With the Super Bowl just 10 days away, it's time to decide whether you want to go to a big game party -- or throw one yourself!
With that in mind, Norman King, assistant editor of Southern Living magazine, shared a list of "do's" and "don'ts" for hosts and guests -- and a few recipes to make your Super Bowl party a great one.
AS A HOST
Remember that greeting your guests is important, so make sure you have enough hangers to take their coats, and that the bedroom is clean if you want them to store their coats there.
Also, is your party going to be a one team party? Or are you an equal opportunity party for both sets of fans? You want to avoid a house divided, so make sure everyone has a great view and no one feels left out. And make sure that teams mingle.
DO-Adjust your TV before your guests arrive. Make sure the colors are at their optimum and that the team colors really shine. Make sure, if you have it, that the HD channel for the game is cued up, and if you have a format you want them to watch on, say letterbox or widescreen, make sure you are already good to go.
DO-DVR the game. You can't rely on the announcers to cue up all of the replays you are going to want to watch. So if there is a flag on the play and you want to rewatch the moment, you can. Have a Super Bowl ad that has left you speechless? Rewind it.
DON'T-Leave valuables and furniture around the living or TV room where you are going to be watching. You want people to feel comfortable jumping around, and making noise. That means that obstacles have to be removed from the couch to the television. And if people are going to be making a fuss, you probably want to put away those valuable family heirlooms that might be important.
DO-Decorate and have a buffet. If you have fans from both teams, food from both areas are a must. We have a gumbo and red beans and rice recipes (below) in honor of New Orleans and a fantastic tenderloin slider recipe for those Indiana fans (also below). For both teams dips we have a blue cheese and ranch dressing that can't be beat. The recipes are cost effective, and serve a big crowd easily. If you have a coffee table that will accommodate the food and buffet, great. If not, set a table aside somewhere that is near a wall with an electrical outlet, so no one trips over wires throughout the game.
Also, decorating for a Super Bowl can be very low maintenance so have fun with it! Get some Colts and Saints flags, helmets, bobble headed dolls, jerseys, footballs. Break out that silly sombrero chip and dip bowl, paper napkins in team colors. However you want to focus your decoration, make it fun, go crazy and make it football.
DO-Have EVERY guest turn their keys over to a big bowl as they walk in. That way everyone's keys are in one place in case one car is blocking another and someone has to leave early. It also allows you to keep an eye on who has over-indulged as the guests leave. Know who is sober at your party, that way you can use them to give rides. Also have a cab phone number at the ready in case you have a tipsy friend who can't get a ride.
AS A GUEST
DO-Call the host to see if they need anything. Extra beer or wine? A platter of hoagies? Whatever they need will make a good host gift and it will make you look like a thoughtful guest. Throwing parties can be a pain, offer to help set up, or get their early to plate food.
DON'T-TOUCH THE REMOTE. PERIOD. It is NOT your TV. People want to rewatch the plays and check out the commercials that will be water cooler fodder tomorrow at the office. So no touching the remote. Unless you want other guests or the host to hurt you.
DO-Know which team you are going to root for. Is it a one team house? Are they New Orleans through and through or die hard Colts fans? Or are there going to be both? If you are feeling a little ignorant as to both teams, take a moment to check out the team's website for tidbits of information. For instance, The New Orleans Saints have NEVER been to a Super Bowl before. Their quarterback is named Drew Brees. The Indianapolis Colts went to the Superbowl last year and lost. Their quarterback is Peyton Manning, brother of Eli Manning, quarterback for the Giants.
For a complete list of recipes, go to Southern Living's Web site for suggestions.
EASY CHICKEN GUMBO
Makes 6 servings
Adding flour to hot oil creates a fast and flavorful roux.
1/2 cup of peanut oil
1 cup of chopped sweet onion
1 cup of chopped green bell pepper
1 cup of chopped celery
1 1/2 to 3 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 14 ounce cans of chicken broth
1/2 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
4 cups of chopped, cooked chicken
Heat the oil in a large Dutch Oven over medium high heat, gradually whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until the flour is chocolate colored (BE CAREFUL NOT TO BURN).
Reduce the heat to medium. Stir in the onion and the next four ingredients, and cook, stirring constantly for three minutes. Gradually stir in chicken broth and sausage. Increase heat to medium high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.
Stir chicken into gumbo; cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.
RED BEANS AND RICE
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 7 hour(s) 15 minutes
Yield: Makes 10 cups (serving size: 1 cup with 1 cup rice)
1 pound dried red beans
3/4 pound smoked turkey sausage, thinly sliced
3 celery ribs, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
Hot cooked long-grain rice
Hot sauce (optional)
Garnish: finely chopped green onions, finely chopped red onion
Combine first 8 ingredients and 7 cups water in a 4-qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 7 hours or until beans are tender. Serve red bean mixture with hot cooked rice, and, if desired, hot sauce. Garnish, if desired.
Try These Twists!
Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice: Substitute frozen meatless smoked sausage, thawed and thinly sliced, for turkey sausage.
Quick Skillet Red Beans and Rice: Substitute 2 (16-oz.) cans light kidney beans, drained and rinsed, for dried beans. Reduce Creole Seasoning to 2 tsp. Cook sausage and next 4 ingredients in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring often, 5 minutes or until sausage browns. Add garlic; saute 1 minute. Stir in 2 tsp. seasoning, beans, and 2 cups chicken broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes. Serve with hot cooked rice and, if desired, hot sauce. Garnish, if desired.
For more recipes, go to Page 2.
BREADED PORK TENDERLOIN SANDWICH
These are for those Indiana fans, an Indiana mainstay. What's fun about this is people can make their own sliders. And they're great, hot finger food.
1 cup red wine vinegar
5 tablespoons seedless blackberry preserves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound pork tenderloin
3/4 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
2 teaspoons rubbed sage
2 large eggs, beaten
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
Fresh spinach leaves (optional)
Garnish: fresh blackberries
Bring vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and cook 6 minutes or until reduced by half. Stir in blackberry preserves, and cook 5 minutes. Stir in salt.
Remove silver skin from pork tenderloin, leaving a thin layer of fat covering meat. Cut pork into 8 slices. Place pork between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, and flatten to a 1/4-inch thickness, using a rolling pin or flat side of a meat mallet.
Stir together breadcrumbs, pecans, and sage in a shallow bowl. Dredge pork in breadcrumb mixture, dip in beaten eggs, and dredge again in breadcrumb mixture.
Cook 4 pork slices in 2 tsp. hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat 8 minutes or until done, turning every 2 minutes. Repeat procedure with remaining pork and oil. Serve pork over fresh spinach, if desired. Drizzle with vinegar mixture; garnish, if desired.
BLUE CHEESE RANCH DIP
16 ounce container of sour cream
1 1-ounce package of Ranch dip
1 4-ounce package of blue cheese crumbles
2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
Stir together all ingredients. Serve with celery sticks and carrots. It makes 2 and 1/2 cups.