The Big Game is right around the corner, so it’s time to break out the jerseys and your best appetizer recipes! Who doesn’t love football’s biggest showdown for one reason or another? Watching the two best teams of the season battle for the ultimate title, the entertaining commercials and of course the food! We’ve gathered some tailgate-worthy recipes and fun party décor ideas that are sure to impress your guests.
Fiesta Dinnerware has so many colors to choose from (15 in all), which make it really easy to show your team spirit! But maybe your team isn’t battling it out for number one this year, or maybe like us, you choose to remain neutral. No problem! For this blog post, we decided to go with Shamrock, Slate and White.
Game Day Décor
You don’t have to go over the top on decorations for a football party. We kept it simple for our table, with a focus on the food. We incorporated black and white stripes here and there with some fun paper, banners and whimsical straws to represent the look of a referee uniform. All things chalk board are “in” right now, so how could we pass up the opportunity to recreate that classic look of a game play scrawled out on a tabletop chalkboard? We incorporated some turf on our table to represent the football field, along with some tiny footballs and these great farm stand boxes to hold our delicious popcorn. To make the boxes a little prettier, we tied raffia around them and added some football-themed stickers. We found game-day toothpicks to give our appetizers a look of team spirit, as well.
Maple Bacon Jalapeño Poppers
Most people make jalapeño poppers with some sort of cream cheese variation. We have a delicious new take on this recipe. Instead of cream cheese, we filled the jalapeños with a combination of maple syrup and Swiss cheese and wrapped it all in bacon. It may sound strange to add maple syrup to jalapeño poppers, but trust us, it is delicious! The addition of the maple syrup helps to balance out the heat of the peppers and works so well with the bacon. If you’ve ever tried candied bacon, you know how well maple syrup and bacon work together!
- Jalapeno peppers
- Maple syrup
- Swiss cheese
- Aluminum foil
- Heat oven to 425 degrees.
- Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
- Cut the jalapeno peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds.
- Pour a little bit of maple syrup in each jalapeno.
- Place a piece of Swiss cheese in each jalapeno.
- Wrap the jalapeno in bacon; Try not to overlap the bacon too much or it may not cook all the way through; Secure the bacon with a toothpick.
- Cover the jalapenos with aluminum foil and let cook for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, remove the foil and continue to cook for 15-20 minutes or until the bacon is cooked.
- Tip: Try to avoid too much excess maple syrup on the foil at the bottom of the pan to avoid charring.
Spicy Caramel Popcorn
The idea for this snack is from A Cozy Kitchen’s Spicy Caramel Bacon Popcorn recipe. We decided not to overdo the bacon since we already used that in the jalapeño poppers, so we eliminated that ingredient. Even without the bacon, this popcorn has a deliciously addictive flavor. But if you’re a bacon enthusiast, by all means, go ahead and include it! (You’ll notice we made a big batch in one of our Baking Bowls. We suggest you do the same!)
Greek Salad Skewers
Instead of making a full salad, we decided to make something that would be easy for guests to snack on while watching the game. We put together these fun Greek Salad Skewers with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, Greek olives, and Greek dressing. These salad skewers are so easy to make and you can even do different variations like pasta salad skewers or wedge salad skewers.
Sparkling Minted Limeade
For the drinks, we went light and refreshing to balance out some of that heat from the jalapeños and the spicy popcorn. Sparkling Minted Limeade can easily be transformed into a mojito with a little white rum, if you prefer. We love this drink because it is not overly sweet and has such a fresh flavor.
- Fresh Mint
- Sparkling Water
- White Run (optional)
- Prepare a glass with sugared rim.
- Juice one large lime (if the limes are dry, you may need two).
- Crush some mint to release the mint flavor; let site in the lime juice and 1/4 cup sparkling water for 15-30 minutes.
- Strain the mint.
- Add 1 Tablespoon of sugar.
- Fill glass with ice.
- Pour in lime/mint juice, sparkling water and sugar mixture.
- Add a shot of white rum for a Mojito (optional).
- Fill up the rest of the glass with sparkling water.
- Add more sugar to taste if needed.
- Add a fresh sprig of mint for decoration (optional).