5 Ways to Simplify Entertaining – Basketball Watching Party

This shop/post has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC., The Coca-Cola® Company, and NABISCO, all opinions are mine alone. #TheWinningBasket #CollectiveBias

Basketball is the family favorite in my household, as far as sporting events go, we love playing basketball and watching it. As a party blogger, it’s basically a match made in heaven to host and have all of our friends come over to party with us for any occasion, big or small. But it wouldn’t be a party without some snacks, my world famous cheeseball (recipe below) and some ice cold beverages.

So, in the spirit of making our lives fun, simple and one more reason to shop at Target, I want to share my 5 best tips for making entertaining easier, so you create a “Winning Basket” and celebrate more often with these easy to duplicate ideas and recipes.


1. Make A Plan, Write it Out

What are you planning to do? Activities? Menu? Potluck?  Layout and theme? Guest list? Whether your planning a simple hang out with friends or an over-the-top dance party for 300 ladies, having a written plan will help make the achievement of your dreams easier.

For this party, I planned to serve a grab-and-go style platter that have been a favorite of adults and kids at past parties.

2. Shop Your House

One of my best tips and tricks for entertaining on a budget is to ALWAYS shop your house first, meaning use what you ALREADY have on hand. I used to spend WAY too much money on parties (even simple ones) because I didn’t have a plan. So I’d waste time and buy duplicates of decor, cutlery, napkins and foods and most of the time it went to waste.

For this party, I planned to keep it super simple by using the food as part of the theme/decor, and adding a few small touches around to add to the fun. I used large wooden cutting boards to display the grab-and-go style of cold cuts, fresh cheeses, my famous cheese ball (recipe below), fresh fruit, vegetables, RITZ® Crackers, TRISCUITS®, RITZ Crisp & Thin Chips®, WHEAT THINS® Snacks, OREO® cookies, POWERADE® Mixed Berry and POWERADE® Mountain Berry Blast, both 8 pack 20oz.

Check out these fun and flavorful cracker variations

  • RITZ Cracker with my cheese ball. Check out the full recipe below.
  • TRISCUIT Cracker with Swiss cheese, pesto and a cherry tomato half.
  • WHEAT THINS snacks dipped in hummus, topped with feta cheese crumbles, and a green olive.

3. Set Up (As much as possible) The Night Before

Nothing feels as good, when it comes to entertaining, as being prepared and on the ball. Think. What items on your “To-Do” list can be completed the day/night before to save you time from fussing over on the day of? Do as much as possible, and your party day will flow more smoothly.


4. Game Day – Execute The Plan

Today is the DAY! Set your plan in motion and enlist helpers if needed. Make sure to have your food, plates, utensils, napkins drinks and cups already set out before your guests arrive, this will make it easy for everyone to feel comfortable and dig in.


5. Enjoy This Time with Your Guests

Give yourself a huge pat on the back. It’s time to kick back, watch the game and enjoy all of your hard work. And now, for that cheeseball recipe and a fun wreath Tutorial!



Cheeseball Recipe

This cheeseball is literally the number 1 requested item for me to bring or serve at almost every family gathering or party. So I’ve FINALLY broken it down to create an actual recipe instead of guesstimates and an ingredients list.

You’ll Need:

  • Two blocks of cream cheese
  • 1 can crushed pineapple, drained and pressed with paper towels
  • 1/4 cup of sliced green onions
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 2 cups mild cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Serve with RITZ® Crackers

First, strain all of the juice from the crushed pineapple. I usually press paper towels over the pineapple in the strainer to remove as much juice as possible.

Place the cream cheese and season salt into a bowl and mix on medium speed with a hand mixer for about a minute, just until it’s an even and fluffy consistency.

Add the sliced green onions, mix well.

Add the pineapple and mix well.

Transfer the mixture into a plastic wrap lined bowl. This will help create and keep the ball shape. Wrap up tightly and refriderate for 30 minutes (or longer) to set.

Before serving, remove from plastic and roll the cheeseball into a bowl with shredded cheese. You may need to pack the cheese in with your hands to help it stick.

Place on your cutting board, and surround with your favorite cheeses, cold cuts, RITZ crackers, cookies, fruits and veggies.  RITZ Crackers are perfect for dipping into this yummy cheeseball.

Enjoy, generously spread on a RITS® Cracker!



Basketball Orange Wreath Tutorial

This super simple wreath was made using an existing simple grapevine wreath that took a total of 20 minutes to refresh for this fun basketball inspired transformation.

You’ll need:

  • A grapevine wreath
  • A hot glue gun
  • Pliers
  • Toy basketballs
  • Orange flowers and leaves
  • A serrated knife
  • Stripped ribbon

Start by cutting the basketball toys in half and trimming your flowers with the pliers.Place the balls, leaves and orange flowers BEFORE gluing to make sure you like the way they look. Glue everything into place and hang your new creation on your front door.

I hope your March Madness basketball parties come together easily and beautifully! Make sure to grab this coupon to save 25% off your favorites at Target.

I found all of my items at Target on the cracker aisle and on the end caps. Look for these items on sale this week!

•RITZ® Crackers (not Family Size) 2/$5

•WHEAT THINS Snacks and TRISCUIT Crackers 2/$5

•POWERADE 8-pack 20oz is on sale for $3.99 in-store!

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