Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Super Bowl Party on the Cheap

We're football fans in our house. Though our football watching has waned lately. We blame it on school and the end of Fantasy Football season. We're just not that invested after Fantasy Football is over.

We are planning to throw a little Super Bowl party this Sunday, though it's got to be on a pretty tight budget. You just can't have a Super Bowl party without food! While we'd love to feed our friends ribs and crab dip, it just isn't going to happen. So, we've brainstormed a few inexpensive foods to feed the hungry crowd.

A baked potato bar- call them Super Spuds if you'd like. Potatoes are cheap, hearty and healthy. Well, healthy until you load them with sour cream and cheese. Ask your guests to bring a topping and you can have quite a feast on a budget. Some topping ideas include: broccoli and cheese sauce, bacon bits, chili, chicken gravy, or diced ham. My in-laws like to mix green onions and grated cheddar cheese into sour cream. They eat just that on top of their taters, but we like to load the indulgence on top of other toppings, too. 

A pasta bar- An idea very similar to the baked potato bar, but you provide a few types of pasta. Let's say you provide spaghetti and rigatoni, as well as alfredo and marina sauce and ask your guests to bring the toppings. Sausage, chicken, mushrooms, green peppers, Parmesan cheese, carmelized onions, and olives are some suggestions. 

A nacho bar- Can you see where this is going? Provide the chips (you could use a few different varieties: white, yellow and maybe some blue corn chips) and the nacho cheese. Ask others to participate by bringing beans, onions, peppers (jalapeno or bell), ground beef, shredded cheese, tomatoes, guacamole, salsa or sour cream.

Can you catch the theme yet? You provide the base and let other pitch in to fill it out. Here's another variation on the theme, and what we'll be doing at this household:  

Cheese fountain- There are a few times when a person can get away with buying a gallon of cheese sauce from their local warehouse store, warming it and putting it in a fountain. Two that come to mind are male milestone birthdays and the Super Bowl. And we're years away from the next milestone birthday at our house... So, we've got a gallon of cheese sauce and our [chocolate] fountain ready to roll! We'll be providing the chips, homemade soft pretzels bites and cocktail wieners. We're asking our friends to bring whatever they might want doused in cheese sauce and having at it. (And crossing our fingers that someone brings some vegetables!) We'll be warning them that we might put on our PJs and go to bed after half time. Living in the eastern time zone, late games and a pregnant girl just aren't a good combination.

What will you be eating during the big game? Do potluck parties float your boat and help you entertain within your budget? Any other suggestions for variations on our theme?

image via Southern Hospitatlity

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