Expectations run high on Super Bowl Sunday. First, football fans expect a great game from the teams that have made it to the big showdown. And party guests expect plenty of fun snacks and beverages to make it through to the end of an exciting game. About.com's food and beverage guides have just the recipes we need to deliver on the party refreshments. Too bad we can't guarantee the game will match expectations.
Local Foods Guide Molly Watson shows us that we don't need to serve heavy processed food at our Super Bowl parties to make it tasty. She gives us recipes for homemade potato chips, spicy peanuts, and succulent beer-basted, spicy glazed ribs that will please the most die-hard football fans.
Karin Engelbrecht, About.com's Guide to Dutch Food, tells us that when the Dutch watch sports on TV, their favorite snacks include kroketten, those sumptious shrimp or veal ragout-filled crispy croquettes, frikadellen, typically Dutch skinless meat sausages, and kaasstengels, rich Gouda cheese straws (I love Gouda cheese), all of which can be found on her list of Dutch Party Appetizers.
Stephanie Gallagher, About.com Guide to Cooking for Kids, believes that the fun thing about a Super Bowl Party is that you can make the menu anything you like. So whether you like take out pizza, potluck appetizers, chili and cornbread, or homemade snacks and desserts, she's giving us permission to fill the menu with our own favorites. She also gives us three great menu options with recipes to mix and match as we please.
Football fans can't live on savory foods alone. There needs to be something sweet at the end of the game, perhaps to make it easier to swallow defeat. Carroll Pellegrinelli, About.com Guide to Baking, tells us to sweeten the party by making it easier on yourself or co-host by preparing desserts and other sweet treats that don't need a fork to eat them. Chocolate Nut Bars are just one of the many treats found in Carroll's collection of Fork Free Desserts.
Linda Larsen, About.com Guide to Busy Cooks, tells us it's okay to use Super Bowl Sunday as an excuse for a party, even if we're not into football. Her Super Bowl Snacks and Anti-Super Bowl Party Foods are all delicious, quick to make, and fun to eat.
About.com's Guide to Eastern European Food, Barbara Rolek, believes that American football and the Super Bowl or European soccer and the World Cup bring out the same "need to feed" among rabid sports fans. One-pot dishes that can bubble away in a slow cooker unattended, or what she calls casserolia, are perfect for noshing during the big game. Polish Hunter's Stew (bigos) -- a meat-eater's dream come true -- and Smoked Sausage and Sauerkraut can be prepared in advance and then slowly reheated when ready to serve. If you've got a crowd coming, the recipes can be easily doubled or tripled.
Kevin Weeks, About.com Guide to Cooking for Two, has been working away all fall on recipes for traditional Super Bowl foods like Buffalo Wings, Crab Dip, and Barbequed Ribs. Thank goodness he's been working so hard so that we now have the perfect recipes for our Super Bowl party.
Lisa and Tony Sierra, Guides to Spanish Food, put a tasty spin on Super Bowl party appetizers. Although they say that the Spanish aren't counting down the days to the Super Bowl, the party atmosphere and desire to graze is perfect for a tapas buffet. Their list for easy-to-make Spanish tapas for a Super Bowl buffet makes it easy to forget about American appetizers and go with Spanish flavors instead. Their recipes include Spanish pizza with chorizo sausage and Serrano ham toppings, easy bravas potatoes, pancetta-stuffed mushrooms, or pinchos morunos (spicy pork kabobs).
Colleen Graham, Guide to Cocktails, reminds us that the road to the biggest football game of the year is always exciting. Beginning with the conference championships then onto Super Bowl XLVI, she's mixed up special cocktails for this year's top 4 teams, the Giants, Patriots, Ravens, and 49ers.