It’s football season, so we asked the entertaining experts at Southern Living to share their best tips for game day. Whether you’re tailgating at the field or having a few friends over to watch the game, celebrating with your fellow football fans should be fun and delicious.
The return of football is just around the corner and no one knows how to kick-off the game time celebrations quite like our friends at Southern Living. With a spread of savory sauces and tasty dishes, your tailgate party is sure to be a touchdown!
View each recipe below:
- Sweet Tea-Brined Chicken
- Citrus-Chimichurri Vinaigrette
- Sweet-Hot Ketchup
- Jalapeño-Mustard Dipping Sauce
- Green Tomato Salsa
Sweet Tea-Brined Chicken
Jalapeño-Mustard Dipping Sauce
Green Tomato Salsa
Here in the south, game day combines two southern passions: football and food. So we asked Katie Morrow from Southern Living to share some of her favorite tailgating tips. Whether you’re going out to tailgate or having friends over, you’ll have a ball with these extra touches that are sure to make yours a perfect game-day table.
Game Day Tip #1
Katie’s key game-day strategy includes incorporating team colors. Make sure your napkins and other colorful serving essentials and accessories represent the team you’re rooting for. Another easy way to show team spirit is to display flowers in your team colors, Katie suggests.
Game Day Tip #2
Instead of the standard paper plates, Katie prefers to serve her spread in vintage pie tins. “It really kicks up your style,” says Katie. “They’re indestructible, lightweight and easy to find for pennies at a thrift store.”
To create the look, layer a colorful napkin and a square parchment paper in your tin. Add a small plate on top for serving snacks and appetizers (our Southern Living Salad Dessert Plates are the perfect size). When you’re ready to serve the main dish, whether it’s burgers hot off the grill or wings ready to eat, place it right on the parchment paper. “It’s so chic and simple for clean up,” Katie says.
Game Day Tip #3
Make napkins and utensils easy to pick up in one hand by bundling them together and placing in a drinking glass. Secure a sprig of thyme to your bundle for a special touch. Score extra points when you add a pennant to the bundle. They’re easy to make: just pick up team color paint swatches from a paint store, cut strips into pennant shapes and hot glue them to a wooden skewer. Embellish with a little knot of twine.
Game Day Tip #4
Katie has the perfect go-anywhere trick to serving up salad: pack individual serving portions in iconic southern Mason jars. “They pack well in a cooler, and they’re easy to pick up and eat if you’re gathered around the TV,” offers Katie.
The secret to making salad in a jar is to layer your ingredients. Dressing goes in first, followed by toppings, with greens on top to prevent them from wilting. Guests just shake the jar when they’re ready to eat.
How easy is that?
What are your favorite game-day entertaining tips? Tell us in the comments below.
A Beautiful Autumn Table: Layering
Think of the place setting the way you would an outfit: you might layer a shirt with a sweater and add a scarf to give it some interest. Apply that same layering idea to your table. Start with a crisp linen tablecloth, combine our Holiday Branch dinner plates with our Southern Living dinner and bread plates and layer in metal chargers for extra style. Now add in color with linens and flowers. These amazing greenery illustrations were commissioned just for us—and they work double-duty as a garnish for your food.
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 (12-oz.) package frozen dark, sweet pitted cherries, thawed
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ¼ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups loosely packed arugula $
- 16 (1/4-inch-thick) ciabatta bread slices, toasted
- 1 (8-oz.) wedge blue cheese, thinly sliced*
- Garnish: freshly ground pepper
- Sauté shallot in hot oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Add cherries (and any liquid in package) and next 5 ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes or until thickened. Let stand 10 minutes.
- Divide arugula among toasted bread slices. Top each with cherry mixture and 1 blue cheese slice. Garnish, if desired.
- *Manchego or goat cheese may be substituted.