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Tailgating Party 101

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With football season in full swing, it's time to start planning your weekend tailgating party. What a perfect way to bond with your hubby ... football and food!

couple eating and watching tv

Gridiron gourmets are fired up and ready to grill in stadium parking lots across the nation. Whether your tailgating menu includes regional favorites -- such as Chicago Bratwurst or Dallas Barbeque Brisket -- or you mix it up every week with cuisine tailored for each team, Jeanne Benedict from Celebrations has a few guidelines that most portable party pros seem to follow.

Prep Like A Pro

1. Arrive with a game plan! Prepare a dip at home that you can serve the second you've parked your car and started your grill prep. The BLT Dip recipe below has a rich, smoky flavor that will get guests in the mood for a grilled menu.
Click for BLT Dip recipe.

2. Offer easy-to-grill appetizers that you can marinate and assemble at home, like Salsa-Dipped Kabobs.
Click for Salsa-Dipped Kabobs recipe.

3. Please the crowd with two types of entrees, such as a grilled chicken and steak. And toss some spuds on the BBQ for a warm Grilled Potato & Avocado Salad.

Click for Succulent Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken recipe.

Click for Chipotle Flank Steak with Creamy Cilantro Sauce recipe.

Click for Grilled Potato & Avocado Salad recipe.

Stadium Parking Lot Party Tips

• Arrive 3 to 4 hours before the game starts to get a good parking space and prepare for the party.

• Schedule your dining time at least 1 1/2 hours before game time, to allow a nice pace for eating, cleaning up, extinguishing fires, and cooling down grills.

• Make friends with your tailgating neighbors, and stay an hour or so after the game to enjoy their company and wait for the parking lot to clear.

For more entertaining ideas, check out Celebrations.

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