If you’re like me, you don’t do anything halfway. I love to cook and love to entertain. Thus, nothing I make is ordinary, but everything is fun. In the case of tailgating, especially when you aren’t able to grill, it’s important to pick things that can be refrigerated and won’t easily spoil. Thus, I came up with a tailgate menu that everyone seemed to enjoy.
Peanut Butter Chicken Skewers
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp honey
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- In a saucepan, combine the first eight ingredients, cook and stir over medium/high heat for 5 minutes or until smooth
- Reserve half of the sauce
- Slice chicken into lengthwise 1-inch strips, thread onto skewers (if using bambook skewers, soak in water for 20 minutes first)
- Grill, uncovered, for two minutes. Turn and brush with peanut butter sauce. Continue turning and basting for 4-6 minutes, or until juices run clear
- Serve with reserved sauce
Note: If you do not have a grill, cook the chicken breasts first, slice into strips, throw into the saucepan, with the sauce for a few minutes to soak and remove. Pour remaining sauce into a bowl for dipping – no skewers needed!
Watermelon, Tomato and Basil Skewers
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 5 lb. watermelon, cut into 32 1.5″ cubes
- 32 small basil leaves
- 16 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tbsp olive pil
- 16 6-inch skewers
- Combine balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan, over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool
- Starting with watermelon squares, push the watermelon to the very tip of the skewer. Then skewer a basil leaf and a tomato half. Continue one more time. Place the skewer on a serving platter so it stands upright, using the lowest watermelon square as a base
- Continue with remaining squares
- Drizzle skewers with reserved balsamic syrup and olive oil
Pumpkin (gluten-free) Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup pumpkin
- 3/4 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 4 ounces package low-fat cream cheese
- 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray muffin tins with cooking spray or line with papers
- Beat eggs and sugar together
- Add pumpkin, rice flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger into the eggs and sugar mixture.
- Pour batter into muffin cups and bake 15-21 minutes
- They may sink in the middle a little and that’s ok.
- Whip the cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla together until it’s well-combined and frosting-like
White-Chocolate Caramel Corn with Cashews
- 1/2 cup of kernels, popped
- 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped cashews
- 1 stick plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp coarse salt, divided
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 5 oz. white chocolate, chopped (I used Ghiradelli’s)
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees
- Place popcorn and cashews in a large heat-proof bowl.
- Melt butter in a saucepan, over medium heat. Stir in corn syrup, sugar and 1/2 tsp salt, and cook until sugar dissolves.
- Raise heat to high and bring to a boil – do not stir. Boil about 2 minutes or the entire pan is bubbling.
- Remove from heat and add in baking soda
- Pour caramel over popcorn mixture and mix thoroughly
- Transfer to 2 rimmed baking sheets, spreading in a single layer. Bake 45 minutes.
- Test doneness by removing a piece and letting it cool for a minute. If crispy, it’s done
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining salt and let cool completely
- Melt the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl for about 1 minute and 15 seconds in the microwave – stir the chocolate and drizzle it over the popcorn.
- Either serve right away or place in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool completely and let chocolate set.