Superbowl Funday: Savvy Suggestions for a Stress-Free Superbowl

Here are a few tips to help you plan for this Sunday’s showdown that won’t stress you–or your wallet.

Send Evites – Instead of wasting money on paper invitations and post-stamps, spread the word of your shindig through the internet! Use social networking sites such as Facebook to reach out to your friends and coworkers and create an interactive forum for your event. Use this mechanism to gain information about the number of guests you expect, how much food to purchase, and what people plan to bring!

Make it Potluck – A great way to save on food and beverage expenses, is to encourage your guests to bring their own grub! Whether they bring wings, a side salad, or a bag of chips – save yourself big bucks on the small things that tend to add-up at the grocery store. If you plan on providing most of the food, ask people to bring some ingredients beforehand to lighten to the load a bit.

Shop Smart – When you plan to serve multiple dishes, make sure that you are looking at your best price options. Warehouse stores like Costco, BJs, Target and Stop & Shop provide great bargains for large quantities of food. Make sure to buy the store-made ingredients as opposed to the typical brand-name goods. Most supermarkets provide inexpensive alternatives to all major food labels. If you have trouble finding them, do not hesitate to ask for help – the deals are worth it!

Make Simple Food  – Serving guests at a party (particularly beer-drinking, football-watching fanatics) can seem like a daunting task. Serve dishes that are composed of only a few simple ingredients found in your pantry. This way, you can save time in the kitchen – and money at the store. Here are a few recipes that will downsize your shopping list and be sure to please your guests:

  • Garlic Onion Bread A filling, cheesy appetizer best served on the coffee table.
  • 1 Loaf of Unsliced Sourdough Bread
  • 1 Loaf of Unsliced Sourdough Bread
  • Thin-Sliced Cheese (Monterey or Pepper Jack)
  • 1 Stick of Butter – Melted
  • ½ Cup of Diced ScallionsPoppyseed or Cracked Red Pepper to Garnish
  • Slice the bread along the length and width without cutting through the bottom crust to create individual cube-shaped slices.
    Dice the scallions and fold them into the melted butter. Add poppy seeds or red pepper to your liking.
  • Rest the bread on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place the cheese slices between the bread cuts. Drizzle the melted butter mixtured over the bread.
  • Wrap the foil around the bread and bake at 350 degrees. After 15 minutes unwrap the bread from the foil and continue to bake until the cheese has melted (about 10 minutes).
  • Eggplant Fries – This is a great (healthy) alternative to french fries – and a delicious finger-food!
  • 3/4 Cup of Flour
2 tsps of Garlic Powder
1 tsp of Dried Oregano
1 tsp Fresh Parsley – Minced
1 tbsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper – Fresh Ground
  • Olive Oil for Frying
  • 3 Baby Eggplants or 2 Medium Eggplants
  • Salt for Seasoning
  • Honey
  • In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, garlic powder, dried oregano, parsley, salt, and pepper until thoroughly mixed.
  • In a heavy-bottom medium saucepan, heat at least two inches of oil to about 350F.
  • Peel the eggplants and slice into 3/4-inch thick fingers. Toss the eggplant slices a few at a time in the seasoned flour until well coated.
  • When the oil is ready, drop a few sticks of eggplant into the oil – they should begin sizzling immediately. Be sure not to overcrowd the pan or have the oil temperature drop too much. When they begin to brown (about a minute) flip them over and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute. Remove the eggplant fries from the oil and let drain on a cooling rack.
  • Serve hot with a shake of salt and a drizzle of honey. Recipe from the Hungry Mouse. For an added garnish, mix a few teaspoons of garlic salt in a cup of mayonnaise and serve on the side.
  • Oven-Baked Ribs Prep for this recipe Saturday night for the best results!
  • 2 Slabs of Baby-Back Ribs
  • Dry Rub:
  • 8 tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
  • tablespoons Kosher Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Coffee Grinds
  • 1 tablespoon of Ginger Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 4 cloves of Garlic – Minced
  • Orange Juice Syrup:
  • 2 cups Orange Juice – Reduced by Half in a Saucepan (Medium Heat)
  • 2 tablespoons Ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • Combine all the dry ingredients and and mix well. Place each slab of baby back ribs on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil.  Cover each side of the ribs generously with the dry rub, then wrap the ribs tightly in the foil and refrigerate overnight.
  • Bake the foil-wrapped ribs on a foil-lined baking sheet for 2 hours at 250 degrees.
  • Remove ribs from foil and  brush with the orange juice glaze. Place ribs on a shallow baking rack with drip pan. Line the bottom of the drip-pan with 1 cup of orange juice. Drape foil loosely over the racks bake for another 2 hours. Baste if necessary and continue to cook as desired. Raise the heat to 425 degrees for the last 15 minutes – baste again with the OJ glaze until crispy and serve when you think they are done!

Prop Bets Instead of Spread Bets – Instead of pooling dollars for the typical numbers game – design a board composed of proposition bets that will interest every member of the party. In addition to guessing the point difference at the end of the half – place bets on how many times Tom Brady’s wife, Gisele, is shown on screen, or the color of the Gatorade the winning team pours all over the coach in celebration of the victory. Make sure to print a sheet of prop bets for each guest, and most importantly – keep track of them during the game. The buy-in can be anything from $1 to a bag of Doritos – your guests will be more likely to participate with a low fee and it will result in fun returns!

Have Fun!

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