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Nebraska Furniture Mart | December 13, 2018

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Tailgate Party + Your House = HOMEGATE!

Can’t make it to the big game or is your team playing an away game this weekend? No problem! You can still have a great tailgate party at your place with friends and family.


Since you’ll be home for the day and you have the full resources of your kitchen and grill, you should take that opportunity to max out what you can do for your menu. A serious party demands serious food. Food is one of the most essential aspects of a tailgate party. Pre-Game to Post-Game activities can last an entire day, so keep it simple. Guests will be moving around and snacking all day. Provide your guests with finger foods that are easy to handle and easy for you to make. Here are some simple tailgate party recipes that will keep your guests satisfied and cheering on the home team.

Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks
buffalo chicken drumstick

1 cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce
8 chicken drumsticks (2 1/4 lb)
1 bottle (8 oz) lowfat blue cheese dressing
1 Tablespoon oil
1/4 teaspoon pepper


1. Heat oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil (for easy cleanup); set a wire rack on foil.

2. Put hot sauce in a small bowl. Gradually whisk oil into hot sauce. Brush over drumsticks (you’ll have some left); sprinkle chicken with 1/4 tsp pepper.

3. Bake on rack, turning drumsticks after 15 minutes and brushing with remaining sauce. Continue baking 10 to 15 minutes until cooked through. Serve with blue cheese dressing for dipping.


Spicy Taco Cheese Ball

cheese ball

3/4 cup dried parsley
4 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 (1.25 ounce) package hot taco seasoning mix (such as McCormick®)
1/4 cup pickled jalapeno peppers, chopped


1. Sprinkle parsley in a shallow baking dish. Set aside.

2. Mix Mexican cheese blend, cream cheese, mayonnaise, taco seasoning, and jalapeno peppers in a large bowl until well blended.

3. Divide the mixture into 3 portions, and roll each portion into a ball.

4. Roll each ball in the parsley until completely covered.

5. Wrap individually with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.




6 pounds pork baby back ribs
1 pinch black pepper
1 pinch salt
1 pinch crushed red pepper
4 cups barbecue sauce
2 (12 ounce) bottles porter beer, room temperature


1. Cut ribs into small portions of 2 or 3 bones each. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season water a pinch each of salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper to the water. Boil ribs in seasoned water for 20 minutes. Drain, and let the ribs sit for about a half an hour.

2. Meanwhile, preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.

3. Lightly coat the ribs with barbecue sauce. Cook the ribs over high heat for a 5 to 10 minutes on each side to get a nice, grilled look.

4. Place grilled ribs in a slow cooker. Pour remaining barbecue sauce and one bottle of beer over the ribs; this should cover at least half of the ribs. Cover, and cook on High for 3 hours. Check ribs every hour or so, and add more beer if needed to dilute sauce. Stir to get the ribs on top into the sauce. The ribs are done when the meat is falling off the bone.


Mini Burgers

mini burgers

2 pounds ground beef
1 (1.25 ounce) envelope onion soup mix
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
24 dinner rolls, split
1/2 cup sliced pickles (optional)


1. Preheat an oven to 350°F. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.

2. Mix together the ground beef and onion soup mix in a large skillet; cook and stir over medium-high heat until the beef is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink. Drain and discard any excess grease. Remove from heat. Stir the mayonnaise and Cheddar cheese into the ground beef mixture.

3. Lay the bottoms of the dinner rolls on the prepared baking sheet. Spread the cheese and beef mixture on the bottom half of each roll. Replace the tops. Cover with another sheet of aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray.

4. Bake in the preheated oven until the burgers are heated through and cheese melts, about 30 minutes. Serve with sliced pickles.


Seven Layer Dip

layer dip

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
4 cups shredded Cheddar-Monterey Jack cheese blend
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1 cup guacamole
1 cup salsa
1 (2.25 ounce) can black olives, chopped
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped green onions


1. In a large skillet, brown ground beef. Set aside to drain and cool to room temperature.

2. Spread the beans into the bottom of a 9″x13″ serving tray that is about 1 1/2 inches deep. Sprinkle 2 cups of shredded cheese on top of beans. Sprinkle beef on top of cheese. Spread sour cream very slowly on top of beef. Spread guacamole on top of sour cream. Pour salsa over guacamole and spread evenly. Sprinkle remaining shredded cheese. Sprinkle black olives, tomatoes, and green onions on top.

3. You can serve this dish immediately, or refrigerate it overnight and serve cold.


Homegate Entertainment

There are a lot of breaks during a football game, so have some other fun activities for your guests to play. Go outside and play some fun yard games like bean bag toss or a pick-up game of football. If the weather outside won’t cooperate, move the party back inside for some football trivia or card games. Incorporating some of these ideas can help you create the perfect “homegate” party and you can never go wrong with good company, good food, and a good game.

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