Years ago, my dad, also a big Gator fan, was given this plaster 5 foot alligator as a gift. He passed him on to us a few years ago. Normally, we keep him on our porch, but he made a great centerpiece on our dining room table. I like how he is a bit intimidating! I used some orange fabric I got at Joann's for $1.50/yard and then used some blue place mats from HomeGoods ($5/pack 4) as the runner. The orange utensil and plate caddy was found on clearance at Dollar General for $1.50. All of the Gator plates and platters were gifts that have been given to me over the years, but you can find them online and in stores at Bealls and Gator Haven. They really make a table setting more festive and into the college spirit!
Buffalo Chicken Dip with Tostitos Scoops.
We also served hamburgers and hot dogs right off the grill, and they seemed to get the cheer of approval from Mr. 2 Bits. The foam Gator heads we bought at the dollar store last year - they are actually hats but looked like Gators lurking out of the Florida swamp on our tables. And the football condiment bowls and spreading knives came as sets from Dollar General for $2 each. It was also the first time I have tried the new Oscar Mayer Angus Hotdogs (because they were on sale and I had a coupon), and I have to say they were delicious!
For dessert, I made some Pumpkin Bread muffins with cream cheese frosting. Every year, I seriously buy stock in Williams-Sonoma's quick breads. They are the easiest things to make, and even give as presents or housewarming gifts. I made some Gator toothpicks (tutorial to come) to help decorate!
And lastly, there were a few goodies for our guests to take with them. I really wanted some Orange and Blue candies to have on the table too, but it is difficult to find Blue candies this time of year. I went to our local Cracker Barrel, because they always have a great selection of fun candies and in an array of colors. As I walked in, there before me was an entire table of Florida Gator apparel and treats!
These pre-wrapped mints, which I labeled "Gator Mints for Gator Breath", were $4 for a pack of 100, and the football was made of crispy chocolate for $3. And in case our guests needed a little extra Gator spirit, we had University of Florida Silly Bandz for them to show their true team colors. Hopefully this party will bring us some luck for the rest of the season... Go Gators!!!