Give fans the opportunity to get invested in the game (literally) by providing a betting squares pool. Print a pool grid from a template online or make your own on a piece of poster board. Draw a 10-by-10 grid and write the name of one team on the top of the grid and the other team on the left-hand side. Invite contestants to buy squares for $1 to $5 per square ($1 per square puts $100 in the pool; $5 per square makes it $500), filling in their chosen squares with their initials. After all the squares are filled, draw numbers (0 to 9) out of a hat and assign each number one at a time, moving from the left to right along the top of the grid, and top to bottom down the side of the grid. The object of this pool is to have the combination of numbers that match the last numbers in the score of the game (i.e., if the score was 21-17, then the person whose square is located at the intersection of 1 and 7 would win). Give payouts at the end of the first quarter (10 percent of the pool amount), at half time (15 percent), at the end of the third quarter (10 percent), and at the end of the game (65 percent).
“Turf” Centerpiece February 2, 2012
Make your table into a football field feature by setting up a mini field as your centerpiece. Use a flat of wheatgrass or an Astroturf doormat (unused, of course) as the “field.” Place the turf in the middle of your buffet and decorate it with mini plastic footballs or toy football players. Use white electrical tape for making lines on Astroturf, or white paint if you’re using wheatgrass. Wheatgrass can be ordered through a florist or purchased from a health food store with a juice bar, or at some local farmers markets. Astroturf doormats and remnants are available at many home improvement stores.
Green Pea “Guacamole” February 5, 2011
A friend of a friend shared a recipe for green pea “guacamole” with me after I mentioned my love of cilantro. I made a few variations and came up with this recipe, which is really a very tasty Mexican flavored dip. This “guac” has a nice, bright flavor from the cilantro, a bit of tang from the lime and a little kick of heat thanks to the chipotle chilis.
Serve it game-day, as you would a regular guacamole. I like to serve it with tacos as a topping – even with breakfast burritos. It’s also a great topping for fish or grilled chicken.
Green Pea “Guacamole”
1/3 medium red onion, finely chopped
4 Tbs. olive oil
Juice of 1 lime (about 4 Tbs.)
1/2 bunch cilantro, stems removed
½-1 tsp. chipotle chilis in adobo sauce or 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded
10 oz frozen peas
½ tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
Chop onion in food processor until finely chopped. Place onion in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine oil, lime juice and cilantro in food processor until roughly pureed. Add chili, peas, cumin, salt and blend until almost smooth (should be some chunks left). Stir in red onion. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a bit of chopped red onion. Serve with tortilla chips or toasted pita.
- You don’t need to defrost or cook the frozen peas before pureeing them, but I do let the dip sit at room temperature for about a half hour before serving.
Mini Hamburgers July 8, 2010
Don’t save small bites for your tapas or cocktail party – serve mini hamburgers and other mini grilled items (hotdogs, chicken sandwiches, pulled pork sandwiches, etc.) at your next BBQ. Mini burgers are easy to make, quick-cooking (watch them – you don’t want them overcooked and tough!) and just so cute. Even those with bigger appetites will enjoy them – just be sure to make enough.
Make the mini burgers all the same or serve different flavors. Make Fiesta burgers by adding cumin, cilantro, chopped onion, jalapeno and red peppers; make Asian burgers by adding fresh ginger, scallions and soy sauce; or add Guinness to make super moist Irish-inspired burgers (see recipe index). The possibilities are endless. Ground lamb or turkey are also great options for mini burgers.
Looking for those cute little buns to house your mini burgers? I’ve seen packages of them at several grocery stores. Target sells whole wheat mini burger buns in their grocery aisle. If you aren’t able to find pre-packaged, use a round biscuit cutter to make your own cut-to-size buns out of larger rolls.
Etch-it Cups Giveaway February 10, 2010
The fun people over at Etch-it Cups have supplied two sets of their great party cups and 6 packages of their Etch-it tags (15 per package) for this Hip Hostess Blog giveaway. Three winners will be chosen for this giveaway (2 winners will each receive a package of Etch-it cups; 1 winner will receive the Etch-it tags).
I’ve blogged about these cups before – they are great for keeping track of your drink. Each cup has a little “chalkboard” on it. Simply remove the protective cover, then etch your name or a cool design with your finger and your cup is personalized. Never Lose Your Drink!
For info. of where to buy Etch-it Cups online, visit their site at http://www.etch-it.com/onlinepartners.htm
To enter the Hip Hostess Blog giveaway for the Etch-it Cups and Tags, click on the link below. Winners will be randomly selected at 10pm EST on February 12, 2010. Winners will be notified via e-mail. One entry per person. Good luck!