MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - December 1, 2010) - (Family Features) The entertaining season is here, and whether you're supporting your favorite team, or hosting your friends and family, it's easy to get stressed out with all the planning and preparation. A great way to avoid the hosting blues is to add a little spice to your get-togethers. Don't fall into the habit of serving the same-old boring small-talk and appetizers -- keep things fun and fresh by shaking things up. 

There's nothing wrong with go-to standards, but remember too much of anything can get old quick. Try these tips to "shake over" your party:

  • An easy way to keep the conversation moving and exciting is to play a game. From a favorite board game to trivia contests or cards, there is a fun game for every party and crowd. Have your friends and family team up and compete against each other. Small prizes or gifts are a great way to acknowledge the winners and spice up the competition and entertainment.

  • When considering your party menu, start with a few staples, like chips and dip, veggies, and cheese and crackers, and then spice it up a bit with something different. You can even kick up your party menu a notch with something new like Shake 'n Bake Crispy Buffalo. Cooking shouldn't be a chore when you're hosting friends and family, and Shake 'n Bake offers an easy snacking solution to jump start your party. 

  • A great way to spice up your party is to always be on the lookout for new and exciting recipes. Try a new recipe each time you host. From appetizers to entrees, there are a lot of different ways to kick things up a notch. And when time is not on your side, look for recipes with short prep and 5 ingredients or less.

Need more ways to shake things up? Visit www.shakenbake.com to download discounts and find easy-to-prepare recipes that friends and family will love.

Buffalo Chicken Wing Snackers 

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Makes: 8 servings

What you need

1-1/2   pounds chicken wings, separated at the joint, tips removed.
1   packet Shake 'n Bake Buffalo Seasoned Coating Mix
1/2   cup Kraft Ranch Dressing

Make it
HEAT oven to 400ºF.
SHAKE chicken with coating mix as directed on package.
BAKE in foil-lined pan 25 minutes or until chicken is done. Serve with dressing.

Nutrition Information Per Serving (8 servings): 250 calories, 16g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 45mg cholesterol, 570mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate, 0g dietary fiber, 4g sugars, 14g protein, 6%DV vitamin A, 0%DV vitamin C, 0%DV calcium, 4%DV iron.

Buffalo Chicken Express Salad 

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Makes: 6 servings, 2 cups each

What you need

1   pound chicken tenders, cut crosswise in half
1   packet Shake 'n Bake Buffalo Seasoned Coating Mix
1   package (10 ounces) torn salad greens
2   stalks celery, diagonally sliced
2   carrots, peeled, diagonally sliced
1/2   cup Kraft Light Ranch Dressing
1/4   cup Athenos Crumbled Blue Cheese

Make it
HEAT oven to 400ºF.
COAT chicken with coating mix as directed on package; place on foil-covered baking sheet.
BAKE 15 min. or until done.
COVER platter with greens; top with vegetables, dressing, chicken and cheese.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: 230 calories, 8g total fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 55mg cholesterol, 840mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate, 2g dietary fiber, 6g sugars, 18g protein, 90%DV vitamin A, 15%DV vitamin C, 8%DV calcium, 6%DV iron.