The Saline Courier Weekend

Appetizers Make Your Super Bowl Party Memorable


It doesn’t matter if your team made it to the Super Bowl or not. Chances are you already have plans for Super

Bowl Sunday. Let’s face it; football is the favorite American sport. Whether you are celebratin­g quietly at home or maybe you are planning to have friends over for a big party, make sure the right appetizers are included in your plan.

Things to keep in mind when serving appetizers

When selecting which appetizers to serve, keep in mind the type of occasion, menu, number of guests, who the guests will be, and the time needed to prepare each recipe. Those that can be made ahead of time and frozen, then heated at the last minute, are especially handy. When appetizers appear as the main feature, plan a wide variety. You may be tempted to try out some new recipes, which are always a great idea, but also serve other more traditiona­l ones that you know everyone will like.

Hot or Cold?

When deciding between hot and cold appetizers, consider the amount of space available in the refrigerat­or and oven. It is best to make dips and spreads in advance. Many times, their flavor improves if stored in the refrigerat­or overnight or even two days in advance. If serving hot appetizers, they need to be served in stages, so as the guests finish one batch, another is piping hot, ready to be served.

When serving more than one kind of appetizer, offer a variety of contrastin­g colors, textures, and flavors. A dish of sweet and sour meatballs, a rich and creamy cheese dip, colorful fresh vegetables and your favorite chips or crackers is a multi-taste and texture combinatio­n. Don’t be afraid to serve exotic or spicy appetizers. For calorie conscious guests, try to provide a few lower-calorie appetizers.

Number of appetizers needed for your party.

In general, the number of appetizers you will need will depend upon the length of time the guests will remain. For a four-hour period, plan on approximat­ely eight appetizers per person during the first two hours and four appetizers per person for the remaining two hours.

Dress up those tables!

If serving appetizers on one central table, dress it up! Here is where you can let your imaginatio­n run wild and be creative. Make this a party to remember. You can use team colors or make your table look like a football field complete with field goals. Remember it’s not the amount you spend on decoration­s that count, but that you make it memorable.

Appetizer presentati­on can be enhanced by using the food itself as decoration. Charcuteri­e boards are popular and provide enough decoration by themselves. Cheese and crackers, dips and spreads, vegetable platters all offer lots of added color to the table. Other options include Hoagie sandwiches, a favorite cheese ball shaped into a football sprinkled with chopped nuts on top and thin pepper strips for the lacing.

No matter what appetizers you choose to serve at your Super Bowl party, remember to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.

Recipe of the Week

Here is a great recipe to try at your Super Bowl party. Or you might just enjoy this appetizer anytime of the year. Make sure the right appetizers are included in your Super Bowl weekend!

Hot Pepper Dip

2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperatur­e 1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese

½ cup Parmesan cheese

1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies

1 (4 oz.) can diced jalapenos or 4 fresh jalapenos, seeded and chopped

1 cup Panko crumbs

½ cup Parmesan cheese

¼ cup butter, melted

Mix first six ingredient­s, put into a 2-quart greased baking dish. Mix Panko, remaining Parmesan and melted butter, sprinkle over cheese and pepper mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve warm with chips, crackers, baguette slices or go wild and serve with firm veggies like carrots and bell peppers.


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