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Johnsonville Brat Poppers and Music Video Contest

Posted by Brandon On July - 29 - 2013Comments Off

If you’ve been watching Johnsonville’s social media pages and/or their Big Taste Grill blog, which is written by the team traveling with the grill, you have probably seen their take on a jalapeno popper. Since they hooked me up with some of their smoked brats to play around with I decided to give this recipe a go.


What makes these different from other poppers I’ve tried is that instead of a creamy cheesy filling they have diced up smoked brats in them. What you end up with is a really meaty popper that could almost serve as a meal in itself. Katie, my official taste tester/wife, had some and seemed to like them pretty well so I think I can safely recommend them to you all.

Brat Poppers
(Taken from Johnsonville.com)

What you need

  • 18 Jalapeno peppers
  • 1 package (14 ounces) JOHNSONVILLE® Smoked Brats
  • 1 package (16 ounces) bacon, cut into thirds
  1. Using a sharp knife, slice 1/4 inch off the stem end of the peppers, discard the stem.
  2. Using a small knife or vegetable peeler, remove seeds and spines of the peppers, discard.
  3. Dice the sausages into small pieces and stuff the peppers with the sausage.
  4. Cover the sausage with a 1/3 strip of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
  5. Grill the brat bullets over medium heat until evenly roasted and the bacon is crisp.

I also wanted to take the opportunity to let you all know about a contest that Johnsonville is running. They’re calling on all grillmasters to produce their version of a music video entitled “Don’t Pierce the Brat.” I’ve embedded their version below so you can hear the song. The winner will get $5,000 and a year supply of Johnsonville Brats. For more info you can go here to get the tools you’ll need and to see the official rules.  Looks like the deadline for submission is August, 30.  We would love to see your videos if you do make one.

Jerry King Tailgating Cartoon #170

Posted by Jerry On July - 26 - 2013Comments Off

Camper Tailgater


Posted by Dave On July - 24 - 2013Comments Off

Plastic zipper bags are the preferred medium to transport lots of food items to a tailgate party. They are cheap, convenient and keep the food fresher because of the tight seal. What they aren’t very good at is standing up or keeping the top open once they are placed on a table. We had the opportunity to test out the BagBowl, which is a simple and affordable invention that allows you to take any size zipper bag and turn it into a bowl.
BagBowl Assorted Sizes and colors
Simply stated, the BagBowl gives structure to an otherwise limp and flaccid plastic bag so that it can stand up in the shape of a bowl. Invented by one brother (Kevin Fleming) but perfected by the other (Brian Fleming), the original idea for the BagBowl was made out of Popsicle sticks and gaffer tape. Originally it was used to carry water in a zipper bag to the dog park and when the dog needed a drink, the bag could be made into a water dish by placing it in the sticks held together by tape. Since the original intent was designed for pet owners, Brian Flemming saw the potential for other uses, most notably tailgating. Being a University of Missouri alumnus, he saw the ease of clean up after a tailgate if the bag bowl was expanded to be used with other zipper bag sizes.

Feeling they had caught lightning in a bottle, the brothers were recently on ABC’s Shark Tank and presented their invention to the “sharks” to see if they could get an investor. Lori Greiner known as the “warm blooded shark” liked their product enough to the point she invested in it and will be featuring it on her QVC show. You can tune in to see the launch of the BagBowl on Wednesday, July 24th at 11 AM EST on Lori Greiner’s Clever & Unique Creations show on QVC. The BagBowl will be offered at a low featured price during the show.

We were sent an Eight Piece BagBowl Starter Kit to test out and review. The BagBowl starter set sells for $8.99 and comes with eight bowls in four sizes — standard sandwich (2), quart (3), 1 gallon (2) and 2 gallon (1) — and folds down to thickness of about two stacked quarters for easy storage.

(Disclaimer: We did receive a sample of the BagBowl Starter Kit 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 tested three of the sizes of BagBowls thinking three would be enough to get a feel for how the product performs. We took some Kettle Corn and placed it a gallon zipper bag, some sourdough bread slices in a quart bag and some pretzel chips in a sandwich bag. We filled all of these bags with the snacks all the way to the top to the point we had to shake the bags to pack down the contents in order to zip the top closed. Why we have included this small detail will come later.

We placed the BagBowl over the closed bag to make it rigid and stand up on a flat surface. We used the granite counter top at home but a tailgating table out in the lot would work the same. Once placed on the bag, the BagBowl gave the zipper bag some rigidity and made it stand up whereas without it, the bag would flop over onto its side. We started with the gallon bag holding the kettle corn. As we opened the bag and turned the sides of it down to hold the bag onto the top of the BagBowl, we were losing some of the popcorn out onto the counter. We soon learned after trying out the other two sizes of BagBowls that by filling the bags all the way to the top, you will risk losing some contents during the folding process. If you are going to use the BagBowl while out tailgating, I would suggest filling your zipper bags 3/4 to 4/5ths full but still leave some room to fold down the sides.

As you can see in the above gallery, (click on images for larger view) the BagBowl made the zipper bags into a bowl. They stood up straight and their tops stayed open just as if you had emptied the contents into a plastic bowl. Once the contents of the bag were fully eaten, there was no need to wash out a plastic bowl. All we had to do was throw away the bag and fold up the BagBowl. And the BagBowl folds flat so it takes up very little room in your tailgating kit unlike plastic bowls. Also consider, if you are using disposable bowls, that is less space in a landfill which makes BagBowls “green” for the environment.

After thoroughly testing the BagBowl, we are going to say that they are “Tailgate Approved”.

Priced at under $10 for a complete set, they can be used and reused over and over and if they do get a spill on them, they are dishwasher safe. The BagBowl will definitely be a new addition to my regular tailgating kit. I am already planning on putting the chips in a gallon bag and the salsa in a quart bag for the upcoming San Diego Chargers vs Seattle Seahawks preseason game on August 8th. I will just place the BagBowls over the bags and have two bowls of chips and salsa at the ready and not have to worry about washing out any bowls when I get home. Without the BAgBowl, I would never think of putting salsa in a zipper bog and expect any of my tailgate party guests to dip their chips in it. Now that problem has been solved.

As mentioned before, the BagBowl starter kit costs less than $10 and if you tune into the QVC show, may be offered for even less. To learn more about the BagBowl or to buy a starter kit of your own, visit: buybagbowl.com

Sunscreen Flask

Posted by Dave On July - 22 - 2013Comments Off

Sunscreen Flask

Last week we introduced you to Tampon Flasks, a sneaky and covert way for women to smuggle in booze disguised as tampons. Now we have yet another way for you to smuggle your booze into stadiums, arenas and even places like the beach disguised as a tube of sunscreen. It’s simply called the Sunscreen Flask.

The concept is simple yet genius. The Sunscreen Flask is a food grade plastic tube that holds 8 oz of liquid that looks exactly like a tube of sunscreen. Nowhere on the tube except in very fine print on the back does it reveal that it is not a legitimate tube of sunscreen. From a reasonable distance and at close examination it looks exactly like an SPF 30 sunscreen bottle.

Why a flask disguised as a sunscreen tube? Quite honestly because all events allow sunscreen in past security. Football games, baseball games, concerts, state fairs, outdoor festivals all have security staff checking bags and backpacks before entering the venue. All of these events allow sunscreen in past the gates and the Sunscreen Flask is so stealth, the security won’t think twice about checking it closely. Add to it that the NFL recently changed their bag policy for 2013 to require bags to be clear and transparent, these sunscreen flasks will breeze right through without a second glance.

Last week I took a vacation in Hawaii and stayed at one of the major hotels along Waikiki. Of course it had the requisite poolside bar that served mixed drinks but as you might expect, a hotel bar’s prices in Waikiki are not cheap. I decided to put the Sunscreen Flask to the test and thought this would be the perfect environment. (Click the images below for larger view of the Sunscreen Flask in action.)

As you can see, the hotel prominently placed a placard discouraging guests from bringing in their own beverages. When we sat down at our table, I took out the Sunscreen Flask and placed it on the table on it’s cap. The waitress came up and took our order of two Diet Cokes and did not even blink an eye at the Sunscreen Flask sitting prominently on the table in plain view. When our drinks arrived, I unscrewed the cap and poured some spiced rum into the two drinks seconds after they arrived. I just made sure the waitress had her back turned serving another table and then poured a healthy shot right into my drink. I then screwed the cap back on and placed the Sunscreen Flask back on the table ready for the next round. It could not have been easier or cheaper.

The bill for the two drinks was around $8. I checked the menu prices for mixed drinks and a rum and cola was around $14. For less than the price of one mixed drink we were able to booze at the poolside bar and I guarantee I poured a heavier shot than had we purchased drinks from bar.

Sunscreen FlaskJust to be sure and to test it out thoroughly, I took the Sunscreen Flask to another establishment when meeting a friend for lunch who happens to live in Hawaii. The location where we were meeting for lunch was about a 20 minute walk down Waikiki beach from my hotel. I grabbed the Sunscreen Flask and placed it in my back pocket and proceeded to make the walk and enjoy the weather. I passed by hundreds of people on that walk including numerous police officers. Not one person noticed it was a flask and questioned me carrying it. Everyone just assumed I was just another tourist with a tube of sunscreen in his back pocket.

Once I arrived at the lunch location and met my friend, before sitting down I took out the Sunscreen Flask and placed it on the table. My friend and her husband didn’t think anything of it and though I just didn’t want to sit on my sunscreen. I ordered a pineapple juice and my companion ordered a lemon-lime soda knowing full well I was packing a flask full of gin. My friend whom we were meeting and her husband thought it strange I was order straight juice knowing my history and propensity for alcoholic beverage consumption. They were both drinking beers by the time we arrived so this made for a little bit of an uncomfortable situation. I relished the suspense knowing full well my secret would be revealed soon enough.

Once my juice and the lemon-lime soda arrived, I picked up the Sunscreen Flask and started to untwist the cap. My friend says, “I know the Hawaiian sun is a bit stronger than you are accustomed to, but you do realize you are inside?”. I just smirked and started to pour the gin into my pineapple juice and then poured some into my companion’s lemon-lime soda. This, as you may imagine, caused a ton of laughter and even produced a relieved sigh. My friend Barbara had thought I had found Jesus or had gone to AA because I had not ordered an alcoholic drink. She was relieved to not feel so guilty she was drinking and I was not and thought it was hilarious I had found a new way to not only booze, but do it on the cheap.

Although we did not test the Sunscreen Flask in a tailgating environment and sneak it into a sports stadium, we are going to 100% confidently say the Sunscreen Flask is “Tailgate Approved”.

The Sunscreen Flask comes one to a package and a single flask will hold 8 oz of liquid. Simple math states that if you buy three, that adds up to 24 oz of liquor which almost equals a 750 ml bottle of booze. The standard package costs $10 plus postage and packaging. The good news is that if you buy two or three packages on the same order, the price for postage stays the same.

With the high prices of tickets, parking and gasoline, we tailgaters need to save where we can. Paying $15 for a rum and cola inside of a concert is highway robbery. Some venues will not sell mixed drinks and only offer beer and wine. For those that prefer their drinks with a little more kick, this Sunscreen Flask will pay for itself the first time you use it.

Make sure to drink responsibly, know your limit and NEVER drink and drive.

To buy your own Sunscreen Flasks, click HERE.

Weekend Wrap-Up #140: Katrina Bowden Edition

Posted by Dave On July - 21 - 2013Comments Off

39 Days. That’s right. Just 39 more days until college football officially gets underway with a slate of Thursday night games set for August 29th. Probably the biggest match-up for that night might be North Carolina at South Carolina but honestly, it’s college football. It’s back and that means tailgating in it’s purest and most widely recognized form will be back and embraced for months on Thursdays and Saturdays around the country. If you can’t wait for college football tailgating at the end of the month, you can get some NFL pre-season tailgating starting on August 8th. That’s only about three weeks away for those of you marking off your calendar’s like a prisoner doing a 20 year sentence. So in honor of the football season being so close, we thought this edition of the weekend wrap-up we should feature Katrina Bowden.

Katrina Bowden bears a striking resemblance to Stacy Keibler but you probably most recognize her for her portrayal of Oz’s girlfriend in the movie American Reunion and also as Cerie on 30 Rock. No matter where you know her from, Katrina Bowden is our pick to countdown to the start of football season for this year. Links follow the eye candy.

Katrina Bowden

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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.