Chef Jill McCollum, CC

If its fall, odds are most of us are participating in, watching, or cheering on some kind of sports team. And for many fans, a game is not a game unless a tailgate precedes it. If you've got a pick up truck or an SUV, chances are your vehicle serves as home base for your friends and family at the tailgate party.
The following are the basic necessities for a successful tailgate party. Some are for the typical everyday tailgater, others are for the serious hardcore tailgaters. You know who you areâ¦pack accordingly.

Must haves

Tent/tarp/canopy Bungie cords/rope-to secure tent, rain tarp or flagChairs/Table(s)TableclothGrill/cookerGas or charcoal and lighter fluidMatches or lighterCoolers/IceUtensils to serve food with, as well as those to eat withCooking pans/potsOven mitts/apronWater-to drink or douse flame right before kick offTrash bags-enough to share with your neighborsPaper towels/napkins/wet onesBottle/can/wine openerPlates/cupsFirst aid kitFire extinguisherFlag, flag pole, flag pole holderRadio/TVPlastic storage bagsFootball, Frisbee, playing cards, gamesBlanketsServing tray(s)BinocularsCondiments: Buns, cheese, barbecue sauce, salt, pepper, hot stuff, ketchup, mustard, miscellaneous toppingsCameraRain gear/ponchoUmbrellaSoda/Iced Tea/JuiceKerosene heaterBeveragesSun blockAntacidGame ticketsToothpicksThemed decorations

Crostini Dip
4 cups shredded Cheddar and Mozzarella Cheese Blend
1 Bunch Green Onion Chopped
1/4 cup slivered Almonds
1/4 cup real bacon peaces
Ranch Dressing

Mix first four ingredients together. Add Ranch to desired consistency (1/2 to 1 cup)
For best results make Ranch from powder packet. Serve with crackers. Enjoy!

Juicy Tailgate Burgers
2 pounds ground beef
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
3 tablespoons evaporated milk
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat grill for high heat. In a large bowl, mix ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, evaporated milk, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper and garlic using your hands. Form the mixture into 8 hamburger patties. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill patties 7 to 10 minutes per side, or until well done.

Gourmet Potato Chips
1 bag plain potato chips
Olive oil
1 package Ranch powder
1/2 cup sugar
Mix Ranch powder and sugar together. Place potato chips on a tray, mist chips with oil and sprinkle dry ingredients on chips until well coated. Let dry and serve.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shorting
1/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix sugars, butter and shortening until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons onto cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes until lightly brown