Smarter Celebrations: Plan a fantastic football fest!
My husband is in three fantasy football leagues. I'm in one of those with him - it's a parent/kid league where each team is "owned" by a parent and a kiddo. Yup, Kiddo owns two teams in that league - one with me (the NYC Claws) and one with my husband (the Rainbow Dash Tigers). It's fun, it's festive and it gives us all something to focus on when the TV is tuned to NFL Red Zone on Sundays.
Sometimes during football season, we head to our good friend's abode in New Jersey for the weekend. They have three boys, all of whom enjoy watching the games as well. Inevitably, there is food. Yummy food. Delicious football day munchies. I'm always at a loss as to what to help make or do when we have these football fests, so I went in search of some terrific touchdown-worthy ideas.
-- Okay, it's a given you are going to have chips and dip and all that, but what do you make when you want a heftier option? Right, many folks go right for the big vat of chili -- always a perfecto option, for sure. Want something different? Why not steal from the pros and make a sub or sliders? To make a big sub, cut a large loaf of Italian bread in half lengthwise, and spread on mayonnaise, mustard or whatever spread you want. Plop on slices of meats, cheese or other toppings. Place the other half back on and cut into individual mini sandwich slices.
-- Another idea? Check out this easy-peasey recipe from Chef-in-Training for Ham and Cheese Sliders:
24 dinner rolls
24 pieces of honey ham
24 small slices of Swiss cheese
1/3 cup mayo
1/3 cup miracle whip
Poppy Seed Sauce (1 Tbsp poppy seeds, 1 1/2 Tbsp mustard, 1/2 cup butter melted, 1 Tbsp minced onion, 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce)
In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and miracle whip. Cut the rolls in halves. Spread the mayonnaise-miracle whip mixture on each side of the roll. Place a piece of honey ham and Swiss cheese on each roll. Fold back into sandwiches. Place rolls close together in a greased 9x13 pan until pan in completely full. Mix together all ingredients of Poppy Seed Sauce. Spread evenly over the tops of all the rolls. Let the rolls sit until the butter has set up a bit. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
-- For dessert, get a little crafty with your baking and channel the football spirit with these Oreo Football cookie balls. Totally kick-into-your tummy treats from Kraft!
6 oz. (3/4 of 8-oz. pkg) Cream Cheese, softened
1 pkg. (15.25 oz.) OREO Chocolate Creme Cookies, finely crushed
4 pkg. (4 oz. each) Semi-Sweet Chocolate, broken into pieces, melted
1 Tbsp. white decorating icing
Mix cream cheese and cookie crumbs until well blended. Shape into 40 (1-inch) football shapes. Freeze 10 min. Dip in melted chocolate; place in single layer in shallow waxed paper-lined pan. Use icing to draw laces on footballs. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.
-- Get the kids involved by having them create some cute decorations. Have them draw up a large football field on an oversized sheet of paper (or tape a few together) that you can use as a table cover. Create goal posts with pipe cleaners and make little players with Popsicle sticks (you can create uniforms by coloring them with markers) and tape on some paper helmets (make a template for them that they can trace and then decorate).
Is your family a football family? What is your best game day recipe?