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A Tailgate Party for Eight

Updated on September 7, 2009

Modern Version of the Chuck Wagon

In the American Old West, after the Civil War, cowboys used to drive their cattle to market. Sometimes it was a long journey and they soon discovered they needed a special wagon to go with them. It was called a Chuck Wagon. This wagon was a portable kitchen with everything they needed to prepare meals.

Pots, pans, cooking utensils, water, whiskey and food to last 6 months were taken along on the Chuck Wagon and prepared by "Cookie" the cook. The food was prepared on the hinged shelf on the back of the wagon.

In the 1960s, tailgate "buffets" were popular with the station wagon set. "Someone" decided that when a station wagon's tailgate was lowered, it made an ideal buffet table. It was a great idea to have a picnic before a football game.

Some people today serve pre-game meals fit for a King! Everything can be made at home and heated up on a small grill or taken in a slow cooker. Most common foods are hamburgers, hot dogs or brats, or steaks. Side dishes usually include chips and salsa and baked beans. Drinks are usually beer. (although alcohol is forbidden, if in the stadium parking lot).

This Tailgate Party for Eight is none of the above, just to be different.

Chicken Casserole in the Slow Cooker

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1/4 cup finely diced onion

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon parsley flakes

1 teaspoon celery flakes

1/4 teaspoon thyme

3 cups diced cooked chicken

1 package (8 oz) wide egg noodles, cooked and drained

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Mix well. Cover and cook on LOW 6-8 hours or on HIGH 3-4 hours.

Tomato-Onion Salad

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons prepared mustard

1/4 cup olive oil

2 Tablespoons tarragon vinegar

6 firm tomatoes, sliced

1 onion, thinly sliced

Chopped fresh parsley

Combine garlic and salt in small bowl and mash with a spoon. Stir in sugar, pepper, mustard, oil and vinegar. Pour over tomato and onion slices. Sprinkle with parsley. Chill. Serve on crisp greens.

Chocolate Chip Cake with Chocolate Glaze

3 1/3 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

2 egg whites

1 Tablespoon vanilla

1 Tablespoon white vinegar

1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, at medium speed, beat the granulated sugar, yogurt, egg whites, vanilla and vinegar till fluffy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer at low speed, gradually add the flour mixture. Stir until just combined (do not overmix). Add 2 cups water and stir until smooth. Add chocolate chips and mix gently. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Move onto a plate.

Chocolate Glaze

1 square unsweetened chocolate

1 Tablespoon butter

1 1/2 Tablespoons hot milk

3/4 cup powdered sugar

Dash of salt

Melt chocolate and butter together over hot water. Combine milk, sugar and salt in small bowl. Add chocolate mixture gradually, blending well.

While glaze is still warm, pour from teaspoon over top of cake and spread with spatula. Makes 1/2 cup glaze.

Don't forget the cooler for cold drinks and a huge thermos of coffee

Take along buttered rolls, plates, cups, forks, sugar, cream, salt and pepper. Cheer for your team!!!!!

Tailgate Party


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