I’m back with my biggest tailgate spread yet for 2015! Last Friday night we hosted a BIG GAME party for the ECU and UConn football game. I was more than excited to plan out a menu and even took the day off work to make sure I was able to execute the plans as perfectly and seamlessly as possible.
In addition to beer and bubbles, I made two signature cocktails. One was a vodka based cocktail and the other was bourbon based.
For the Apple Cider Moscow Mules I mixed the ginger-infused vodka and the apple cider in a pitcher. To serve, fill a copper mug with ice, pour in the vodka-apple cider base and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a lime slice and a cinnamon stick.
The Shoo-Fly Punch starts with a base of bourbon, ginger liquor, simple syrup, lemon juice and a few shakes of bitters. To serve, fill a glass with ice, add the bourbon base and top with ginger beer. Garnish with an orange slice and a sprig of mint.
This was my second time making the Apple Cider Moscow Mules and they’re quite possibly my new favorite fall drink. Sweet with a little spice and so refreshing.
As I mentioned on Monday, we had a biscuit bar. I was incredibly excited about my biscuit bar – especially after I found the perfect biscuits. I picked up several packs of NC made biscuits at The Butchers Market in Charlotte. There were several flavors including Cheddar and Honey, Cheddar, and Sweet Potato. To stuff inside the biscuits – a pimiento cheese and bourbon candied bacon combination and a country ham and red pepper jelly combo. Also pictured, bread and butter pickles and pickled jalapenos. The biscuit bar was a hit, to say the least.
Along with the biscuit bar we had another table full of food. I can assure you that no one goes hungry at the tailgates we host.
The crock pot was filled with homemade sweet and sour meatballs that were incredible. I used local ground beef (I doubled the recipe) and two eggs after reading the comments on the recipe. I baked the meatballs for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees and then arranged them in the crock pot with the sauce and cooked on low for 2 hours. I then transferred the heat to warm and let them hang out until party time.
In addition to crackers, Pumpkin Spiced Sweet Potato Chips, and popcorn, there was a cheese platter with a couple of local cheeses plus an amazing apple-cinnamon goat cheese from Trader Joes.
The Apple Cinnamon Goat Cheese was hands-down the favorite cheese of the night. I also served some fig and ginger game to pair with the bleu marbled cheese – which, along with the garlic, parsley and chive cheese came from my SoCo Farm to Door delivery.
The above veggie dip is a repeat from a tailgate in early October. The Pioneer Woman’s Cold Roasted Veggies and Lemon-Herb Yogurt Dip is fantastic. It’s probably my new favorite way to serve veggies at a tailgate.
I had a last-minute request from Big Guy to make a recipe that’s been in his family since he can remember. Watson “Birthday” Dip is a recipe that was passed on to me and I doubt I make it as well as Big Guy’s grandmother. This dip was also a huge hit on Friday night.
For a little sweetness, I had some candy out (duh, it was the night before Halloween) along with a Pecan Pound Cake from the latest Southern Living.
As you can see it was quite the spread – but honestly, putting together the menu and cooking all day on Friday but a smile on my face. There are few things I enjoy more than cooking for others.
We have one more home game left this season that we’ll be able to attend and since it’s a night game, I’m thinking a Chili Bar might be on the menu.
What would your favorite biscuit toppings include?