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Entertaining

Host the Super Bowl at Home

Celebrate Super Bowl Sunday with good company and conversation. Pump up the festivities with football-theme decorations and kick off your game-day menu with these delicious appetizers, desserts and fresh beverages.

Football Party Decorations

Create football fever without disrupting your home’s decor. String mini pennants along a shelf for a quick and easy garland. Strategically place footballs, mini helmets, paper team logos or other football-theme accessories on the food table or around the party area.

DIY Jersey Coasters

Help everyone keep track of their drinks with these homemade jersey coasters. Choose colors that represent both teams, then stamp each with a popular player’s number. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Store-bought corkboard coasters
  • White cardstock paper
  • Rubber cement
  • Numbered stamps
  • Permanent paint

Once you have your materials, simply trace, cut, paste and paint. Make sure you let the coasters dry completely before using.

Penalty-Flag Party Favors

The only penalty at this party is if you forget to take home a favor! Start with colorful tissue paper or thick party napkins, then wrap and fill with fun take-home goodies like cinnamon-roasted nuts or chocolate-covered raisins. A rubber band or twist-tie keeps the treats in place.

Mixed Nuts with a Punch

Encourage guests to move between the TV room and the kitchen by setting out snacks that can be eaten by the fistful. Sweet spices drive the flavor in this nut mixture—which can be placed in paper cones for mess-free, single-serving convenience.

Sweet & Smoky Nuts

Servings: 16
Serving size: 1/4 cup
Prep: 15 minutes
Bake: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup whole almonds or hazelnuts
  • 1 cup pecan or walnut halves
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350° Line a 15-by-10-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk egg white until foamy. Add peanuts, almonds (or hazelnuts) and pecans (or walnuts); toss gently to coat. Stir in brown sugar, paprika, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Spread the nuts in an even layer in the prepared pan.
  • Bake, stirring twice,until the nuts are toasted and appear dry, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and stir again. Cool completely in the pan. Break up any large clusters. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Flagged Mexican Layer Dip

This seven-layer starter calls for bean dip, creamy guacamole, silky sour cream and a host of party-worthy toppings. A mini toothpick flag finishes the look. Just don’t forget the tortilla chips!

Mexican Seven-Layer Dip

Servings: 16
Serving size: 1/4 cup dip and 1/2 cup chips
Prep: 15 minutes
Chill: 4 hours to 24 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 19-ounce can bean dip
  • 1/4 cup picante or taco sauce
  • 18 ounces refrigerated guacamole
  • 18 ounces sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar or taco cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons sliced pitted ripe olives
  • 2/3 cup chopped seeded tomato (1 medium)
  • 8 cups tortilla chips or crackers

Directions

  • Combine bean dip and picante (or taco) sauce; spread in a 1/4-inch layer on a platter or in 16 individual plastic tumblers. Next, carefully layer on guacamole and sour cream. Top with cheese, scallions and olives. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.
  • Before serving, sprinkle with chopped tomato. Serve with tortilla chips (or crackers).

Extra-Point Popcorn

Who can resist popcorn during the game? Chili oil heats up this spicy version, for a zippy twist on the classic stadium snack.

Garlic-Chili Popcorn

Servings: 3
Yield: 9 cups
Start to finish: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon chili oil
  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions

  • Heat chili oil in a stovetop popcorn popper or large heavy sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add popcorn; cover. Stir or shake the pan constantly until the popcorn has stopped popping.
  • Transfer the popcorn to a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine Parmesan and garlic powder. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the hot popcorn; toss well to coat. Serve immediately.

Winning Snack Mix

Snack mix is a crowd favorite at any gathering. Hot pepper sauce gives pita chips, cereals and nuts an energetic boost in this recipe. For ease of serving, use martini glasses, sundae cups or cozy ceramic mugs to prep the snack mix for travel from table to TV room.

Game-Day Snack Mix

Servings: 22
Serving size: 3/4 cup
Prep: 25 minutes
Bake: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces plain pita chips
  • 4 cups round toasted-oat cereal
  • 4 cups bite-size rice square cereal
  • 4 cups bite-size corn square cereal
  • 1 1/2 cups whole almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup bottled Caesar salad dressing (not creamy)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Several drops hot pepper sauce

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 250° In a roasting pan, combine pita chips, oat cereal, rice cereal, corn cereal, almonds, pecans and parsley; set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, combine butter, Parmesan, Caesar dressing, garlic powder and hot sauce. Cook and stir over medium heat until the butter is melted. Drizzle the butter mixture over the cereal mixture; stir gently to coat.
  • Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread the cereal mixture on a large sheet of foil to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.

Time-Out Pizzas

Delight the fans with these upscale bite-size pizzas made from frozen bread dough and roasted cherry tomatoes.

Roasted Cherry Tomato Pizza Poppers

Servings: 56
Prep: 1 hour
Grill: 12 to 13 minutes
Stand: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pints red and yellow cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed, divided
  • 2 1-pound loaves frozen pizza dough, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
  • 12-14 ounces deli-sliced mozzarella, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Small fresh basil leaves (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat a charcoal or gas grill. In a 13-by-9-inch disposable foil pan, combine tomatoes, 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon oregano.
  • Grill the mixture directly over medium coals (or medium heat), stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are wilted, 8 to 9 minutes. Remove from grill.
  • Meanwhile, on a lightly floured surface, roll pizza dough, one loaf at a time, into a 15-by-12-inch rectangle (cover the dough and let it rest occasionally during rolling). Cover the dough loosely and let it rest for 10 minutes. Cut out circles using a 2- or 2-1/2-inch round cutter. Discard trimmings. Place the circles on lightly greased baking sheets. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, the remaining 1 teaspoon oregano and basil in a bowl. Brush the mixture over both sides of the dough circles. Prick the circles with a fork.
  • Place about a dozen dough circles directly onto a well-oiled grill rack directly over medium coals (or medium heat). Cover and grill for 2 minutes. Turn the circles over, press down to flatten and top each with 1 piece of cheese. Close grill and cook until the cheese melts and the dough is cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a baking sheet and top each with a spoonful of cooked tomatoes. Repeat with remaining circles, cheese and tomatoes. Keep the cheese-topped dough rounds warm in a 250°F oven or serve at room temperature. Repeat with the remaining dough rounds. If desired, garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Spicy Wings Blitz

Buffalo wings are always a crowd-pleaser during football season. Trade the tried-and-true BBQ version for this fiery hot pepper wing recipe that no one will want to pass on.

Buffalo Wings

Servings: 32
Prep: 25 minutes
Slow Cooker: 4 to 5 hours

Ingredients

  • 16 chicken wings (about 3 pounds)
  • 1 1/2 cups bottled chili sauce
  • 3-4 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
  • Bottled blue cheese dressing
  • Celery sticks

Directions

  • Preheat broiler. Cut off and discard wing tips. Cut each wing into 2 sections. Place the chicken on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat, turning once,until chicken is browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Combine chili sauce and hot sauce; pour over the chicken.
  • Cover and cook on Low for 4 to 5 hours or on High for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Serve the chicken wings with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.

Scoring Sliders

Burgers are often in the starting lineup at football parties and tailgates. Bite-size sliders are the perfect portions to mingle with other appetizers—and these cheese-stuffed sausage patties are a delicious alternative to traditional ground beef. For extra points, add pennant-topped toothpicks.

Stuffed Sausage Sliders

Servings: 16 servings
Prep: 40 minutes
Chill: 1 to 4 hours
Grill: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 small apple
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or sage, crushed
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated whole nutmeg
  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 1/2-3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese or smoked provolone cheese (2 to 3 ounces)
  • 16 2-inch buns, rolls or biscuits, sliced nearly in half
  • 1 recipe Grilled Apple-Fennel Slaw (below)

Directions

  • Peel and shred enough of the apple to measure 1/3 cup. In a large bowl, combine the shredded apple, oil, garlic, pepper, fennel seeds, salt, thyme (or sage) and nutmeg. Add ground pork; mix well.
  • Shape a scant 1/4 cup of the pork mixture into a ball and use your finger to make a deep indentation in the top. Fill the indentation with 1 to 2 teaspoons cheese; press the pork mixture to enclose the filling. Reshape the mixture into a ball and flatten into a 2-1/2-inch-diameter patty. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pork mixture and cheese. Cover and chill for 1 to 4 hours.
  • Cook the patties on the rack of a covered grill directly over medium coals (or medium heat) for 10 to 12 minutes or until done (160°F), turning once halfway through grilling.
  • Serve the burgers in buns topped with Grilled Apple-Fennel Slaw.

Grilled Apple-Fennel Slaw

Ingredients

  • 1 tart apple, peeled
  • 1 small fennel bulb
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
  • Dash salt
  • Dash cayenne pepper

Directions

  • Fold a 36-by-18-inch sheet of heavy foil in half to make an 18-inch square. Coarsely shred apple and cut fennel into thin, bite-size strips. Place the apple and fennel in the center of the foil; top with vinegar, butter, brown sugar, salt and cayenne. Bring up two opposite edges of foil and seal with a double fold. Fold the remaining ends to completely enclose the apple mixture, leaving space for steam to build. Grill the slaw packet alongside the patties until the fennel is tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Limeade with a Kick

This tangy beverage—punched up with a jalapeño pepper—is a perfect complement to spicy appetizers, and offers a festive option for party guests who opt for nonalcoholic drinks.

Honey-Ginger Limeade

Servings: 8
Prep: 20 minutes
Stand: 15 minutes
Chill: 2 hours

Ingredients

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

Directions

  • Combine 2 cups water and chopped ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; 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 the ginger liquid in the pitcher, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Stir in lime juice, jalapeño (if using) and the remaining 1 cup water. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours (or up to 3 days).
  • Before serving, add the reserved squeezed lime halves to the pitcher. Slowly pour sparkling water into ginger liquid in pitcher; stir gently to mix. Serve over ice in brown-sugar-rimmed glasses. Garnish with lime wedges and ginger slices.

Bowl-Ready Brownies

Take home the trophy with these sporty brownies. Simply use a football-shape cookie cutter to carve the treats from a tray of brownies, then pipe on the frosting.

Fudgy Football Brownies

Servings: 9 or 10 football brownies (or 48 rectangles)
Prep: 30 minutes
Bake: 18 minutes
Stand: Overnight

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup vanilla frosting

Directions

  • Combine butter and unsweetened chocolate in a medium saucepan. Cook and stir over low heat until melted; cool slightly. Preheat oven to 350° Line a 15-by-10-inch baking pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan. Grease the foil; set the pan aside.
  • Stir sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs, one at a time, beating with a wooden spoon after each addition until just combined. Stir in vanilla.
  • Combine flour and baking soda in a small bowl. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture, stirring just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.
  • Bake for 18 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Using the edges of the foil, lift the brownies out of the pan. Using a 3- to 4-inch football-shape or other cookie cutter, cut out brownies. (Or cut the brownies into rectangles.)
  • Spoon frosting into a decorating bag fitted with a small round tip. Pipe the frosting onto the brownies to decorate. Let stand until the frosting is set.
  • Layer the brownies between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container. Cover tightly and let stand at room temperature overnight.

Touchdown Cheesecake Bites

When a sweet tooth strikes your football crew, be prepared with mini desserts that offer something for everyone. These bite-size cheesecakes are a scrumptious favorite you can eat without a fork.

Mini Caramel Cheesecakes

Servings: 24
Prep: 40 minutes
Bake: 12 minutes
Cool: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup finely crushed vanilla wafers (about 16 cookies)
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tablespoons caramel-flavor sundae topping, divided

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350° Line twenty-four 1-3/4-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon crushed vanilla wafers into each muffin cup; set aside.
  • Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add egg; beat just until combined. Stir in 1/4 cup caramel topping. Spoon the batter over the crushed wafers in each muffin cup. Bake until the filling is set, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Cool the mini cheesecakes in the pans on a wire rack for 1 hour. Remove from the pans and chill for up to 4 hours. Before serving, drizzle the cheesecakes with the remaining 1 tablespoon caramel topping.

Frosted Football Cake

When it comes to champion desserts for your Super Bowl party, this one takes the cake. Deck your choice of vanilla, chocolate, marble or pumpkin cake in a lush layer of green-and-white frosting to mimic a football field. Use a pastry bag with a ridged tip to create the grass and a smaller round tip for the numbers and lines. Chocolate frosting takes the 50-yard line in the form of a cute mini football.

Marble Cake

Servings: 12 to 16
Prep: 40 minutes
Bake: 30 to 35 minutes
Cool: 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup chocolate-flavored syrup

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350° Grease a 13-by-9-inch baking pan; set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat butter (or margarine) for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add the dry mixture and milk alternately to the beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined.
  • Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the batter to another bowl; stir in chocolate-flavored syrup. Pour the light batter into the prepared pan. Spoon the chocolate batter on top. Gently cut through the batters to marble.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Place the cake in pan on a wire rack. Cool thoroughly before decorating.