This post is sponsored by Nabisco but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
The Big Game is the perfect time to gather your friends for food, fun and friendly competition! After the holidays have passed and winter sets in almost everyone could use a break from the daily grind and a chance to let loose! You don’t even have to be a die-hard fan to get in on the action, because the Big Game has something to offer everyone; from the game to the halftime show and we can’t forget the commercials!
This year I am challenging my friends to bring their A-game to my Big Game party. I have so many fun things planned, and one of them is so unique and fun that I know you are going to want to sink your teeth into this idea at your own Big Game Party!
Instead of making the snacks a grab and go affair, this year I am taking my goodies to the next level by letting my friends help create the best snacks and engage in some friendly competition. We always play games at our Big Game Parties, and this idea gives everyone a chance to play with their food for a fun twist!
Not only is my Big Game Cracker Contest fun and yummy, but it is also nothing short of brilliant on my part. It takes some of the time, effort and expense off of my hands for the win.
The idea of the Cracker Contest involves family favorite pantry staples like TRISCUIT and RITZ Crackers, for an easy and economical appetizer or snack option that gives your friends a chance to showcase their culinary creativity to the crowd.
To make this contest work, you are going to want to send an invitation that gives all of the important info, including what your guests should bring for the Big Game Cracker Contest. Encourage your friends to bring their favorite cracker as well as a favorite topping.
To offer variety to the competitors, head to your local Hy-Vee and gather some great toppers like assorted cheeses, fresh vegetables, tasty spreads and different meats. Things like onions, roasted corn or tomatoes, chopped peppers, cream cheese, guacamole, hot dogs and bacon are great starting points.
Make sure to check out the Hot Deals Hy-Vee has going on right now on NABISCO Snack Crackers and RITZ Crackers for all your Big Game needs!
Set everything up in small bowls, it is a good idea to offer several small bowls of each topping to avoid kitchen fumbles and pile ups. Provide each competitor a pen and a notecard so that they can name their cracker creation. Leave a stack of paper and pens available for voting.
As your guests arrive they can add their toppings and crackers to the lineup. Then it is time to let the games begin. Let everyone make their cracker creations, but make sure they assemble enough for everyone to taste! As the cracker snacks are sampled, encourage your guests to note their two favorites on the provided slips of paper. As the game gets underway you can tally up the results and announce the Big Game Cracker Champion!
If you need a few ideas to get you started, you are in luck. I have four unique recipes to share with you that are ah-mazing!
Buffalo Cauliflower “Wing” Bites
48 small cauliflower florets (about 2 cups)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 cup Buffalo wing sauce
48 TRISCUIT Crackers
1/2 cup reduced-fat blue cheese dressing
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 small stalks celery, thinly sliced
Heat oven to 425°F.
Cover rimmed baking sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray.
Toss cauliflower with oil and dry seasonings; spread onto prepared baking sheet.
Bake 15 to 20 min. or until cauliflower is crisp-tender and lightly browned.
Spoon cauliflower into medium bowl. Add wing sauce; mix lightly.
Return to baking sheet; bake additional 5 min.
Spread crackers with dressing; top with cauliflower, cheese and celery.
Cut inner stalks of celery hearts to resemble tiny celery stalks, leaving some leaves attached to each stalk. Use to garnish topped crackers.
Omit cheese. Prepare recipe using your favorite variety of ranch dressing
Make it Extra Spicy
Drizzle topped crackers with additional Buffalo wing sauce or Sriracha sauce (hot chili sauce).
Enjoy the great taste of eating well with these crisp whole wheat crackers topped with the flavors of Buffalo wings.
Nutrition Information Per Serving: 130 calories, 7g total fat, 1g saturated fat, <5mg cholesterol, 330mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate, 3g dietary fiber, 1g total sugars, 3g protein
RITZ Chipotle-Cheese Hot Dog Topper
4 oz. brick cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. finely chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce with 1 tsp. adobo sauce
12 cocktail franks, cut lengthwise in half
24 RITZ Crackers
2 Tbsp. yellow mustard
Mix cream cheese, peppers and adobe sauce until blended.
Cook frank pieces in nonstick skillet on medium heat 2 to 3 min. on each side or until heated through and evenly browned on both sides.
Spread cream cheese mixture onto crackers; top with franks.
Pipe mustard onto each frank to resemble laces on a football (As a personal preference, I left this off mine)
Substitute Neufchatel cheese for the cream cheese.
Substitute spicy brown mustard or barbecue sauce for the yellow mustard.
Prepare using your favorite variety of RITZ Crackers.
Nutrition Information Per Serving: 200 calories, 16g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 30mg cholesterol, 350mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate, 0g dietary fiber, 2g total sugars includes n/a added sugars, 4g protein, 8%DV Vitamin A, 0%DV Vitamin C, n/a Vitamin D, 4%DV calcium, 4%DV iron, n/a potassium
RITZ 4-Layer Mexican Toppers
24 RITZ Crackers (I used the Everything variety but it tastes just as great with the Original variety)
1/4 cup guacamole
1/4 cup rinsed canned low-sodium black beans
2 Tbsp. salsa
2 small fresh jalapeño peppers, each cut into 12 thin slices
Top crackers with remaining ingredients.
Jazz it Up
Spoon 2 Tbsp. sour cream evenly over topped crackers.
Nutrition Information Per Serving: 90 calories, 5g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 170mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate, 2g dietary fiber, 1g total sugars, 1g protein
Roasted Tomato & Hummus TRISCUIT Toppers
18 TRISCUIT Crackers
1/2 cup hummus
18 grape tomatoes, roasted (See Tip.)
3 Tbsp. basil pesto
18 small fresh basil leaves
Spread crackers with hummus.
Top with remaining ingredients.
How to Roast the Tomatoes
Heat oven to 450°F. Place tomatoes on small rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with 2 tsp. olive oil. Stir to evenly coat tomatoes with oil. Bake 5 min. or just until tomatoes are softened. Cool slightly. For convenience, the roasted tomatoes can be refrigerated up to 24 hours. When ready to prepare recipe, microwave the roasted tomatoes in small microwaveable container on HIGH 15 to 30 sec. or just until tomatoes are warmed.
Substitute ricotta cheese for the hummus.
Prepare using pear-shaped or small cherry tomatoes.
Enjoy the great taste of eating well in these crisp whole wheat topped crackers.
Nutrition Information Per Serving: 140 calories, 8g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 280mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 3g dietary fiber, 1g total sugars, 2g protein
More Games for Your Big Game Party
Make sure to print these fun Big Game Bingo Cards to keep the competition going and give your guests a chance to win some sweet swag.
Game Day Hot Potato
Have all the players form a circle with one person holding a football (you can use a pillow for this too). The football gets passed around the circle while a commercial is playing when it stops the person holding the football is out of the game. Keep going until there is one winner!
Challenge each team to create their own cheer that’s complete with actions! Judge the teams by creativity and overall fun!
Mini Football Toss
Set up a basket and give each player mini footballs (you can use these as prizes too!) and see who can toss the most in the basket in one minute. You can vary the distance based on age.
There are so many ways you can dress up TRISCUIT and RITZ Crackers, that I know your guests will love this tasty and friendly competition at your Big Game party this year! I would love to hear about your favorite cracker snack so I can add it to my Big Game Cracker Contest line up!
Check out Nabisco’s Big Game Pinterest board for even more recipe inspiration!