A Game Plan For Your Game-Day Bash

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Not everyone can score tickets to the big game, but anyone can throw a big game bash to watch it with friends and family.

To help you avoid making rookie party planning mistakes, Kellogg has partnered with pro running back LaDainian Tomlinson of the New York Jets to help you score points at your big game bash.

“I know how tough it can be to please everybody, both on the field and off,” said Tomlinson. “But with some good strategy, you can plan a great party that puts a smile on everybody’s face.”

Make a Party Playbook

• Crunch the numbers: Count on guests each eating between 8 to 12 servings of appetizers over a two-hour period. Plan on two nonalcoholic drinks per guest during the first hour, and one for each hour after that. Buy about a pound of ice per guest for drinks.

• Tackle the food prep early: Make as much of the food ahead of time as you can. Peel, chop and prep veggie trays a day or two in advance. Dips and desserts can be made the day before. If you’ll be making anything in a slow cooker, prep all your ingredients in advance as well, so that all you have to do when you wake up is put them in the cooker and turn it on.

Sack Boring Snacks

• Stock up on all-star ingredients: Make sure you have plenty of the things your team really likes. Crowd-pleasers like Cheez-It, Town House Flipside crackers, Keebler cookies, and Rice Krispie Treats make adults and kids alike happy, and they can be used as ingredients in other dishes, too.

• Run a surprise play: Try a new recipe like these Spicy Touchdown Tenders. They get a surprising, crunchy kick from Cheez-It Hot & Spicy crackers. Serve them with some Buffalo sauce and they’ll be the MVPs of your party.

Recruit a Great Team

• Call on your special teams: If you want a great dessert, but don’t bake, ask your baking friends to work their magic for the party. Get the resident chili expert to make his best, and let your friend the decor expert set the scene. They’ll enjoy working in their zones, and you get a few things taken off your to-do list.

• Let the Pee Wee League play, too: Get the kids involved with party prep. Older ones can help you make food and younger ones can set out utensils, cups and plates. You can appoint some special “Trash Referees” to patrol the party and help clean up plates and cups during the game, so there’s not a big mess to clean up afterward.

For more tips and game day recipes, head to www.SnackPicks.com.

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Family Features photo

Spicy Touchdown Tenders

Spicy Touchdown Tenders

Preparation time: 15 minutes; total time to serve: 1 hour; makes 5 servings

1 pound chicken tenders

3/4 cup buffalo chicken wing sauce

2 cups Cheez-It Hot & Spicy crackers, crushed

Place chicken tenders in large plastic, zip-top bag. Pour in buffalo chicken wing sauce. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Spray large baking sheet with cooking spray. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place crushed crackers on large plate. Remove each chicken tender from marinade and roll in crackers to coat. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tenders. Discard any remaining marinade.

Place prepared chicken in preheated oven. Bake 15-20 minutes or until thermometer reaches 165 degrees. Serve hot.

Source: Kellogg

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Family Features photo

7 Layer Fiesta Ranch Dip

Game-winning dips and healthy tips

Two of the most popular New Year’s resolutions are losing weight and eating healthier. But by the time the big game rolls around, many people are ready for a break — or looking for an excuse to cheat. But kickoff does not have to be a signal to punt your healthy-eating habits.

Registered dietitian Jodie Shield knows it can be a struggle to celebrate and stay healthy. She’s put together some win-win tips and healthy and delicious recipes that are sure to keep fans cheering for more:

• Know your game plan. If you’re the home team (i.e. the party host), you get to call the plays. Serve entrees that are lean and festive, such as Touchdown Turkey Chili. Or prepare a thin whole wheat crust pizza using reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and lots of sliced veggies.

• Offer a starting lineup of healthier appetizers. Whip some traditional game day favorites into shape. Instead of nachos, serve baked chips with salsa. Pass on the salt and butter and sprinkle a dash of Parmesan cheese over popcorn. Forget the fried chicken wings and serve baked chicken tenders seasoned with Hidden Valley Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix.

• Think fresh. Skip the super subs and set up a sandwich bar with lean deli meats such as turkey breast and ham, low-fat cheese slices and prepped veggies — like sliced tomato and shredded lettuce — and low-fat toppings.

• Pass on super big portions. No matter what foods are served, remember you don’t have to eat the whole thing. Grab a small plate and load half of it up with fresh veggies and baked chips.

• Get in on the action. During halftime, grab your guests and head outdoors for a quick game of touch football. You can always record the commercials so you don’t miss out.

7 Layer Fiesta Ranch Dip

Preparation time: 10 minutes; makes 10 (1/4 cup) servings

1, 16-ounce can fat-free refried beans

1/2 cup guacamole

1 package Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch Dips Mix

1 cup fat-free sour cream or plain nonfat yogurt

1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

6 green onions, chopped

1 medium tomato, chopped

1/4 cup sliced black olives (optional)

Spread each of the ingredients in the order listed over a 9-inch serving platter or pie dish.

Chill for an hour and serve.

Touchdown Turkey Chili

Preparation time: 15 minutes; cooking time: on high heat cooks for 4 hours; on low heat cooks for 8 hours; makes: 8 (1 cup) servings

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium green bell pepper, chopped

2 pounds lean ground turkey breast

2 cans (14.5 ounces each) Mexican-style diced tomatoes

1 can (6 ounces) reduced sodium tomato paste

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup low sodium tomato juice

1 package Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch Dips Mix

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat.

Add onions and bell pepper and sauté until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

Remove and place in slow cooker.

Add ground turkey breast to the same pan and cook until crumbled and browned, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the turkey to the slow cooker along with all of the remaining ingredients.

Cover the slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on high heat or 8 hours on low heat.

Cheesy Ranch Popcorn

Preparation time: 5 minutes; cooking time: 3-1/2 minutes; makes: 6 (2 cup) servings

1 bag (3 ounces) reduced-fat, low sodium butter-flavored microwave popcorn

1/4 pack (0.25 ounces) Hidden Valley Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix

3 sprays from olive oil mister

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Pop popcorn according to package directions. Immediately open the bag and pour the popcorn into a large serving bowl.

Spray the popcorn with three sprays from the olive oil mister, toss with salad dressing and seasoning mix and then toss with the Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

“No need to pass on fabulous dips to maintain your diet,” said Shield. “Thanks to the protein and fiber in chickpeas, hummus is light, yet heart-healthy enough to satisfy hungry sports fans. Try this easy recipe for happy game day guests.”

Hold That Line Hummus Dip

Preparation time: 10 minutes; makes: 8 (1/4 cup) servings

2 cans (15-1/2 ounces each) chickpeas, rinsed and drained

4 garlic cloves

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 package Hidden Valley Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix

4 tablespoons cold water

1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)

Dash of paprika for garnish

In a food processor, puree the chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, salad dressing and seasoning mix and water until very smooth, about 3 minutes.

Add tahini paste and process an additional 2 minutes.

Spread hummus into a shallow serving bowl.

Sprinkle top with paprika.

Play Good Defense and Substitute

The best way to tackle those creamy, high-calorie dips is to make smart substitutions. Here are a few options to help you get started:

Instead of guacamole, use salsa

Instead of pesto, use chopped tomatoes and basil

Instead of sour cream, use plain fat-free yogurt

Instead of cheese, use reduced-fat cheese

Instead of cream, use fat-free evaporated milk

For more recipes and tips, visit www.hiddenvalley.com.

Source: Hidden Valley

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