(Family Features) Just like your favorite sports team, hosting a winning big-game party or tailgate takes planning, preparation and teamwork. To make your festivities fun-filled, remember these entertaining tips that are sure to score big with your fans.
Scatter the refreshments. Help direct movement and traffic flow by setting up food stations. Using different rooms or areas helps prevent congestion and encourages guests to mingle. Try placing finger foods and other appetizers in a couple of locations, beverages in another area and desserts in yet another space.
Embrace variety. Take into account taste preferences and dietary needs, and have an assortment of food and drinks available. Offer spicy options along with less seasoned dishes, both indulgent and better-for-you treats, plus an array of beverages for drinkers and non-drinkers alike.
Build your roster. If your party is a potluck, encourage guests to sign up for dishes so you don’t end up with multiple versions of the same thing. Create a discussion group online, or simply ask guests to indicate what they’ll bring along with their RSVP.
Don’t forget the dips. Wings are a tailgating staple, and dips are a great way to complement those zesty flavors or cool the heat, but you may find yourself in a team rivalry when it comes to the preferred dip at the game day bash: ranch or bleu cheese dressing? Both pair well with a range of wing flavors, so these dips are sure to be crowd pleasers. The delicious combination of fresh herb and vegetable flavors make Litehouse Homestyle Ranch a perfect party choice, and Litehouse Chunky Bleu Cheese features fresh buttermilk, homemade mayonnaise and a blend of spices as the backdrop for award-winning artisan blue cheese chunks that will make your fellow sports fans cheer for more.
Expand on tradition. Tailgating is a time-honored tradition, and the food lineup is often based on familiar fare. Along with those fan favorites, don’t be afraid to put some new flavors into play, such as these Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings that add a tangy ethnic flair to traditional wings.
Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings
Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
20 chicken wings
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic
3 tablespoons water, divided
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
sliced green onions, for garnish sesame seeds, for garnish celery sticks (optional) Litehouse Homestyle Ranch and Chunky Bleu Cheese Dressing
Heat oven to 400 F.
In large bag, combine flour and salt. Add chicken wings and shake to coat. Discard any leftover flour.
Line baking sheet with foil and spray with pan spray of your choice. Place wings in single layer on baking sheet.
Bake wings 40-45 minutes, turning halfway through.
In sauce pan over medium heat, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, 2 tablespoons water and brown sugar. Whisk together remaining water and cornstarch, and pour into sauce. Bring to boil then simmer until thickened.
When wings are done, toss with sauce, garnish with green onion and sesame seeds, and serve with celery sticks, ranch and bleu cheese dressing.