This was our first tailgate experience and we figured that tailgating inside would be the best option this time around. Once upon a time my favorite saying was, “My daughter and my paycheck go to Michigan State”. After a while, I felt as if I could drive to East Lansing with my eyes closed. That was many years but we’re still MSU fans.
It just so happens that Samara left a MSU windshield shade here and it was the perfect accessory for the buffet table. I also found a football that belonged to one of our sons, purchased team napkins, and my props were off to a good start.
I covered the table with a green cloth and used white ribbon as field markers. The MSU windshield shade and foot sits on a slab of Styrofoam that I covered with green felt. Balancing a plate on your lap is a bit cumbersome so I used these plain old cookie sheets for trays. They came from the dollar store and are not pans I would use for baking. Easy peasy and very economical.
The menu us simple, filling and quick to pull together. Brats, with all the fix-ins, coleslaw from the deli, snack mix in individual bags, cupcakes, and beverages. Don’t let inclement weather keep you from showing your team spirit. Tailgating inside is always an option.
Now about the cupcakes…
Root beer has made resurgence but not just any old root beer. This bubbly beverage comes with an adult kick. There are several brands on the market and the one I used is Sprechter. The alcohol content is very low but still not appropriate for children. I’m sharing the recipe for Hard Root Beer Float Cupcakes just in case you want to add them to your tailgate menu, or any other fall activity. My recipe was inspired by one found in Southern Living 2004 Annual Recipes.
- 1 (18.25 oz) pkg German Chocolate Cake Mix
- 1 ¼ cups hard root beer ( I used Sprecher)
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- Hard Root Beer Frosting
- ½ cup butter
- 7 TBS hard root beer
- 3 TBS unsweetened cocoa
- 1 (16 oz) pkg powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 ° F.
- Combine first 4 ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Beat at low speed with an electric mixer until dry ingredients are moistened.
- Scoop approximately 3 TBS of batter into a paper lined 12 cup muffin tin.
- Bake for 20-23 minutes until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- When cupcakes are cool enough to handle remove from the muffin tin and cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
- While cupcakes are cooling make the Hard Root Beer Frosting.
- Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring until butter melts.
- Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.
- Frost as desired with Hard Root Beer Frosting.
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