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Your Guide to Eating Well While Tailgating

I’m from Buffalo, NY and up there, tailgating before Bills games is a way of life, like going to school or buying your groceries or breathing. It’s a routine part of Sunday from September-January. I’m not talking about watching the game in front of the t.v.-that’s okay for grandmas and people with the flu, but for the rest of us, the party starts at around 10am and it’s in the parking lot of Rich Stadium, rain, snow or sleet (shine usually isn’t one of the choices).

We’re a civilized bunch with fine taste and we take two things very seriously while tailgating: beer and food. Since Buffalo is on the border of Canada, the beer thing is pretty well covered with selections of Molson Ales, Labatt’s Blue and other Canadian favorites (ever since the Genny Cream Ale disappeared, it’s Canadian all the way).

On the food front, I’m not talking about chips and dip. Not that I have anything against chips and dip. However, when you are out in the cold from early morning until the end of the day, the beer will warm you up, but you need something warm in your belly as well. The real tailgaters go in packs and park in the same spots next to each other each game so there can be a bit of a caravan effect. Everyone has their roles-one car will bring the card table, napkins, plates, and utensils. Another car might bring the shrimp cocktail and cheese board. Everyone brings their own seats and coolers of beer. But the mack daddy car is the one who brings the crock pot with chili, the grill and charcoal for the dogs (Sahlen’s only please), or the electric frying pan with sausage, onions and peppers.

So, if you are heading out to a game this season, be it your kid’s game, college ball or the Super Bowl, here are some recipes that you can make in the parking lot:

On the Grill

Bull’s Eye Burger

Honey Mustard and Red Onion Barbequed Chicken (make the sauce ahead and bring with you)

Chicken Tikka Kebobs

Italian Barbeque Sliced Steak Sammies (marinate the steaks before you leave the house and tent the sammies when done to melt the cheese a little)

Lean Mean and Spicy Beef Satay Sticks (make the dipping sauce ahead)

If you have 4 hours in the parking lot, that is, if it’s a 4 o’clock game, then try these BBQ Baby Back Ribs from Rach’s friend, Adam Perry Lang

Jalapeno Lime Corn on the Cob (grill these cobs)

Chicken Sausage Burgers with Balsamic Onion Barbeque Sauce

Chicken Sausage, Peppers and Onions Subs

In the Crock Pot

Cook these recipes at home first and then heat up in your crock pot at the game!

Buffalo Chicken Chili (especially if you are a Bills’ fan!)

Roasted Poblano Steak Chili

Cacciatore Stoup with Turkey Meatballs

If you have to stay home(ie you have the flu or no tickets, or you are on your deathbed)

Philly Cheesesteaks

Blue Cheese Stuffed Potatoes with Buffalo Chicken Tenders

Chicken Cacciatore Subs

Ravioli Lasagna

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