Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How to Score with Your Super Bowl Party

That most Super of Sundays is just around the corner. If you are hosting a party (or even just attending), we have you covered with fun Super Bowl party ideas, decorations, and of course – food. Because it doesn't matter whether your team wins or loses ... it's what you serve at half-time that counts.


D├ęcor & More

Let your guests know that it’s “Game On” from the moment they arrive by using white tape or chalk to mark off the yard lines from the curb to your front door.
Once inside, choosing the color palette is simple. Incorporate your favorite team’s official colors (or to be fair, both teams’ colors) into everything: plates, cups, napkins, tablecloths, balloons, steamers, candles – even light-up ice cubes. Bonus: solid color party supplies are much less expensive than officially licensed Super Bowl party supplies.

If you really want to make it feel like the Super Bowl, add electric lighting showcasing the team colors. At www.oogalights.com, you can purchase helmet string lights or paper lanterns featuring your NFL team’s logo.

Add festive touches by displaying your team paraphernalia, framed football photos, team flags and any other football chochkes you own. Fathead.com sells HUGE hi-definition wall graphics that are so lifelike, you’ll swear you are in the game.

And don't forget pom-poms and foam fingers. Whether as decorations or as party props, they always add to the fun.


Entertainment

If your group is the wagering kind, host your own Superbowl Fantasty Draft. Write down the star players’ numbers on pieces of paper and drop them in a bowl. As guests arrive, have them randomly draw one player from the bowl. At the end of the game, whoever has the MVP wins a prize or cash. It’s a great way to up the stakes so that even non-sports fans will be yelling at the TV.

At halftime, break out your XBOX, Play Station, or Wii and setup a mini-Madden tournament. Set the quarters on two minutes or less, and have guests play using this year's Super Bowl teams. If you don't own a gaming system or Madden, borrow from a friend (if you don't have a friend who owns Madden then you probably aren't the type to be throwing a Super Bowl party). Get everyone involved even if they've never played and award a prize for the tournament winner.


Food and Beverage

There's something about football that makes us want to eat with our hands. And by serving food that can be eaten without utensils, guests won't have to divert their eyes from the action. Provide your guests with an ongoing supply of easy to handle nibbles like pizza, hot wings, hearty dips, hoagies, pulled pork sandwiches, and this mouthwatering slider recipe from Martha Stewart.

Set up a well planned Do-It-Yourself Bar and you can relax while offering guests a chance to play bartender. Decide on two or three Game Day mixed drinks, like the Patron Pigskin (2 oz. Patron Tequila, ½ oz. Patron Citronge Liqueur, 2 oz. Cranberry Juice, shaken with ice and served on the rocks with a lime wedge). Print out the cocktail recipes, place them in photo frames, and display on your bar along with the liquor, mixes, and garnishes that are needed for each recipe; don't forget cups and a cocktail shaker!


Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes

Football + Beer = Good
Football + Beer + Chocolate = Amazing!
Of all beers, Guinness is the perfect one for desserts because of its distinct chocolate and coffee notes. These cupcakes are light in texture, but heavy in the chocolate department.

Ingredients
1 (12-ounce) bottle Guinness stout
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, plus more for garnish
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
For the frosting:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
Cocoa powder, for dusting

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, and baking soda.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the Guinness, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the sour cream until smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet Guinness mixture.
Divide the batter among 24 lightly greased muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake 12 minutes and then rotate the pans. Bake another 10-12 minutes until cupcakes are risen and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool completely to room temperature before turning out of the tins.
To make the icing:
Using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese in a bowl on medium until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the heavy cream. Slowly mix in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Icing can be made several hours ahead and kept covered and chilled.
Top each cupcake with a heap of frosting and a dusting of cocoa.

Enjoy the game! After all of your preparation, you deserve it!