Game Day Eats

Snacks from Savory to Sweet We’re Rooting For

Game-Day-Eats-HEadWatching THE big football game, a basketball tournament—even the big fight—can whet your appetite for more than a win. To be sure you’re satisfied during game time no matter the score, I’ve pulled together some sweet and savory snacks that even team rivals can agree on. With this mix of drinks, appetizers, desserts and kid-friendly eats for you and yours to nibble and nosh on, you’ll be full by halftime—and might even head back to the buffet in overtime.

DRINKS: Hot vs Cold

Hot: Easy Mexican Hot Chocolate (2 Servings)

  • 3 tbsp. instant hot cocoa mix
  • 1 tbsp. chocolate syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch chili powder
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¾ cup boiling water

In a large mug, mix hot cocoa, chocolate syrup, cinnamon and chili powder. Add milk, then boiling water, and stir until combined.

Cold: Orange & Cranberry Cooler (32 Servings)

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 ¼ cup water
  • 6 c cranberry juice
  • 1 ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 lemon [juiced]
  • 6 cup ginger ale

Combine in large pitcher or punch bowl. Stir. Chill.

APPETIZERS: Finger Food vs Crock-Pot

Finger Foods: Crescent Sausage Bites (24 Servings)

  • 1 lb sausage [hot or mild per your taste]
  • 1 8oz package cream cheese
  • 2 packages crescent rolls
  • Dash salt and pepper 

  1. Brown and drain sausage, add dash of salt and pepper.
  2. Blend in cream cheese until melted. Unroll one package of crescent rolls and place on baking sheet, pressing seams together.
  3. Spoon and spread sausage mixture evenly leaving a ½” border.
  4. Unroll remaining crescent rolls over the top of the mixture and press to seal.
  5. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, or until dough is golden brown. Cut into small squares. Serve.

Crock-Pot: Bacon Cheeseburger Dip (Serves the masses)

  • 8 slices bacon
  • ½ lb ground beef
  • 1 package cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 package shredded American cheese
  • 1 can Rotel®
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, cut into strips
  • Corn chips

  1. Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, drain, crumble and reserve 2T for garnish
  2. Cook beef over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until cooked, drain and return to pan
  3. Reduce heat to low, stir in cream cheese, shredded cheese, Rotel® and crumbled bacon until cheese melts and ingredients mix
  4. Pour into crock-pot, cover and cook low 2-3 hours, stirring each hour
  5. Sprinkle with reserved bacon; serve with pepper strips and corn chips

DESSERTS: Baked vs No-Bake

Baked: Apple Hello Dolly Bars (Serves 24)

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ½ package semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ package butterscotch morsels
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 2 cups peeled and finely chopped Granny Smith apples
  • 1 ½ cups coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 [14oz] can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together graham cracker crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of a lightly greased 9"x13”pan. Layer semi-sweet chocolate chips and pecans; drizzle with sweetened condensed milk. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Cut into bars.

No-Bake: S’Mores Pie (Serves 8)

  • Graham cracker piecrust
  • 8oz bittersweet chocolate [finely chopped]
  • 1/3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 ½ tsp. light corn syrup
  • 2 ½ tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 [10oz bag] marshmallows

For filling: combine cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat and warm until barely boiling. Remove from heat and pour over chopped chocolate, stirring with a rubber spatula until all chocolate is melted and combined with cream. Add butter and stir until melted and incorporated. Pour chocolate mixture into piecrust and spread in an even layer. Gently press marshmallows into filling. Chill one hour to set chocolate. Serve. 

KID-FRIENDLY: Donut Hole Cake Pops (Serves everyone!)

  • 2 dozen [or way more] donut holes
  • Chocolate and vanilla frosting
  • Assorted crushed candies and candy bars
  • Lollypop sticks

  1. Melt frosting over low on stovetop, or in 20-second increments—stirring in-between—in microwave
  2. Dip tops of donut holes in frosting
  3. Dredge holes frosting side down in crushed candies and candy bars
  4. Insert sticks
  5. Remind kids to throw sticks in the trash

Everyone is victorious when they belly up to a table full of flavors they’ll savor.  Have a favorite recipe to share? Do so in the comments section below!

Mark Dye

About the author: Mark Dye

Mark Dye has been writing articles, recording podcasts, and putting together books on personal finance for nearly a decade. His work has been recognized by the American Bankers Association and the Institute for Financial Literacy, and received an 2011 APEX Grand Award for Writing. Follow Mark on Google+.

Contact: Mark Dye


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