Tailgating food ideas during football season

BY ALEXANDRA WEE, Staff Columnist

Even if you think quarterbacks and goalies play basketball, by now every student on campus should have an inkling to what season has just dawned: football.

Whether you’re cheering for the Lions, the Wolverines or both, one thing’s a given—football means tailgating and serious tailgating needs seriously good grub.

If you plan on heading to the Big House or gathering around the television without pre-gaming on the best selection of dips, drinks and all things fried and delicious, that’s just not right.

So to kick off one of my favorite things about fall, here’s a handful of awesome eats (better yet, cheap and easy to make) to get you, your game day friends’ and your appetite revved up for the next kickoff.

Dig in and Go Blue!


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Mozzarella Sticks

Makes 12 (or 24 “bite-sizes”). Recipe adapted from TasteofHome.com

These are much better than the ones from the toaster oven. Tip: roll along jalapeno peppers for a spicy kick. Actually, you could wrap anything up in these things and fry them to perfection. Oh. My. Possibilities.

Grab:
·12 pieces string cheese
·12 egg roll wrappers (or for bite-size sticks, use wanton wrappers—check for both at the “ethnic foods” aisle at your grocery store)
·Oil (for frying)
·Marinara or spaghetti sauce (or your favorite dipping sauces)

How-To:
1) Place wrapper diamond-style in front of you.
2) Lay a piece of string cheese horizontally near bottom corner and fold the corner over the cheese.
3) Roll up halfway then fold side corners in. Moisten the top corner with a bit of water then roll the rest up and seal. Repeat with remaining cheese sticks.
4) Heat ½ inch of oil in a skillet. Fry sticks a few at a time for about a minute on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels.

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Beer Dip (serves 12)

Recipe adapted from BeautyandBedlam.com

Need I explain? Two words: Beer. Dip.

Grab:
·3 8 oz. packages of softened cream cheese
·1 package of dry ranch dressing mix (like Hidden Valley)
·½ – ¾ can of beer (not the time to skimp on calories here, a lighter beer will lose you flavor!)
·2 cups of shredded cheese
·Bacon bits and green onions

How-To:
1) Mix cream cheese, dressing mix and beer until combined well and creamy.
2) Mix in 1 cup of cheese.
3) Refrigerate at least three hours before serving or overnight for best results.
4) Spoon into serving dish and sprinkle remaining cup of cheese, bacon bits and green onions on top. Polish off with bags of pretzels.

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Mini Corn Dog Muffins (pictured at top)

Makes 48 muffins. Recipe adapted from iowagirleats.com

Okay, so we don’t know what hot dogs are made of but, on any game day, it doesn’t really matter—we make an exception for the franks. A warning: these are crazy addicting.

Grab:
·½ cup melted butter
·½ cup sugar
·2 eggs
·1 cup buttermilk
·½ teaspoon baking soda
·1 cup cornmeal
·1 cup flour
·½ teaspoon salt
·8-10 hot dogs cut into 1” bites

How-To:
1) Preheat oven to 375.
2) Combine butter and sugar in a bowl, whisk to combine. Whisk in eggs then buttermilk.
3) In another bowl, combine baking soda, cornmeal, flour and salt. Whisk into wet mixture in two batches.
4) Spray mini muffin tin with non-stick spray and spoon a tablespoon batter into each cup.
5) Place one hot dog bite into each muffin’s middle.
6) Bake for 8-12 minutes or until cornbread is golden brown.
7) Cool 5 minutes before serving. Dip into mustard, ketchup and other delicious sauces.

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