5 tailgating must-haves

Posted at 1:51 PM, Sep 05, 2014

Is that fantasy bracket filled out? While it seems just last week taking the kids to the pool was the thing to do, football season has steamrolled its way into America’s collective consciousness.

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As any football fan knows, the real competition heats up way before the game is on. Here are five quick tailgating recipes guaranteed to bowl over the crowd.

Pigs in a blanket (recipe courtesy

  • 2 8 oz. cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  • 48 cocktail-size smoked sausage links or hot dogs (2 14 oz. packages)


  • Heat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll both cans of dough; separate into 16 triangles.
  • Cut each triangle lengthwise into 3 narrow triangles.
  • Place sausage on shortest side of each triangle. Roll up each, starting at shortest side and rolling to opposite point.
  • Place point side down on 2 ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Serve warm.

Buffalo chicken dip (recipe courtesy Frank’s Red Hot)

  • 1 8 oz. package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1/2 cup ranch or blue cheese dressing
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wings sauce (or hot sauce of your choice)
  • Celery for dipping


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine all ingredients in 1-quart baking dish.
  • Bake 20 minutes or until mixture is heated through; stir.
  • Serve with celery and /or crackers and tortilla chips.

Caramel Apple Grapes (recipe courtesy The Kitchen Life of Navy Wife blog)

  • Handful of seedless green grapes
  • 1 cup caramel bits
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 cup salted peanuts, crushed
  • Toothpicks


  • Poke toothpicks into the top of each grape, set aside.
  • In a small pot over medium-low heat, combine caramel bits and cream, stir until melted. Reduce heat to lowest setting, keep warm.
  • Place peanuts in a shallow dish. Dip grapes into caramel sauce, then roll in the crushed nuts. Place on a plate to set.

Fruit salsa with cinnamon pita chips
Salsa (courtesy

  • 2 kiwis, peeled and diced
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 8 oz. raspberries
  • 1 pound strawberries
  • 2 tbsp. white sugar
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. fruit preserves, any flavor


  • Thoroughly mix all ingredients in large bowl. Chill in refridgerator at least 15 minutes.

Pita chips:

  • Pitas, cut into eighths.
  • Pinch of salt, cinnamon, sugar.


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees, lay pita sections on a baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle pita sections with salt, cinnamon and sugar, to taste.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.

Chili with fixins (recipe courtesy French’s)

  • 2 pounds ground beef or turkey
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15-19 oz. can red kidney beans (do not drain)
  • 1 cup worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 tbsp. ground cumin


  • Cook meat in nonstick skillet until browned. Add onion, cook until tender.
  • Mix in remaining ingredients.
  • Simmer, partially covered, 15 minutes until flavors are blended.
  • Serve with variety of side options: sour cream, tortilla strips, chopped chives, cheese, corn.