Tailgating 2020 style

It’s November. That means football; and usually, that means tailgating.

This year, as we all know all too well, things are different. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t still have some fun. Why not turn all of those great tailgating recipes you love and the super simple recipes and ideas I’ll share with you today, into a “homegating” game day event?

Speaking of games, take a look at this tailgating giveaway!

I am delighted to partner with my friends at The Dairy Alliance to bring you some fast and fun homegating ideas and recipes, each with a cheesy bend. The partnership is for the IGTV video on my Instagram feed; but I decided to tie it into a blog post so you would have all the delicious details right at your fingertips.

To make this homegating season even more fun, The Dairy Alliance has put together a really cool (literally) giveaway that ties into this video on this very topic on my Instagram feed via IGTV.

As you can see, the parameters of the giveaway, require a little interaction on your part. It’ll just take you a second. Go to Instagram. First, follow The Dairy Alliance here ; and then be sure you are following my feed too!

I’d love to see this contest take the number of you who follow the fun on my feed top 4000! Honestly, I don’t often pay much attention to the numbers: but, can you imagine!! A girl can dream and sometime it’s the little things. But I digress…

Here’s How to Enter the Giveaway

In the comments of my IGTV video post with the photo of the stuffed jalapenos and the caption photographed above, type in your favorite game day, go-to dairy snack.

I think once you watch the video, you’ll know my go-to !

Then, finally ( but still an important step) tag a friend using their instagram handle before or after your comment, so they can play as well. The more the merrier, so enter as many times and tag as many friends as you would like.

On Nov 15, I’ll hold a random drawing and will announce the winner of this soft sided RTIC cooler in my Instagram story that evening at 6 pm. The Dairy Alliance will ship the cooler directly to your door if you are the big winner. Perfect for packing up drinks and perhaps all of your cheesy snacks on your next #TellThemHeidiSentYou roadtrip!

Now, on to more tailgating at home food and fun

First up. Before the weekend football line up begins, head to your local hardware or home improvement store to buy a length of astroturf. Get enough yardage to run the length of your table to serve a table cloth; or only a yard or two to cut to cover trays or serving platters. It’s super simple to cut. Once you are done, fold it up and put it away till next time. If you want to get fancy with it, you can tape back the edges to create a bit of a hem.

Want to be even fancier? Enlist the help of the family and use white vinyl tape to mark of numbered yard lines, so everyone really gets in the spirit.

Next, head to the sporting goods store or a local discount shoe store with sports shoes and find the largest pair of cleats you can find. I found this “Size Huge” pair on sale several years ago – they’ve been with me through many a Superbowl party!

Finally, shop around for a kid-sized football helmet. A toy version will be much more reasonable priced than the real thing. While the temptation may be to use what you might have around the house, leave that for the toy footballs or goalposts you’ll want put out on your field. These last two items are best to buy new and then you’ll want to keep them food specific.

Watching the game at Home? Here are some delicious ways to start…

Two super simple recipes to kick off ( football pun, intended) your home tailgating fun.

The first as but two or three ingredients. Buy cream cheese, a good soy sauce ( I like the mushroom infused ones you can find at Asian markets), and some chopped nuts or microgreens to garnish. Unwrap the cream cheese and use your hands to shape the block like a football. This is a fun way for kids to lend a helping hand towards prepping for the festivities. Then, simply soak the cream cheese football in the soy sauce overnight. Use a paring knife to “draw” on the laces.

The result a delicious “smoked” cheese to serve with crackers, chips or raw veggies. If you don’t want to go with the football shape, just soak the block of cream cheese. It is also very good spread or piped into celery sticks and topped with chopped pecans – think about that for your list of Thanksgiving starters!

cheesy appetizers

Next on the list of easy and cheesy apps: the stuffed potato skin.

And, this time I’ve actually made it even easier than that. No scooping needed. I started with small local new potatoes that I baked whole with the skins on. Once baked and cool enough to handle, I cut them in half and arranged them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle them with your favorite sharp or aged cheese. You can do all of that ahead of time, earlier in the day.

About 5 minutes before you are ready to serve, run the pan under the broiler until the cheese melts. Finish with a sprinkling of fresh minced parsley and a pinch of paprika or tomato powder. if you are unfamiliar, the tomato powder is one of my favorite condiments, particularly when I am cooking with cheese and is available at the Savory Spice Shop! Get some, you will love it!

For fun, serve your potato skin bites on a bed of astroturf cut to fit inside the rim of a serving platter and enjoy!

Tailgating with Cheese makes a Great Game Day Go-To

Now, remember that recipe we all love for brie in pastry? Its actually very similar to the galette recipe I shared with your earlier this year. It’s pie crust or puff pastry wrapped around a brie or brie-style cheese that is stuffed with your choice of honey, mustard, nuts, jams, dried fruits, crumbled bacon… you get the idea. “Pastry wrapped”, “cheese stuffed” – this recipe has all my favorite modifers.

Take that same idea and know that sometime the cheese just wants to be alone. As I mentioned in the IGTV video, the brie is just as comfortable in a cast iron skillet as it is wrapped in the pastry, so go for it. And, if you want to make individual bite-sized servings instead; cut the brie into small pieces and pop each piece in a phyllo dough shell.

This time I went with the cast iron skillet. First, I cut the brie in half width wise and spread it with some Lusty Monk Mustard followed by chopped pistachios. Next comes the second half of the brie, more mustard and more pistachio.

brie cheeses

The great thing is you can do all of that ahead – actually several days ahead if you would like. Then, 20-30 mins before you ready to serve, pop the pan into a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 10-15 mins.

I love the cheese and mustard or cheese and honey with ground nuts combo. If you’re up for some other ideas… try a mix of strong Saigon cinnamon and sugar with the brie, or try honey infused with chili flakes as a spicier alternative.

This recipe for a black or green olive tapenade is also a keeper. I love the fresh zesty taste of salt it brings to the rich warm and creamy cheese.

Black or Green Olive Tapenade

a great condiment with chicken, seafood or cheese

Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword appetizer, black olives, condiment, do ahead recipe, Food processor, green olives, mediterranean cuisine


  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pitted brine-cured green olives
  • 2 Tbsp. capers packed in brine
  • 2 Tbsp. Kores Estate extra-virgin olive oil available to order online from
  • 1-2 Tbsp. dried Herbs de Province
  • zest of one orange


  1. Mix olives, capers, Kores Estate Olive Oil and herbs in the bowl of a small food processor fitted with the steel knife blade.

  2. Use short on/off pulses to chop and combine all the ingredients.

  3. This recipe may be made ahead. Refrigerate or freeze until you are ready to enjoy.

With Thanks for the Partnership

dairy alliance logo

From time to time I also write for The Dairy Alliance blog. If you enjoyed this post, check out my recipes for a sweet Korean latte, a few delicious ways to serve strawberries and cream; and a dairy delicious mushroom and brie soup. #TellThemHeidiSentYou

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