Saturday, September 20, 2008

Let's get together: tailgate party

Even if you can't tell a linebacker from a quarterback, hosting a tailgating party is a great way to get your gang back together after the flurry of summer's activities.

Now that both college and pro football seasons are in full swing, you have your choice of Saturday or Sunday to plan your event. Just keep these tips in mind for a party your friends will cheer about:

  • Ask guests to come wearing jerseys or their favorite team's colors
  • Have some fun with your decor; visit your local party supply store for colorful plates, cups, party favors and decorations
  • Nothing says "tailgating" better than a big pot of chili, and you can choose from hundreds of recipes at Make sure to set out accoutrements like shredded cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, and crackers.
  • Arrange furniture so you'll have zones for those who will be watching the game and those who won't
  • Set up the majority of the food in one location (like your dining room table or even the kitchen), and scatter bowls of snacks around for easy access
  • Make activities available for non-game-watchers; for example, set out games like Cranium or Jenga
And if a cooler full of beers just isn't your thing, mix up a batch of Big Game Punch to offer your guests a special treat:
  • 2 quarts cranberry juice
  • 1 pound clementines, not peeled, and cut into slices
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 quart lemon-lime soda
  • 1 liter spiced rum
In a saucepan, bring the cranberry juice, clementines, cloves, and cinnamon sticks up to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside. This will infuse the tangerines and spices into the juice. Chill the infused juice completely.

In a punch bowl, whisk the chilled juice, soda, and rum together. Chill the punch completely before serving. Serve the punch in a pretty punch bowl and ladle into glasses filled with ice. (Source: Food Network)

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