Countdown to Kickoff: Tailgating Party Planning Tips
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Fall, ie college football season, is upon us! Every year, I like to throw a Countdown to Kickoff Soirée for all my friends as a celebration of our team’s imminent regional victory. This year, my party landed on the same day as our official university Countdown to Kickoff Luncheon hosted by Bright House Networks, so I tried even harder to pull out all the stops, ranging from classy collegiate decorations (We’re grown-ups now, okay? No streamers.) to hilarious games/entertainment to delicious chocolate desserts featuring our favorite candy bars. This year’s party, which went off without a hitch, was fabulous and ended up being great tributes to my hometown’s favorite athletic pastime.
The great thing about hosting a football party is that nobody is really expecting any level of sophistication or intricate decor. Me being me, I couldn’t just forego the decorations, so I went with all black, crystal, and gold plates and drinkware. Plus, some sweet little sugar pie sent me a gorgeous bouquet of white lilies, so those had to go on display, as well.
Contrary to the decor, your party guests will be expecting the best of the best hors d’oeuvres, drinks, dinner, and dessert. Since I’m forever a weight watcher, I opted for some fresh cherries, watermelon, and blueberries, in addition to cheese and crackers, chips and dip, and veggies with ranch dip as appetizers. My group of friends is pretty standard when it comes to drink orders, so I made sure I had water, wine, soda, cocktails, and beer–duh— readily available. For dinner, I ordered gourmet pizza and, per multiple males’ requests, some good old-fashioned wings.
Plus, when I was party supply shopping at Sam’s Club, I regrettably perused the candy aisle and couldn’t pass up buying both a 48-Count Box of Snickers and a 105-Count Fun Bag of Mars candy. Football fans love candy, and Snickers bars make for fabulous dessert recipe additives.
Who can say no to cupcakes, especially if they come embellished with sprinkles and football rings? Also, hurray for horrible indoor florescent lighting. I miss the days of winter and spring, when I could confidently plan an outdoor gathering.
If I didn’t have such amazing friends, I wouldn’t put forth the energy to plan, host, and clean-up after a party. However, they’re the best people in the universe, and I’ll gladly capitalize on any opportunity to have them all under one roof for an evening.
I ended up having a bunch of Snickers bars left over post baking (recipe below), so we handed out Snickers bars as prizes for the winners of the “Who Am I?” game, where you tape a note card with a famous person’s name or descriptive adjective on your forehead and ask questions to try and decipher what/who you have written on your forehead. Think Diversity Day episode of The Office from Season 1. It’s a blast, and literally everyone ended up winning. The boys, in particular, had a lot of fun showcasing their winnings. Also on the game docket was Munchkin, Mad Gabs, and a whole lot of Mortal Kombat.
When our Snickers combine…
I, unlike everyone else in my family, am not a talented baker, so I have to aim low when it comes to my baking expectations. I really wanted to use my 48-Count Box of Snickers from Sam’s Club to create something delicious, so I came up with the Chocolate Snickers Cookie. I figured that chocolate chips + cookies + Snickers had to equal something edible. They ended up being more delicious than I anticipated and landed themselves in 100% newb-proof-crowd-pleaser territory.
You’ll need at least 4 Snickers bars, cut up into sixths, and one tube of chocolate chip cookie dough. If you’re feeling fancy, make your own cookie dough! Go getcha some!
Bake as directed for half the recommended time. Pull out of the oven and place the cut-up Snickers pieces on each cookie. Put back in the oven and bake for the remaining time.
When the time is up, smear the Snickers pieces around the center to create a yoke-like core. Let them cool, serve, and enjoy! To summarize, cause I know I probably lost a few of you with these elaborate directions:
Painfully easy, right?! Plus, they’re amazing! I managed to snag one, but these babies were the first of the party snacks to go.
In case you want to give this super easy recipe a try, visit a Sam’s Club nearby and get a 48-Count box for under $25. Also, I highly recommend buying your drinks and party snacks from Sam’s, as well. It’s a huge money saver, y’all.
Who else is getting amped up for football season? You know what us southern ladies are all about– God, sweet tea, and the SEC! Amen to that!