If this weekend’s game is an excuse to eat chicken wings and throw a party, I’ll take it. According to the National Retail Federation, a lot of us feel the same way, with 48.9% of people surveyed planning to host a gathering, attend one or watch with fellow fans at a bar or restaurant.
Preparing to have your home team over this Sunday? Check out our quick playbook for throwing a super party.
1. For most of your guests, the star of this Sunday is clear – the TV – but not everyone attends a bowl party solely to watch the game. Entertain kids and the non-football fans in the crowd with a second screen (because who doesn’t want to watch a recap of the Puppy Bowl?).
2. When guests arrive, have them choose sides with a drink: craft beer from Boston or Seattle, or get creative with regional favorites that anyone can enjoy.
3. Here’s where you’ll score the real points: the food. Since my team from Texas isn’t playing in the game, I’ll be making chili in their honor. This recipe is my own creation and builds flavor by adding spices gradually. I went to my favorite Walmart and bought dried peppers (yes, we sell those) and ground them to create my own chili powders, but feel free to substitute ready-made versions if you’re short on time.
4. Most eyes will be on the game, so there’s no need to go crazy with decorations. Keep it simple with solid-colored tablecloths and a football theme. Or, go for one big impression with a special guest: a life-size quarterback.
5. With a game that stretches for hours, it’s all about the appetizers. Keep guacamole green by hiding the pit inside (it works!). Make buffalo chicken dip ahead of time, or help guests keep their New Year’s resolutions with vegetable-based snacks or crudité instead of chips.
6. Last but not least: the sweet stuff. Whether your side is celebrating or commiserating, sugar is always welcome. End your party in the zone with a delicious dessert.