How to Do the Best Tailgate
This weekend marked the official start of football season in the South, which means that tailgating season is here! I had the idea several weeks ago to set up a fabulous tailgate and give ideas and recipes to make it easy to replicate. I immediately called my friend and photographer Sara-Anne of Sara-Anne Photography to see if she would take pictures and then I headed to Tanger Outlets!
It's so much fun to throw the ultimate tailgate and I started my search for the perfect things to use at Tanger Outlets in Mebane, NC. Tanger makes it easy to find everything you need from coolers to chairs to just the right outfit! I already had some of the basics, but I wanted to make this tailgate special with customized colors and logos to go along with my food. I tried not to be biased with my team colors although red seems to be the theme!
I used a quilt from the Company Store outlet at Tanger and it added great color in the back of the car under the food. They have so many great quilts and blankets at great prices and I loved that the one I chose had a combination of school colors (again, trying not to be biased). I got the most amazing logo items such as cups, chairs and coolers from Pro Image Sports. Pro Image also has an amazing selection of hats and jerseys. I found the perfect top (among other things) to wear at Vineyard Vines! I was thrilled when Westcott Buick GMC very kindly loaned me a beautiful Denali to use in these pictures!
I used baskets that I already had to transport and present most of the food and I served it on basic ceramic dinner plates. I have a portable bar from our days at horse shows that held everything from wine glasses to forks. The beautiful Denali, on loan from Westcott Buick was large enough to hold a small table to add just a little extra space for serving the food along with chairs and all of the other necessities to make an elegant tailgate.
The weather is still warm here so the menu was a seasonal assortment of light, but delicious food. I made ham biscuits with apple butter, a beautiful crudité basket, corn salad, assorted cheeses, Jalapeno Popper Dip and Bloody Marys along with beer, wine and fixings for other drinks. Keep scrolling for my recipe for Jalapeno Popper Dip!
The logo, cups, cooler and pitcher below from Pro Image Sports at Tanger fit in perfectly with my tailgate theme and make it easy to mix a pitcher of drinks and then keep them cold on a hot day! I like the idea of using inexpensive china plates and real forks to elevate things a little! Just bring a plastic bag to wrap them in and stick them in the dishwasher when you get home!
I love this shot of the tailgate! The beautiful Denali loaded with delicious food and great finds from Tanger Outlets!
The small table provided more space for food and the great logo chairs that I found at Pro Image Sports offered extra comfortable seating. Flowers elevate every event and a basket of sunflowers combined with magnolia from my yard were the perfect addition to this tailgate!
I wore the cutest shirt from Vineyard Vines that was perfect for the warm weather.
This portable bar holds bottles, forks and glasses, keeping them safe for the ride.