Being a San Diego Chargers fan we seldom get to enjoy playoff season and if we do make it to the playoffs...well, it's not even worth mentioning. You know we always blow it, reference our 2006 season for a reminder. Maybe one day, a girl can wish right? Just because our Chargers fall short doesn't mean that we stop watching football and playoff season is just as exciting as the big game!
I am eagerly anticipating the big game in a few weeks. I love everything about the event: the commercials, the people we watch the game with, the half-time show, the quarterly scoreboard pool, and the food! I am usually in charge of bringing appetizers and desserts so I decided to throw a playoff party to test out a few apps before the big day arrives!
This past weekend the family and I watched the playoffs. I wanted to make some appetizers that would please everyone. I chose an array of simple food, the key to throwing a successful party is to think of everyone attending. The spread doesn't need to be outlandish, but impress your friends and family with appetizers, a simple dessert and ice cold beer is a must! For our get together I included: Tyson tequila lime wings with homemade gorgonzola dip, baked buffalo turkey meatballs, savory clafoutis, caramelized onion dip, blondie bars and our favorite craft brews.
Displaying your food: Use white serve ware, it will make your food pop! I made a simple felt field, I found some inspiration here. I opted for chalk marks to make the field look authentic. I also added a plastic football I found at the cake supply store. When displaying your food don't overcrowd your plates, the food will not look appealing. You can always add more once your guests have savored what's out. Use simple garnishes you already have in your refrigerator, take the wings for instance, I used a few leaves of romaine and celery sticks are always a must!
It would be sacrilegious not to serve wings at a football party, it's kind of like "who came first the chicken or the egg" scenario. I picked up some Tyson wings while at Sam's Club. There were a few options for sauces: buffalo, honey BBQ or tequila lime and I went with the tequila lime. I knew the wings would be perfectly seasoned and I could serve buffalo and BBQ sauce on the side for guests to dip them in. It was a great choice because they came out crispy (the only way I'll eat them), perfectly seasoned and the kids were able to eat them because they weren't spicy. I served the wings with my gorgonzola dip and crunchy celery sticks.
Baked buffalo turkey meatballs, for the non-wing lover like me! These meatballs pack all the classic wing flavors into one savory bite! The advantage? Their not messy!
Savory calfoutis are such an easy appetizer. The light and airy egg cups are a crowd pleaser and you can virtually place whatever you have on hand in them. My favorites are: green onions & sharp cheddar, gruyere and bacon and dill & swiss. The kids and adults alike will gobble these up! Plus, they're great as leftovers for breakfast the next morning.
We all know it and we all love it! French onion dip is a staple for any get together but why not mix it up and make caramelized onion dip from scratch? It's super simple and will show your guests you added a special touch to your game day spread. Serve with crispy potato chips.
Some might forget to add dessert but it's nice to add something simple. I chose semi-homemade blondie's with milk chocolate chips and walnuts. It was the perfect ending!
Throwing a party doesn't have a be hard. Throw in some frozen appetizers, semi-homemade and homemade items and you'll thank yourself later. Make your grocery lists and bring your recipes with you or have them saved in your smart phone to easily reference. I headed to Sam's Club for my shopping trip because I knew I could get everything I needed in one place. You can see my entire shopping trip here.
Game day is mainly about the food, well, for me anyhow. It just makes the game that more exciting plus it brings everyone together. Another fun game our family likes to do on the big game day is by playing a quarterly scoreboard pool. You have a scoreboard grid (below) and everyone picks as many squares as they want at $1 each. Once everyone has picked their squares, Uncle Al will pick numbers out of a hat (0-9) and places them on the x/y axis. At the end of each quarter you take the last digit of the score for the NFC and AFC, the initials on that box wins! In our case it's always ninety-one year-old Grandmom Phyllis. She always wins big!
Do you have game day traditions? What's your favorite appetizer to serve?
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