(Family Features) - Autumn brings one of my favorite weekend activities: tailgating!
Whether we're heading for the stadium or watching the gridiron action on TV, I like to offer a winning menu to help the crowd cheer for the home team. Here are a few of my party-perfect tips:
- Offer sure-to-please food that can be eaten without silverware, while walking around or watching the action.
- Provide heavy-duty disposable (or unbreakable, reusable) plates and sturdy napkins.
- Show your spirit with team colors on the table.
- Play the team's fight song-and see if anyone actually knows the words!
No matter how many touchdowns there are, you'll score big with crowd-pleasing dips and spreads. Try two of my personal favorites-a classic layered dip and a creamy spread for chips and crackers-that include the delicious, yet nutritious twist of pumpkin. It's a win-win: the pumpkin is creamy, colorful and allows the flavors of the recipes' complementary ingredients to come charging through.
The power of pumpkin is indisputable. It's a rich source of nutrients, is low in calories and fat, and is naturally sodium-free. One-half cup of pumpkin provides more than a day's worth of powerful antioxidant Vitamin A, plus a significant amount of your daily fiber requirement. All this, and it's tasty too!
I've discovered delicious new tastes by adding pumpkin to some of my favorite tailgating dishes. Give these a try:
- Stir a little pumpkin into a tomato-based pasta sauce for added fiber and body
- Add it to mashed potatoes to cut fat and add flavor
- Mix it into chili to boost fiber and cut sodium
For football-season favorites and everyday, family-pleasing treats, count on VeryBestBaking.com for the most delicious ideas on the field.
Jenny Harper is Consumer Test Kitchen Project Manager for the Nestlé Test Kitchens and VeryBestBaking.com.