Score Big With Your Next Tailgate Party

October 5, 2009 by Amy Clark

Being Prepared Matters Most

Since being prepared is my number-one rule for hosting any party, I’ll share simple steps to make your next tailgate a touchdown.

  • Chop veggies and make dips prior to the big day and store them in your freezer. Try my Three-ingredient Cranberry Spread – so easy!
  • If you’re making chicken wings, broil ahead and freeze. On party day, pull them out, add sauce and reheat. Try my Wings with Honey Barbecue Sauce.
  • Chili tastes better the day after it’s made, so make it ahead, store it in a slow cooker and heat it up a few hours before the big game. I’ve got a White Chili recipe that’s a real crowd-pleaser.
  • Assemble meat and cheese platters the night before the party.
  • Make homemade hot cocoa the day before, then reheat.

When we have friends to the house, I tap my top 5 time savers.

  1. Prepare what you can throughout the week so you can enjoy the day.
  2. Create family-style dishes that can stay warm in the slow cooker.
  3. Turn it into a potluck: have guests bring favorite dishes to share.
  4. Make sure the dishwasher is empty before guests arrive.
  5. Use to invite and remind friends.

Plan outdoor activities for the kids to keep them entertained.

  • Set up a relay race.
  • Get everyone off the couch with flag football.
  • A beanbag toss is game-day perfect, even for toddlers.
  • Take your crafts outdoors to reduce the mess in the house. Try my favorite pumpkin pie play dough recipe.


Pumpkin Pie Play Dough
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup water
6 drops red food coloring
15 drops yellow food coloring

Combine dry ingredients in a non-stick pan. Add oil, water, food coloring and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it forms a ball. Turn onto counter, let cool slightly, knead until smooth. Dough will keep in a plastic bag for about a week.

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark has been the driving force behind MomAdvice since 2004. In addition to running a successful community for women and running after her two kids, she has appeared on The Early Show, and in Parents magazine, Redbook, Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food, MSN Money and The New York Times.