NFL is officially back! I actually love watching football on Sundays, one of the best parts of fall. The food, friends and watching my oh-so-sad Chicago Bears. Before kids, my Sunday Funday would be spent out at brunch with bottomless mimosas and greasy food, but time has changed all that. Now, we usually have families here with kids and a few less mimosas. But it’s still so much fun, I look forward to it every week.
There are some tricks I have learned through trial and error of from hosting a few football parties with lots of children. I know that an easy clean up is at the top of my list, especially with lots of kids around, faster the better. Snacks and appetizers ideal for small hands and also delicious for the adults is important too.
I love hosting. It’s one of my favorite things to do. But if there are a lot of people, especially with little ones, I need easy ideas for setup and clean up. I decided to minimize the dishes and use Solo Cup Products to make clean up easy and less complicated. You could use other brands, but I find these the most reliable. They are completely disposable, recyclable and really durable. Once you are done with them, they can also be used for kids to write and color on them. It’s a win, win right? Of course, you could use larger dishes, but I just prefer something that it grab-n-go and easy to clean up.
Some fast and easy ideas are a snack bar, pigs in a blanket, tater tot skewers, individual 7 layer dip cups (because nothing says football more than dip) and a mac n’ cheese bar.
SOLO has write on cups that are perfect to label the snacks. The kids can make their own snack bowls with lids. These bowls are easy for them to hold and whatever they don’t finish, the bowls serve as to-go cups. I know my son loves taking things to go for the car. For the individual 7 layer dip cups, I used small, clear cups are the perfect size for the kids. Lastly, for the mac n’ cheese bar, I like the bowls with lids, but any small bowl would work great.
The best part of a snack bar is that you can customize it to your guests preferences. Since this is more kid friendly, the options are kid friendly, but even adults would enjoy them (I know I do!)
Here are the snacks I used:
- kid puffs
- graham crackers
- ring pops (everyone’s a champion)
- M & M’s
- blue corn chips
Pigs in a Blanket
This is an appetizer that everyone likes. You can definitely make them with recipes like this or you can buy them frozen, whatever makes your life easier! But either way, they are a great for kids and adults.
7 Layer Dip
These are perfect for a few reasons. The cups are very sturdy, so they are able to hold a lot without feeling too heavy. They are great size for those small hands and you don’t have to worry about any double dipping 🙂
- 1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
- 1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning
- 1 cup guacamole or homemade guacamole
- 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
- 1 cup chunky salsa
- 1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese (I used both!)
- 2 Roma tomatoes , diced
- 1/2 bunch of green onions, sliced
- 1 (2.25 ounce) can of sliced olives, drained (Optional- my son doesn’t like olives)
- 6 (9 ounce) plastic cups
- tortilla chips (I like blue corn chips)
In a small bowl mix taco seasoning with refried beans.
- Add about 2-2 1/2 tablespoons for each layer
- Layer 1: beans and taco seasoning
- Layer 2: sour cream
- Layer 3: guacamole
- Layer 4: pico de gallo
- Layer 5: cheese
- Layer 6: tomatoes
- Layer 7: green onions and olives
Garnish with one tortilla chip. Store in the refrigerator until serving and serve with chips. Makes around 6 individual dips.
Tater Tot Skewers
These are super easy to make and really fun to eat. You can eat them right off the skewer or add it to your plate. 15-20 minutes at 425 degrees, let them cool and add 4-5 tots to each skewer. You can add ketchup to the small cups for dipping. I would recommend the skewers for older kids due to the sharp points, but you could always cut them down a bit for smaller children.
Mac n’ Cheese Bar
And for my favorite part: the MAC N’ CHEESE BAR. Honestly, you could make it from scratch or get a pre-made box. Whatever makes your life easier. From scratch, I like recipes like this. But you can grab a box and totally add in your own ingredients. I took a box of mac n’ cheese, added mild cheddar cheese, bread crumbs and baked it at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. It turned out DELICIOUS!
Cheese is so versatile. It can be paired with so much. Here are the toppings I used:
- hot dogs
- bacon bits
- cheeze its
- green onion
- cubed cheese
The more cheese the better right? For an appetizer, I made a meat and cheese plate with salami, cheddar and pepper jack cheese with pita crackers. Really, anything would work; spinach artichoke dip, cheese dip, etc.
For the drinks, the best wine to pair with macaroni and cheese all depends on how fancy and cheesy your mac and cheese is. With a regular, old-fashioned recipe, you might just want a simple glass of white wine. An unoaked Chardonnay might be your best bet for an original recipe or even a dry Riesling. If you got a little fancy and added truffles to your recipe, champagne pairs perfectly. No wine drinkers? Cider pairs well with cheese too.
A party that will please everyone with an easy clean up? To go cups already set! Mom win for sure, regardless of who’s playing 🙂
So if you are inviting friends over to watch the Super Bowl or watching it with your family, enjoy the game, whoever is playing….most importantly, enjoy the food, the company and watching your favorite team. How do you spend your NFL Football Sundays? Come tell me over on Instagram and also subscribe to my weekly emails here.
Until next time,