Super Bowl Sunday is one week from today, and whether you’re a football fan or not, the big game is a great excuse to throw a party. I love any occasion that calls for good food and company.
Preparing festive food is never more appropriate than when it comes to an athletic event. Each year when the big game rolls around, I get excited thinking about how I can incorporate the colors of my favorite team into my Super Bowl spread. My husband and I usually get together with a small group of friends to watch the game, and sometimes it’s just the two of us. No matter the size of the crowd, my menu remains simple, flavorful and typically includes some go-to replays: Buffalo chicken dip, chips and salsa and homemade guacamole. I like to decide on what to serve as a main course first, such as a big pot of chili or BBQ pork sliders, then build the rest of my menu from there. I also almost always bake something, like vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting. I add festive flair with team-specific colored sprinkles and football-themed toothpicks.
When it comes to entertaining, especially when you’re the host, the most important thing to remember is to have fun! If you’re stressed out, your guests will know it. One of the easiest ways to remain feeling calm about the party is to let the supermarket do some of the work. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with making a few things from scratch and combining them with some ready-to-serve items you picked up from the grocery store. Also, put those kitchen appliances to work! Hosting a party is a great time to enlist your slow cooker. Here are a few examples of some items I may purchase for my Super Bowl gathering:
• Hot Wings
• Celery and Cherry Tomatoes with Ranch Dressing
• Tortilla Chips and Chunky Salsa
• Chocolate Chip Cookies
• Honey Roasted Peanuts
When planning what to serve, be sure to think about balance: flavor balance and actual balancing! You don’t want your guests juggling their drink, plate and a fork and knife to slice through something complicated. Think finger foods and snacks that are easy to eat singlehandedly. Flavored popcorn, spiced nuts and bite-sized desserts are great options. A balanced spread will include something sweet, salty and hearty.
As for beverages, pick up some plastic or tin tubs from a local retailer and fill them with ice. You can request that guests bring their own beer (BYOB) and as the host, you can provide some non-alcoholic options like tea or soft drinks too. To take the party up a notch, you could even serve a signature cocktail.
Let’s hope the commercials aren’t the only thing entertaining during the event on February 3. Here’s to a good game and a fun, festive ending to another football season.
For recipes from today’s column and more, visit SomeKindaGood.com.
Some Kinda Good Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Chili
Warm and comforting, after cooking all day, the chicken literally falls apart with the touch of a fork. This is one of the easiest and most flavorful dishes you’ll ever make in the slow cooker.
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tbsp. cumin
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juice
- 1 14.5 oz. Great White Northern or Cannellini beans
- 8 oz. can tomato paste
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 Medium onion, chopped
- 2 jalapenos, diced with seeds
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Sour cream, tortilla chips, shredded sharp cheddar, chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Season chicken breasts liberally with salt and pepper on each side. Add chili powder, cumin and garlic powder to the chicken, distributing evenly over each chicken breast. Add the remainder of ingredients and cover with chicken broth. Cook on high for 6 hours. When the chili has finished cooking, taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Ladle chili in bowls and top with sour cream, tortilla chips, shredded sharp cheddar cheese and fresh parsley, if desired.
Georgia native Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is a food enthusiast, writer and the cooking show host of SKG-TV on YouTube. A Season 14 finalist on "Food Network Star," she is the personality behind the blog, SomeKindaGood.com. Rebekah is a Georgia Southern University alumna and attended Savannah Technical College’s Culinary Institute of Savannah. Search Facebook for Some Kinda Good, tweet her @SKGFoodBlog or visit RebekahLingenfelser.com.