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How To Host A Dodgers Party And Still Enjoy The Game

(Courtesy of Smart & Final)

Smart & Final is all in for the Dodgers this year. To help prepare for the postseason parties to come, Chef Jamie Gwen is offering some great recipes, shopping tips and tricks on how to be the MVP at your party this October.

1) How do you plan the perfect Postseason Party?

Knock your game-watching party out of the park by making the menu super simple and super fun! I love to cook for a crowd, but I want to be able to enjoy the game myself as well. So, I plan dishes that are hearty, yet easy to share and totally cravable. Centering the party around one main dish makes it easy to prepare yet fun for your guests. Think a big pot of chili surrounded by bowls of all the fixins or meatballs in sauce served with hoagie rolls and a variety of fun toppings. Or you could replicate stadium food with hot dogs and a platter of stadium snacks.

2) What are your two go-to dishes for baseball parties?

Nachos are always a crowd-pleaser, and I make mine on a sheet pan for sharing. Buy a Smart & Final ready-made Oven-Roasted Chicken and shred the meat. Pile tortilla chips high with the shredded chicken, black beans, pico de gallo, pickled jalapeños, chopped green onions and sliced olives and poor warm Nacho Cheese over the top (fun fact: Smart & Final sells over 13 million pounds of cheese sauce a year!). Take the sheet pan straight to the coffee table and let your guests munch! Another fun option is what I call Lasorda Meatball Madness - a big platter of spaghetti and meatballs that always satisfies. I use Smart & Final's frozen all-beef meatballs, which are so easy to prepare by simply simmering them slowly in red sauce. I cook my spaghetti in advance and just drop it into boiling water for one minute when I'm ready to serve, then I serve it all on a platter piled high with hot pasta, meatballs, sauce and copious amounts of grated Parmesan.

3) Aside from ingredients and the dish itself, what else is handy to have around a Dodgers party?

For a Dodgers'-themed party, dress your coffee table with blue and white candy, bowls of peanuts for snacking (just like the stadium!) and set out drinks in ice in a galvanized tub, so that everyone can help themselves.

4) Who's your favorite player on the Dodgers?

I'm a big Clayton Kershaw fan...he's such a great philanthropist and an award-winning American baseball player. He's one of the best left-handed strikeout pitchers I've ever seen!