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Knob Creek Whiskey Recipes/Review

Posted by Brandon On October - 18 - 2014

Bourbon. For fans of this particular spirit just seeing the word probably already has you thinking about that aroma. It’s my favorite distilled product because whatever it ends up in just seems better. Pecan pie is good on its own. Throw some bourbon into it and it gets even better. Grilled lemonade is pretty great all by itself. Throw some bourbon in and it becomes your new favorite cocktail. Pretty awesome stuff. Bourbon. For fans of this particular spirit just seeing the word probably already has you thinking about that aroma. It’s my favorite distilled product because whatever it ends up in just seems better. Pecan pie is good on its own. Throw some bourbon into it and it gets even better. Grilled lemonade is pretty great all by itself. Throw some bourbon in and it becomes your new favorite cocktail. Pretty awesome stuff.

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(Disclaimer: We did receive sample bottles of Knob Creek Bourbon and Rye Whiskey. The fact these samples were provided to us free of charge in no way influenced our opinion of the product nor did it impact our ability to test and review the product fairly and objectively.)symonburger

Recently I was contacted about Knob Creek whiskey and some recipes they had developed in conjunction with Chef Michael Symon. They offered up some samples to test a few out and I was happy to give them a whirl. All of the recipes seemed quite appealing, what else would you expect from a big name chef, so I decided to make life a little easier on myself and try just two to start with.  I felt like they, and the whiskey, would give me enough info that I could make a call on all of them. First I tried the Burger With Knob Creek® Caramelized Onions, Gruyere & Horseradish. The video they made for this recipe is here; I really had doubts that the onions would pick up any of that bourbon flavor but much like the things I mentioned above, they only got better. They were super simple to make and would be easy to incorporate into a tailgate party. If burgers frequently find their way onto your menus give these a chance.

I also took the opportunity to try the Bratwurst & Kielbasa in a Knob Creek Rye Jalapeño Beer Broth recipe. Rye whiskey is a spicier so it is really at home with strong flavors like jalapeno and red onion. You would not believe the smell that this recipe puts out. The brats that came out of it were super juicy, a great reason to use a bath/broth, and picked up a little of that flavor. The only thing I thought could be better on the recipe was the measurements, they don’t match what Chef Symon does in the video(he used a whole bottle of beer), and even more specifically the addition of the water to bring the total volume of the liquid up.  For what it’s worth, and I’m going rogue on this one, if you try this recipe I think grilling the sausage before hand might give you a little nicer end product.   It’s a technique that I’ve learned from my work with Johnsonville recipes.  I don’t have real scientific evidence to back it up, but I theorize that the sausage develops very small cracks in the casing when cooking and those cracks would allow some of that super tasty broth liquid inside the sausage while it soaks.

symonbratsDue to time and stomach, I was just plain stuffed, constraints I did not try the other recipes sent to me, but they sound just as good or better and every bit as applicable in the parking lot. They were the Grilled Knob Creek® Rye Whiskey Pork Meatballs on Skewers, Grilled Ribeye with Knob Creek® Bourbon BBQ Sauce, and the Grilled Korean and Knob Creek® Rye Whiskey BBQ-­‐Style Wings.   For space constraints I’ve decided not to pack all the recipes in long form onto this post.  You can get all the info from the end of the videos and many of the recipes, along with a lot more, are also listed on Knob Creek’s site.

Of course it wouldn’t be much of a review without tasting the whiskey by itself, neat. Now I’m really not the sort of guy who can sit there and tell you that there are notes of this and hints of that. What I can tell you is what I like, and I liked these whiskeys. They were exactly what I expected, and in a lot of ways that’s a very solid compliment. If I were to drop money on a bottle labeled bourbon or rye, and it tasted like something else I wouldn’t be too happy.

Normally a review would end here with my assessment on if a particular product has a place at your next tailgate. I’m deeming Knob Creek Bourbon and Rye Whiskeys “Tailgate Approved.”  Luckily I do have one last surprise for you all. Along with the review opportunity I was also able to bounce some questions of Chef Michael Symon himself. Yes that same Michael Symon you’ve seen on “The Chew”, “Iron Chef America”, and all over the airwaves.  However the interview pushed the length of the post way over what we like to do so it will be released soon in a separate post.  I think Chef Symon gave us a few nice little tidbits that you can probably apply to your next tailgate. Stay tuned for that.

For more information and to see other recipes you can visit Knob Creek directly at www.knobcreek.com.

Feed the Party

Posted by Dave On October - 14 - 2014

Feed the Party Featured
You know you want to have some good eats while out tailgating but the hassle of making up the menu can be too much sometimes. Sometimes you would rather have someone else come up with the tailgate party menu and have all the grub delivered right to your door.

We recently discovered a new website out there called feedtheparty.com that will not only make up your tailgate party menu for you but will deliver it right to your door. In addition to that convenience, Feed the Party takes a portion of their proceeds and donates it to a local food bank. Take a look at this video where Feed the Party was showcased on ABC’s World News Now.


Jump to the 3:15 mark to see the section about Feed the Party

You get the gist from the video this is a service that will deliver the choicest meats, rubs, spices and buns directly to you. The best is that you don’t need to be hosting a large tailgate to use Feed the Party. They have packages to accommodate even an intimate tailgate for two. Check out some of their packages ranging from small to large.

Feed the Party Package
Feed the Party Package
Feed the Party Package
Feed the Party Package
Feed the Party Package

Upon learning about Feed the Party we requested a sample to see for ourselves if the quality of the food sent is really top notch and worthy of appearing at our tailgate. We were sent the “Party Starter” package which included steaks, burgers, pork chops, gourmet buns and spices.

Breakfast of Champions - Steak and Eggs

Breakfast of Champions – Steak and Eggs

(Disclaimer: We did receive a sample package from Feed the Party for free. The fact this sample was provided to us free of charge in no way influenced our opinion of the product nor did it impact our ability to test and review the product fairly and objectively.)

We brought the Feed the Party “Party Starter” to the San Diego Chargers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars game a couple of weeks ago and we can honestly say the food and the quality did not disappoint. We did the NY Strips in the morning for a little steak and eggs to start the day off right. (We also added some bacon but then again, who is really going to argue about adding some bacon?) The steaks were tender and perfectly cut. Steak and eggs in the morning never tasted so good unless you have had them on the blacktop outside of a football stadium. We also added some grilled onions and mini peppers to round out the most important meal of the day. Although breakfast was an awesome meal, we didn’t stop there and grilled up some more Feed the Party grub before heading inside.

Gourmet burgers from Feed the Party

Gourmet burgers from Feed the Party

For lunch we hit the burgers from Feed the Party. We grilled up only four of the eight burgers that came in our Party Starter kit because they were rather big and we were still a little full from breakfast. Thankfully we had some guests join our party late and were able to share these burgers with them.

The burgers were great and full of flavor. I chose to wrap mine in lettuce leaves choosing the low carb route while our late arriving guests were not watching their carbs and went with the buns that came in the Feed the Party package. They commented how they loved the burgers and the buns really made the burgers complete.

(Those of you that follow Tailgating Ideas on Twitter and Instagram might recognize those photos. We shared them in real time on the day of the tailgate via those social media channels.)

Overall, the food from Feed the Party was outstanding. The speed and convenience of having your tailgate party food delivered directly to your door was exceptional and honestly, the price was excellent. The food included in the Party Starter package is priced at about $60 and when you factor in free shipping and not having to burn your own gas going to the store or the butcher shop, it is well worth the price.

If that wasn’t enough convincing, we mentioned earlier that a portion of each sale of a Feed the Party food pack goes to charity. Feed the Party is based out of Kentucky and their charity of choice is the Dare to Care Food Bank in Louisville, Kentucky. So if you not only want some quality tailgating grub and want to give back to the community at large, Feed the Party would be a great way to go about it.

With all things considered, the quality of food, the fast and free delivery and the price, we are going to definitely label Feed the Party “Tailgate Approved”. Of course we focus primarily on tailgating here but in addition to tailgating, any of the Feed The Party packages would be great for “Homegating”, when you want to have friends over to watch the game on TV when your team is on the road.

To learn more about Feed the Party or to pick up a package for your next tailgate party, visit: feedtheparty.com

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The Tailgating Kit

Posted by Dave On October - 2 - 2014
The Tailgating Kit - Standard Kid unloaded

The Tailgating Kit- Standard in boxes

When you host a tailgate party, you need a way to serve the food. Most of us will stock up at our local warehouse store or grocery store and buy paper plates, plastic utensils, napkins, aluminum foil, condiments, etc. Before the next tailgate you have to remember how much of each thing you used last time and make another trip back to the store and restock what you used up last time out in the parking lot.

The creators of TheTailgatingKit.com think they may have an answer for this age old problem. They have taken all of the essential tailgating items you could possibly need for tailgating, placed it in one convenient box and will ship it right to your door. You determine how many people will be at your tailgate and then choose the size tailgating kit and it will suit your needs. All you need to do is remember to bring the food and drinks and everything else can be found all in the box.

We thought this was a cool concept to alleviate all the running around from store to store where some places might not have everything you need all in one place. We requested a few samples of The Tailgating Kit and took it to the San Diego Chargers vs Jacksonville Jaguars game to test it out. We wanted to see if The Tailgating Kit had everything we were going to need to throw a successful tailgate party.

The Tailgating Kit comes in three different sizes; The Basic Kit, the Standard Kit and the Premium Kit. The Basic Kit is compiled for those hosting a tailgate party with 15 people or less. The Standard Kit is designed for parties up to about 20 people and the Premium Kit can handle 25 people. We took the Standard Kit with us to the Chargers/Jaguars game and when we unpacked it, we knew we had more than enough gear to handle all of our guest’s needs.

The Tailgating Kit- Standard box unloaded on 8' tailgating table

The Tailgating Kit- Standard Kit items on an 8′ tailgating table

The Standard Kit comes with:

1 – 8 Piece Fold-A-Way Buffet Set
20 – Dinner Bowls
30 – Dinner Plates
3 – Chip Bowls
2 – Serving Platters
2 – Plastic Table Cloths
1 – Ketchup Bottle
1 – Mustard Bottle
20 – Mayonnaise Packets
1 – Salt Shaker
1 – Pepper Shaker
1 – Wet Naps Pack
20 – Napkins
1 – Paper Towel Roll
1 – Roll of Toilet Paper
20 – Fork, Spoon, Knife and Napkin Combos
20 – Standard Cups
1 – Box Aluminum Foil
3 – Serving Spoons
2 – Tongs
2 – Garbage Bags
3 – Zip Lock Storage Bags (one gallon)
3 – Zip Lock Storage Bags (one quart)
2 – Koozies

Using the Standard Kit as the baseline, the Basic Kit and the Premium Kits have basically the same things in there only more or less quantity based on your estimate of how many guests to expect.

After bringing the Standard Kit to our tailgate, we were not looking around to find anything that might have been missing or forgotten. Everything that we needed for a successful tailgate was all included. Another feature of the Standard Kit was that after you unload all of the stuff out, you line it and the shipping box can be used as a cooler as well. Just throw your beverages in there and add ice and you have yourself a cooler. Once the tailgate is over and you are about to head inside, just throw all your plates and used items in the box and take it to the trash.

The Basic Kit is priced at $54.99 for the time being with the Standard Kit going for $99.99 and the Premium Kit is only available for a limited time and will run you $129.99. Many might claim that you can compile a kit with all the same items for less money but keep in mind, you are paying for the convenience of having it delivered to your door. You are not having to run all over town to two or three different stores to put together this kit on your own.

If you like the convenience of having all of your serving gear in one box and ready to go for each and tailgate, The Tailgating Kit is for you. Based on the convenience and not having to hassle with buying and packing your kit, we are going to deem the Tailgating Kit “Tailgate Approved”.

To learn more about the The Tailgating Kit, visit their website: The Tailgating Kit to see how much gear goes into each kit.

Updated: For a limited time, The Tailgating Kit is offering free shipping exclusive to TailgatingIdeas.com readers. Anyone ordering any size of The Tailgating Kit can receive free shipping by using coupon code “500”. Depending on the size kit you choose, receiving free shipping could be a savings of $15 all the way to $45. Make sure to use coupon code 500 during check out and get your free shipping.

The Tailgater by Dish Network

Review: DISH Tailgater

Posted by Dave On September - 25 - 2014

Dish Tailgate Featured

For years, tailgaters have upped the ante when it comes to bringing all the creature comforts of home to the tailgating parking lots. Satellite TV is just one of the modern day conveniences we can’t imagine living without while tailgating.

Unfortunately, setting up the satellite dish on a tripod, finding the correct angle and the azimuth, (what the hell is an Azimuth?) and locking in the strongest signal was such a pain. It took too long and frankly, detracted from you doing what you came to do; tailgate. We are tailgaters, not astronomers. Some tailgaters grew frustrated and would leave the satellite TV at home because it was too much of a hassle and took too long to set up. But, technology kept advancing and in 2009, we discovered the VuQube.

DISH Tailgater and VuQube side-by-side

DISH Tailgater and VuQube side-by-side

Thinking the VuQube was the answer to all of our prayers, we raved about it for years and even got one of our own. (We actually purchased a VuQube on our own and it was not sent to us as a sample to review.) We used it religiously while tailgating for years and always thought the small glitches and annoyances were just part of the overall experience.

The only complaints we had were the set-up time would take a little longer than what was advertised depending on our location. Pointing the dish and using the remote to find the strongest signal was time consuming and you would need to be watching the signal bars on your TV to see what was the strongest signal you could get. This sometimes would take 20 minutes because you would get a strong signal and not knowing if it was the strongest, would see if it could go even stronger, and would eventually lose it and have to try and reacquire it. Again, we just thought this was all par for the course if we wanted to have satellite TV at our tailgate, this was just something you dealt with.

DISH Tailgater portable satellite TV antena

DISH Tailgater portable satellite TV antenna

Last year, we heard about the DISH Tailgater and had heard rumors that it was easier to set up and was fully automatic. It looked exactly like the VuQube we had been using for years but we heard it was so much easier to set up.

You mean we no longer had to push buttons up/down and left/right to get the strongest signal? You’re telling me with the DISH Tailgater I just push a few buttons and I can walk away and the strongest TV signal will be found for me? If this is true, then sign me up.

After doing a little research and investigation on the DISH Tailgater, we discovered that it was essentially the same hardware, made my a company called King Controls in Minnesota, but had been improved upon drastically. Since the DISH Tailgater is made by the same company that made the VuQube, that is why it was about the same size and weight. You still powered the Tailgater by the single coax cable and did not require additional power. The main difference was in the set up.

(Disclaimer: We did receive a DISH Tailagater and receiver  for free. The fact these samples were provided to us free of charge in no way influenced our opinion of the product nor did it impact our ability to test and review the product fairly and objectively.)

DISH Tailgater on roof of van at Qualcomm Stadium prior to the San Diego Chargers game

DISH Tailgater on roof of van with Seattle Seahawk fans walking by

We thought no better place to test drive the DISH Tailgater than while out tailgating an NFL game. We chose the San Diego Chargers 2014 home opener vs. the defending Super Bowl champions, Seattle Seahawks to test it out. We did what we normally do in that we parked, set up our tailgate gear and started to tailgate. Of course you will need a power source (we use a generator) and set up the DISH Tailgater. We placed the tailgater on top of the TailgatingIdeas.com van to get a clear view of the southern sky. We ran the coax cable to our DISH Network receiver and connected it to our TV. We turned everything on and the first screen we saw was a test screen asking us what part of the United Stated we were located. We selected Southern California and the DISH Tailgater proceeded to run through three tests.

DISH Tailgater on roof of van at Qualcomm Stadium prior to the San Diego Chargers game

DISH Tailgater on roof of van at Qualcomm Stadium prior to the San Diego Chargers game

Keep in mind, once we started the test, we did not have to stand in front of the TV and monitor it to make sure the strongest signal was being pulled. We simply walked away, checked on the grill, grabbed another cold beer and went over and greeted the new people who just pulled in next to us. Within this time, the three tests were completed and I came back to a screen informing me that the DISH Tailgater and receiver were acquiring the satellite signal. After that was completed in a total of about 90 seconds, the next screen said it was downloading the program guide. After the program guide successfully downloaded in a matter of about two minutes, up pops our programming. I picked up the remote, selected the pregame show we wanted to watch before the first set of NFL games started and we were off and running.

NFL Football game shown in the parking lot off of a DISH Tailgater system

NFL Football game shown in the parking lot off of the DISH Tailgater

The picture quality was superb and we were able to watch all the programming we wanted from my DISH Network account. Not that we watched anything else other than the early NFL football games while tailgating but it was good to know we could if we had kids that wanted to watch cartoons or something other than football.

Once it was time to pack up and head inside for the game, break down and storage was a breeze. We simply disconnected the DISH Tailgater from the receiver, wound up all of our cords and cables, took the Tailgater off the roof and packed it securely inside the van. It truly was extremely simple and fast to set up and was just as fast and easy to stow away.

After thoroughly testing out the DISH Tailgater, it’s ease of set-up and excellent picture quality, we are going to label the DISH Tailgater “Tailgate Approved”.

The time you will save by not having to search for a satellite signal will be worth the price alone. How much is 20 minutes of your time while out in the tailgating parking lot? To me, my time while tailgating is priceless, so any piece of equipment that enhances that experience that takes little to no time to set up, I am a believer.

We plan on taking the DISH Tailgater to this Sunday’s San Diego Chargers game vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars and for the remainder of the season. The DISH Tailgater will be a regular piece of our tailgating gear no matter where we park.

The DISH Tailgater is available through a wide array of retailers including, Camping World, Amazon, Target, Best Buy, Radio Shack, Walmart, among others. For a complete list of retailers where you can find and purchase the DISH Tailgater, visit King Controls website HERE.

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Rolling Tailgating Baskets

Posted by Dave On September - 23 - 2014

Rolling tailgating baskets at Chargers tailgate
We can all agree that the invention of the wheel is probably the greatest invention of all time. Sure, sliced bread is pretty cool but when it comes to the overall advancement of society, the wheel wins going away.

When it comes to tailgating, anything that can make transporting your tailgating gear to your tailgating space easier is a winner in our book. Pop-up tents that come in carrying bags with wheels are much better than those that do not. Same thing goes for grills. Give me wheels any day of the week.

When we were contacted by a company called Lulu Monkey that sells small and large, rolling, multi-purpose tailgating baskets, we were interested in checking them out. Personally it made sense to see if their rolling baskets would be a good choice to place all of our tailgating gear odds and ends in them and then we could roll them to where we needed the gear to be set up. First a brief history on the company.

The idea for these baskets came about when the owner of the company took a similar basket to a Clemson football game and was asked constantly where she got it. Thinking it was a possibility to reach out to tailgaters, the idea was sparked and a company was born.

You may have seen these baskets with wheels at your local mini-mart. With the wheels, they are much better than the normal handle baskets you see at the super markets that only hold a few items. Depending on how much tailgating gear you plan on bringing, the two different sizes will fit your needs. The larger size is about the size of a laundry hamper. College students may find these baskets useful for game day Saturdays and then during the week to roll their load of laundry down the hall to the laundry room in the dorms. Also, these baskets could replace those plastic or paper bags at the market. Just bring your rolling basket to the store, load it up with items, pay for them of course, and then after check out, put them back in the basket. Going “green” has never been easier. (Just make sure the eggs and tomatoes go in last and are stacked on top.)

Of course, being the sticklers for always testing out tailgating gear for ourselves, we requested a few samples in order to test them out for ourselves. We needed to find out how well these are made, can they withstand the rigors and demands of a tailgating season and are they big enough to hold all of our tailgating stuff.

(Disclaimer: We did receive samples of the Lulu Monkey Rolling Tailgating Baskets for free. The fact these samples were provided to us free of charge in no way influenced our opinion of the product nor did it impact our ability to test and review the product fairly and objectively.)

We received three rolling baskets. Two were the smaller baskets, one pink and one orange with the licensed Clemson tiger paw on it. The other was a dark blue large rolling basket. The specs on the smaller baskets are:

Pink Rolling basket loaded for tailgating

Pink Rolling basket loaded for tailgating

  • Capacity: 45 lbs.
  • Dimensions (inches): 23.5 L x 13.5 W x 14.125 H
  • Volume: 30 liters
  • Wheel Size: 1 inch
  • Handle Length: 20 inches
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs.

In reviewing the small baskets, these would be idea for just a few items that you wold be taking to join someone’s tailgate party. A 12-pack of beverages, small bag of ice, bags of chips, cheese or veggie tray, sleeve of plastic cups, paper plates, etc. Nothing too big and bulky but just enough to bring and contribute if you are unable to park right next to your friends. Small rolling baskets come in multiple colors including: pink, black, light blue, dark blue, green, purple, crimson, orange and red. The smaller rolling baskets have two handles. One handle is in the middle to pick up and carry and the other handle folds back for ease of pushing or pulling the basket when using the wheels.

Blue large rolling basket at Qualcomm Stadium parking lot

Blue large rolling basket at Qualcomm Stadium parking lot

The large rolling basket can hold quite a bit and would be idea for larger items. A bigger bag of ice, a full 30-pack of beer, family sized bags of chips, etc. As we mentioned above, we would compare this size basket to a laundry hamper that can easily roll down the hall or to a tailgate party. Specs on the larger baskets are:

  • Capacity: 65 lbs.
  • Dimensions (inches): 21.63 L x 17 W x 17.75
  • Volume: 66 liters
  • Wheel Size: 2.25 inches
  • Handle Length: 20.75 inches
  • Weight: 5 lbs.

Color availability: pink, black, light blue, dark blue, green, purple, crimson, orange and red. The large basket comes with a regular handle for carrying and also a telescoping handle to pull or push the basket to your tailgating spot. The handle telescopes down and out of the way once you have arrived or no longer are in transit.

It should be noted that Lulu Monkey already has licensing for the Clemson Tigers and you can get the large or small rolling baskets in orange with the famous Clemson Tiger paw logo on it.

Small rolling baskets outside of Costco

Small rolling baskets outside of Costco

After thoroughly testing the Lulu Monkey rolling tailgating baskets we are going to deem that they are “Tailgate Approved”. These baskets more than held up to the demands of our tailgating habits and were a great asset to load up all kinds of equipment and transport it easily. Wheels make everyone’s life a whole lot easier. These baskets will make your life in the parking lot a lot easier as well.

For more information and to check out these rolling tailgating baskets for yourself, visit: lulumonkey.com

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About Me

TailgatingIdeas.com is a tailgating blog dedicated to bringing you the latest and most intriguing tailgating ideas out there. Whether it is the latest tailgating gear reviews, a great new recipe or a funny list to make you smile, our goal is to inform and entertain the avid and the casual tailgater alike.

Started in August 2007 by tailgating enthusiast Dave Lamm, TailgatingIdeas.com has evolved into an advocate for tailgaters rights and is not afraid to touch on controversial issues confronting those who frequent the tailgating parking lots.

To learn more about TailgatingIdeas.com and our team of writers, reviewers, cartoonists and contributors, please visit the About Us page.

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