Elegant Edibles Catering
Finally, after what has seemed like the never-ending winter, spring has sprung in western New York! My deck and backyard are now visible, the crocuses have blossomed, and the temperatures are no longer sub-zero. May I just say YEAH!!! To me, the middle of March signifies the early beginnings of spring. To my husband and sons, however, the middle of March brings with it madness…of the basketball variety, that is!
From the time my boys were old enough to understand what the NCAA tournament was all about, they were totally into the excitement. Both boys, as well as my husband, would have their tournament brackets on clipboards and have their highlighting markers at the ready to keep track of their favorite team’s progress. Each evening brought a game (or several) and of course, as with any exciting sporting event, there had to be snacks!
My guys do, indeed, love their snacks, but being the good mom I have always tried to be, I would encourage healthy snacks, much to their occasional disappointment. As most moms will tell you, trying to get kids to enjoy (not just endure) healthy snacks takes some creativity. Veggies and fresh fruit tend to take a backseat to junk food if you don’t make an effort to make the “good stuff” fun. I found a good compromise was to balance the good/bad ratio of the snacks…fruit or veggies were included!
I love snacks as much as everyone else, but for my guys and me to enjoy the same things it took a bit of experimentation. As with most everything, I try to make thing as “light” as possible. I use low fat and low calorie ingredients as much as I can. Usually, no one notices the difference! I really like to make dips, both warm and cold, and have found it’s not that hard to make them a little healthier, and a big part of that is choosing my “dippers” wisely. Here is where I include the fruits and veggies, as well as low fat or baked chips. In the excitement of the big games, no one notices that the snacks are good for you, they are just good tasting! You can go back for seconds (or thirds, when no one is looking) and not Have to feel guilty!
Here is hoping everyone’s tournament brackets are still looking like winners, but even if they aren’t, you’ll still be a winner with the snacks you put out!!
Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip
(on the lighter side!)
- 2 C shredded, cooked skinless chicken beast
- 2 C softened light cream cheese
- 1 C light Bleu cheese dressing
- 2 C low fat shredded cheddar cheese
- ½- ¾ C hot sauce (I like Franks Red Hot)
- ½ C finely chopped celery
- Celery and Carrot sticks (for dipping)
- Baked chips or crackers
Mix all ingredients in slow cooker, adding hot sauce to your personal taste, stirring until combined. Cover and heat on low for 3-4 hours, or on high for 1-2 hours. Serve from the crock pot with healthy dippers of your choice!
To read more of Vicki McGraw’s commentaries on good cooking, fine recipes and perfect party treats, visit www.jamestowngazette.com and click on Join Me in the Kitchen’s own page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.