The hubby and I had some of his work friends over for the Superbowl and we had a great time entertaining guests! We hosted three couples and they all brought their kids - we had two 2 year olds, a 4 year old and a 6 year old. The kiddos made it a little hectic and we missed some of the commercials - there were even moments of 'wait, what's the score?' - but we had a blast watching the kids warm up to each other and play together.
My favorite part of hosting is always the food! I meant to take pictures of the table all set, but then I didn't. Bad blogger! Any who, here's the menu:
Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings prepped and grilled by the hubby
Lil' Smokies (aka Cocktail Franks in Jelly Mustard Sauce) recipe by Brettany
Hot Artichoke Dip
Port Wine Cheese Ball
Mozzarella and Prosciutto Roll store bought
Fresh Orange Slices, Grapes, Strawberries
Chips & Salsa
In my humble opinion everyone enjoyed the food. The wings were a little labor intensive, so the hubby focused all his time on those. I made everything else and each menu item is delicious without being crazy hard to make. In fact, nothing had more than four ingredients! In fact, they're so simple I think it couldn't hurt for you to have them in your Party Food arsenal!
- 1-2 lbs cocktail franks or cut up hot dogs
- 1 jar jelly, approx 12 oz (I used Strawberry Black Currant)
- 1 jar yellow mustard, approx 12 oz (I improvised with 8 oz yellow and 4 oz dijon)
- brown sugar and/or barbecue sauce, to taste (optional)
- This can be made and served in a crock pot, or made in a saucepan and served in a warming dish.
- Combine mustard, jelly, brown sugar and barbecue sauce and heat on medium until jelly melts and ingredients are well mixed.
- Add cocktail franks, stir until franks are hot.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
The beauty of this recipe is that you're not really 'cooking' just mixing and warming. You can totally improvise the jelly sauce. Feel free to experiment with jelly and mustard flavors. And since the franks come pre-cooked, you just have to make sure they're warm.
Hot Artichoke Dip
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 14 oz canned, quartered artichoke hearts, drained
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 C parmesan cheese (you can totally get away with the powdered kind if you don't have the freshly grated stuff)
- Crackers, bread slices, pita wedges for serving
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and beat with hand mixer on medium until well blended. Note: The artichokes will start out in big chunks, but they will separate as you blend. Don't panic.
- Spoon cheese mixture into greased 2 quart casserole dish. Note: If you are using glazed earthenware, you don't need to grease it.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 30-35 minutes
This is a great make-ahead dish. I prepped this Saturday night, following all steps except the baking. I let the dip sit out for 30 minutes before going into the oven so it wouldn't go from cold to hot too quickly. Again, you're not really cooking any raw food here, so it's impossible to mess it up.
Port Wine Cheese Ball
- 1/8-1/4 C cheap port wine (If you're making this for non-winos, go easy. A little port goes a long way.)
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 2 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 packs sliced or chopped almonds
- Crackers for serving
- In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and wine. Note: Over the years I have figured out the best way to do this. Don't bother with a hand mixer, wooden spoon or whisk - you will just frustrate yourself. All you need is a fork, table knife and rubber spatula. Pour wine into mixing bowl. Cut cream cheese into 8 cubes. One at a time, add a cube to the mixing bowl and drag the fork through the cheese. This spreads it out and allows it to mix with the wine. Once the cheese is nice and 'mushed' add another cube. Periodically scrape the bowl with the spatula to keep all the cheese together.
- After wine and cream cheese is mixed, add the cheddar cheese. Continue mixing and folding with the fork until the cheddar is fully incorporated.
- Spread the almonds evenly on a sheet of wax paper or aluminum foil. Set aside.
- Use the spatula to scrape the cheese mixture to the bottom of the bowl - it should start to form a ball. Pick up the ball and work it with your hands to get it as round as you can.
- Roll the ball in the almonds until coated.
- For best results, chill at least one hour before serving.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
This is also great for making ahead, as it will keep for several days. You could also make it into a cheese log if that's your thing.
- 3 cans frozen lemonade
- 4 liters lemon-lime soda
- Read the instructions on the lemonade can, using soda instead of water.
- Stir and serve.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Yields: 3 batches
It really is that easy. Being Southern, I've been brought up knowing you can't host people without serving punch. This is super simple and doesn't take any time. Also, if you make this just before guests arrive the lemonade and soda are still cold from the freezer and refrigerator, so you don't need to serve it over ice unless that is your preference.