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When it comes to Super Bowl parties, everyone has their go-tos — the staples and starters that no get-together in any given group of friends could possibly be without. Over the years, I've picked up quite a collection of cross-country party pleasers and learned that most people are happiest with unfussy comfort foods that go well with sweats and beer.
There's absolutely no reason to break the bank or go gourmet this year (or any year, for that matter), so think about adopting one of these game day recipes — all made for under $10 — borrowed from friends, family, and favorite food bloggers.
Oak Bluffs Buffalo Chicken Dip
Whenever we get together with friends on Martha's Vineyard, this spicy "semi-homemade" dip is an absolute must. A twist on the traditional buffalo wing, it has substance enough to sate even the hungriest, burliest dudes in your crew, yet costs a lot less than making buffalo chicken wings or tenders for a whole bash.
Pick all the meat from the rotisserie chicken, leaving skin aside. Mix together in medium casserole dish or baking dish with other ingredients. Stir well. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 20 minutes. Serve with sliced baguette, vegetables, crackers, pita, or tortilla chips. For variations and substitutions or microwave cooking directions, check out FranksRedHot.com.
Islesboro Clam Dip
A year-round favorite made infamous amongst the Connecticut College class of 2001 (introduced to me via my husband and resident Ginger Ninja), this hefty dip has been passed down through the generations from natives of Islesboro, Maine. It costs a fraction of the price of fresh seafood like shrimp cocktail, but still has all the flavor from the canned, minced clams. Secretly, it tastes just as good on a breakfast bagel the morning after a party as it does scooped up fresh on a salty potato chip.
Mix all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Serve with Cape Cod potato chips.
Bragging Rights Guacamole
Our dear friend and consummate world traveler imparted the best budget-chic wisdom about guacamole to us after spending some time living in Central California: if you're making guacamole from scratch, be sure to discreetly display the pit in the bowl so that everyone knows it's homemade. A bag of avocados will only set you back about $5 at Trader Joe's — another dollar or so for the lime, onion, and seasonings.
Cut avocados in half and scoop into medium mixing bowl, removing pits and setting one aside for garnish. Mash with a spoon, leaving avocado slightly chunky. Fold in chopped onion, then squeeze lime juice over entire mix. Add Tabasco sauce and seasoning, stir well. Place avocado pit garnish off to one side of bowl. Serve immediately.
FishMods' Fargo Party Pickles
Our friends at the new "maker" blog FishMods.com shared this unconventional favorite with us, which they say is "always a crowd pleaser." We say it's an amazing way to use up leftovers from business week lunches gone unmade — a win-win no matter which team takes home the Lombardi trophy and the bling.
Lay a slice of corned beef on a plate or cutting board. Spread a thin layer of the softened cream cheese in the middle. Place one of the pickles in the center, and roll up. Cut into 1/2" slices. "Repeat, then eat!"
Amy's "Sweet Onion Pizza"
My friend and ultimate Poor Girl Gourmet Amy McCoy loves this recipe, which she says is super-easy to make, really inexpensive, and appeals to both men and women. "Though you may want to make two — I brought one to a party on 4th of July, and it was gone in minutes! One burly sports fan I know blurted out, 'It's like sweet onion pizza — delish!" Substitute goat cheese for ricotta forte, whichever is cheaper or on hand.
For photos, detailed cooking instructions and substitutions, visit Amy's blog, Poor Girl Gourmet (now Tiny Farmhouse).
Jen's Kitchen Sink Cookies
My dear grad school friend Jennifer laments a familiar baker's dilemma: "One kitchen cabinet shelf is dedicated to baking ingredients, and, about twice a year, I notice this shelf is brimming with bags half-full of baking goodies just waiting patiently for their final shake." So she came up with this everything cookie recipe, using a basic cookie dough and then adding whatever you've got in your leftover "chaos of candy land," like:
For photos, combination ideas and cooking tips, visit Jen's blog, Palate to Pen.
What are the Super Bowl staples in your circle? How do you save on parties for the big game, or any game day? We want to hear from you!
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