Football season is in full swing and no other sport begs for a gathering of food, friends and fun! When it’s your turn to host, think delicious handheld bites, satisfying sips and, of course, a cheerful tablescape decked out with all your team’s colors!
Game day is spent gathered around the TV watching all the plays, so we love the idea of setting up a buffet-style snack table so guests can grab a bite during commercial breaks or whenever they need a break!
We love a good theme, so we suggest selecting table linens that match the colors of the team your party is rooting for! Solids will work but there are also a variety of patterns to choose from, too. Use Buffalo Check for some visual interest, and to keep with those seasonal patterns everyone loves this time of year. For a more sophisticated look, take a cue from the referee’s uniform and go for a black and white striped theme, like Amalfi Stripe in black and white; or if your team’s colors are navy and white, stick with the theme by adding Cabana Stripe to the cable.
Dips, chips, mac-and-cheese and chili are always crowd pleasers and super simple to whip up ahead of time.
When it comes to dips, offer up a variety to suit everyone’s taste! You can’t go wrong with salsa, guacamole, hummus and a Buffalo-style chicken dip, which adds an extra satisfying punch.
Chips are also essential for munching on throughout the game. Anything good and sturdy to scoop up all the delicious dips is a must. We love a variety of tortillas, ridged potato chips and pretzel thins, and don’t forget to cut up veggies to offer a bit of balance.
Trays of homemade mac and cheese will fill up the crowd, as will a big batch of chili, especially during halftime when the crowd might be ready for something heartier. Be sure to set out yummy toppings for the chili like pre-sliced jalapenos, shredded cheese and sour cream.
Big Batch Cocktails: Sure beer is often synonymous with football, but some guests might prefer a cocktail, wine or spiked seltzer instead. Sangria is always a fan favorite and can be made in a big batch ahead of time (life hack — the longer it sits the more flavor it develops!). For individual bottles of beer, wine and cans of spiked seltzer, set them on ice in a large oversized tub to encourage guests to grab one when they’re ready. If your crowd loves a particular craft beer, think about getting a few growlers or a mini keg.
Sweet Ending: Whether your team wins or loses, don’t let guests go home without something sweet! Sugar cookies cut into football shaped and decorated in your favorite team colors is a festive way to end the game. We also love the idea of putting out mini cupcakes with frosting in team colors for a fun, themed-display. Delectable bars like a brownie or blondie are also easy to hold and eat, as are home made loafs like pumpkin chocolate chip or walnut banana — just slice them up and serve!