Up your game: tips for tailgating

(BPT) – Fall brings cooler temperatures, changing leaves, and most importantly (many will argue) football! Nothing beats rooting for your team with good friends and good game grub. Whether you’ll be cheering from the couch or chanting in the stadium, you can easily up your game when it comes to awesome tailgate fare. Make these dishes ahead of time, so you can just pack them in the cooler or set them out on the table on game day and not miss a minute of the action.

Skinny dip

A good dip is an essential part of the game day menu, but this year you can lighten it up and amp up the flavor for a dip all your guests will be diving into. Opadipity By Litehouse is made from Greek yogurt so it has a thick, creamy consistency with fewer calories and more protein. It comes in mouth-watering and crowd-pleasing flavors like Chipotle Ranch, Cucumber Dill and Spinach Parmesan. Cut up carrots, celery and peppers to dunk and arrange around the dip on plates in your favorite team’s colors. You can also cut pita bread into quarters, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast in the oven for fresh, crunchy pita chips that are perfect for dipping.

Mix it up

Everyone loves munching on snack mix, but rather than just throwing the ingredients in a bowl and calling it a day, make sure yours scores major points. Combine your favorite nuts, pretzels, popcorn and cereal with seasonings like hot sauce, garlic, onion powder or taco mix and bake it in the oven for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes for a flavorful, toasty treat. After it cools, add in chocolate candies in your team colors and watch people huddle around the bowl.

Hands free

When watching the game, having one hand free to high five, fist pump and – in tough situations – cover your eyes is a must. Make it easy for the fans with kabobs that don’t even require a plate. Get creative with ingredients on wooden skewers ; combine chunks of turkey and cheese with lettuce, tomato and pickles or slices of salami and roast beef with cheese and olives to make tasty, easy-to-eat fare. Have delicious dressings handy as dipping sauces  –  OPA By Litehouse Greek Yogurt Salad Dressings in Ranch or Feta Dill are the perfect accompaniment.

Sweet victory

Don’t forget dessert to sweeten victory or defeat! Make or buy cupcakes and create pennants from paper cut into triangles attached to toothpicks. Write team and players’ names and cheer-worthy football sayings to up the team spirit. Extra points for cupcakes in team colors. You can also make cookies or cake pops. Mold them into a football shape using a knife and your hands and use white icing to pipe on laces.  

It’s easy to kick the season off right with delicious game day food. For more ideas, go to www.litehousefoods.com/recipes.

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