It’s Super Sunday, and perhaps you’re hosting a party for friends and/or family at your place. Hopefully you’ve already cleaned up your dirty underwear and socks, washed the dishes, and removed the inch of dust that was keeping everything but your home-theater and gaming system in place. Might want to give to loo a once-over as well, especially if a co-ed crowd is expected.
Well you may have waited until the last-minute to get a menu together. If so, allow me to throw some ideas your way. If you’re on a budget, you should be able to get away with any of the following for less than $20, and some under $10.
Should you be attending a shindig at a friend’s place, any of these would be greatly appreciated (as something better than just another case of beer…)
You can get pretty good store-brand pizza at your local grocer. If there’s one nearby Sam’s Club makes a tasty (and big) pie for a reasonable cost (under $10 last I checked). When the gang comes over, and it depends on your crowd, they probably won’t worry much about the quality of pizza, but the quantity.
Go with the meat-lovers types of store-brand, and cut them cross-ways, instead of into slices. Thin crust should mean less to clean up. If the ladies are invited then you should have a cheese or veggie pie available.
Pro: Who doesn’t like pizza? Simple, fairly cheap, and easy. Consider what delivery times will be on Sunday - and how much time will go into making the number of pizzas they will have to.
Con: Takes time to cook, depending on how many you’re entertaining. Oven required.
Triscuit Pizza Hookups
This tasty snack gives you the taste of pizza at a fraction of the cost, and it’s something a little more original. You’ll need a box of Triscuit crackers, a small jar of tomato sauce, package of sliced pepperoni, and some shredded parmesian cheese.
Prep: Put a bunch of crackers on a microwave-safe plate, cover with some tomato sauce, add a slice or two of pepperoni, and top with some cheese. Nuke it for 20-30 seconds (or until the cheese melts, depending on the power of your microwave) and serve.
Pro: Cheap and easy, especially to replenish the supply.
Con: This one’s pretty fool-proof. Try it, you’ll like it.
Pretzels and Peanut Butter
Ever had the Combo’s snacks? They are good, and better than just plain pretzels. All you need is to set up a bowl with the pretzels and a dish of peanut butter. Boom! It doesn’t get much easier than that. Plus the peanut butter won’t stain anything if it gets dumped when your friends jump off the couch after a big play.
Pro: Simple. Pretzels and peanut butter… Not exactly rocket science.
Con: Make sure it’s not a brand that’s been under recall recently, oh and that your guests aren't allergic. Otherwise a epi-pen may be good to keep handy.
Chips and Dip
Go different here. Anyone and everyone will serve rippled potato chips with French-onion dip. Duh. Kick it up a notch with nacho chips and a dish of chili from your grocer’s deli. Lately we’ve had some strore-brand chili from Kroger, which is available with the soups in the deli.
Heat it up in the microwave and put it out… You’re good to go. If you have a small crock-pot, that would keep it warm, and warmer is better.
Pro: Nice upgrade to dip and chips, and will cost about the same.
Con: Might want to keep a clear path to the toilet – just in case.
Speaking of chips and dip; if you go that route, and have a crock-pot (or borrow a girlfriend’s or your mother’s) this is about the best queso I’ve ever had. You’ll need a block of Velveta or your favorite cheese, a can of Ro-Tel chopped tomatoes (which I’ve noticed are on sale this weekend), a package of taco seasoning, and a pound or so of ground beef or turkey (if you want to go a little healthier).
Prep: Brown the meat and add taco seasoning, melt the cheese in the crock-pot, add the tomatoes and meat and boo-yah. Your buds will be much more impressed than if you just bought a jar of pre-made stuff. You may well want to keep this for yourself.
Oh, and don't forget a serving spoon. This stuff is too good to allow some schlub to double-dip.
Pro: Satisfaction that you made something better than just buying it – will impress the ladies.
Con: Takes a little work and equipment you may not have.
Veggie and Dip Platter
This is cheaper than taking the easy way out and buying the pre-made stuff. Really, how many people do you know like cold cauliflower? What a waste! Get a big bag of mini-carrots (peeled), and some stuff the boys (and girls) will eat.
Most of the veggies are available cut and packaged, but if you have a knife and cutting board, I think you can figure out the celery deal. You could get a package of the little cherry tomatoes, and some pre-cut fresh broccoli. Toss on some seedless grapes for an easy fruit element.
Here you have an option on making some dip (package of Lipton French-onion soup and a tub of sour cream) or buying it pre-made. Borrow a fancy platter from your mom or a neighbor and you’ll impress your guests.
If you want to toss in a meat element, slice up some salami or summer sausage. Presentation is the key if there are ladies over - the guys won’t care. You can use leftovers to have a healthy salad or two this week with your mac and cheese.
Pro: Healthy snacks… Looks like you care about your guests. Chicks will dig it, and your mom would be proud.
Con: Unless there’s meat, your frat buddies may think you’ve bought into the PETA porn ad that’s not going to be shown during the game.
Get your drink on, snack on, and enjoy the game! But please make sure you’re not sending someone out on the roads who shouldn’t be there until they sober up – including yourself.
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