The Super Bowl is the pinnacle of the football season, the be all end all for the NFL. The pressure is intense for the players, but it doesn’t have to be for the host throwing a Super Bowl party. Preparing a delectable spread does not have to be as painful as a helmet to the gut. The prospect should be exciting and utterly delicious.
You could resort to the time-honored Super Bowl party standbys— dull tortilla chips, skunky beer, the same old pizza or 7 Layer Dip. Been there, done that. Maybe it’s time to try something new.
You’re not a frat boy or a college cheerleader anymore. It’s time to grow up and join the big leagues. Your friends don’t want lame chips and dip, store-bought guac or even those frozen “wings” anymore, not when there are delicious and easy to prepare alternatives.
Sure, you could throw some pigs in a blanket on a serving dish and call it quits. But why not create a different kind of atmosphere? Opt for cocktail party over tailgate party, where your mouth-watering bites could be more entertaining than the halftime show. Why not try warm appetizers that will make your guests cheer for the ‘home team,’ a.k.a your team.
Not saying you have to leave all the traditionals behind, just bring your dips to a new level of delicious, your pizza to its full potential, and let your hearty soups speak for themselves. Kick it up a notch and totally score a touchdown. Create some new staples that guests will be expecting for Super Bowl XLIX.
Instead of Dip try Elegant Apps
Stop putting out plastic containers of store bought dip on the coffee table during the game. Class up cheese with Arancini rice balls or by filling little puff pastries with roasted beets and honeyed goat cheese topped with candied walnut and basil.
Instead of 7 Layer Dip try Creative Dip Recipes
Amp up dip options with homemade dips that will score creative points. Heighten the flavor profile of your game day snacks with Capital Crack Dip or add some seafood sophistication with Mom’s Super Bowl Clam dip or even a healthier edge with white bean and olive dip.
Instead of store-bought guacamole try Garnished Guacamole
Step up your guac game with homemade guacamole. Don’t stop there, elevate that fresh goodness with crabmeat, shrimp, or even blue cheese. And how about bacon guacamole? Toppings can bring out the best of your buttery avocados and add complexity. Mango guacamole could lend sweetness.
Instead of plain chips try Fancy Flavored Chips
Sometimes there is no way to avoid dips at your Super Bowl rager, and what goes with dips better than chips? Fancy flavored chips, of course. The Better Chip makes a variety of corn chips using fresh ingredients like jalapeño, spinach and kale. Kettle Brand Chips too produces intensely flavored chips ranging from sea salt to fiery sriracha.
Instead of plain chips try Making Your Own Chips
Impress your guests by making your own chips for dipping or just plain munching. Classic fresh potato chips can give your party fare a distinguished touch while Tuscan kale chips add adult flare.
Instead of spicy wings try Wings with Complex Flavors
Wings can be so much more than what comes from Dominoes. Bring out the big guns for the occasion. Cajun hot wings have the heat we want on game day, while avocado chipotle wings and Tequila lime wings feature unexpected ingredients and crispy parmesan wings add a different dimension of flavors. Or you could always make Korean Style Ribs, which are just as delicious
Instead of ordering pizza try Building Your Own Pizzas
Skip the usual pepperoni and plain pies, and opt for something more creative, more artisanal like homemade pies. Create a salad pizza with arugula, parmesan, fresh tomatoes, and a tangy vinaigrette or top your crust with roasted sweet potatoes, caramelized red onion and fresh mozz with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Try a sweet ricotta pear pizza or a veggie heavy kale and onion pie.
Instead of beer try Hard Apple Cider
It’s time to put ciders in the game, and let beer sit this one out. Stella Artois Cidre and Hornsby’s Hard Cider are classic, a touch of sweet with a buzz. Angry Orchard produces a variety of flavors, from the seasonal cinnamon to a spicy ginger apple. Finnriver Cidery offers hard ciders and other fruit wines for something a little different.
Instead of mixed drinks try Punches
Rather than just throwing rum and coke in a cup, prepare ahead and create big-batch punches. For rum lovers, Martha Washington’s Rum Punch and Bajan Rum Punch will do the trick, while whiskey drinkers can get into Monkey Punch. Or try out a gin mojito to be cool and festive.
Instead of chili try Hearty Soups
You always have chili at your game day parties, but it is time for a change. Hearty soups like bison and barley soup and Italian wedding soup have no shortage of meat, while Tuscan soup and corn chowder do not fall short on heft.
Instead of nachos try a Cheese Plate
Nachos are so played out, but cheese is essential. Swap out the heavy nachos for a fancy cheese plate. Load up your cheese plate with cheeses of different textures, ingredients and flavors like brie, cheddar, gouda, etc. Bring together accoutrements like fig preserves, prosciutto, fresh pears, nuts, and even pate to allow for endless combinations for your party guest.
Instead of pigs in a blanket try Warm Canapés
You can do better than pigs in a blanket. Surprise your guests with warm goodies with a twist. Bacon wrapped scallops (who doesn’t appreciate bacon?!) will make your crowd go wild. Goat cheese and chorizo crostini and cheese stuffed mortadella bruschetta will surely be winners.
What did you have this #SuperBowl?! Any delicious winners that will make a repeat appearance next big game?