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Tailgating at Home in Nanna’s Kitchen

Whether it be football, soccer, cross-country, or even high school band competitions, this is the time of year when words like ‘tailgating’ and ‘bonfires’ are tossed around like…well, a football. 

But if you’re like me, the idea of a tailgate party is great until you think about lugging everything there, and then having to haul the leftovers and cooking supplies back home. 

I’m not saying you should put the brakes on these types of gatherings altogether. But what I am saying is that you can have just as much fun ‘tailgating’ at home where everything is at your fingertips. And here’s what else you can do…you can have a party in your kitchen that includes making memories with your grandkids that everyone will remember.

That’s what I do with my grandkids whenever I get the chance. We have had Superbowl parties, New Year’s Eve parties, Olympic watch parties, and National Geographic’s Dr. Pohl marathon parties. And to coin a phrase used way back when, “A good time was had by all!”

Food is a must for any party, right. That means getting out every step stool we own so the little ones can reach the counter, letting everyone choose an apron, evenly distributing measuring spoons and cups, and making sure everyone gets to pour, mix, stir, measure and taste. 

Does that mean it takes more time than it normally does? You bet! Does it mean there will be more of a mess to clean up? Absolutely! But it also means those kids know I love spending time with them and that this Nanna doesn’t say, “It will be easier if you just watch me cook.” 

I also use our time together to share family history; telling them how I helped my Granny in her kitchen, and about their parents’ childhood. I also listen to them talk about school, their friends, and all sort of other topics important to them. Listening is a learned skill, one I am modeling. 

But history isn’t all they learn. Measuring counts as a math lesson. Taking turns, sharing, and waiting to talk vs. interrupting are lessons on how to be a team player (pun intended). We have even talked about science-y things like chemical and physical changes, and how leaving out a tiny bit of baking powder (compared to the amounts of the other ingredients) makes the recipe a flop. 

See, who says a party can’t happen at home? A party with lots of memory-making and baking going on! 

Try these kid-friendly recipes before the next big game – let me know how they turn out! 

Recipes for Nannas and their kiddos:

Baked Mozzarella Sticks 


  • 1 pkg. regular sized wonton wrappers
  • 1 pkg. 12 count string cheese sticks
  • Olive oil
  • Italian herb seasoning mix
  • Grated parmesan cheese 
  • Pepperonis (optional)


Monkey Bread

  • 1 can of refrigerator biscuits 
  • 1 stick butter—melted
  • ½ c sugar mixed with 2 t cinnamon 
  • ½ c powdered sugar mixed with
  • ¼ t vanilla and 2 t milk (optional) 

NOTE: If you have more than 4 to 6 people, double the recipe. 

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