Sunday, October 26, 2008

Planning A Sports Party That Will Score With Your Guests

(NAPSI)-Hosting a successful sports party involves more than fun and games. Fortunately, a little bit of planning can help to remove much of the stress and help you create a party that will be a hit with your guests. Here are some tips:

• When it comes to televisions on the day of the big game, more really is better. Set up as many TV sets as you have available around the party area.

• Have at least one space reserved for guests who aren't interested in the game and would like a quieter place to talk.

• You can also set up one room with a television for serious sports fans who don't want to be distracted by conversation.

• Plan on plenty of beverages and don't forget the nonalcoholic options such as juices, waters and sodas.

• If you feel you have to decorate, think in terms of team colors, balls, uniforms and pennants. But don't knock yourself out. Most eyes will be more impressed by the clear reception on your television.

• Have lots of paper towels, napkins and stain cleaner handy in the event things get really exciting.

• Don't prepare recipes that will keep you locked in the kitchen all night. You should enjoy the game and the party, too.

• Keep the food simple and portable. Think buffet items, appetizers and snacks.

For example, you might want baked potato skins, pizza slices and a variety of chips and dips. Plus, there's always cheese and crackers, cold cuts and sandwich fixings so guests can build their own. Don't forget raw vegetables and pieces of fruit.

If you are looking for a snack that's heart healthy and satisfying, consider macadamia nuts. They are a source of monounsaturated fat, which, when eaten regularly as part of a heart-healthy diet, may help displace sources of cholesterol-raising saturated fats in the diet.

In addition to their great taste, nuts are cholesterol free and contain important nutrients including protein and fiber. They can also be a delicious way to get vitamins such as B6 and thiamine and minerals like magnesium, copper, selenium, phosphorus and manganese.

While they're tasty on their own, they can also serve as the key ingredient in an elegant snack aimed at your guests' sweet tooth:

MACADAMIA TOFFEE CRUNCH

Ingredients:

1 cup Hershey's® Special Dark® Chocolate Chips or Hershey's® Premier White Chips

½ cup Mauna Loa®

Macadamia Baking Pieces

¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter

¾ cup sugar

3 tablespoons light corn syrup

Directions:

1. Line 8- or 9-inch square or round pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan; butter foil. Stir together baking chips and nuts. Reserve 2 tablespoons baking chip and nut mixture; sprinkle remaining chip mixture over bottom of prepared pan.

2. Combine butter, sugar and corn syrup in medium-heavy saucepan; cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Cook and stir until mixture turns a light caramel color (about 15 minutes).

3. Immediately pour mixture over chip and nut mixture in pan, spreading evenly. Sprinkle reserved 2 tablespoons chip mixture over surface. Cool. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm. Remove from pan; peel off foil. Break into pieces. Store tightly covered in cool, dry place. Makes 1 pound of candy.

To learn more, visit www.hersheys.com.

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