Tailgate Party Time!

Football season is here and we all know what that means right! It’s time for a tailgate party!

A tailgate party is usually at the stadium in the parking lot with your good friends and some great food! Yet, lets just say your favorite team is not playing where you live? Go Chiefs! So when that’s the case my “Tailgate” party will be at home!

We like to host a few football parties during the football season when our favorite teams are playing. Of course being that my husband, JJ Birden, played in the NFL we are partial to the teams he played with. For any of you that might now already know he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 1988, from there he went to the Dallas Cowboys briefly, Kansas City Chiefs for 5 years and retired after playing 2 years with the Atlanta Falcons in 1997. Those were some exciting years watching him play. 

Every year there is an NFL draft and then of course the NFL Fantasy League draft. How about a tailgate party draft?  Man Crates asked me to draft our squad of essentials for a NFL tailgate party. They’re a new company that specializes in gifts for men; they have a lot of different themed crates you can send to your man and watch him open with a crowbar! I love this idea, so I thought it would be fun to share some of my “Tailgate” party ideas with you for the ultimate parking lot party! I am sure you will be able to use some of these ideas at your home cook out too! 😉

Man Crates gave me this great graphic to use for my draft. I am going to use the items from it to draft my tailgate party. My goal is to keep it under $25 using the graphics prices. Let’s do this! (my line up is below graphic)

Man Crates-Tailgate_v03

My tailgate line up:

  1. Hot dogs/Burgers – these are definitely a must, when I think of football food this is what first comes to mind. It is also an easy food choice for that portable grill at the stadium.
  2. OPTION PLAY: Chips & Guacamole: We love our guacamole! So our tailgate party is not complete without my guac & chips to munch on! I grew up on my Mom’s homemade guacamole and now my siblings and I have our own tweaked versions of Mom’s original recipe that our families love.
  3. Drinks: I have to admit we are not really beer drinkers in this house, so I would say my substitution for beer would be water & Arizona iced tea. It is hot in Arizona so you must have water or some kind of liquid that keeps you going in the hot sun.
  4. Music: Music is always a must for our tailgate party. The music keeps the party lively and gets you pumped up for the game.
  5. Football: We have to have a football, whats a tailgate party without that! My husband and our children like to throw the football around, it’s a good way to warm up for the real game.
  6. NFL Barware Man Crate: I would choose this Man Crate because although we are not drinking beer, those team glasses are awesome for any type of beverage and there are some great snacks in the Man Crate to munch on with my guacamole & chips, while we wait for those hot dogs and burgers to finish grilling.

That’s my lineup!

I would love to hear what you like to have at your tailgate party. Leave me your ideas in the comments below.

“Football is like life – it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.”
~ Vince Lombardi

Amazing Slow Cooker Ribs

When my husband & I were married in 1990…

 JJRainaWed Aisle

we received some great wedding gifts. One gift that was never used was a slow cooker. I kept that crock pot for about 10 years and finally sold it in a garage sale. I didn’t grow up with a mother that used a slow cooker. I had no idea what to put it in, what to make in it. So away it went. But as the years have gone by and our family grew from 3 children to 8 literally overnight, I have needed to find different ways to make a lot of food at one time. Friends of mine swear by cooking in the slow cooker, so I went out and bought one about 5 years ago. I admit my education has been a slow process. I have my favorite recipes I make in it. The internet is a great source of information and I use it to also find great recipes. I know I have not used my slow cooker to its full potential, but I am working on it! 🙂

Ribs!! I have always slow cooked my ribs in the oven, but I have to tell you I found the most amazing, yummy and easy baby back rib slow cooker recipe this week. No doubt some of you probably already knew this recipe, but if you haven’t tried it, I encourage you to make them soon!

Slow Cooker Ribs:


  • Babyback pork loin ribs
  • Dry rub (my recipe below)
  • BBQ Sauce – Original Chef’s Gourmet BBQ Sauce or Sweet Baby Ray’s are my favorites. (of course you can always make your own)
  • Crock Pot (Slow cooker)

Dry Rub Recipe:

  • 2 1/2 Tbs. chili powder
  • 2 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 2 Tbs. ground coriander
  • 1 Tbs kosher salt
  • 1/2 Tbs. paprika
  • 1/2 Tbs. dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne

In a small bowl stir together all the spice rub ingredients. (I usually make extra and store in an airtight container)

  1. Cut the rib racks in half, rub spice rub on front and back of ribs.
  2. Layer ribs into slow cooker, lather each layer with bbq sauce, I pour a little extra on top layer. I layered three half racks of ribs in mine. (no other liquid is needed)
  3. Set slow cooker to low for 8 hours. (I don’t use the high setting because they come out better cooking on low)
  4. Once the ribs are done cooking in the slow cooker, take them out and place on foil covered pan , lather on more bbq sauce and place in the oven on broil for about 3-5 minutes, depending on your broiler. Broil until bubbly and the sauce has caramelized.

Enjoy your fall off the bone, easy, yummy ribs!! My family raved over these, I am sure yours will too!

 “People who love to eat are always the best people.”
― Julia Child