As summer comes to an end and chaos turns into organized routines, or so we hope, many begin to look forward to the falling leaves, delicious home cooked meals, cold, crisp nights, and of course, football, football, and more football! It is the season when family and friends often gather in hopes of rooting on their favorite team each Sunday, building bonds and memories as they scream at their television screens or out onto the field if they are lucky enough to attend one of these exciting games.
Football season means celebrations on a weekly basis and if you’re like my family, tailgating every Sunday as we cheer for the reigning Super Bowl Champions- our Seattle Seahawks. We are the superstitious people who believe in the lucky socks, unwashed jersey, and we have even blamed unexplained losses on the absence of one of our guests that couldn’t make it, or on the misplacement of the furniture in the room (we often have to re-decorate to fit everyone in the room on Sunday afternoons.) Football just makes some of us do strange things.
Football Tailgating: It’s All About the Food!
Tailgating for the games includes celebrating with friends while enjoying delicious foods, drinks, and laughter. We join together to support our Seahawks as we watch them win their way into another Superbowl, or so we hope! To prepare for the games each week, we split up a list of food and beverages for everyone to bring so my mom doesn’t always get left with the grocery bill.
Everyone comes dressed in their navy and lime Seahawks gear and some tailgating members bring their “lucky” items- one person in particular brings our favorite running back, Marshawn Lynch’s sugar-filled, go-to treat. My cousin always brings along green and blue cupcakes and my dad insists on mixed nuts.
My dad moves the furniture to accommodate everyone who joins so there is room to sit and space to pace back and forth when moments become heated. Food is laid out on the table for everyone to enjoy throughout the game and inexpensive decorations are placed to create an atmosphere of excitement.
To stick with our “lucky” streak, we always make sure to serve the food on SOLO products no matter what people bring to share. This tradition started last year and was one we made sure to continue after Super Bowl success. SOLO products are a necessity for our tailgating celebrations because the variety of products accommodates the assortment of goodies we share.
I use the small Heavy Duty Paper Plates for the Pico de gallo I make every week while the SOLO Squared Plastic Bowls are often used for a soup of some sort my mom throws together. The Heavy Duty Paper plates work great for dishes like pizza and the SOLO Squared Plastic Plates are ideal for filling up your plate with seconds!
One of the creative ways we display the food is on serving dishes made from SOLO products. These cake-like platters work great from week to week when made with heavy duty SOLO products. To create these simple stands, just use an adhesive, I used low-temp hot glue, and stick the bottom of the plate to the bottom of the cup as it sits upside down on a flat surface.
To make stands of different heights, use a tool like a sharp serrated knife or scissors to carefully cut the cup down to a height that works for you. It’s important that your cut be straight and even or your platter will lean. I chose to cut it this direction so that the white lip of the cup leaves a finished edge.
Before you add food to your new platter make sure it’s stable. One great trick is to stick a small soup can under the cup to add weight and stability.
To dress up the cups and add to the festive decorations use a glue gun, preferable a cold temperature type, or better yet use glue dots and attach the ribbon directly to the plastic cup anywhere you choose. These easy-to-make platters help add spirit and decor to your tailgating celebrations.
I also use the ribbon on dip dishes and on the table to carryover the team theme. I took a Christmas blue & silver garland and cut it into 4-6″ sections and rolled them to look like pompoms. I added a poster board in Seahawks’ lime green and used Chalkboard markers to add “Go Hawks.” Those same chalkboard markers were used to decorate the solo cups.
Silverware was rolled into napkins, tied with ribbons, and displayed in another Solo cup (weight the bottom with vase filler rocks or something similar to keep them from tipping over).
I used ready-made cupcake and took off the acorn design and replaced them with “flags” made from toothpicks, team ribbon, and a little hot glue. I tried to hide the missing acorn ring with a little blue frosting gel. I added the same ribbon I used on the cutlery and they were ready for the party.
I finished the table with fresh flowers, a vintage Seahawks football helmet, some homemade tissue paper balls, and everything from around the house I could find in green & blue and then invited our friends to come and enjoy.
- Juice of 1 small lime
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 2 large Roma tomatoes, washed, seeded and finely chopped
- ½ small white onion, finely chopped
- ½ small bunch cilantro, washed and chopped (about ¼ cup loosely packed or to taste)
- Kosher or sea salt, coarsely ground to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Put the lime juice, vinegar, and garlic in a medium size non-metallic bowl. Mix.
- Add all other ingredient and toss to combine completely.
- Refrigerate at least an hour to let the flavors develop and overnight for even more deliciousness!
- I pair ours with blue chips as a nod to the Seahawks blue & lime team colors
Football Tailgating: SOLO Cups & Plates – Durable and Strong!
I am a big fan of the SOLO products due to the quality, variety, and durability. Any dish can be served and enjoyed with the reliable SOLO products fit for any celebration. The bright vibrant colors of the paper, heavy duty, and premium strength products also make adding decor to any celebration simple and neat.
Remember, not every cup is a SOLO cup! Don’t forget to check out the clear cups, Ultra Colors cups, and the “It’s My SOLO Cups”– simply peel back the label and scratch your name into the cup, or whatever name you feel like being called! The fun never ends when you’re favorite square cup tags along!