Keep It Simple
A football party is a social activity and you want to be part of the action, not stuck in the kitchen. Choose just a few dips and snacks you know how to make well. Do one or two hot dips served in a slow cooker with extra in the refrigerator so you can easily replenish the supply. Think about a cold dip that's easy to throw together like onion dip made with sour cream or spicy guacamole. Along with one dessert and finger sandwiches, you should have enough variety to please your guests, but not enough to require too much energy from you.
Sometimes when we're planning meals we think our food has to be prepared just before the guests arrive. That's not necessarily true. Some items can be made well in advance (some can even be frozen) to give you peace of mind and save time on game day. If you're making cookies, whip up the dough a few days before hand, store it in the refrigerator and bake it on game day. Any vegetables used for dips or a veggie tray can be cut up two days ahead and stored in water to keep them crisp. If you're serving casserole, look in your cookbook for one you can mix up the night before and bake it just before the game starts. Anything you do ahead of time frees you up to enjoy the party and the game.
Fresh Air Cooking
If you're tailgating or want to make your game day party lively by firing up the grill there are a few tricks to making your food awesome without missing the game. Keep it simple by serving burgers and brats or hot dogs. You can make these items an hour ahead and keep them warm by storing them in a pan of water over a low flame on the grill. With a little bit of chicken or beef bouillon, your meat should stay flavorful until serving time. If you want to do something a little more involved, try grilling food on sticks -- beef or vegetable kebabs, chicken satay -- it's easy to skewer and marinate these items beforehand so you can have your savory treats hot on the portable picnic table at game time.
Though you want your guests to have a good time and enjoy an impressive spread, you don't have to be a hero. There's no reason you can't buy a few pre-made items from the grocery store or a specialty food store. Prepared items like cupcakes, crab dip and fried chicken can easily be purchased at the store. If you want, you can even add a few of your own spices or garnishes. It'll save you time and take away a little bit of stress so you can take in the party like you're a guest.
Any party is an LTD party! Whether you're cooking out for fall football or have a spectacular holiday dinner planned for the family, shop LTD Commodities for the dishes, gadgets and serveware you need to get your party started.