Catered vs DIY Super Bowl Snacks

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Are you hosting a Super Bowl party this Sunday? Before you get overwhelmed by the idea of feeding a group of people for three hours or more, decide what your party really needs.

If you don’t think you’ll have a lot of time to cook, or you’re hosting a very large number of guests, you may want to opt for catered food. Your local grocery store usually has a catering department (look for it by the deli counter). They will have a variety of different snack platters such as wings, deli meat, vegetables, cheeses, etc. You can also call your favorite restaurant and place an order with them (many places have separate catering menus). Catering will be a more expensive option, but it is a great way to keep you out of the kitchen and cheering for your team!

If you’d prefer to do it yourself, you still have two different options. You can make all your snacks from scratch-the most affordable option, or you can buy frozen or canned ingredients and just pop them in the oven-also pretty affordable and a big time saver.

For example, my menu will include:
-Frozen meatballs which can easily be warmed up in the oven and served with a marinara sauce from a jar.
-Chicken drumsticks which will sit in different kinds of marinade until the guests arrive and then be cooked in the oven.
-Chips and a variety of store bought dips.
-Stuffed mushrooms which will be prepped before the game and can be popped in the oven when needed.
-Frozen pizza rolls which can be microwaved in about a minute.
-Canned chili which can also be microwaved or warmed in a saucepan on the stove top.
-Cookies and/or cupcakes which will be baked from scratch the day or morning before.

I think the easiest plan is to buy the items that are time consuming or difficult to make, and then make the items that are easier or can be prepared ahead of time. This gives you the best balance of time and cost.

Don’t forget to consider the amount of food each person will consume during the event. Are your guests big eaters? Is anyone on a diet? Try to figure out how much to make of each menu item before you go to the store or place a catering order. Also, when you make snacks at home, cook them in waves so they don’t get cold and so you don’t have too much go to waste if your guests get full.

With tasty and easy snacks, your party will be a win no matter which team you’re cheering for!

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A New Year Is A Fresh Start!

Happy 2014!

Over the past year, we’ve probably all planned to try new recipes more often, redecorate, get our closets cleaned out, do some fun crafts with the kids, organize the kitchen, host the best BBQ in the neighborhood, etc., but with the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we don’t always manage to make these things happen.
While we’re all in New Year’s Resolution mode, this is the perfect time to make up a realistic game plan for the year. Whatever it is that you want to do this year, if you plan it out now, make lists, adjust your calendar, etc., you might actually achieve your goals!

If you’ve been wanting to bake or cook new or fancier dishes, compile the recipes in a place where they will be easily remembered. Pick a day of the week that you’ll try the new dish, and note it on your calendar, set an alert on your phone, put the word out to your family, or whatever you need to do to remember. Take a few minutes one night a week or every two weeks (depending on how often you go to the grocery store) and make a list up of the items you’ll need to purchase to make that meal happen. This way when the “due date” arrives, you’ll be all set and won’t have to skip it. Plus the sooner you plan the meals, the more time you’ll have to sales shop for ingredients.

If you have an area of the house that you really want to clean out or organize, schedule it!
Pick a day when you know you’ll have enough time to complete the project. Write it on your calendar or set an alert on your phone. Get a couple boxes to help you stay organized. As you remove items, you can put them in the “keep” box or the “get rid of” box. If you are keeping everything, you can sort by use, size, or type, into separate boxes. Once you have everything out and sorted, just neatly put things back where you want them.

Have you been wanting to spend more time doing projects with the kids? Pick out some project ideas (and instructions) and keep them handy. Make sure you keep the supplies handy or make a trip to the craft store as soon as possible. When the opportunity arises, you’ll be ready to get crafty! You can also plan a certain day of the week that you all sit down to some family craft time.

If you’ve been dying to host an awesome BBQ or dinner party but ended up kind of throwing it together, this can be your year!
Parties can be planned really far ahead of time. Did you want to host a Memorial Day BBQ? Put it on your calendar now. You can start planning your menu as early as you need. Set a reminder about two weeks or more before the holiday so you can buy the food items on sale. Two weeks equals two sale cycles. (If you don’t pay much attention to sales, almost every store runs their sales Sunday through Saturday.) Decorations? Pick things up when you find them- don’t wait till the week before, unless it’s an item you expect will go on sale. You can store things in a box or plastic bin until you are ready to set up. Another fun idea is to create a board on Pinterest for the event. You can pin food, decoration and activity ideas so that they will be easy to find.

Remember, whatever your goal, organization is key. Make a plan and stick to it. Always try to take that extra minute to write your ideas down. Even if it doesn’t work out the first time, it’s never too late to give it a second try!