The snack bowl

Fans have two approaches to tailgating. One is to bring all the fixings to cook a big pre-game meal in the parking lot. The other goes for munchies, finger food that you can put out for hours of noshing.

The grazing approach has many advantages, one of which is that it can be easy on the head tailgater. Many appetizers can be made ahead of time, and offer a lot of variety. They can be hearty, and even include (gasp!) vegetables. Go beyond the simple chips-and-dip approach to make a good do-ahead meal of nibbles. Balance lighter fare, like tabouli and pita, with more substantial tummy-fillers, like chunky chicken salad, cold fried chicken or this high-flavor, low-effort cheese ball. Form it in the shape of a football! Have fun!

Nutty Blue Cheese Ball

From “Fan Fare: A Playbook of Great Recipes for Tailgating or Watching the Game at Home” by Debbie Moose

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature

3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1. Place cream cheese, blue cheese and Dijon mustard in a food processor. Process until smooth. Add chives and pulse just to blend in.

2. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on a work surface. Spread chopped walnuts in the center of the sheet. Place the cheese mixture on the walnuts and pull the plastic wrap around it, pressing and rolling to adhere the nuts. Twist the plastic wrap to seal and shape into a ball, or your preferred shape. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Serve with crackers.

Serves 6

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