It’s Game Time

Set the stage for a great party with all the right food, beverages and decorations.

It’s that time of year when colleges find out which teams makes the bowl games and pro teams seal their playoff spots. There’s no better reason to gather a group of friends, neighbors or coworkers together for a fun football viewing party. Make it fun with these tips:

  • On game day, rearrange the furniture if necessary and bring in extra chairs to make sure the television is in prime viewing area.
  • If you’re in a college town with a favorite team or you just enjoy egging on a best friend who pulls for the opponent, decorate the house in the home team’s colors.
  • Have plenty of food and beverages on hand and easily accessible so viewers won’t miss much of the game. Buffet-style serving works best.
  • Finger foods or fork-only servings are easiest when sitting around on sofas. Invest in some disposable party plates that have wine glass or cup holders to make it easy for guests to fill up at the food table.
  • Be creative with your buffet by hosting a food bar. How about a taco bar with several meat choices and toppings?
  • A hot dog bar with hot dogs, brats and buns can have sauerkraut, cheese, chiles, onions and gourmet mustards.
  • Try a potato bar. Bake the potatoes ahead of time and leave them wrapped in foil. Serve barbecue chicken and pork for toppings, along with sour cream, shredded cheese, green onions, sautéed onions and bacon.
  • Add a twist on the potato bar by including sweet potatoes or yams. Pair them with brown sugar, cinnamon, butter and, oh yes, whipped cream.
  • Have a progressive dinner, but instead of changing locations, serve a different course each quarter. You can still serve finger foods or small servings, but set them out as you go. Start with cocktails and munchies, and serve dessert during fourth quarter.
  • Try “Souper Bowls”. Serve bowls of soup or chili, like gazpacho in mini cups. Or have a soup or chili bar with toppings.

You also can make the food part of the fun, especially for guests less interested in the game. Have beer and food pairings or wine and food pairings. This chart from the Brewers Association even pairs desserts with your favorite brews.