Party Tips

The Super Bowl has grown over the years to be so much more than just a championship game. You may not have tickets to the game, but look on the bright side — unlike the fans in the stadium — you’ll be able to see all the cool new multi-million-dollar commercials that debut during the game! Throwing a successful Super Bowl party can be a breeze with some easy planning, so you can ensure that your guests have a good time and you don’t miss a second of the big game.

Make sure you have plenty of comfortable seating in the television viewing area, as well as, things like snack trays, paper towels and napkins and even card tables for putting out snacks. Move breakables to another room so that nothing gets knocked over when all the jumping and shouting begins. Consider protecting surfaces with tablecloths or runners—you can’t expect screaming fans to remember to use a coaster!

Beer and football go hand-in-hand. Make sure the party is stocked with beverages from beers to soft drinks. Also, take into account that many avid football fans get glued to the television and sometimes won’t leave the couch at any cost. Consider placing a cooler in the living room, so they don’t have to make repeated trips to the refrigerator. So important, yet so often forgotten, make sure to grab a few bags of ice from the supermarket, particularly if you’re going to keep beverages in a cooler. Nothing can ruin a Super Bowl party faster than a lukewarm beer.

This party shouldn’t be fancy. Finger foods are the key and give your guests plenty of options, like crackers, dips, salsas and a make-your-own-sandwich tray with cold cuts and cheeses. Your chips need to be accessible to a lot of hands grabbing for them at once. Pick up some big, cheap plastic bowls. Football is a long game and your guests aren’t going to get tired of eating. Consider using a crock pot to keep queso and dips soft for hours, rather than letting them harden up. Make sure to make up a vegetable platter, too. Party foods can be really delicious without being loaded with fat.

It is almost guaranteed that there will be people at your party, who haven’t watched a game all year. If you know that some guests couldn’t care less about the game, set aside an area just for them. If you have an extra TV, set it up in your dining room for viewing other programs and serve drinks and snacks there as well. Consider running a “Sex and the City” marathon or episodes of the “Real Housewives” series in anticipation of the event. That way, guests can wander in and out to chat and check out what’s going on in the different rooms—and everyone will have a good time!

Sample Party Menu

Snacks

Sweet and Smoky Nuts

Chips with Creamy Salsa Dip

Chipotle Kettle Corn

Vegetable Tray and Four-Onion Dip

Cheese and Cracker Tray

Half Time Entrees

Stuffed Sausage Sliders

Spicy Chicken with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Italian Focaccia Sandwiches

Breaded Eggplant Sandwiches

Drinks

Beer

Red & White Wine

Non-Alcoholic Drink Options

Dessert

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Recipes

Sweet and Smoky Nuts

Pour the crunchy nut snack into paper cones for mess-free single servings that look more sophisticated than a generic snack bowl.

Makes: 16 servings; 4 cups

Serving size: ¼ cup

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup whole almonds or hazelnuts (filberts)
  • 1 cup pecan or walnut halves
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk egg white until foamy. Add peanuts, almonds, and pecans; toss gently to coat. Stir in brown sugar, paprika, salt, cinnamon, and allspice. Spread nuts in an even layer in the prepared baking pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until nuts are toasted and appear dry, stirring twice. Remove from oven and stir again. Cool completely in baking pan. Break up any large clusters.

MAKE-AHEAD DIRECTIONS:

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Chipotle Kettle Corn

Yield: 16 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup popcorn kernels

Directions:

In a small bowl combine sugar, salt, cumin and chipotle pepper. Heat the oil in an 8-quart pan over medium-high heat. Add the popcorn and cook, shaking occasionally, 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the sugar mixture. Cover and cook, shaking often, until popcorn begins to pop. Once popcorn begins to pop, shake continuously until the popping slows. Immediately remove from the heat and carefully pour into a large bowl (popcorn will be very hot).

Place remaining sugar mixture in a shaker jar. Sprinkle some on the popped corn and pass remaining. Makes 16 cups.

Microwave version:

Prepare sugar mixture as above. One at a time, pop two 3.3-ounce bags microwave kettle corn. Immediately after popping pour into a very large bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining bag of popcorn and 2 more tablespoons of sugar mixture. Pass remaining sugar mixture as above. Makes 20 (1-cup) servings.

Creamy Garlic Salsa Dip

Creamy Salsa Dip

Serve with Chips

Ingredients:

  • one 8-ounce block reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup jarred salsa
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Directions:

Combine the cream cheese, cheddar and salsa in a microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan. Heat in the microwave (covered), or over low heat over a burner, until the cheese is soft and the salsa has started to bubble a bit.

Remove from the heat, and stir until well combined. Store in the refrigerator (covered once it’s cool) until ready to serve.

Four-Onion Dip

Serve with raw vegetables for dippers.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons dehydrated minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1/4 cup fat-free plain yogurt
  • 1 medium green onion (green and white parts), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons grated sweet onion, such as Vidalia
  • 2 tablespoons shredded carrot
  • 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon salt-free onion-and-herb seasoning blend, such as Mrs. Dash
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red hot-pepper sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions:

In a small bowl, stir together the dehydrated onion and water. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients. Stir in the rehydrated onion. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve at room temperature or cover and refrigerate for up to two days. The dip will thicken during the refrigeration time.

Stuffed Sausage Sliders

16 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 small apple
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 pounds lean ground pork
  • 3/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese or smoked provolone cheese (2 to 3 ounces)
  • 16-2 inches buns, rolls, or biscuits, sliced in half
  • Toppings: Sliced onion, thin slices of apple, coleslaw, mustard sauce

Directions:

Peel and shred enough of the apple to measure 1/3 cup. In a large bowl combine the 1/3 cup apple, oil, garlic, pepper, fennel seeds, salt, thyme, and nutmeg. Add ground pork; mix well.

Shape a scant 1/4 cup pork mixture into a ball and use your finger to make a deep indentation in top. Fill indentation with 2 teaspoons cheese; press pork mixture to enclose filling. Reshape pork mixture into a ball and flatten into a 2 1/2-inch-diameter patty. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pork mixture and cheese. Cover and chill for 1 to 4 hours.

Preheat broiler. Remove patties from the refrigerator. Place patties on the unheated rack of a greased broiler pan. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat for 9 to 11 minutes or until patties are done (160 degrees F), turning patties once halfway through broiling.

Serve patties on slider buns and let guests add the condiments.

Spicy Chicken with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

8 to 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 pounds chicken wings and/or small chicken drumsticks
  • Fresh Mint (optional)
  • Cucumber Yogurt Sauce, recipe below

Directions:

Combine the yogurt, ginger, garlic, curry, salt, paprika, cinnamon and cayenne in a bowl; let stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

If using chicken wings cut each wing into two portions at the first joint. Place wings and/or drumsticks into a 2-gallon resealable plastic bag set in a shallow dish; pour on yogurt mixture. Seal and chill 6 to 24 hours, turning bag occasionally.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Drain chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Line two 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pans with foil; lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange chicken in prepared pans (if using both drumsticks and wings, place them on separate pans. Bake small drumsticks for 35 minutes; bake chicken wings 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (170 degrees F). Cool chicken slightly. Transfer to storage containers; cover and chill overnight.

To serve:

Remove chicken from the refrigerator about 45 minutes before serving.

Preheat broiler. Broil directly on a greased pan 5-6 inches from the heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until heated through, turning once. Transfer chicken to platter; top with mint. Serve with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce.

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2-6 ounce cartons plain yogurt
  • 1 large cucumber, shredded and well-drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil or mint
  • Curry powder

Directions:

In a medium bowl combine yogurt, cucumber, garlic, salt, ground cumin and fresh basil or mint; mix well. Refrigerate 1 to 4 hours before serving. Sprinkle lightly with curry powder before serving.

Italian Focaccia Sandwiches

8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1-6 ounce jar quartered marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1/4 cup jarred roasted red sweet peppers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pitted ripe olives
  • 1 12-inch round Italian flatbread (focaccia)
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced capicola*
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced salami*
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced mortadella or ham*
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced provolone

Directions

The day before:

Drain artichoke hearts and roasted peppers; pat dry with paper towels. Coarsely chop artichokes and roasted peppers; pat dry again. In a small bowl combine artichokes, roasted peppers and olives; set aside.

Cut focaccia in half horizontally. Layer the bottom with capicola, salami and mortadella. Spoon artichoke mixture over meat; top with cheese. Replace top of focaccia. Tightly wrap sandwich in foil and chill overnight.

Party day:

Bring sandwiches to room temperature and cut into eight wedges. 

*Applegate Farms makes healthy cold cuts.

 

Vegetarian Option: Breaded Eggplant Sandwiches

6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 medium eggplant, peel if desired
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 12 slices Italian bread (1/2 inch thick), toasted

Directions:

Combine the basil, oil, oregano, pepper and salt; set aside. Place egg whites and bread crumbs each in separate shallow bowls.

Cut eggplant lengthwise into six slices. Dip slices in egg whites; then coat in crumbs.

Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° F. for 20-25 minutes or until tender and golden brown, turning once.

Cut each tomato into six slices; place two slices on each eggplant slice. Spoon reserved basil mixture over tomatoes and sprinkle with cheeses.

Bake for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Place each eggplant stack on a slice of bread and top with remaining bread.

Non-Alcoholic Honey-Ginger Limeade

8 servings

ingredients

  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2-3-inch strips lime peel
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 ½ cups fresh lime juice, reserve lime halves
  • 1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 liter bottle sparkling water, chilled
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime wedges
  • Fresh ginger slices

Directions:

In a small saucepan combine 2 cups of the water and the finely chopped ginger. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Boil gently, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in lime peel. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Strain into a pitcher; discard solids.

Add brown sugar and honey to ginger liquid in pitcher, stirring to dissolve sugar. Stir in lime juice, jalapeno pepper (if desired), and the remaining 1 cup water. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours (up to 3 days).

Before serving, add the reserved squeezed lime halves to pitcher. Slowly pour sparkling water into ginger liquid in pitcher; stir gently to mix. Serve in brown sugar-rimmed glasses over ice cubes. Garnish with lime wedges and ginger slices.

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

You may need to double this recipe, depending on the number of guests you are planning to serve.

Ingredients:

• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
• 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 2 tablespoons canola oil
• 1 large egg, lightly beaten
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or whole-wheat flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon. salt
• 3 ounces dark chocolate (60% to 70% cocoa), chopped into chunks or chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In the large electric mixer bowl, beat the butter and sugars until combined. Add the oil and egg and beat until creamy. Stir in the vanilla.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix well. Gently fold in the chocolate.

Scoop rounded tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving at least 1½ inches between cookies to allow for spreading. Bake until the cookies are just set, about 12 minutes. Transfer the cookies on parchment to a rack and allow to cool. The cookies will crisp as they cool. Store at room temperature in an airtight container, where they will keep for up to 4 days.

Yield: about 20 cookies

 

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