This post is sponsored by Farm Rich.
This is the most magical time of year. Everyone bundles up in their scarves to gather with friends, eat tasty food, and settles in eager anticipation of what's to come. Lots of people call this season “Christmas,” but around here we know it as “Bowl Game time.”
I've been married to a former Division I football player for seven years now, so I've become a bit of a pro at this. We gather up the family and head over to Oma and Opa's house to watch the year's most contentious battles. Rival colleges are matched up in a complicated schema to exhibit their athletic prowess, sportsmanship, and respective fans' enthusiasm.
Bowl games are a really big deal. A lot of families plan their entire holiday season around them and travel to whatever game their favorite team gets into. We did that when Nate was playing in college, but now that we have four kids we tailgate at home (or “homegate”) with close friends and relatives. My mother-in-law usually makes the main dishes, and I'm responsible for appetizers.
Due to the aforementioned plethora of children, I like to keep things simple. I load up on a variety of crave-worthy frozen football staples and pair those with our family's favorite epically-delicious Dr Pepper Sauce.
This sauce is like a cross between sweet & sour and barbecue sauce. It's a little bit tangy, a little bit sweet, and it pairs as effortlessly with egg rolls as it does with chicken wings, sliders or fries.
- 2 cans Dr Pepper
- 2 cups pureed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tsp liquid smoke
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally.
I've never met anyone who isn't a fan of this sauce and its tasty cherry undertones. It makes life SO easy because I'm not tasked with mixing-and-matching a random smattering of foods with their respective dipping accompaniment. One bowl, a bunch of finger foods, and we're good to go!
My go-to snack foods – and the ones I got for this year's bowl games – are Farm Rich Mozzarella Sticks and Jalapeño Peppers. Farm Rich has a huge variety of snack options ranging from Meat Balls to Cheese Curds at grocery stores across the U.S.. They've quickly become America's #HomegatingHero and go-to pick for pairing with a game day Dr Pepper.
The boys love to help me prep our Dr Pepper dipping sauce. It gets all fizzy when you add the brown sugar to the concoction, so I always let them do that part!
I also put out some Dr Pepper with our game day spread, so people can pair a nice, crisp can with their finger foods. Did you know that Dr Pepper is the oldest major soft drink in America? True story. To me, that's why it pairs so well with an American favorite like football.
No game day spread is complete without a little decor, so I always include a banner supporting my team or some signage that lends to the party vibe as a whole.
I made this one myself, and you can easily print it out as an 8 1/2×11″ sheet and trim it down to fit in an 8×10″ frame. Just click on the image above.
With a case of Dr Pepper, some easy snacks and a little party flair, you'll be the hostess with the mostess at your next home tailgate event.
What are your favorite tailgating snacks?