Tailgate Season: A Few Sweet Recipes

I have such fond memories of tailgating at Michigan State games. When I was there…back in the day…we took over Munn Field and created one massive, crazy party. Since then, I think the tailgates have toned down a bit (as have I). I can’t wait to take my kids back to my alma mater and show them a true Big Ten Tailgate!

One of the best things about tailgate season is the food. I feel it is an excuse to eat hearty, comforting appetizers and various treats in the crisp fall air while sipping an autumn cocktail of choice. Although Cup O Noodles is oddly delicious at times, I have graduated to a more upscale spread for adult tailgate purposes.

I recently discovered Honey Ridge Farms– a family owned and operated company which has been beekeeping for five generations. They offer incredibly unique gourmet products- my favorite of which are their line of honey crèmes and their award winning balsamic honey vinegar. Here are a few recipes using their products that will knock the socks off your tailgate crew!

The Charcuterie Spread

A German breakfast consists of various meats, cheese, jams, and honey…the perfect solid set-up for an early morning tailgate! One of my fall favorites is baked, melty cheese in any form. Honey Ridge Farms adds a dash of sweet to make this my new must-have:

Baked Chevre with Almonds and Honey

10-12 oz. goat cheese, room temperature
3 T. milk
4 T. Honey Ridge Farms Honey Crème (choose your fave flavor- they recommend clover, spiced or lemon) 
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
Flatbread or other cracker

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix cheese with milk in a bowl until smooth and creamy, then spread in small shallow baking dish. Bake until cheese is hot in the center and starts to firm around the edges, about 12 minutes. Drizzle with honey crème while still warm and top with toasted almonds. Serve with flatbreads/crackers.

Morning Muffins

Muffins can be a little ho-hum, but when you brush them with a naturally-flavored honey crème, it adds a new dimension of sweet to savor. I brushed blueberry-orange muffins with Blood Orange Honey Crème, and regular blueberry muffins with Lavender Honey Crème.

Grilled Vegetable Platter

After all of that salami, prosciutto and capicola, a lighter fare of grilled vegetables is called for. I love the fact that you can grill these and refrigerate- they make a fabulous cold platter. To prepare, brush eggplant, onion, sweet potato rounds and Italian peppers with olive oil and Balsamic Honey Vinegar. You can even serve these with crusty rolls for a vegetarian sandwich.

Seasonal Sips

Yes, beer is a staple for any tailgate, but how about when the weather dips below the comfortably chilly point? I think a toddy is the perfect solution!

Spiced Apple Sangria Toddy

2 Honeycrisp apples
2 oranges
1 lemon
1/2 cup peach schnapps 
1/4 cup Spiced Honey Crème
1 bottle of white moscato wine
3 cinnamon sticks

Chop apples and peel and cut oranges and lemon into small bite-sized segments. In a large saucepan, combine peach schnapps, spiced honey crème, cinnamon sticks and fruit. Let simmer for 3 minutes, or until honey dissolves. Add white wine and simmer for a couple more minutes. Remove lemon segments and pour into heat-proof pitcher for serving. Garnish with cinnamon stick.

I came up with my own cocktail because of my new-found obsession with Moscow Mules. I omitted the lime juice in a traditional vodka Moscow Mule and added a little Lavender Honey Crème. The combination of spicy ginger and sweet lavender is delish.

Sweet Lavender Moscow Mule

1/2 can Barritt’s Ginger Beer
1.5 oz vodka
1 teaspoon (to taste) Lavender Honey Crème

Mix well, serve over ice in a copper mug.

I highly recommend trying Honey Ridge Farms products to add some flair and flavor to your next tailgate! What are your favorite Tailgate Treats?

Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary Honey Ridge Farms products for review purposes. All opinions are honest and my own.