It's Rivalry Week, so we're pulling out all the stops for this week's Fan Faves and Raves! Katy Meyers offers up a fantastic recipe worthy of your most important tailgate of the regular season.

Saturday afternoon, the Michigan State Spartans (7-1) face their biggest rival, the University of Michigan (6-1). Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m., and the parking lots will start filling up with tailgaters at 9:00 a.m.

This week, we asked Katy Meyers to suggest her favorite tailgate recipe that was worthy of the Big Game, and she did not disappoint! Read below for her recipe for homemade soft pretzels, sure to wow your crowd.

Katy is a PhD student in the anthropology program at Michigan State, where she studies mortuary archaeology. She is very active on and off campus. She is a Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative Returning Fellow and Campus Archaeology Research Fellow in the campus archaeology program at Michigan State. She also serves as an associate editor for Bioarchaeology for the Society for Archaeological Sciences and as a blogger for GradHacker. Katy also serves as the recording secretary of the Council of Graduate Students, which received some exciting news this week with the announcement that the Graduate School would be moving to a newly renovated Chittenden Hall.

You can follow Katy on her blog, Bones Don't Lie, or on Twitter (@BonesDoNotLie). You can follow the progress of the Chittenden Hall renovation project at

And now for the recipe!

"I am a huge football fan, and nothing is more fun than spending a Saturday morning hanging out with other football fans before a game. The challenge of tailgating is to bring food that is both delicious and portable. You often spend time walking around chatting with different Spartan fans, so you need snack sized food. Soft pretzels are a perfect football food- salty, warm with a spicy dip. They aren’t too hard to make either, though it helps for the boiling and salting stage if you have a second pair of hands. I first made this recipe for tailgating in Fall 2012 at the Notre Dame game on September 15. They were such a hit with my friends that I made them again for Superbowl XLVII. I’d suggest bringing a couple types of mustard or hot cheese for dipping them in!"

Homemade Soft Pretzels

Makes 2-3 dozen pretzel bites depending on size

Preheat oven to 450 degrees


  • 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil, for pan
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Pretzel salt (chunkier salt)


1. Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam.

2. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

3. Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.

4. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into bite-size pieces.

Delicious Extra: If you want, you can roll out the little pieces into circles and fill them with something tasty. I usually do pepperoni and cheddar cheese. You place the filling in the center and roll them back up so that none of the filling shows. Then just boil and bake them like normal.

5. Place the pretzels into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Place these on a baking sheet, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt.

6. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Featured Article

We're Feeling Thankful for Our Supporters

Thank you to all who support students at Michigan State University!

Featured Article

Fight Song Tweet-A-Long

On September 2, in celebration of College Colors Day, several university Twitter accounts had a Fight Song Tweet-A-Long. We've gathered their messages below so you can see the full conversation.

Featured Article

Trained to Jump Out of Airplanes... and to Carry the Burden of Care

Spartan Nurse Skip Shipley (Captain, U.S. Army Reserve) graduated from the ROTC in 1993, and later returned to MSU for his MSN. Scholarship and fellowship support helped him along the way.