5 Tips for a Successful Game Day Spread

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I remember the excitement and awe that I experienced as a young girl going to my first-ever college football game. My grandparents always bought season tickets, and we took turns going with them. We'd meet out in the parking lot and tailgate in and around their truck and fifth wheel. Then we would go inside the stadium and enjoy the game. I loved everything about it. I've always loved football.

Now that we are all older and have kids of our own, we have started having Game Day parties in our homes. We do lots of Game Day 'homegating' instead of the tailgating we used to. We enjoy it just the same. The kids get to play with their cousins or friends while the adults watch the game and visit.

Preparing for homegating on game days doesn't need to be too time consuming, expensive, or difficult. Here are 5 tips to creating a successful 'Game Day Spread.'

1- Keep it simple.

If you can buy prepared foods (like the Cheez-It® Snack Mix Classic) and Kroger veggie or fruit trays you'll cut down on prep. I also like to make no-bake pies because they are simple and quick. See my no-bake Old Fashioned Dr Pepper® Cherry Cream Pie below. Another awesome addition is a 'Game Day Cheeseball' rolled in Cheez-It®.

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Find my 'Game Day Cheeseball' recipe here.

2- Choose a menu that is easy to consume and carry around.

Think appetizer foods, party foods, and food that won't stain if dropped. Sandwiches, corn dogs, hamburgers, chips, crackers, appetizers, etc. are easily prepared in mass and also simple to transport on plates. Keep the 'Game Day Spread' out during the game so that everyone can come back for more during half time or timeouts.

3- Shop at a one-stop-shop.

It always makes things easier if you can shop in one place. Kroger/Smith's had everything I needed for our Game Day spread! Check out these great ideas on how to get ready for your Game Day.

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4- Putting a spin on a widely-loved food or beverage will step Game Day up a notch for you and your guests.

Dr Pepper® is one of my family's favorite sodas. My brother-in-law would live off of Dr Pepper® if he could. We all love it, so I thought it would be fun to make this no-bake Old Fashioned Dr Pepper® Cherry Cream Pie.

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It turned out delicious (recipe below)! Typically cherry pie filling is a bit tart and strong but the soda balanced it out great! The Dr Pepper® Cherry topping turned out perfect—you can taste both flavors equally. And the Dr Pepper® syrup/reduction was just enough to flavor the cream cheese filling nicely.

This no-bake pie is very creamy with a hint of cherry and Dr Pepper. Not too sweet or intense in flavor, it is a definite must-make-again in my recipe book!

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We also loved the Dr Pepper® Floats with a cherry on top for dessert.

5- Use paper goods to keep clean up simple.

There is nothing worse than having tons of dishes to clean after a long fun game. For the majority of food and beverages, using paper products and canned soda will eliminate too many dishes and a lengthy clean up.

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Enjoy your Game Day!

Directions for the No Bake Old Fashioned Dr Pepper® Cherry Cream Pie

Pour three cans of Dr Pepper® into a large sauce pan. Simmer on med-high heat until it is reduced to about 1 cup (this will take about 30 minutes). Then pour into a bowl and set the bowl into an ice bath/fridge/freezer to cool down.


In a mixer, beat together softened cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Then slowly add whipped topping (I used Tru Whip). Let stand or refrigerate while Dr Pepper® is simmering down.

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Slowly add 4 Tablespoons of room-temperature or cool Dr Pepper® syrup/reduction in mixer on low speed until well mixed. Pour into pie crust.

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In a small bowl combine the cherry pie filling and 2/3 Cup of Dr Pepper® syrup (stir well). The cherry pie filling will absorb the syrup if stirred really well. Pour over cream cheese and top with remaining whipped topping and a cherry.

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Refrigerate until served.

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Fun Tip: Kroger/Smith's has an in-store sweepstakes with Miller Coors®/Kellogg's®/Dr Pepper® for fly away trips to Rivalry Games. See store for details.

Supply List

Saucepan

Bowl

Kitchen Aid or mixer

Spatula

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Old Fashioned Dr Pepper® Cherry Cream Pie
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Ingredients

  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese
  • 1 container of Cool or Tru Whip (Set aside 1/2 cup for garnish)
  • 1/2 Cup white sugar
  • 2 Cans Dr Pepper® simmered down
  • 1 Prepared graham cracker pie crust (9 inch or larger)
  • 1 21 oz jar cherry pie filling (I got the one with 20% more cherries)

Preparation

  1. Pour three cans of Dr Pepper® into a large sauce pan. Simmer on med-high heat until it is reduced to about 1 cup (This will take about 30 minutes). Then pour into a bowl and set the bowl into an ice bath/fridge/freezer to cool down.
  2. In a mixer, beat together softened cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Then slowly add whipped topping (I used Tru Whip). Let stand or refrigerate while Dr Pepper® is simmering down.
  3. Slowly add 4 Tablespoons of room-temperature or cool Dr Pepper® syrup in mixer on low speed until well mixed. Pour into pie crust.
  4. In a small bowl combine the cherry pie filling and 2/3 Cup of Dr Pepper® syrup (stir well). The cherry pie filling will absorb the syrup if stirred really well. Pour over cream cheese and top with remaining whipped topping and a cherry.
  5. Refrigerate until serving.

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