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

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

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.

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!

What’s a typical Sunday like in your home? Sundays are all about football, family, fun and, of course, food. Bringing the experience of the stadium into the home is such a cool thing, and that’s what homegating is all about. We decorate our entire house in support of the team we’re rooting for and invite everyone over. That connection and togetherness are what memories are made of.

How do you enjoy a homegating event and still stay fit? I am very disciplined during the week, so on the weekend I don’t stress out too much. When I am disciplined, then I can eat my wings or Philly cheese steak nachos. You don’t want to beat yourself up.

Any special workout you like to tackle post-Sunday night football? I love Spinning at SoulCycle - that is my way of burning calories. For me, it’s about the music; if the music isn’t good, I can’t get into it. And they play really great music.

What is your normal weekly fitness routine? I like to do a combination of Spinning and yoga. I love working out hard, then relaxing and meditating. Want to create your own homegating experience? NFL sells a range of team-customized items, so consider decking out your home with some team spirit like Peete! And be sure to try the recipe below from Chef Laurent. Sunday (and maybe Monday) night football will never be the same!

Game Day Hummus Serves 6 Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chickpeas, soaked for 12 hours in cold water
  • 2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp cumin powder
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Drain chickpeas, then place in a pot and cover with water. Cook at a simmer for 2 hours, or until tender. Drain and let cool. Place chickpeas in a food processor. Add remaining ingredients; process until smooth. For a little more kick, mix in a dash of red pepper flakes, then let hummus rest for 24 hours. Serve with warm Indian or pita bread.

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