Fall is in the air, and what better way to celebrate than with a Tailgate Happy Hour at home? This casual, fun, and sophisticated gathering brings the spirit of the stadium right to your backyard. From mouthwatering proteins to refreshing cocktails, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive into the playbook for the ultimate Tailgate Party.

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The Cocktail

Kicking off the festivities is the Yellow Hammer Slammer – a spirited concoction from Leah at The Farmwife Drinks that sets the tone for the day. Mix up a batch of this crowd-pleaser featuring your favorite spirits and juices. Serve over ice and garnish with a twist of orange for an extra touch of sophistication.

a pitcher of ice and alcohol with orange and pineapple juice
The Farmwife Drinks - get the recipe

The Protein

No tailgate party is complete without some finger-licking good protein. These Korean Sweet & Spicy Wings by Chef Kathy McDaniel at Lemon Blossoms are a touchdown in flavor. Coated in the best sweet and spicy sticky sauce, these tantalizing wings are baked to perfection and sure to be the MVP of your spread.

a platter of wings with sesame seed atop with a dipping sauce and celery sticks
Lemon Blossoms - get the recipe

The Veggie

For our healthy fans, we’ve got a winning play with Oven-Baked Asparagus with Garlic and Parmesan by Angela at About A Mom. These tender spears are roasted to perfection with aromatic garlic and finished with a generous dusting of Parmesan cheese for an elegant touch.

a platter of asparagus with melted parmesan on top
About A Mom - get the recipe

The Sandwich

Get ready to score big with these Hot Italian Sub Sliders from Elizabeth at The Jam Jar Kitchen. Packed with zesty Italian flavors and melted cheese, they’re a touchdown in every bite. 

A baking dish filled with italian coldcut sliders heated so the cheese is melted
The Jam Jar Kitchen - get the recipe

The Nosh

My special Deviled Eggs are a crowd-pleaser.  Every time they hit the table they get rave reviews. Creamy, tangy, and perfectly seasoned, these classic favorites are a staple at any tailgate party.

The Dip

A Tailgate Party classic, the Easy & Incredible Homemade Salsa by Amanda from The Chunky Chef blog is a spicy delight that never disappoints. Whip it up in a flash and serve with tortilla chips. It’s the ultimate foodie fave.

a platter of tortilla chips with a ramekin of salsa
The Chunky Chef - get the recipe

The Crunch

Elevate your snack game with Thyme-Roasted Marcona Almonds from the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten. These crunchy delights are perfectly seasoned with aromatic thyme for a refined twist.

a small wooden bowl filled with spiced marcona almonds
Ina Garten - get the recipe

The Fruit

Balance out the indulgence with a refreshing plate of sliced apples with Caramel Cream Cheese Dip by Glory at Glorious Treats blog. Thread seasonal fruits onto skewers for a colorful and healthy option that’s as pretty as it is delicious.

A tray of sliced apples with a ramekin of caramel cream cheese dip
Glorious Treats - get the recipe

The Sweet

Touchdown celebrations call for something sweet, and these Easy Chew M&M Cookie Bars by my new friend Jennifer at Kitchen Serf are a winning choice. Soft, chewy, and studded with colorful M&M’s, they’re a taste of fall in every bite.

a plate of cookie bars cut into long, thin rectangles with pink & red M&Ms
Kitchen Serf - get the recipe

With this playbook in hand, you’re all set to host the ultimate Tailgate Happy Hour at home. Whether you’re cheering for touchdowns or just enjoying the company, these dishes are sure to make your party a winner. So grab your jersey, rally your crew, and let the tailgating begin!

And don’t forget to meet back here next week for a cool roundup of eclectic, foodie recipes and another episode of Wine Down.

Keep Dancing, Darlene