As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……..more Home-gating! Why head to the stadium to tailgate with the kids piled in the car, packed with everything but the kitchen sink, when you can enjoy the big game in the comfort of your very own home? My mantra is more of everything is always better, especially time spent with family and friends. What better way to re-connect than nibbling and noshing over a tasty buffet while cheering on your favorite team……
I absolutely love entertaining and Homegating provided the perfect party inspiration! As an Interior Designer, I crave authenticity, which is why I was crazy about all of the little details that went into making our Homegating party a huge success.
Charming decorations strike the perfect tone; a blue plaid stadium blanket, blue and gold rooter poms, home-made felt pennants and an apothecary jar filled with gumballs in our team colors graced the buffet and bar. A picnic basket, brimming with popcorn, peanuts and Cracker Jacks made for an inexpensive and delightful centerpiece.
To get the party rolling, I set up a little bar so our guests could help themselves to cold sodas, wine and long neck bottles of Miller Lite.
For a pre-game warm up, the teenagers amused themselves by playing running bases and Bago’s, while keeping the ball away from our 92lb Chocolate Lab, Wrigley, was the real challenge. To make the day a little more festive, we brought my homemade Wrigley Field replica scoreboard out to the yard so the kids could manually score the game.
With the concession stand serving as such great inspiration, the menu was easy….
Homegating Party Menu
Popcorn, Peanuts and Cracker Jack’s
Hot Dog Bar; Chicago Style, BLT and Philly Cheese Dogs
Ooey-Gooey Chewy Bars
DiGiorno has so many great toppings to choose from, but my people are total meat lovers. They were so crazy for the sausage and pepperoni pizza that there wasn’t a slice left on the tray!
While nachos at the ball park are fine, nothing beats those that I make at home (and for a fraction of the price!). The beauty is that everything can be prepped in advance and tossed in the oven 10 minutes before you’re ready to serve. Ole!
Pre-heat oven to 400°
2 lbs of ground beef, browned.
2 packets of Taco seasoning, combined with the browned beef according to the package directions.
Refrigerate until ready to use. Warm up in the microwave for 2 minutes when it’s nachos time.
1 large bag of your favorite tortilla chips
1 – 8 cup bag of shredded cheddar cheese
Your favorite toppings, such as;
Coat a 13×9 baking dish with non-stick spray
Place a layer of tortilla chips in the baking dish
Smother with cheese
Pop into the oven for 3-4 minutes, until the cheese starts to melt
Add another layer of chips
Cover with browned beef and more cheese
Generously sprinkle with tomatoes and onions
Cover with more cheese
Top with sliced olives
Cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until cheese melts
Hot Dog Bar;
Grill hot dogs, slide into a hot dog bun or brat roll, and place on a serving tray
Offer a variety of condiments to build your favorite hot dogs
Chicago Style Dog;
Yellow mustard ~Dill pickle spears ~Diced tomatoes ~ Diced onions ~ Sweet pickle relish ~ Celery salt
Mayonnaise ~ Bacon Strips ~ Shredded lettuce ~ Diced tomato
Philly Cheese Dog;
Cheese sauce ~ Bell pepper and onion strips (sautéed in olive oil until tender, about 10-15 minutes) ~ Dash of hot sauce
And for dessert…….
Ooey-Gooey Chewy Bars (with Nestlé’s chips)
Pre-heat the oven to 350°
In a large bowl, mix together;
3 cans of sweetened condensed milk
1 box of graham cracker crumbs
1 bag Nestlé’s milk chocolate chips
1 bag Nestlé’s butterscotch chips
Line a 13×9 baking dish with parchment paper and coat with non-stick spray
Spread mixture into the dish
Cook for 30 minutes, or until a light golden brown
Cool until easy to handle
Lift parchment paper out of dish, place on a cutting board and remove the parchment paper (no stick! No mess!).
Cut into bars (I prefer to remove the edges so the bars are nice and even)
Place on a serving dish and enjoy…….
The only thing that beats a visit to your favorite stadium is enjoying a Homegating party with your closest family a friends! Let’s play ball…….
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I’m excited to have been asked to be a part of this campaign for Collective Bias and DiGiorno; a Homegating Game Time Party! Hosting family and friends, enjoying our buffet and playing games as we cheered on the home team was a blast!