Spring brings warm sunshine and blooming flowers. Summer sends hot crowds to beaches and backyard pools for a cool swim. Fall signals winter and, for some, the best season of all: Football.
Food and drink for entertaining football crowds do not need to be complicated or expensive. Prepare appetizers and main dishes before game time so you don’t miss a play.
You can have foam fingers for celebrating and foam bricks to throw at the television for moments of frustration. Find paper plates, cups and table clothes in the right colors at your local dollar store, grocery store or party store.
Appetizers for Sunday’s game
If you do not want to serve traditional chips and dip, try the Burger-Potato Bites on the Better Homes and Garden website. Using waffle-cut frozen fries as a bun, you build a mini open-face cheeseburger guests can pop in their mouths between plays. Use ground turkey, Portobello mushrooms or soy for healthier bites. For a South American flavor during the big game, serve Taste of Home’s Football Fest Empanadas. Shape the pastry like footballs, fill with the ingredients listed and slit the tops to make laces. In South America, cooks fill empanadas with beef or chicken; feel free to use any combination of meat, cheese, chopped veggies or peppers you choose.
Drinks to keep the vocal cords in the game
With or without rum, Southern Living’s Berry-Colada Punch looks and tastes great. Made with strawberries, pineapple juice, cream of coconut and club soda, Berry Coladas have color and flavor to please everyone. For wine lovers, pair a rose Champagne with the Football Fest Empanadas and keep the flavors popping. Don’t overlook beer, football’s traditional party drink you can serve in cans, bottles or chilled glasses. You can mix it up with food coloring to match your team’s colors or, you can make beer cocktails. Buzzfeed’s beer cocktail recipes include
- Banananheizen – Beer and banana juice
- Snake Bite – Beer and lager (an English tradition)
- Michelada – Cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce and beer
- Black and Tan – A mix of Harp and Guiness or a dark lager with a lighter beer
Main dishes to eat in front of the television
The beginning of football season calls for summer foods that do not take a lot of cooking time, if cooked at all. As the season progresses, the temperature cools and guests want comfort foods at game time.
For late summer, early fall football parties, a Caribbean Taco Salad with Mango salsa fills fans up without making them feel stuffed. Use beef, pork, turkey, chicken or no meat to create a salad like the one shown at Premeditated Leftovers.
Guy Fieri, of the Food Network, shares his recipe for Chili Verde Pork on homemade corn sopas. You can choose to roast your own chilies or buy them already roasted at the grocery store. Make it spicy or mild to suit the tastes of your guests and pile it on warm corn sopas. This main dish goes well with the rose Champagne or a Bananaheizen.