New Year’s Eve Free Printable Conversation Starters

New Year's Eve Conversation Starters -

New Year's Conversation Starters - is almost here! Every year my husband’s family takes a trip up north for Christmas. We rent a cabin and enjoy food, games, movies and each other. This year we will be there on New Year’s Eve. So I started brainstorming, what could we do to celebrate that will not be too much fuss? After all, I simply do not have more room to bring more “stuff” after all the gifts, swim toys, food, etc. And I wanted to be practical. There are some seriously adorable things on Pinterest for New Year’s Eve, but this working Mama just doesn’t have time for all that and my money is spent for the rest of the year! So was born the “New Year’s Eve Conversation Starters”.

Continue reading “New Year’s Eve Free Printable Conversation Starters”

3 Simple Party Games for the Fourth - Practical Party Planning with Holly

The Fourth of July is just around the corner! Have you planned your party yet? If not, don’t worry! I have some practical party ideas for you that you can throw together quickly! I actually have so many ideas for you that this is a two-part blog! Today I will be talking about the party games and come back on Tuesday, June 16th for the Food and decorations!

So… we need something to do at our party, but we don’t want to spend a lot of money or haul a lot of things. In come my three simple party games!

Game number one, the Balloon Pop!

Do I really need to say more? You do exactly what it says, pop balloons! But there are a couple fun ways to do this.

Option One

We used to do this at my Grandma’s when I was little and it was really fun. Basically give each kid 3-5 balloons each and they race to see who can pop all their balloons the fastest. No prizes, just pride.

Option Two

Two teams of two stand next to each other, with 6 balloons about 40 feet away. On “Go” one team member runs to get a balloon. They then run back to their partner and they must pop the balloon by squishing it between their standing bodies. When they do so, the runner runs back and gets balloon number two. When the runner runs back to their partner their partner is sitting down and they must pop the balloon by placing the balloon on the sitting person’s lap and the runner sitting down on them. After the second balloon is popped, the runner must run back and grab the third and final balloon. When the runner runs back to their partner, the teammate is laying down and they must pop the balloon by having one teammate lay on top of the other teammate and placing the balloon between the two. The team to do this the fastest wins.

Add some fun to this game by filling the balloons with water on a hot day or filling them with candy (no sticks) and/or stickers for the kids to have once they have popped the balloons.


Game number two, Bean Bag Toss!

Homemade Bean Bag Toss -

You may have Bean Bag boards, but sometimes there is just not enough room to pack all that stuff in your car. So with this game you will simply need 6 bean bags, 3 container lids and some flour.

Choose three round, they don’t have to be round but that is what I used, container lids of different sizes. Lay them out on the grass creating almost a snowman shape, with some space in between the lids. Sprinkle white flour around the lids. When you pick up the lids you will have three nice round shapes to toss bean bags into.

Homemade Bean Bag toss with container lids and flour -

Now, if you do not have bean bags, you can make your own with some beans, and some scrap material. Now, these are in no way “Official” Bean Bags, but they will work for just having fun in the yard. Follow the steps below to make yours.

How to make your own bean bags for Bean Bag Toss -

What you will need

  1. 3 Cups Navy Beans
  2. 12 – 5” square pieces of material (6 of each of two colors)
  3. Thread
  4. Sewing machine
  5. Pinking Shears
  6. Pins
  7. Funnel


  1. Using pinking shears, cut the edges of your fabric squares to create a pinked edge.
  2. Pin together two pieces of 5” square fabric with outsides out.
  3. Completely sew three edges of square.
  4. Sew 2/3 of the last edge leaving a couple inches open to fill your bag
  5. Using a funnel, pour in ½ Cup Navy Beans
  6. Hold the bag shut and finish sewing the last edge.
  7. For good measure, sew around all four edges one last time.

There you have it. You have a fun game for the family without having to drag along big boards and you used up some of your left over scrap material.


Game number three, Gatorade Ring Toss

Gatorade Ring Toss -

This game is fun and practical because it uses items that you can consume and recycle after and items that you probably already have around your house!

You simply purchase 10 bottles of your favorite Gatorade or Powerade (I chose red, white and blue varieties for obvious reasons) and set them up like bowling pins. In a nice 1, 2, 3, 4 pyramid sequence, leaving room for rings. Then using diving rings, try to ring the bottles. Make up your own rules and have fun!

Here are some pictures of my cute kids and the fun they had!

Fourth of July Party Ideas -


Well there you have it, three simple party games! Check out my blog on Tuesday for great food ideas for your Fourth of July Party!


Party On,
Coborn’s, Inc. Consumer Content Manager

Click Here for more blogs written by Holly - Practical Party Planning with Holly

Hearty Game Day Recipes

Hearty Game Day Recipes: Chili Cheese Dog, Loaded Twice-Baked Potatoes & BBQ Chicken Spread -

Holly - Practial Party Planning -

I’m a Vikings watching, meat-and-potato eating, Minnesota girl. However, not to my surprise, the Vikings cease to make it to the Superbowl, or even the Playoffs yet again. Well, I still enjoy a good Superbowl party and great food. This year, I will be serving some hearty eats, including, but not limited to, loaded twice-baked potatoes, chili cheese dogs and a barbecue chicken spread. Here are my recipes, be sure to pin and save for later!

BBQ Chicken Spread Recipe -

How to make BBQ Chicken Spread - www.cobornsblog.comBarbecue Chicken Spread

First let’s start with the spread. Honestly, when I first read this recipe it didn’t sound the best, but trust me, it is delicious and you will not be able to stop at just one, or two, or three. I serve this dip with Ritz Bacon crackers, because… everything is better with bacon, right?

Barbecue Chicken Spread
  • 8 Oz. Cream Cheese, softened
  • 8 Oz. Sour Cream
  • 9 - 10 Oz. White Chunk Canned Chicken Breast, drained
  • 8 Oz. Finely Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Barbecue Sauce
  • Snack Crackers
  • Green Onions (Optional)
  1. Mix together cream cheese and sour cream and spread onto platter.
  2. Pour barbecue sauce over cream cheese mixture and evenly spread.
  3. Sprinkle chicken breast evenly on top of barbecue sauce.
  4. Top with shredded mozzarella and serve with snack crackers.
Chop green onions and add on top of the mozzarella. Get creative with this recipe and add your favorite ingredients, like green olives or tomatoes.


Chili Cheese Dog Recipe -

Chili Cheese Dog

Chili Cheese Dog Recipe - www.cobornsblog.comI have to be honest with you, I had never eaten a Chili Cheese Dog before I decided to make them for my Superbowl party. As I made them for this blog, I was excited to give them a taste. Well, let me tell you, this will not be the last time I eat them. I honestly think the key is the kind of “dog” you use. I chose the Coborn’s Signature Smokehouse ground course wieners. To put it lightly… delicious! I made it easy with canned Hormel Chili, but you could certainly make a chili from scratch. I topped my chili with chopped onion and Food Club chipotle shredded cheese. The chipotle shredded cheese is my go to – whenever I make a taco dip or baked potatoes with cheese, I like to use the chipotle cheese just to add a little extra flavor. It’s not too spicy, but just adds a little something more. Of course, I used the Coborn’s Own Hot Dog buns. These buns are made fresh in our own bakery each day. They are fresh, fluffy and delish!

Chili Cheese Dogs
  • Coborn’s Signature Smokehouse Course Ground Wieners
  • Coborn’s Own Hot Dog Buns
  • 2 or 3 Cans Hormel Chili with Beans
  • 1 Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 Bag Food Club Shredded Chipotle Cheddar Cheese
  1. Heat wieners and chili on stove-top or in microwave to desired temperature.
  2. Chop onion.
  3. Fill hot dog bun with wiener and top with chili, onions and cheese.
You could serve these buffet-style by keeping the dogs and chili in warmers and creating a buffet of toppings such as onion, cheese, sour cream, etc.


Loaded Twice-Baked Potato Recipe -

Loaded Twice-Baked Potatoes

Like I said, I am a meat-and-potatoes girl, so what better than topping your potato with meat? You could simply make baked potatoes and top with Hormel Chili, or you could take it a step further, like I did, and make a twice-baked potato by removing the filling, adding cheese and butter and baking again with chili and cheese. Serve with sour cream and your guests will love it!

Loaded Twice-Baked Potatoes
  • 6 Russet Potatoes
  • ¼ Cup Butter
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 Cans Hormel Chili with Beans
  • 2 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • Sour Cream
  • Pepper
  1. Bake potatoes in 350° oven until soft, about one hour depending on size.
  2. Remove from oven and slice off a lid and set aside.
  3. Remove potato pulp from 4 potatoes and place in a bowl, keeping skins in tact.
  4. Remove potato pulp from 2 potatoes and reserve, keeping skins in tact.
  5. Add ½ cup cheese, butter and salt to 4 potato pulp mixture and mash.
  6. Season potato mixture with pepper to taste.
  7. Refill potato skins with potato mixture, pressing it into the bottom and against the sides, leaving a “bowl” to add the chili.
  8. Set filled potatoes back onto baking sheet and place lids skin side down on baking sheet as well.
  9. Fill potatoes with Hormel Chili with Beans and top with remaining cheese.
  10. Bake in oven until heated through and cheese is melted and browned, about 12 minutes.
  11. Remove potatoes from oven and transfer to a platter, top with a dollop of sour cream and place lid on top, if desired.
  12. Serve immediately.
Only use the pulp from 4 potatoes so that you have room to fill the skins with chili. Use the remaining pulp as you wish.


This year at your Superbowl party, forget about the popcorn and chips and fill those bellies with hearty, meaty and delicious food!


Party On,


Coborn’s, Inc. Social Media/Creative Specialist

Click Here for more articles written by Holly - Practical Party Planning with Holly

Tailgating Tips and Recipes

Tailgating Tips and Recipes - - Family, Friends & Food with Jayne

We all have some kind of hidden talent.  When asked to do a blog on tailgating recipes, I jumped for joy and did a little happy dance!  My forte is appetizers.  I love making them, I love serving them to my family and friends, and I definitely love to eat them.  In fact, every few months I don’t make dinner,  I announce to my family that it is “appetizer night” and they love it.  What makes it even better is when you add a theme to the night like “tailgating”.

Since we can’t go to the game, we can plan a tailgating party right in our own backyard.  If the weather doesn’t cooperate, I set up in the family room, kitchen or even the game room or garage.  So, let’s get started.

I don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing food, because I don’t want to miss a minute of the game.  I have a few recipes that are easy & can be prepared in less than 30 minutes.  Let’s start off with a simple recipe for a Bloody Mary.  Next is the appetizer, soup as the main entrée and a quick sweet treat.

Bloody Mary Recipe -

Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary
Serves: 2
  • 1½ Cups Clamato Juice, chilled
  • 2 T. Dill Pickle Juice
  • 1 T. Worcestershire Sauce
  • ¼ tsp. Celery Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Pepper
  • ⅛ tsp. Hot Pepper Sauce
  • ¼ Cup Vodka, optional
  • 2 Celery Ribs
  • 2 Pepperoini Snack Sticks
  • 2 Dill Pickle Spears
  • 2 Pitted Ripe Olives
  • Lime Wedges
  1. In a small pitcher, combine the first six ingredients.
  2. Stir in vodka if desired.
  3. Pour into two glasses filled with ice.
  4. Garnish with celery, snack sticks, pickles, olives and lime wedge.
  5. I have also garnished with cocktail shrimp and asparagus.

 Brat Nachos -

Brat Nachos

Brat Nachos
Serves: 12
  • 16 Oz. Fully Cooked Smoked Bratwurst, sliced
  • ½ Cup Onions, sliced
  • 1 Small Red Pepper, sliced
  • 3 Cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 2½ tsp. Flour
  • 1 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • ¾ Cup Beer
  • Tortilla Chips
  1. Sauté bratwurst for one minute in a large skillet.
  2. Add onions, peppers and garlic clove.
  3. Cook 4-5 minutes longer until vegetables are tender.
  4. Set aside and keep warm.
  5. In a large bowl, combine cheese and flour.
  6. In a large saucepan, add beer and cook over medium heat until bubbles form around sides of pan.
  7. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  8. Add a handful of cheese mixture, and stir constantly.
  9. Continue adding cheese, one handful at a time allowing cheese to almost completely melt between additions.
  10. Arrange tortilla chips on a large serving platter.
  11. Spoon cheese mixture over chips and then top with bratwurst mixture.
  12. Serve immediately.

 Chili with Cheese -

Chili with Cheese

Chili with Cheese
Serves: 12
  • 2 lbs. Ground Beef
  • 1 Medium Onion, chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 3 10 Oz. Cans Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies, undrained
  • 28 Oz. Can Diced Tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 4 oz. Cans Chopped Green Chilies
  • ½ tsp. Pepper
  • 4 Oz. Velveeta Process Cheese
  1. In a large saucepan, cook the beef, onions and garlic until the internal temperature of meat reaches at least 160 degrees.
  2. Drain.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, chilies and pepper.
  4. Bring to boil.
  5. Reduce heat.
  6. Simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Stir in cheese until melted. (You can add more cheese if you like it cheesier.) Serve immediately.

 M & M Snack Bars -

M & M Snack Bars

M & M Snack Bars
Serves: 36
  • 2½ Cups Pretzel Sticks, broke in half
  • 2 Cups Corn Chex
  • 1½ Cups M & M’s
  • ½ Cup Butter
  • ½ Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 5 Cups Miniature Marshmallows
  1. In a large bowl, combine pretzels, cereal and M & M ‘s.
  2. In a large saucepan over low heat, melt butter and peanut butter.
  3. Add marshmallows; cook and stir until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth.
  4. Pour over pretzel mixture.
  5. Stir to coat.
  6. Press into a greased 13 x 9 inch pan.
  7. Cool until firm, cut into squares and serve.

Here are a couple extra hints to make your next tailgating party a success with your guests.

  • Keep the menu simple and the recipes quick and easy.
  • When planning the menu choose food that is easy to eat while standing.
  • Choose food that can be made ahead of time.
  • Don’t forget those special decorations like, your favorite team colors for plates, napkins and tablecloths, football dishware, balloons, etc.

Last but not least…..GO VIKINGS!! And enjoy….I did!

Coborn’s, Inc. Meat and Seafood Merchandiser

Click Here for more articles written by Jayne - Family, Friends & Food with Jayne

Game Day Party Ideas - Game Day Party Ideas and Recipes - Practical Party Planning with Holly

Well, it is time for the Super Bowl again. Yet another year where we will not watch the Vikings even compete in the playoffs; big surprise, right? Oh well, it will still be a good game, and even if it isn’t there should be some funny commercials.

This year I will again be having people over for the game. I love a party with fun printables and cute napkins, however, this is FOOTBALL and we’re not going to have any of that fancy schmancy stuff, well maybe a little. 🙂 My main focus this year is going to be delicious, hearty food!

Party Mix - Crock Pot Party MixLet start with some hors d’oeuvres. It is easy to buy some Food Club snack mix, my favorite is the bold flavor in the black bag, but this is a very special occasion, time to make some party mix from scratch. I came across a Crock Pot Party Mix recipe and decided to try it. Disaster then ensued with a burnt and bland party mix. So I tried it again, attempt #2 was much more successful. I doubled the spices and butter and mixed the sauces with the dry mixes BEFORE I put it in the crock pot. This gave my mix better coverage and was much easier to mix versus trying to stir it all together in the crock pot. You still need to stir every now and then to prevent it from burning but you don’t have to worry about mixing the sauce in at this point so it is much easier. Find my revised recipe below.

Crock Pot Party Mix
  • ½ Cup Butter or Margarine
  • 2 T. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 T. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • 3 tsp. Frank’s Red Hot pepper sauce
  • 3 Cups Corn Chex® cereal
  • 3 Cups Rice Chex® cereal
  • 3 Cups Wheat Chex® cereal
  • 1 Cup Mixed Nuts
  • 1 Cup Pretzels
  • 1 Cup Bite-Size Cheese Crackers
  1. Turn large slow cooker on low.
  2. Gradually mix together all three cereals, mixed nuts, pretzels and crackers in a large bowl and stir.
  3. In a microwave safe container melt butter.
  4. Add Worcestershire, Lawry’s and red pepper sauce to melted butter and stir.
  5. Drizzle seasoning mixture over top of mixture and stir well.
  6. Pour entire mixture into crock pot.
  7. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours, stirring about every 30 min.
  8. Pour party mix onto a cookie sheet to cool.
  9. Transfer to a serving dish when cooled.


Antipasto Skewers - Game Day Party Ideas - Antipasto SkewersSome of my favorite things to serve at a party are antipasto skewers. Basically you can pick any kind of cheese, meat, olive, pepper, etc. and stick it on a skewer and you are done. My skewers this year will consist of Kretschmar Summer Sausage from the deli, Kraft Jalapeno White Cheddar cheese from dairy and queen stuffed olives from grocery. They are super simple! Cut your summer sausage slice in half and fold in thirds, chunk your cheese, and slide everything onto a skewer with your olives and you are done. Like I said, you can really put anything you want on these. I like them because they are easy for your guests to hold, you don’t have olives rolling around everywhere and you don’t have to have everything sitting on a tray getting old; you can take more out of the refrigerator as needed.


Enough with the finger food, let’s get to the main course. I have found three great chili recipes that I want to share with you.

Skillet Nacho Chili - Game Day Party Ideas - Skillet Nacho Chili Recipe

The first one is Skillet Nacho Chili (it is like your nachos and your chili had a baby). It is super easy to make, just brown the meat and mix it all together – it’s not rocket science. This chili has a good flavor but you could maybe add some peppers to spice it up a bit if you like a little more zip.

Skillet Nacho Chili
  • 1 lb. Lean (at least 80%) Ground Beef
  • 1 Medium Onion, chopped
  • 1 Can (19 oz.) Hearty Tomato Soup
  • 1 Can (15-16 oz.) Spicy Chili Beans in sauce, undrained
  • 1 Can (4.5 oz.) Chopped Green Chilies, undrained
  • 1 Cup Frozen Corn
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 Cups Corn Chips
  1. Spray 12” skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook beef and onion in skillet 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until beef is brown and onion is tender; drain.
  3. Stir soup, chili beans, green chiles and corn into beef mixture.
  4. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium.
  5. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened and corn is cooked.
  6. Sprinkle each serving with cheese.
  7. Serve with corn chips.

Slow Cooker Chunky Chicken Chili - Game Day Party Ideas - Slow Cooker Chunky Chicken ChiliThe next recipe I made was Slow Cooker Chunky Chicken Chili. Talk about EASY! If you have no time and still want to impress, this is the chili for you. It has a nice chili flavor, not too spicy and you don’t need that many ingredients. The recipe called for boneless skinless chicken thighs but I am slightly frugal so I bought a bag of the frozen Food Club Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts and used that instead. This option was a lot less money and tasted great.

Slow Cooker Chunky Chicken Chili
  • 2 lbs. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 2 Cans (14.5 oz each) Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies, undrained
  • 1 Can (15 oz.) Tomato Sauce
  • 1 pkg. (1 oz.) Chili Seasoning Mix
  • 2 Cans (15.5 oz. each) Hominy or Posole, drained
  • Sour Cream (if desired)
  • Cilantro (if desired)
  1. Place chicken in 3½- to 4-quart slow cooker.
  2. Mix tomatoes, tomato sauce and chili seasoning; pour over chicken.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat setting 7 to 9 hours or until juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut.
  4. Stir to break up chicken.
  5. Stir in hominy.
  6. Cover and cook on low heat setting 15 minutes until heated through.
  7. Serve chili with sour cream and cilantro.
This recipe was tested in slow cookers with heating elements in the side and bottom of the cooker, not in cookers that stand only on a heated base. For slow cookers with just a heated base, follow the manufacturer’s directions for layering ingredients and choosing a temperature.

Vegetarian Chili - Game Day Party Ideas - Vegetarian ChiliI do want to give you a vegetarian option as well. Typically when I think of chili I think of it being really meaty, but this chili is just as delicious, sans meat. Pretty simple and straight forward, the most difficult part was chopping the jalapenos. This chili has a nice fresh salsa flavor and even though there are jalapenos in it, it really wasn’t that spicy. So if you want a little kick, I would add a few more.
All of the chili recipes were delicious but I think the Chunky Chicken Chili will be my pick for the big game. It was easy and delicious.

Vegetarian Chili
  • 1 T. Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Large Onion, chopped
  • 1 Medium Green Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 Fresh Jalapeno or Serrano Chiles, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 Cans (15 oz. each) Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Cans (14.5 oz. each) Fire Roasted or Plain Diced Tomatoes, undrained
  • 1.5 Cups Water
  • 1 T. Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 1 Cup Frozen Sweet Corn
  • Sour Cream or Plain Yogurt (if desired)
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese (if desired)
  • Fresh Cilantro, chopped (if desired)
  1. In 4-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic and chiles; cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender.
  3. Stir in black beans, tomatoes, water, chili powder, cumin and salt.
  4. Heat to boiling.
  5. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Stir in corn.
  7. Heat to boiling.
  8. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 5 minutes longer.
  9. Top each serving with remaining ingredients, if desired.


Something Sweet - Game Day Party Ideas - Rice Krispy TreatsNo party is complete without a sweet – so this is my little bit of fancy schmancy. These are easy and delicious. Basically you buy some premade rice krispy bars from the Coborn’s Bakery, or make your own. You will need some with chocolate on top and some without. You will then take a knife and cut the chocolate-topped bars in the shape of little footballs and the regular rice krispy bars in the shape of little jerseys. Then you simply pipe on some white stitching and lines on the footballs and some colorful frosting on to the jerseys with your favorite numbers and you are done.

Football Board - Game Day Party Ideas - Football Board *Please note that Coborn's does not condone gambling.One of my blogs would not be complete without a free printable. Well, like I said, this is FOOTBALL so my free printable is a football board, not a place holder. This is a fun little game to play with your friends and family for bragging rights or you can make little trophies and awards. Please note that Coborn’s does not condone illegal gambling, this is just for fun. So click here and print your board for the big game.

I hope I was able to give you a few ideas for your Super Bowl party. Don’t forget to shop at Coborn’s the week of January 26 – Feb 1, 2014 (Jan 28 – Feb 3 in South Dakota) to get great deals on the items you need to make these recipes. Enjoy the game and Go Broncos! (What can I say? I have a sweet spot for Peyton Manning).

Party On,

Click Here for more blogs written by Holly. - Practical Party Planning with Holly