Sunday Football Party

The best bet on a "Big Game" day is to throw a party with plenty of good, simple food that will liberate you from the kitchen to watch the Big Game!

By FamilyTime


Whether you are entertaining family or a large assortment of friends, an afternoon-into-evening "Big Game" party can be very simple or edge toward extravagant. But it should never be formal or stuffy!


Create your party theme around the colors of the opposing teams or your favorite. Choose tablecloths, napkins, paper plates, and glassware in these colors.

If the crowd is large, set up two buffet tables, decorated in the opposing team colors. Guests can help themselves from the table of their choice.

To add some heightened fun, cut out magazine or newspaper pictures of the team stars and color copy them.

Make a poster from these, use them to adorn the party invitations, or glue them to construction paper and laminate them. These can serve as placemats or, if cut into circles, drink coasters.

Football game food should be simple and fun. No one wants to be in the kitchen for the entire game!

Chili is the ultimate game stand-by. Hearty soups and stews do equally admirable jobs. These can be left in crock pots during the game - they will stay hot and never need tending.

Ribs, chicken wings, and chicken fingers can all be prepared the night before, cooked off quickly before the game, and served piled on colorful plates or shallow bowls. Set a stack of napkins nearby!

Quesadillas are ideal game fare. Somewhere between a main course and a snack, they can be varied with ingredients to suit everyone's fancy. Try chicken, shrimp, roasted vegetables, or mashed black beans. Toppings can be the standard sour cream and salsa, or sauces such as plum sauce, chutney, pesto - you name it.

Mini burgers with the fixin's are a crowd pleaser! Form the burgers into small patties and them "make" the buns from bread. Use small, round cookie cutters to stamp rounds from slices of soft white bread and then lightly toast them.

Set out the just-cooked burgers (cook them in the broiler), the buns, and ketchup, mustard, relish, chopped onions, and shredded cheese. Or, make the burgers up ahead of time, skewered to the bread with long toothpicks or snazzy swizzle sticks.

Serve salads that are not mayonnaise based. Dress potato or pasta salads with vinegar-based dressings so that they can sit out for several hours while the quarterback does his thing.

Offer plenty of snack foods, too, for nervous or jubilant nibbling. Chips, pretzels, and peanuts are great with beer and soda. Cold shrimp or raw vegetables are equally appropriate, if a little unorthodox for a football party.

Dessert can be cookies, pound cake, or a sheet cake decorated with your favorite team's colors.

Caterers and Take-Out
To make life super easy, hire a caterer. Choose linens in team colors. Ask the chef for a simple or more complex menu, depending on the crowd and your inclinations.

Alternatively, ask the local deli or supermarket to plate cold cuts and cheeses for you. They'll supply bread and condiments so that guests can make their own sandwiches.

In either case, ask that the food be delivered an hour or so before kick-off so that you have time to enjoy the game.

Half Time
Create games for half-time fun. Put together statistical facts on each team's players, or provide the ever-popular team betting. Or use the break in the action to serve the main course.