November 5, 2012

Can't get to the stadium? Tailgate at home!

Six years ago I went to my very first football game.  It was Christmas Eve and our favorite team, the San Diego Chargers were playing their rivals, the Denver Broncos.  It was without question the most fun sporting event I had ever been to and before having Kayla I went to a bunch more.

These days it's a bit harder to commit to a 3-4 hour game, forget tailgating before it.  There is a small rambunctious person (whom I love) that has been preventing me from leisurely afternoons at the stadium.  So, most of our football watching takes place at home.  However, this week I decided to bring the feel of the stadium snack stand and a tailgate to our home.

Mommy Testers Tailgate with children nachos, candy apples and turkey meatballs #ChooseSmart

I started out with a trip to Smart & Final which has become my hidden gem of grocery shopping.   I love how they have nearly all of the items I would look for in my regular grocery store, a very fresh produce section and the ability to buy certain items in bulk.  If you like to use manufacturer's coupons which I don't do very much (but probably should) it's nice to know that Smart & Final accepts them even though the warehouse stores do not.

I picked up ingredients to make these individual nacho dips, some yummy turkey meatballs that sneak in extra veggies and grabbed these pre-made mini caramel apples as a sweet treat.

Mommy Testers Individual portions of nachos and caramel apples from Smart and Final #ChooseSmart

Back at home I prepped some individual cups of nachos  since in my experience kids always want their OWN everything.  I also thought the individual portions would solve the problem of negotiating how many chips Kayla was allowed to consume (however many were in her cup) and avoided the ever present double dipping issue that no amount of parental policing seems to solve.  I used ground turkey for these as well with some shredded cheese and homemade guacamole.

Mommy Testers Individual Nachos with ingredients from Smart and Final #ChooseSmart

The mini caramel apples I found at Smart & Final were the perfect size to avoid dessert guilt for adults and be manageable for little mouths.  I just put them on flattened cupcake wrappers to keep them from sticking to anything.  When it's time to eat them you can just poke the stick through the wrapper, pull the sides up and it helps keep the nut crumbs to a minimum.

Mommy Testers turkey meatballs with veggies for tailgating from Smart and Final #ChooseSmart

I got to work on one of my family's favorite dishes - turkey meatballs.  What Kayla doesn't realize and my picky husband never seems to taste or mind is the spinach and zucchini that I add into the meatball mix.  These meatballs are pretty healthy - just lean ground turkey, diced onions, garlic, zucchini and some chopped spinach.  I use an egg to bind it together and some salt and pepper to season the turkey.

The key is sautéing the onions, garlic, zucchini and spinach first and then browning the meatballs in the same pan.  Will you pull a fast one on someone used to eating beef their whole life?  Probably not.  However you would be surprised at just how good they taste.  In our home we're not too fancy when it comes to certain things so I just put the meatballs in some hotdog buns and they make the perfect petite sized meatball sandwiches.

Mommy Testers Stadium Snack Stand  for a child #ChooseSmart

How to make things extra fun for the kids?  I took out our play market that Kayla got for the holidays last year and set things up in it for her to serve them to her hungry parents.  I also couldn't help but make these paper tickets.  They just took a few seconds to make and made the whole #ChooseSmart experience seem far more authentic to her.

Mommy Testers Snack Stand Tickets #ChooseSmart

Just so you know, I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Biasand Smart & Final #CBias #SocialFabric everything you see is my personal and picky opinion.
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