All Entries For party

Nutritious And Delicious Super Bowl Recipes

Are you ready for some football? Just as the Giants and Patriots are preparing for the big game, time is running out to decide what serve to family and guests. At SparkPeople, we love to highlight recipes that are nutritious and taste great too. Here are my all time favorite Super Bowl recipes from SparkRecipes. 

Posted 2/1/2012  5:00:00 PM By: Samantha Donohue : 12 comments   15,013 views
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Throw a Party Like a Pro

Editor's Note: Coach Nicole and I recently had the pleasure of meeting Jill Donenfeld, a cookbook author, caterer, and seasoned party expert. She was home in Cincinnati to promote Party Like a Culinista: Fresh Recipes, Bold Flavors, and Good Friends. Jill's mom is a fitness instructor (who has modeled for exercise demos on SparkPeople!), and every night the family cooked healthy meals together.

Jill's philosophy: "The Culinista way to party is all about celebrating with the best ingredients—minimally processed whole foods, lots of greens and grains, seasonal and local when you can—to create incredible health-minded dishes that will wow your guests without weighing them down. Jill and Josie have written detailed menus that make dinner parties stress-free with lots of tips for pre-party planning and easy multi-task cooking. They even include a break for that essential wardrobe change so you’ll be looking great and frazzle-free when hungry guests arrive." 
Today Jill is sharing her best entertaining tips, plus three recipes from Party Like a Culinista: Fresh Recipes, Bold Flavors, and Good Friends! She's also giving away three copies of the book. Take it away, Jill!
Before you even begin grocery shopping, make sure your broiler, oven, and burners are working, if you are not in the habit of cooking. Prior to cooking, take out the garbage and make sure you’ve got enough room to trash odds and ends in the appropriate places (carrot tops in compost, tofu package in recycling, etc.) as you go. Be sure all of your dishes are clean. Get the place ready for cooking! It’ll only take a few minutes—you can do it!

As your guests start arriving, think about things from their point of view: They’re nibbly and could us a glass of wine after a hard day’s work. So, first things first: Put out some bites—our menus include some great appetizers—or prepare something simple such as popcorn or a cheese plate. Then, open a bottle of wine. Done!
Guests are taken care of for at least a half an hour. Now you can stop feeling like they are waiting for something. They’re not! They are here to see you, to plug in with friends, and to enjoy themselves. So you should, too!
Posted 11/7/2011  10:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 6 comments   7,844 views
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Chew on This: Cookout Facts + Trivia

Before you head to this weekend's end-of-summer barbecues, we wanted to share some fun facts and trivia about your favorite cookout foods.
Posted 8/30/2011  10:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 24 comments   15,020 views
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I Survived the Warrior Dash!

Trek up steep trails. Wade through neck-deep water. Crawl under barbwire through two feet of thick mud. Jump over fire-burning coals. Climb a 30-foot cargo net. Cross over creeks. Roll down hills. Scrape up your hands and knees in the dirt. Walk the plank. Scale a rope wall. Run through tires. Puzzle through a junkyard of cars. And when you're finished? Get sprayed down by a fire hose.

Yeah, I did that all. Before lunch. And I jumped at the chance to pay $60 to be a part of it. Why? I suppose because it sounded fun.

Last weekend, I drove 2.5 hours to compete in the Warrior Dash, a Viking-themed 3.1-mile race through steep trails, peppered with obstacles along the way.

You see, as much as I still do enjoy running, I'm getting a little bored with the actual races. Each one blends into the next, and even though the courses and the crowds are all different, I need something more to get excited about. That's why every race I've signed up for this year has been something special. (Remember my Krispy Kreme Challenge?) And it doesn't get more "special" than the Warrior Dash, which takes place across the country (and even has events in Canada and Australia)!

As crazy as it sounds, what looked like a bunch of torture was actually a rolling good time. People come from far and wide to take part in these adventures—people of all sizes, shapes and fitness levels, too. They dress up in crazy costumes: I saw multiple superheroes, men in kilts, a man running in nothing but tighty whities, women in pink tutus, and young kids dressed as cavemen! Then we all get dirty (and I have the photos to prove it).
Posted 6/8/2011  5:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 158 comments   32,229 views
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Make This Meal: Chef Meg's Eggplant Napoleon

This recipe was inspired by moussaka, eggplant Parmesan and lasagna. The result is a light and tasty meatless meal that makes any night a special occasion.

A Napoleon is a traditional French dessert made with layers of puff pastry and a pastry cream, with a thin icing. Napoleons are usually served in small, individual portions, which is perhaps how they resemble their French namesake. A Napoleon outside of desserts has come to refer to any layered dish, in this case, my layered eggplant dish. You could also call this "Eggplant Stacker," but "Eggplant Napoleon" sounds better, doesn't it?

This is a fun way to eat your eggplant. I like to serve it with pork tenderloin or roast chicken and a green pesto whole-wheat pasta. You get three servings of vegetables and almost 25% of your daily fiber requirement in this recipe for only 232 calories. This is a "fancy" meal that can fit into your meal plan even if you plan to have dessert or went a bit overboard earlier in the day.

Posted 5/16/2011  10:12:32 AM By: Meg Galvin : 18 comments   11,560 views
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The Perfect Super Bowl Party Food: Chef Meg's Chili Con Carne

Families have gone to war over chili recipes! Everyone has an idea about what should go in chili. I love a thick, meaty chili with loads of beans and vegetables. Thankfully my family agrees!

I love this recipe. It's great for a crowd, and t really requires little work on my part. The slow cooker does the work.

You might be tempted to skip the steps of searing the meat and cooking the onions and spices, but don't! They're adding valuable layers of flavor to your chili.

Posted 2/2/2011  2:06:37 PM By: Meg Galvin : 38 comments   14,001 views
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Healthy Super Bowl Party Recipes

Wondering what to serve at your Super Bowl party? Look no further! We've rounded up a variety of healthy Super Bowl party recipes that everyone will enjoy!

Honey-Mustard Chicken Wings

Super Healthy Hummus

Pineapple, Onion and Bacon Pizza

SP_Stepf's Skinny Cheese Fondue

Posted 2/1/2011  2:36:12 PM By: Denise Tausig : 15 comments   16,628 views
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12 Healthy Game Day Recipes

Now that football season is here, are you looking for some game day recipes? We've rounded up a variety of healthy game day appetizer and snack recipes that everyone will enjoy!

Chef Meg's (Leftover) Chicken Nachos

Spinach Brownies

Authentic Guacamole

15 Minute Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Posted 9/7/2010  12:00:39 PM By: Denise Tausig : 19 comments   33,561 views
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Stay Healthy at Labor Day Parties

Happy Labor Day! Today marks the unofficial end to summer and often the last chance to throw a barbecue or outdoor party in many parts of the country. The dailySpark's bloggers are enjoying a day with friends and family, but we wanted to leave you with a short post with some party survival tips! As you read this, I'm on a bike ride to celebrate one of my best friend's 30th birthday.

Slim Down Your Dips

11 Healthy Party Appetizers

Posted 9/6/2010  5:33:53 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 32 comments   13,074 views
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Tips to Make Great Skewer Kebabs

Recently we enjoyed a long reunion weekend in Gatlinburg, Tennessee with my extended family. The home-style cooking and family-style meal service at many of the restaurants we visited made wise meal choices and portion control a challenge. At several meals, I selected a skewer entrée, which caught my son's attention. After the second time ordering them, he asked what my sudden interest was with "food on a stick." Sounds like a typical teenage question doesn't it. I informed him it was a great way for me to control my entrée portion size while also getting some grilled vegetables. Kebabs have become very common in Western countries. On American menus, they may simply be called skewers or shish kebab, which is skewer of grilled meat. Kebabs are prepared in most Middle Eastern countries but are not always prepared on a skewer or consist of cubed meat and vegetables. There are several different spellings commonly used as well.

You can select a variety of skewers and the type you pick does make a difference. Flat stainless steel skewers hold food well but transfer heat and cold differently than a wooden skewer. Recipes may suggest one over the other based on whether the foods will be cooked or chilled, are more solid or prone to spin. Skewer kebabs can be prepared hot with lean cuts of beef, pork, chicken, fish, seafood, or tofu and vegetables. They can also be prepared cold with a variety of raw fruits, vegetables or cheeses for a "no cooking necessary" meal option or as a edible decorative centerpiece for a party. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare skewer kebabs this summer.

Posted 7/5/2010  1:28:48 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 24 comments   25,202 views
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Guilt-Free Game Day Snacks: 7-Layer Fiesta Dip and Chips

Football and snacks go hand in hand, but so can game-day noshing and healthy eating.

Nachos, pizza, even wings can be a part of your healthy Super Bowl party menu.

I've revamped a few of your favorites and rounded up some members' makeovers, too.

I started with one of my favorites: layered Mexican dip. I always make a beeline for this dish at game-day parties. With layers of beans, cheese, black olives, sour cream, guacamole, and onions, the dip is made with healthy, whole ingredients.

Then I checked out the nutrition on the dish.

Even with baked chips, a cup of this dip has a whopping 562 calories, 42 g fat and 824 mg of sodium!

Do you know how much I probably have consumed of this dish at parties? So much that I decided to make it over before this year's big game.

My Skinny Fiesta Dip with Baked Lime Chips has all the flavor of the original, but it's much easier on the waistline.

Original dip (1 cup):
562 calories
42 g fat
19 g saturated fat
824 mg sodium

New dip(1 cup):
211 calories (fewer than half!)
9 g fat (about 1/5 the fat)
4 g saturated fat
405 mg sodium (less than half!)
Posted 2/2/2010  2:10:36 PM By: Meg Galvin : 90 comments   33,410 views
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6 Party Foods to Avoid This Holiday Season

Last weekend, my husband and I enjoyed a wonderful evening with many of his co-workers and their guests at their company holiday party. As drinks were enjoyed and the conversation flowed, friendly people roamed around serving appetizers. The most interesting appetizer we tried was the shrimp topped grits cake.

When it was time for the main course, we had our choice of two wonderfully prepared tables, one focusing on vegetarian pastas and the other which included meat entrées. Luckily, none of the worst holiday foods on this list were offered and we enjoyed a wonderful meal, great conversation and exciting entertainment thanks to the Rock Band set up in one of the dining areas.

Which foods should you watch out for and limit at your party events this season?

Posted 12/10/2009  11:25:20 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 118 comments   16,196 views
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Your Summer Party Survival Guide

Today is Canada Day and Fourth of July is Saturday, which means plenty of celebrating across the continent. While a family cookout or a neighborhood barbecue is supposed to be a time to eat, drink and be merry, those of us trying to follow a healthy path can find such events to be more trying than entertaining.

The endless platters of grilled meats.

The bottomless bowls of mayo-laden salads.

The ceaseless parade of refined carbs.

A typical meal from a cookout can have more than 1,500 calories and almost as much fat as you should eat for an entire day. You can cut the calories in half and boost the flavor with a few simple tricks!
Posted 7/1/2009  2:02:57 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 36 comments   10,704 views
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Caterers Turned Web Divas Share Their Summer Party Recipes

Editor's Note: Over the last year or so, we've watched as a local catering company morphed into a fun multimedia company. Their boundless energy and sold-out events have solidified Cooking With Caitlin's reputation as women who rock. We've invited them to the dailySpark to share some of their favorite summer party foods. These flavor-packed dishes are sure to be a hit, and these ladies know how to have some fun and eat it, too!

By Kelly Trush

SparkPeople and Cooking With Caitlin have been dancing on the same floor for quite some time. As we find ourselves celebrating fresh, savoring yum, and reveling in community, it’s clear Cooking With Caitlin has even been busting quite a few of the same moves as our friends at SparkPeople. So when we of Cooking with Caitlin – Kelly, Molly, and Caitlin – were invited to blog on the dailySpark, we were delighted (in the immortal words of Kool and the Gang) to “get down on it.”

Molly, Caitlin, and I (Kelly at the keyboard) are sisters and friends who have come together in the name of food, in the name of family, in the name of freshness. In truth we grew up together, but it wasn’t until we broke bread as wives and mothers and longing-to-be entrepreneurs that Cooking with Caitlin was born. Having started as a catering company, in two years traveling at warp-speed, we have evolved into a food-focused website called, radio personalities, and cooking-meets-talk show television hosts.
Posted 5/14/2009  6:00:18 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 29 comments   8,458 views
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10 Tips to Keep from Overeating at a Party

Temptations abound at parties, but celebration doesn't have to mean overindulgence. Follow these tips to stay on track at your Super Bowl parties this weekend.
Posted 1/30/2009  1:53:11 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 80 comments   15,790 views
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