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Ready. Set. Tailgate!

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It’s time to bust out your team colors and celebrate football season with these great tips and tricks for the perfect tailgate.

By Alyssa Brant

With football season kicking off, the fun and excitement of tailgating also goes into full swing. Check out these tips and recipes to enhance your tailgating experience all season long.


Table-Home DepotTailgate Beer-Pong Table

This festive table has a dual function, serving food as well as entertainment. By spray-painting a plastic folding table green and using white electrical tape for the yard lines, you easily have a football-themed game table great for your tailgate. By making field goals out of PVC pipe and painting those yellow, you will have the completed look. To get the full instructions, go to

Tailgating Toolbox

Keep all tailgating essentials in a toolbox for easy transport and organization. Make sure to get a decently sized toolbox with many compartments to fit the items needed to have a successful tailgate. In the main compartment, it is good to keep the bigger things like spatulas, tongs, skewers, a can opener and basting brush. For the smaller compartments, throw in your favorite condiments and seasonings, as well as cleaning supplies like trash bags, wet wipes, paper towels and hand sanitizer.

Truck-Better Homes and GardensCooler Tricks

Any tailgater knows that a cooler is a main necessity for a tailgate, but here are a few ways to have a more efficient cooler.

  • Freeze water bottles and use them instead of ice, so when it melts, there will be cold water to drink. But be sure to pour a little out first so the water has room to expand when it freezes. This also eliminates having to dump the cooler, making it a quicker clean up.
  • Label coolers to make it easier to find what you need. It can also help guests find drinks easier instead of them going through everything to find the beer.
  • Turn a cooler into a warming oven with just hot bricks and aluminum foil. Wrap bricks in aluminum foil and heat them up, either using an oven or the grill if you are outside. Line the cooler with foil and place the bricks on the bottom after they are warmed up. On top of the bricks, lay down a towel or another layer of foil.
  • If you do not want to deal with a bulky cooler, you can also use the box from a beer case for a disposable cooler. Cut off the top of the box and remove the bottles. Line the inside of the box with garbage bags so it doesn’t leak. Put the drinks back in and add ice. When done, you can just throw it all away.

Check out all these ideas and other helpful tips on


Simple But Amazing Jalapeno Poppers


  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 8-ounce package shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon bacon bits
  • 12 jalapeño peppers, seeded and halved
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 quarts oil for frying


In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, cheddar cheese and bacon bits. Spoon the mixture into the jalapeño pepper halves.

Put the milk and flour into separate shallow bowls. Dip the stuffed jalapeños into the milk and then into the flour, making sure they are well coated. Allow the coated peppers to dry for about 10 minutes.

Dip the poppers in the milk again, and then roll them in the breadcrumbs that are in a separate bowl. Allow these to dry, and repeat the same process to ensure the entire surface is coated.

In a medium skillet, heat the oil to 365 degrees, and deep-fry the coated jalapeños for two to three minutes or until golden brown. Remove and let drain on a paper towel. Tip: Serve with a side of ranch dipping sauce for a great addition of flavor.

Recipe by

Watermelon Jell-O shots - Macey Foronda_BuzzfeedXXL Watermelon Jell-O Shots


  • 4 3-ounce packages of red watermelon Jell-O
  • 2 1-ounce boxes of unflavored gelatin
  • 4 cups vodka
  • 1 12- to 16-pound watermelon


Cut the watermelon in half lengthwise. Use a knife to slice all the way around the perimeter of the watermelon flesh, about and inch from the rind. Scoop out the flesh and scrape down the insides so the surface is relatively smooth. Make sure there is about half an inch left on the rind.

Put all the Jell-O mix and unflavored gelatin into a mixing bowl. Add four cups of boiling water and whisk together for two minutes, until the gelatin has dissolved. Add the vodka and stir to mix everything together.

Divide the Jell-O mixture between the two watermelon bowls.

Refrigerate for four hours, until the Jell-O is completely set, and then slice it up as if you were cutting up a real watermelon.

Tip: To keep the watermelon bowls from moving around, place the halves in trays on a bed of paper towels.

Recipe by

Beer Pretzel Crescents


  • 1 can 8-ounce Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 12-ounce bottle stout beer
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray or line with cooking parchment paper.

Separate crescent dough and place one tablespoon of cheese on the wide end of each triangle. Roll up the dough, starting at the shortest side to the opposite point.

In a small bowl, beat egg and one tablespoon of the beer with a whisk until blended.

In a large microwavable bowl, heat up the remaining beer, uncovered for a minute and a half. Slowly add the baking soda and stir until dissolved.

Dip each crescent into the beer mixture then remove with a slotted spoon and place on a cooing rack. Let stand at room temperature for about five minutes. Brush crescents with egg mixture and sprinkle with coarse salt. Carefully move them to the cookie sheet and set the ends of each into crescent shapes.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until tops are a deep golden brown.

Tip: Cut up the dough into smaller triangles to make them bite size and easier for dipping into sauces, like a cheese dip.

Recipe by

To keep up with all things tailgate, check out for more tips and recipes that will get you in the spirit for this year’s football season!

Photo Credits: Jello shot photo Macey Foronda/BuzzFeed / Football beer pong table photo / Truck photo


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