Heeeey football fans! It’s officially February and we all know what that means…..Game Day is coming. For anyone who is part of a football loving family (like me) this time of the year is filled with excitement, cheering and of course amazing food. For us, the Big Game is a reason to celebrate in a major way, regardless of whether or not our favorite team is taking the field. You see, living in the south, football is a way of life. Game days are reasons to gather with friends and family for inspired celebrations and when it’s time for the biggest game of the year, there are memories to be made and fabulous foods to be enjoyed. Over the last few years, this Southern mama has perfected the art of putting together a fun tabletop tailgate for friends and family and this year is no different. In fact, with a little help from Ball Park® Franks and Southern Living® Magazine, I’ve been inspired to create a Game Day tabletop tailgate that’s super easy and amazingly impressive. And in the true spirit of Southern generosity, I just had to share my tips, ideas and of course recipes with y’all!
So, what goes into creating an unforgettable Game Day celebration? How about we start with food, decorations and tons of fun. The great part of my tabletop tailgate ideas are that they can be as simple or complex as I want them to be. I’ll admit that for the Big Game a little more effort goes into creating an amazingly delicious and fun spread. But really, no matter how simple or complex I want to make our celebrations, my planning can be broken down into a few simple steps.
Find Your Inspiration
In theory, being inspired to create a perfect tabletop tailgate should be easy. But as I sat down to pull together my ideas, I kept drawing a blank. I knew I wanted (and needed) simplicity but I also knew that I wanted to make an impression. Knowing that I turn to Southern Living® Magazine when it comes to Southern entertaining ideas, I headed to Walmart to pick up my copy of this must-have magazine.
After locating it in the checkout line (you can also find Southern Living® in the magazine aisle) and flipping through the pages while ohhing and ahhing over the delicious ideas and inspirations that I found within, I felt much more prepared to create a simple tabletop tailgate that was both impressive and delicious. You see, inside the pages of Southern Living® I had found both recipes and decor ideas that inspired my own celebration and with a few tweaks and some creativity, I knew that I was well on my way to creating an unforgettable Game Day celebration.
Think Outside the Bun
While I was at Walmart picking up my Southern Living® Magazine I decided to stock up on Game Day essentials that would fill everyone’s belly. In our home, hot dogs are a Game Day tradition and I knew that our favorite Ball Park Beef Franks would be the perfect starting point for my tabletop tailgate. After locating them in the refrigerated aisle and stocking up on the larger sized packages to ensure that I had plenty of food to fuel our celebration, I started to think about the different takes on food that I had seen in the Southern Living® Magazine.
While I knew I wanted to serve up our Game Day staple of Chili Dogs with Southern Dill Slaw, I also wanted to find some other fun Game Day hacks and ways to serve up Game Day treats. With out of the bun ideas inspired by the magazine, I decided to serve my Ball Park Beef Franks three ways in order to really turn my simple celebration into a true tailgating extravaganza!
Spicy Hot Dog Poppers
This fun take on jalapeno poppers was so easy to make and felt festive while at the same time being delicious.
What You Will Need:
4 Ball Park Beef Franks
8 Ounces of Cream Cheese
2 Tablespoons of Sriracha
Pre-made refrigerated Pizza Dough
How to Make It:
This simple Game Day treat is a perfect finger food and so simple to make! To start, I cut my Ball Park Beef Franks into eighths.
After cooking them just until they were nice and brown in a sauté pan, I sliced my pizza dough into squares.
Next, I mixed together my softened cream cheese and sriracha, laid my pizza dough squares on a baking pan and placed a teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture onto the middle of each one. Finally, I added two pieces of my cooked Ball Park Beef Franks to the top of the cream cheese.
After pulling the sides up around the cream cheese and hot dog, I pinched the top of my dough to form a pouch and placed them in the oven on 350 degrees for fifteen minutes.
Once my spicy hot dog poppers were cooked completely, I removed them from the oven, added a Game Day themed toothpick to make picking them up easy and had the perfect start to my tabletop tailgate.
Pigskins in a Blanket
Next I was on to my slightly upscale take on pigs in a blanket that had been inspired by the Southern Living® magazine. I’ve made pigs in a blanket for years (it’s a family favorite) but decided to take things up a notch after seeing the beautiful and delicious ideas in my magazine.
What You Will Need:
8-10 Ball Park Beef Franks
1 Package of Phyllo Dough
2 Tablespoons of Mustard
2 Tablespoons of Ketchup
How to Make It:
Much like pigs in a blanket, these pigskins in a blanket start with crowd pleasing Ball Park Beef Franks wrapped in flaky phyllo dough. Creating them was as easy and thawing my frozen Phyllo dough and cutting it into squares. Next, I added a Ball Park Beef Frank to each piece of dough, letting the ends of the hot dog stick out on either end.
After wrapping the dough around my hot dog and pinching it to secure it (a little water can be brushed on the seams to seal them if needed), I brushed my dough with egg and placed it into the oven for twenty-five minutes on 400 degrees.
Once my pigskins in a blanket were cooked, I allowed them to cool long enough for the dough to reach room temperature (the hot dogs will still be warm) and then piped on football laces with my mustard and ketchup, creating fun pigskins in a blanket that are a #TabletopTailgate hit!
Chili Dogs with Southern Dill Slaw
With my Spicy Hot Dog Poppers and Pigskins in a Blanket complete, all that was left to do was whip up my Game Day staple of Chili Dogs with Southern Dill Slaw. Inspired by the many recipes I saw in Southern Living® Magazine, I set to work creating a slaw that’s both cool and flavorful, making it the perfect complement to my Ball Park Beef Franks.
What You Will Need:
1 Package of Cole Slaw Mix
1/4 Cup of Pickles (Cubed)
1 Teaspoon of Fresh Dill
2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tablespoons of Dill Pickle Juice
1/4 Cup of Plain Greek Yogurt
How to Make It:
This simple slaw is easy to whip up in seconds, making it a Game Day staple. All it requires is adding all the ingredients to a bowl and mixing them together.
Once the slaw was made, my Ball Park Beef Franks went onto the grill and were cooked to perfection.
Then creating my Chili Dogs with Southern Dill Slaw was as easy and slicing a hot dog bun and placing my frank inside. On top of it went warm chili and a generous amount of mustard. Then my hot dogs were finished off with my fresh slaw, making them a flavorful addition to my tabletop tailgate.
Along with my variety of Southern Living® inspired treats, I added chips and dip and a football cookie cake to create a complete spread with very little effort!
Don’t Forget the Decor
While my Southern Living® inspired recipes featuring Ball Park Beef Franks were definitely the star of my tabletop tailgate, we all know that presentation is important and inspired by the tablescapes in this month’s Southern Living®, I decided to add a few simple decorations. By simply adding a football themed runner to the center of my table and transforming some plain brown cups into football perfection by gluing on white pieces of paper in the shape of football laces, I was able to bring my tabletop tailgate together. After adding some football themed napkins and all of my food, my tabletop tailgate was complete!
I have to say, it came together perfectly. With the ideas and inspiration I had found in my Southern Living® magazine paired with the recipes that my Ball Park Beef Franks had inspired, I knew I had found the perfect way to wow all my guest on Game Day.
Now it’s your turn to create the perfect tabletop tailgate for the Big Game! To get started, head to Walmart today to pick up a variety of Tyson® Food Big Game Day solutions like Ball Park Beef Franks to create your own delicious big game hacks and recipes! Don’t forget to grab your own copy of Southern Living® Magazine while you’re there to find Game Day inspiration that is sure to help make your tabletop tailgate a success. Even better, you can also score big with rebates on Tyson® Foods and Southern Living® magazine, as well as other great and recipe-inspiring magazines by using the FREE iBotta® app! Then get creative. Think outside the box. And follow my simple tips to ensure that no matter who wins the Big Game, your celebration is the true star!
Tell me, what inspires your big game celebrations?