Hi guys! Tis the season for football, amiright?! Do y’all have football-crazed family members getting super excited as the season draws to a close, whether their team is still “in it” or not? Does every conversation in your house seen to turn into a debate about player stats and team records? Are you finding your normally cozy and quiet family room turn into a man cave every Sunday afternoon? Please say it’s not just me! We usually end up going to watch the Big Game at a friend’s house, but I know my husband has always wanted to take a turn hosting to party at our house. Secretly, so have I. Today I’m sharing some delicious dips and dippers to make your Big Game party a Super Snack Showdown.
Sweet vs. Spicy. Hot vs. Cool. Savory vs. Sweet. Which one will be the MVP of the buffet table? It’s time to find out! I’m a sucker for a good dip, so this buffet table is like my dream come true. Four of my absolute favorite dips along with all the yummiest dippers – ,Snyder’s of Hanover® Pretzels, Snack Factory® Pretzel Crips®, Late July® Tortilla Chips, and a variety of crunchy Cape Cod® and Kettle Brand® Potato Chips.
Bonus: a sweet nutty Pop Secret® Popcorn treat with Emerald® Nuts to top it all off! I’ll share all my recipes below. You could ask your guests to bring their favorite football snacking food or dippers as well for even more variety.
This was the “Before” photo. My guys would have been fine if we had just left it at that, but they were OK with me decorating as long as it was not “too cute” or “over the top” – their words. I feel like we found a happy medium with this stadium-inspired spread. I found an artificial turf rug online for about $10 and decided it would make the perfect table cover.
Then I added a couple of risers made from 1x6 pine boards and molding pieces to give the feeling of bleachers. This gave me some different levels for food display and made it all look a little more interesting!
To really define the area, I hung a sheet of black butcher paper on the wall behind the table and drew a football play diagram on it in chalk. I wanted to add some color so I chose bright primary colors and made tissue paper tassels to hang along the wall as well. They look a little bit like pom-poms which is a fun touch. You could use your favorite team’s colors or even the colors of the two opposing teams on opposite sides of the table.
Instead of plates, I decided to use cardboard take-out boxes as trays. I simply cut off the top flaps since we did not need them to close. They reminded me of the way food is packaged in a stadium. I figured our guests could fill up their tray with chips and dips, grab a bottle of rootbeer and take it with them back to the living room to eat.
Since no one wants to be away from the game for too long, I pre-portioned all the dippers into small bags and cups to make them easy to grab-and-go. The dips are easily spooned into small cups and placed into the trays along with the dippers.
I also placed a tray of extra dippers on the coffee table so guests could refill without getting up. You know how annoying it is when you need just one more pretzel to finish your dip. Problem solved!
I used the pennants I shared yesterday to label the dips. Just tape the pennant flag to a straw or bamboo skewer and pop it right into the bowl. I tried to have a good variety of hot and cold, meat and veggie, etc. – SPICY Chorizo Queso, SWEET Salsa Verde, HOT Parmesan Artichoke Dip, and COOL Shrimp Dip. I was hoping there would be something everyone would enjoy! You could even throw in a veggie tray with some dill dip. My guys tend to like the “heartier” choices.
I also felt like we needed a sweet treat for dessert, so I made a batch of toffee popcorn, drizzled with melted white chocolate and sprinkled with Cocoa Roast Almonds, which look like tiny little footballs. My oldest son could not get enough of it!!
I wanted a wide variety of yummy, high-quality dippers for my dips. I found them all at my local grocery store – some in the “natural” section and some in the snack aisle.
All you have left to do is make the food, so let’s get cookin’, Good Lookin’!
Nutty Toffee Popcorn
3 bags Pop Secret Home Style popcorn, popped
1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. light corn syrup
1 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 bag white chocolate chips
1 bag Emerald Cocoa Roast Almonds
1. Pop the popcorn and remove all unpopped kernels. Place in a large bowl. Heat butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.
2. Stir mixture constantly until boiling.
3. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. This will make the mixture "frothy" and help it to coat the popcorn more easily.
4. Pour hot toffee mixture over popcorn and stir to coat evenly. Spread popcorn onto two baking sheets and bake at 250 degrees for 20 minutes, stirring midway. Remove from oven and spread out on parchment paper to cool.
5. Melt white chocolate chips in a bowl in the microwave. Drizzle half of the white chocolate over popcorn. Sprinkle almonds on top of popcorn and white chocolate, then drizzle again with remaining melted white chocolate. Allow to cool until white chocolate hardens again. Break into small clumps and serve.
Sweet Salsa Verde
1 large can tomatillos (approx. 16 small tomatillos) drained
1 jalapeno, diced
1/2 bunch cilantro
1/2 C. sugar
1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
2. Blend until smooth and serve with corn tortilla chips.
Hot Parmesan Artichoke Dip
Cool Shrimp Dip
Spicy Chorizo Queso
1 lb. loaf of good soft melting cheese, cubed
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1/2 lb. chorizo
In a microwavable bowl, combine cubed cheese and tomatoes with green chiles. Microwave on HIGH in 45 second increments, stirring in between, until cheese is melted. Place in a small crock pot on warm setting to keep warm.
Cook chorizo in a frying pan until cooked through. Stir into melted cheese and tomato mixture and serve for a spicy twist on the classic queso.
Do you usually host the big party or do you watch at a friend's house? Either way, these recipes are sure to be crowd-pleasers no mater what the final score of the game is.