Virginia Willis Blog

Get Your Game On with Tailgating Recipes

Tailgating Recipes on

Tailgate Season

We’re about a month into college football season and things are just getting started. All the early supposedly easy games are over and we’re getting into the more serious match-ups. The air is getting crisper and the leaves are starting to change color. It’s tailgating season and you need tailgating recipes! At the bottom of the post, you’ll see the recipe for Savory Eggplant Dip that’s a huge family favorite. It’s great with chips, crackers, or celery sticks. And, to round things out I’m sharing a collection of tailgating recipes I am certain you will love.

Link it Up!

Many tailgating recipes are all about the grill game. Tired of brats and burgers? Check out my Grilled Gumbo over on made with tender shrimp, juicy chicken, and spicy sausage. I’m thrilled to be working with Southern Kitchen. Keep an eye out for more recipes and make sure to follow them on Facebook.

Tailgating recipes on

The Ultimate Football Food

These wings are incredible and burst with the flavor of sweet heat. Um, ah — this post didn’t work out so good for the Falcons, but the Coca Cola Wings are a winner! Ouch. Too soon?

Tailgating recipes on

Make Ahead

Make this Tailgate Chili with all the fixins! Made with canned or dry beans this recipe is certain to satisfy every fan. I often make it with turkey sausage and ground turkey instead of Italian pork sausage and ground beef. And, I just want you to know there’s a reason this chili is red and black!

Tailgating recipes on

Tailgating with Sticking Fingers

You want ribs for your tailgate? Granted, some of these rib tailgating recipes this might work out better in your backyard , than on campus. One way or the other, this has you covered. I’m sharing FIVE great recipes for BBQ ribs. Get out the napkins and the spray and wash!

Tailgating recipes on

Deviled Eggs

Don’t you love those Tupperware deviled egg holders? Who doesn’t like a deviled egg? Check out my Genius Deviled Eggs on Food52. What makes them genius? You’ve got to check it out!

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Pimento Cheese is probably the Number #1 Tailgating Recipe in the SEC! Click HERE for a Lightened Up Version (you can’t tell the difference!) AND Perre Coleman Magness’s recipe for Pigs in Pimento Cheese Blankets with Honey Mustard Dip.

That should do it — tailgating recipes that will help you get your game going. Have a great weekend!

Bon Appétit, Y’all — and Go Dawgs! 

Virginia Willis


Asian Eggplant Dip on

Savory Eggplant Dip

Author virginiawillis


  • 2 medium eggplant
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green and white scallion rings
  • 1 serrano chile pepper cored, seeded, and chopped, plus more sliced for garnish
  • ¼ teaspoon dried red chile flakes or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons tamari
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned Japanese rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil


  1. Preheat oven to 475°F. Wrap the eggplant in foil and place in the oven. Roast until collapsed and very tender, about 45 minutes. Remove the eggplant and loosen the foil. Slit it lengthwise to speed the cooling.
  2. Combine the garlic, ginger, scallion, and Serrano pepper in the bowl of a small food processor fitter with blade attachment. Pulse to combine. Set aside. Combine the tamari, brown sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, and water. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Set aside.
  3. Heat a wok over medium high heat. Add the canola oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the reserved garlic-ginger mixture and red pepper flakes.
  4. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant 45 to 60 seconds. Add the reserved sauce ingredients and eggplant.
  5. Stir well to blend, and heat through. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Serve warm or cold. Keeps up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Photos by Virginia Willis

Please be nice. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission is prohibited. Feel free to excerpt and link, just give credit where credit is due and send folks to my website, Thanks so much.

Want to keep up with my culinary wanderings and wonderings? Lets connect on  Facebook , TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.

Copyright © 2017 Virginia Willis Culinary Enterprises, Inc.

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9/11 and the War of Terror

9/11 Virginia Willis

War of Terror

In 2010 when I initially wrote this post, I hadn’t written a word about my experiences on 9/11 and hardly ever spoke of it. I couldn’t watch reports on TV — and still can’t. I’ve tweaked and re-posted this piece every year since I wrote it. The photo of my sister above was shot mere days before 9/11. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 16 years. (more…)

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What’s in Season: Cucumber Fruit Salad

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 Cool as a Cucumber

Did you know that cucumbers are more than 90% water AND the phrase “cool as a cucumber” is a scientific fact! The inside temperature of a cucumber can be up to 20 degrees cooler than the outside air. I love cucumbers and will snack on them, especially during the summer. They are good and good for you! Cucumbers are low in calories and contain a good amount of water and soluble fiber, making them ideal for promoting hydration and aiding in weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight. They are available year round from “somewhere else” or grown in a hot house, but they are, like much other summer produce best at peak season. I love their crisp, juicy, and refreshing texture and grassy melon-like flavor. (more…)

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What’s in Season: Cantaloupe Creamsicle

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Summer Melon

Cantaloupe responds well to hot summer heat and is currently in high season across much of the US. Generally, this time of year we keep cantaloupe freshly cut and cubed in a container in the fridge. Cantaloupe is one of those fruits that is always found in the prepared foods case in the produce department — but it’s so often dull and pretty boring. However, in the heat of mid-August ripe cantaloupe is luscious with tangy juices. If we’re not eating it fresh, I will pop it into the blender to make a smoothie. I’ll often add yogurt, maybe a bit of mint and a handful of blueberries or so. The other day as I was making our breakfast smoothie it occurred to me that it would make a fantastic popsicle. (more…)

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What’s in Season: Summer Tomato Recipes

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Fresh from the Garden

A garden-ripe, fresh tomato is the absolute ultimate in summer produce. Out of season tomatoes are flavorless rock-hard orbs shipped from some other hemisphere. Out of season tomatoes are nothing if not pure disappointment. In season, tomatoes are bursting with flavor, juicy and luscious. Fresh tomatoes are only ever good in summer. There is nothing as wonderful as the full, rich, almost wine-like flavor of a vine ripe tomato. So, when it’s tomato season, I heartily endorse eating those glorious ripe ones as often as possible. (more…)

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