Game Day Essentials

January 27, 2020

If you or anyone in your family is a die-hard football fan, you’re likely already planning for the biggest game of the year.

When it comes to football fans, we know there are two types; first, the game-focused fans, and second, the folks for whom the game is secondary to the food, the fun, the drinks and the festivities that are happening around the sports part.

Bud lite CanThrowing a party at home lets you gear the food and the events to you and your guests. Want a raucous traditional pig-out with all the best junk food and cold beer? You got it! But if you want to keep the food heathly-ish, you have control over that too.

Either way, you need beer on ice (Bud Light is the official beer of the NFL, if you want to keep things to a theme), and some other drinks or cocktail options too.

Check out our ideas for a football party at your place. We kept it easy to make, and with just quick prep work needed.

Set up your bar

When it comes to your beverages, it does make sense to keep a cooler in the house or just outside the door, filled with planty of pre-chilled beer, the aforementioned Budweiser, or perhaps one of the many local craft options you can find at Co-op Wine Spirits Beer, like Legend 7, Annex Ale, Eighty-Eight Brewing or Village Beer. You can even ask guests to each bring a different local six-pack so you can sample many different local options.

nude sodaIf you want to keep your festivities very low key and low work, consider some read- to-drink or premade  cocktails, like Mott's Clamato Original or Extra Spicy, or Nude Gin Soda Lime or Nude Raspberry Lemon Vodka Soda. They cover a lot of popular beverage bases and opening them up requires just a flick of the wrist.

You could also opt for a punch, another simple serve-it-yourself drink. Pomegranate Beer Punch is a different twist on the typical beer; just blend in two cups of pomegranate juice with two 12 ounce bottles of beer, and about a cup of ginger ale or birch beer, and add a block of ice.

Football-friendly food ideas

Potato salad is a typical BBQ or party food. Need new ideas to serve a healthy and still yummy potato salad? Try using extra vegetables in your potato salad; plenty of finely chopped celery, water chestnuts for extra crunch, or even sprinkle in some sundried tomato. You can also take the typical mayo and half that amount, then top it up with a Greek yogurt and some tangy mustard, or even a few spoons of pesto.

Try Cheeseburger Bread

Should you fuss with burgers or sliders? Why not keep it easy by using a ready-made dough like Pillsbury from the grocer’s dairy department, stuff it with pre-sautéed ground beef and loads of cheese, and then fold or roll them up? Bake to a golden brown and serve with ketchup and mustard as dipping sauces.

Baked wings for the win!

Game day lobg 2Football and wings go hand in hand. Making chicken wings at home is easy and they’re healthier than the restaurant kind. While if you have a deep fryer at home you can certainly go the traditional route, oven-baked wings are easy.

Just toss a tray of chicken wings and/or drumettes in some vegetable oil. Bake them at 375 for about 20 minutes (test for doneness with a meat thermometer) then take them out, toss them in your favourite wing sauce, like teriyaki, Frank’s or sweet and sour, then pop them back in to the oven for another 5-10 minutes so the sauce gets baked in and caramelizes a bit. (Pro tip: a sheet of parchment paper makes post-party cleanup easier.)

Load up on freezer appies

No time to prep a variety of appies for your fanatics? Stop by the freezer section for all kinds of tasty ready-to-bake appies, like mozzarella sticks, jalapeno poppers, mini quiches, baked dips and more. A shrimp ring is also an easy and popular touch to the party buffet.

Chips n’ Salsa, or baked nachos

Don’t forget to pick up some chips and salsa or guacamole (you can often find store-made salsa and guac in the produce department) or take it a step further and plan to bake up a tray of nachos. Get a roast chicken from the deli counter, pull the meat, and use it along with a variety of cheeses, jalepenos, and green onions for a quick hot appetizer. Serve it alongside salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.

Speaking of dips, don’t forget to load up on the favourites, and grab a loaf of fresh baked bread to dip. We love spinach and artichoke dips, hummus, and babaganoush.

Green Bean Casserole

If cheesy bread or burgers and wings are on the menu, be sure to add a wholesome, healthier dish too. A casserole is a perfect dish for any party since guests can serve themselves. A tuna casserole with buttery egg noodles is the comfort dish your guests will be craving, or for a healthy casserole, make one loaded with green beans and nuts. With the goodness of green beans and the crunch of sliced almonds, this classic casserole is a delicious, tried and true combination. You can find plenty of recipes online.

Post-game nibbles

Want to have theme-appropriate dessert? Simply dip store brought cookies in melted chocolate and then dust with sprinkles in each team’s colours. You can also add food color to melted white chocolate to enjoy themed cookies, or look for candy melts to dip the cookies in beforehand, which are easy to melt, tasty and come in a rainbow of colours.

Try these quick and easy food ideas for your football party. Whether your team is victorious or not, you’re sure to win the day with a party everyone will be talking about.

 

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