Football Watch Parties

Sadly, Sadly, Sadly, football season is drawing to a close.  But it does mean that the most exciting games are left to watch!  This is the perfect time of year to get together with friends and spend some quality time in front of the TV routing on your favorite teams, routing against each other and, of course, taking the opportunity to share fun, casual food.

Football food should be easy to make, heavy enough to fill you up, but light enough to eat for 3 hours!  This lends itself to the usual chips and dips, miles of pizza, and sandwich trays.  No reason that has to be true, though.  You can be creative and still meet the requirements!

Suggestion 1:  Build your own nachos

The day before the party, brown some lean ground beef with a packet of your favorite Taco seasoning or stir in your favorite salsa.  Put it in the refrigerator overnight.  (Think ¼ pound of beef per guest)  Use one packet of seasoning or 1 cup salsa to every 1 ½ pounds of beef.  The day of the party, put the cooked beef into a slow cooker or crock pot (3-4 hours ahead of game time) to re-warm and keep warm.  Then you just set out paper bowls, tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sour cream and jalapeno slices.  You could even have one of your guests bring their famous homemade queso dip to add to the offerings.  Now – that’s a fancy version of chips and dip!

Suggestion 2:  Pizza Subs

Grab some fresh baked French bread loaves from your local bakery (eg: The Olive Branch) and create your own pizza subs.  You will feed about 3 people with a 12” loaf.  Slice open the loaf and start to layer everything that is right about pizza! Mix 2 T (per sandwich) of mayo with 2T of your favorite bottled pizza sauce.  Spread it over both sides of the bread.  Layer sliced provolone, sliced pepperoni, sliced salami, sliced mozzarella, sliced ham, sliced turkey and then top it all with crisp veggies – thin rings of green bell pepper, red onions, sliced olives, fresh mushrooms and chopped lettuce (it is a sandwich after all!) Before putting the top on the sandwich, drizzle your favorite vinaigrette dressing or olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the top of everything.  Use long toothpicks or short skewers to secure the sandwich together.  You can wrap the sandwich in saran and keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to pull it out, slice and serve it.  Slice it, being sure to leave a toothpick or skewer in every piece, and lay the slices out on a platter.  Have your guests bring their favorite chips and cookies or brownies as accompaniments.

Hope these ideas inspire some creative football-watching moments with your family and friends.

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