Serious Entertaining

Seasonal menu planning for the perfect dinner party.

Serious Entertaining: Super Bowl Party

Please welcome our new Serious Entertaining columnist Carrie Vasios! She's currently an intern with us and blogs at Less is Morbier. She'll be chiming in each week with party planning ideas for food, decor, and all the other essentials. Take it away, Carrie! —The Mgmt.

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[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

It's that day of the year again. You know, the one when we all pretend to watch football in order to justify eating copious amounts of wings, nachos, chili, and everything else that will help us get a linebacker's physique.

No, no, I'm kidding. I actually love watching the Game. I'm just bitter because my team, the Jets, have been robbed of Super Bowl glory. But luckily whether your team is still in the running for the trophy or they never had a shot (sorry, Panthers) you can still score a Super Bowl party victory. Here's how.

Pittsburgh

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Eat: You've probably heard of Pittsburgh's famous french-fry-stuffed sandwiches at Primanti's, so you can always create a make-your-own Primanti's sandwich bar with white bread, fries, cole slaw, and all the fixin's.

There were many great suggestions made in this Talk thread on indigenous Pittsburgh cuisine. The Heinz company is of course based in Pittsburgh, so stock up on condiments and pickles! "Pierogi, halushki (egg noodles, or dumpling with butter drenched cabbage—great for crowds), pepperoni rolls, halupki (stuffed cabbage in tomato sauce), kielbasa, Polish cured meats (blood sausage, kishka, there's ham-type thing I can't recall the name of), packzis if you can find them for a sweet," suggests SarahN.

Drink: Unfortunately it's a bit tricky to get Pittsburgh's local brews outside of Pennsylvania. So if you can't pick up any beers from Penn Brewery, Pittsburgh Brewing Company, East End Brewing, or Iron City, you can probably get away with Rolling Rock, which is easier to come by. Though recently bought and moved, it's a Pittsburgh beer by birth, as our Fast Food columnist and Pittsburgh native John M. Edwards reminded us. If you want to expand the scope to all of Pennsylvania, you can drink well if you go with beer from Victory (the Prima Pils is excellent), Lancaster (we especially love their Hop Hog), Stoudt's, Erie Brewing Company, Tröegs, or Yuengling.

Green Bay

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[Photograph: The Paupered Chef]

Eat: Cheese plates are great, and don't forget the deep-fried cheese curds! Or cook up a batch of Wisconsin style brats. Those onion-laden sausage sandwiches should fill up your entire team.

Drink: Again, it might be hard to come by the Wisconsin microbrews, but any New Glarus beers or some Sprecher root beer (Milwaukee-based) would be a good choice. Other Wisconsin breweries of note include Furthermore, Tyranena, Capital, Lakefront, Central Waters, and Stevens Point. Or you can serve Sierra Nevada beer—brewed in Chico, California—in honor of Aaron Rodger's roots (nice suggestion from jpeckjr!). And let's not forget about Wisconsin's own Miller High Life, which you can find just about anywhere. It is the champagne of beers.

The Other Essentials: Wings, Chili, Dips

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Wings recipe roundup »
Chili recipe roundup »
Guacamole recipe roundup »

D-Line Decorations

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[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

You're already buying packs of paper napkins in preparation for all that wing sauce, so why not pick up red ones? Now everyone has their own challenge flag to throw. Set up your food on a green table cloth with black and white plastic cutlery.

Serve your drinks in these football field cups. Simply buy paper cups in the color of your team and draw the field lines with a Sharpie. You'll never have wanted your team to gain yardage so badly.

Don't Forget the Football Field Cake!

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[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Obviously no Super Bowl party is complete without this vanilla sheet cake. I've adapted the recipe from the The Sweeter Side of Amy's Bread cookbook and decorated it to replicate the field of play. It's easy to make, simple to slice, and darned tasty. Touchdown!

Get the recipe »

*Or you could just buy everyone at the party one of these*

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