By Suzanne Corbett

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Turkey Day is fast approaching and anticipation is high for the turkey and the big football game. That’s the big Webster - Kirkwood Turkey Day Game.

Since Thanksgiving 1907 arch high school football rivals the Kirkwood Pioneers and the Webster Groves Statesmen have battled on the gridiron to win bragging rights and procession of the hallowed day’s trophy, the Frisco Railroad Bell. The Webster vs. Kirkwood game is a Thanksgiving Day tradition predating the NFL and thought to be inspired by late 19th century college Thanksgiving Day games that first began in 1876 with Yale and Princeton.

The 2016 Webster – Kirkwood Turkey Day Game will kick off at noon at Webster’s Moss Field. Like any other game day it will be enhanced with faithful fans tailgating. While the expected turkey legs, chili and mountain of brats will be served one may want to consider a little lighter fare. After all, grandma and mom are expecting hearty appetites at their Thanksgiving tables.

To help save room for mom’s turkey try changing up this years tailgating menu. Focus on appetizers, especially those that are easy to make, take and carry. Great munchies that have robust flavors as those recipes provided to fans by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board -

Blue + Cheddar Beer Spread
3 cups (12 ounces) cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups (12 ounces) blue cheese, crumbled
1/3-1/2 cup wheat ale
Salt and black pepper to taste
Mix cheeses and beer in food processor until thoroughly combined. Add salt and black pepper to taste and additional beer for desired consistency
Makes 3 cups

Chili Dog Nachos
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
3/4 cup onion, minced, plus additional for topping
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups water
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 12-ounce package hot dogs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 cups (8 ounces) Wisconsin Colby-jack cheese, shredded
Tortilla chips
In large sauté pan over medium heat, cook ground beef until browned. Add onion and cook until softened. Add garlic and cook 1minute. Stir in chili powder and cook an additional 30 to 60 seconds. Add tomato paste, mustard, brown sugar and Worcestershire
sauce. Stir until combined. Add water, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in hot dog pieces and continue to cook until heated through.

To prepare cheese sauce: In saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk and paprika and cook, whisking often, until thickened. Add Colby-jack and stir until cheese melts and sauce is smooth.
To serve, place layer of tortilla chips on large plate or platter. Top with chili dog mixture, followed by cheese sauce. Top with additional minced onions.
Serves 8 – 10
Bacon Caramel Popcorn
1/2 pound strip bacon, preferably hardwood smoked
4 quarts (16 cups) popped popcorn
1 1/2 cups (packed) light brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Wisconsin blue cheese, for pairing

Cook bacon according to package directions and drain on paper
towels. Break into bite-size pieces. Pour popcorn into large bowl. Scatter bacon pieces over popcorn and lightly toss. Melt brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in
heavy bottom pan. Stir and cook to 225°F on candy thermometer for chewy popcorn or 240°F for crunchy popcorn. Pour mixture over popcorn and bacon and stir to distribute sauce evenly. Evenly spread popcorn mixture on buttered baking sheet and cool.
Serve with Wisconsin blue cheese.
Note: Blue cheese pairs nicely with the saltiness of the bacon and sweetness of the caramel.
Makes 16 servings