Go Blue! Go Green! Let’s Tailgate!


Whether you’re rooting for the Spartans or the Wolverines, football fans love to tailgate on game day. Some folks keep it simple with burgers and dogs; others take hours preparing dishes that make the occasion extra special. Here’s a sampling of some local fan faves!

Avid Spartan fans George Liljeblad, 91, and his wife, Mary, 88, have been tailgating at the games for 50 years. They have had the same stadium seats for 48 years and very seldom miss a game. Their daughter, Peggy, brings a spicy vegetable chili to the tailgate table, with a unique twist – fresh shrimp added at the last minute.



Peggy’s Shrimp Chili

Here’s The Recipe:

2 cloves garlic
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red pepper chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1 26 oz. can S&W Chili Makin’s
1 can black beans
1 can red beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste chili powder, cayenne & a little sugar (to taste)
Dash of Tabasco sauce (to taste)

Sauté garlic, onion & peppers in olive oil; add remaining ingredients. Simmer for two hours. Add 1 lb. raw peeled & de-veined shrimp, and simmer 15-20 minutes more. It’s ready to serve!




tailgating-5Nancy’s Buffalo Chicken Dip

Tailgating is a family affair for loyal Spartan fans Mike and Nancy Vance, their sons, Tony and Paul, and Paul’s wife, Whitney. Nancy has been tailgating for over 40 years, and created a family favorite with her Buffalo Chicken Dip.

16 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese
12 oz. Buffalo Sauce
2 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded

To Make
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix ingredients and pour into a pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.
Top with shredded cheddar cheese and crumbled blue cheese. Bake 10 more minutes.
Serve with tortilla chips.





tailgating-2Coffee Cured Brisket

Spartan fanatic Lisa Odette of Fenton goes all out with this hearty dish – perfect for a chilly game day!

First the Rub:
Coat both sides of a 5-7lb. beef brisket with Coffee Cure.

1/3 cup coffee
1/3 cup dark chili powder
1/3 cup paprika
½ cup kosher salt
2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 TBL garlic powder
1 TBL cumin
1 TSP cayenne pepper

To Make
Mix all ingredients well. This will coat 3-4 briskets and seems to keep well in the cupboard. Typically, we do the rub the evening before we smoke the meat, and refrigerate. Remove from fridge approx. 1 hour before going into the smoker. During that time, mix the


tailgating-1Maple Dijon Baste

Maple Dijon Baste
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 TSP Dijon mustard
1 TSP salt
Pepper, to taste
3 TBL pure maple syrup

Smoke the meat in foil pans and pour about all of the cooking baste in the bottom of the pan. Cover with foil and smoke for 4 hours, at 180-200 degrees. Then, move it to a 200 degree oven and cook, covered, until the internal temp reaches 190 degrees (it takes approx. 4-6 hours in our oven). The goal is to cook low and slow to make it as tender as possible. Serve with BBQ sauce, horseradish sauce, hot mustard, whatever you prefer.



tailgating-6Dane Carnell’s Tailgate Chili

Dane Carnell of Flushing has tailgated at MSU games for many years with his wife and about 50 friends. As for eats, “Everybody brings something,” says Dane. His Tailgate Chili gets rave reviews.

2 qts. tomato juice
3 32 oz. cans stewed tomatoes
4 14.5 oz. cans dark kidney beans
2 lbs. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1 lb. ground chorizo
2 large onions, diced
3/4 cup chili powder (or to taste)

Brown the beef, pork & chorizo; add onions and cook until soft.
Add chili powder (may need more to taste).
Mix well, then add tomatoes and juice.
Heat on med-high for 15 min.


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