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MCKRE's Tailgate Toolbox

By: Mary Cheatham King / 16 Sep 2022
MCKRE's Tailgate Toolbox

It's game time, y'all. One thing we can all agree on, no matter who we root for, all great games start at the tailgate – specifically with warm food and delicious beverages. Check out some of our team's favorite, easy recipes that are sure to please a crowd!

How to compile your TAILGATE TOOLBOX:


Yep, we're talkin' about an actual toolbox. Grab a medium-to-large-sized toolbox at your local hardware store and turn it into a functional gameday kit by filling it with all of the tailgating tools and essentials.


Now, what should you include in your Tailgate Toolbox? Here are a few suggestions that we've found helpful: plastic cutlery, paper plates, paper towels, cups, a Sharpie (to designate cup owners!), set of tongs, bottle opener, toothpicks, flashlight, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, ponchos, plastic bags for leftovers and condiment packets. Most importantly, y'all, do not forget the trash bags!


Your Tailgate Toolbox will serve you all season long, so take the time to stock it with products that you will actually use. Then, after each tailgate session, you can assess what needs to be replenished and restock accordingly. A little bit of effort invested at the beginning of the season will save you time and ensure the perfect tailgate!



¾ cup melted butter

1½ tbsp Dijon mustard

1½ tsp Worcestershire sauce

1½ tbsp poppy seeds

1 tbsp dried minced onion

24 mini sandwich rolls

1 pound thinly sliced cooked deli ham

1 pound thinly sliced Swiss cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.

2. In a bowl, mix together butter, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, poppy seeds, and dried onion. Separate the tops from bottoms of the rolls, and place the bottom pieces into the prepared baking dish. Layer about half the ham onto the rolls. Arrange the Swiss cheese over the ham, and top with remaining ham slices in a layer. Place the tops of the rolls onto the sandwiches. Pour the mustard mixture evenly over the rolls.

3. Bake in the preheated oven until the rolls are lightly browned and the cheese has melted, about 20 minutes. Slice into individual rolls through the ham and cheese layers to serve at your tailgate!


1 tbsp olive oil

1 pound pulled pork

2 15-oz cans crushed tomatoes

2 tsp chili powder

2 15-oz cans pinto beans, drained

1 tsp smoked paprika

8-oz can roasted & diced green chiles, drained

1 cup frozen corn

Optional Toppings:

Shredded cheese

Sour cream

Diced avocado

Diced fresh tomato

Chopped fresh cilantro

Thinly sliced jalapeño

Lime wedges


1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add pulled pork; cook and stir until hot with some crispy edges, about 5 minutes.

2. Add pinto beans, tomatoes with juice, chili powder and paprika; stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

3. Add roasted chiles and corn; cook and stir until heated through, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a Crock Pot to keep warm, then serve piled high with your favorite toppings!


Morning Game - Laura's Mimosa Pitcher Cocktail

Thin slices of citrus fruits (grapefruits, oranges, lemons, limes)

1 bottle chilled Prosecco

3-4 cups freshly squeezed orange juice

Cranberry juice

1. Before you leave for the tailgate, fill a pitcher with slices of citrus fruits. Add orange juice and put in your cooler until ready to use.

2. When ready to serve, remove from cooler and add chilled Prosecco to the pitcher. Fill champagne flutes with prepared mixture and add a splash of cranberry juice to each.

Noon Game - Brittany's Moscow Mule Punch

1 Container Simply Limeade (52-oz)

3 ginger beers

2 cups vodka

3 limes

1. Slice the three lemons & place half the slices in the bottom of a large pitcher or drink dispenser.

2. Fill the pitcher with ice. Pour vodka and beer over the ice & top off with the limeade.

3. Add remaining lime slices or use as a garnish in the cups.

(Makes roughly 13 cups of punch)


Night Game - Susan's apple cider hot toddy


Apple Cider 

Fresh rosemary

Orange slices

Cinnamon sticks

1. Place apple cider, orange slices, fresh cranberries, rosemary, and cinnamon sticks into a pot. Bring to a boil over medium/high heat. Once boiling, turn the burner down to low and let simmer for around 10 minutes.

2. Next, transfer mixture to an insulated pitcher or crockpot.

3. When it's time to enjoy, pour about 1.5 ounces of whiskey in the bottom of your cup. Then, add your favorite garnishes, such as an orange slice or a piece of rosemary. Pour hot apple cider mixture on top of the whiskey and drink immediately.

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