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Four Gourmet Snacks That Transform Your Typical Tailgate

Written on September 27, 2013 at 10:30 am , by

Fancy up your tailgate. (Photo courtesy of Harry & David)

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

Football season is in full force, and so is our tailgating practice. Who doesn’t like good friends, great food and tasty brews on a cool, autumn day before filing into those stadium seats? And while we’ve indulged in our fair share of the classic beer-and-brats pre-game fare, these football favorites can feel overplayed week after week. So why not mix it up a little? Add a gourmet twist to your tailgate this weekend with these snack swaps:

Swap: Stadium Peanuts. This cute mini keg is chock-full of mixed nuts. Roasted and seasoned with a praline coating, the sweet and savory Mixed Nut Keg from Harry & David will have everyone reaching for a handful!

Swap: Potato Chips. Lose the greasy bag and try these Bagel Chips and Cheese Spreads from Figi’s instead. Light and crispy, these baked snacks pack a fresh bagel flavor and pair perfectly with their accompanying  spreads.

Swap: Cheddar Cheese and Crackers Plate. Your classier friends will love this elegant Antipasti Platter from Williams-Sonoma. The Alle-Pia Finnochiona salame, Pedrozo Dairy Northern Gold cheese, Guilio Bulloni Pane Carasatu crackers and olive assortment create a plate that looks almost as good as it tastes.

Swap: Nachos. Trade fat-laden chips and stringy cheese for fresh Bruschetta Toppings loaded with flavor! From roasted tomato, raisin and onion to sesame, cilantro and white bean, Dean & Deluca transforms slices of Italian baguette into indulgent appetizers with this artisanal set of toast toppings.

More from FITNESS:

The FITNESS Guide to Healthy Tailgating

Get Tailgate Ready with Celeb Trainer Mike Ryan

Ditch the Parking Lot: How to Bring Tailgating Into Your Home!

Ditch the Parking Lot: How to Bring Tailgating Into Your Home!

Written on December 22, 2012 at 10:38 am , by

Written by Jennifer Fiorentino, editorial intern

Homegating [verb]: Bringing the spirit of football games into the comfort of your own home.

That’s exactly how we would describe what happened  when actress and singer Holly Robinson Peete invited us to the NFL homegating kickoff here in New York City. Along with celebrity chef Laurent Tourondel, who whipped up some of his favorite game day bites, we experienced the art of homegating first hand. It just may become a new tradition for some of our staffers!

How exactly does homegating work? It’s simple: if you love the spirit that surrounds tailgating, but want to ditch the unpredictable weather or can’t always afford to hit up a game, homegating is a fun alternative. Invite some pals over, decorate the house in team décor and serve the foods you’d see cooked up at your typical tailgate.

“Our fans have an incredible passion and we are pleased to bring them more ways to connect with the game and each other,” says Tracey Bleczinski, NFL’s vice president of consumer products.

Forget tailgating in the cold, crazy weather. It’s time to bring team spirit back home this season (Photo courtesy of NFL).

To find out more about how to bring a little health to the fan-friendly fun, we sat down with Peete and learned about her own family’s homegating routine. Check out the secrets this NFL wife (she’s married to former Panthers quarterback Rodney Peete) practices below!

Read more

Tailgate Like a Pro This Season

Written on September 28, 2011 at 1:19 pm , by

Catelli believes that you don't have to hide veggies from your kids. (Photo courtesy of Domenica Catelli)

Domenica Catelli grew up with a taste for the culinary world. “My grandparents opened a restaurant in California in 1935, which was passed down to my dad. I was sure I’d never work there but I started working at a different restaurant in college. I was a hard worker and spent most of my life around the business, and took over as head chef at 19,” Catelli says.

Today the mom, cookbook author and event chef (she cooked for Oprah’s Legend’s Ball in 2006!) focuses on teaching families how to enjoy well-balanced meals without sneaking in ingredients through her “Mom-a-licious” brand. “I believe there’s no long-term payoff for hiding vegetables in your kids’ meals. You can build a lifelong healthy relationship with food by starting young,” Catelli says. “Adults at the table need to have a good attitude and be a role model for eating a nutritious diet, and kids will do the same.”

One of her top tips for busy parents? “Stock three or four go-to snacks in your car or purse, so you have something for you and more to share with your children, their carpool friends and even neighbors on a plane,” Catelli says. “That way you’ll be able to bypass the potato chips at the convenience store. I like raw almonds or Kashi’s TLC Peanutty Dark Chocolate Layered Bars.”

Since Catelli is such a pro at entertaining and pleasing the whole family with delicious dishes, we thought she would be the perfect person to give us some new inspiration for all of our fall tailgating parties. For your next game day meal, Catelli suggests serving her turkey chili, which her friends who are Olympic athletes love. Simply set out the bowls, spoons, chili and an array of toppings and make it a build-your-own bar.

Turkey Chili

Diners can add as many or as few toppings as they like with a chili bar. (Photo courtesy of Lucini Italia)

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1-3 teaspoons red chili flakes
  • 3 tablespoons fresh garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 14.5-ounce can of fire roasted organic crushed tomatoes
  • 2 15-ounce cans of black beans
  • 2 15-ounce cans of kidney beans
  • 1 cup of water or chicken broth
  • Optional: Jack or sharp cheddar cheese, fresh onion, sour cream, Kashi TLC Pita Crisps
  1. In a heavy-bottomed pot, saute onion, cumin and chili flakes over medium heat with extra virgin olive oil. Do not let onions brown. As onions become soft, after about five minutes, add garlic and cook about two minutes.
  2. Add ground turkey and stir to smash up turkey. Add soy sauce, fire-roasted tomatoes, beans and water (or broth).
  3. Bring to a boil, turn down to medium heat and cook for 10 minutes.
Now tell us: What appetizers or meals do you serve to wow a crowd on game days?