Sweet and savory dishes for playtime

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – The Michigan State Spartans take on the Pitt Panthers at the Chik-fil-A Peach Bowl on December 30 at 7 p.m. in Atlanta, Ga.

Governor Whitmer also announced Thursday morning that December 30 has been declared a Spartan day in anticipation of the big game!

“I encourage every Michigander to support the Spartans as they face the Pittsburgh Panthers in the Peach Bowl,” Governor Whitmer said. “The Spartan teams are never beaten, and under coach Mel Tucker this year we have had a season that defies expectations like no other. Go Green and Tuck Comin! ‘”

And what better way to celebrate game day with delicious snacks!

Grace Derocha, registered dietitian and national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, has some great ideas that will make the event a celebration when it comes to the food you serve.

She has imagined perfectly themed delicacies that will delight even the most demanding palates!

Start with chicken and waffle skewers cooked in the air fryer (with special pickle brine!) – and add a little peach to stick to the theme. So for dessert, nothing could be simpler than a crispy chocolate football dessert! Full recipes are below!

Chicken And Waffle Skewers


For the chicken:

  • 16 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup of pickle juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tbsp. milk
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp. Granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • spray oil

For the waffles:

  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup of powdered sugar
  • vs. kosher salt
  • vs. baking soda
  • vs. baking powder
  • 2 cups low-fat cultured buttermilk
  • ¼ cup 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla extract

Topping – Peach, cut into cubes


For the chicken:

  • Place chicken pieces and pickle juice in a plastic bag or container for marinating. Place in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a shallow bowl, whisk together egg and milk.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, powdered sugar, salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and black pepper. Put aside.
  • Take the chicken pieces out of the refrigerator. Grease the Air Fryer basket with a little oil.
  • Coat the chicken pieces in the egg mixture, then coat them in the flour mixture, then shake off the excess flour and place it in the basket. Repeat until the bottom of the air fryer basket is full. Make sure none of the pieces overlap or touch each other.
  • Close the air fryer basket and cook at 360 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 minutes, flipping halfway through at 6 minutes. Spray the flour stains when you turn over with oil.
  • After 12 minutes, increase the heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

For the waffles:

  • Set the waffle iron to medium temperature.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, powdered sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add the buttermilk, melted butter, egg whites and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.
  • Close the lid and cook until the waffle is golden brown and still steaming. Follow the directions for your waffle iron.
  • Continue to make waffles until the dough is complete.

To serve:

  1. Cut each square of waffle into quarters.
  2. Thread a piece of waffle, chicken and a peach cube to serve on a toothpick
  3. Serve immediately with a side of maple syrup or drizzle the syrup over the chicken waffle and peach.
  4. Enjoy!

Crispy Chocolate Football Dessert


  • 5 tbsp. salted butter
  • 6 cups of mini marshmallows
  • 6 cups chocolate krisp rice cereal or cocoa krispies
  • 1 cup of white chocolate wafers


  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and stir in the marshmallows. Cook the mixture until the marshmallows are completely melted.
  • Stir in cocoa krispies until well combined.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray your hands with cooking spray.
  • Pour about 2 tablespoons of the krispie rice mixture into the palm of your hand and shape it into a soccer ball. Place on the baking sheet to cool.
  • Repeat with the rest of the krispie rice mixture, spraying your hands with cooking spray as needed to avoid sticking.
  • Let the balloons cool to room temperature.
  • Melt the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl 30 seconds apart in the microwave. Transfer the melted chocolate to a zipped bag and cut off a corner of the bag.
  • Thread the laces over the soccer balls and let cool until they harden. Store in an airtight container for up to 48 hours or serve immediately.

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