliced just a bit thicker than normal)

Sliced provolone or Swiss cheese

Grilled sliced bell peppers and onions (we use green and yellow peppers and sweet onions)

Stadium or Outdoor Rolls

Au Jus (1 bouillon cube per ½ cup boiling water)
I mix up a great big batch of au jus the night before and re-heat it in our propane slow cooker at the party.  Just before it is time to eat, I put the roast beef in the au jus to heat it up and add extra flavor.  My husband, father-in-law and I set up an assembly line and guests go through with their rolls while we dish up beef, cheese and the peppers and onions.  We also set out hot liquid cups so people can have their cheese steaks French dip style.  Set out a bottle of horseradish sauce for people who like to add a little kick.

PERFECT POTATO SALAD

6 large red and/or yellow potatoes, boiled and diced (peeling optional)

6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced

1 cup mayonnaise (light is just fine)

½ cup sweet pickle relish

1/8 tsp celery salt

1/8 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp cider vinegar

Salt & pepper to taste

Paprika for garnish

Mix all of your ingredients together in a large bowl, adjusting the amount of mayo and relish depending on taste.  Sprinkle paprika on top.  I also like to sprinkle diced green onions on top if I know the entire salad will get eaten that day.  Onions get stronger as they sit so in my opinion it is better to leave them out of a potato salad if you want leftovers.

Have a great game day and GO TEAM!

TEAM SPIRIT CAKE TRUFFLES (cake pops without the pop)

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