Let me guess.  You’ve been invited to a Super Bowl party on Sunday…maybe even more than one.  If you’re a Giants or Patriots fan, then you’re probably going for the game watching and will be glued to the flat screen (or staying home out of superstition).  If you’re a big-time NFL fan, but your team is not in the Big Bowl, then you’re probably interested in the game with a secondary interest in the party extracurriculars.  The rest of us fall in the final category.  We’re there to watch the commercials and socialize.  Eat, drink and be merry!  If your party hosts have asked you to bring a favorite appetizer or dessert, then it’s time to get creative.  Forgo the bag of chips and salsa that you planned to pick up on your way to the party, and surprise your hosts and friends with a little imagination and effort.  Need some help?  I’ve got ya covered!  

Here are some step-by-step easy recipe ideas for even the most challenged party-goers or throwers.

St. Andre Dip (aka Cheese Fondue in a bread bowl)
Buy your favorite oval or round loaf of bread.  Harris Teeter bakery has some on sale this week (bonus!) like Italian Round, Rosemary Olive Oil or Pumpernickel Boule.  Cut a football shaped opening out of the top crust of the bread and scoop out the middle in cubes or chunks that can be used for dipping. (Pretend like you’re pulling out pieces for Communion.)  Now you have your football shaped edible bread bowl.  The dip requires
3/4 pounds St. Andre Cheese (the world’s most famous triple crème cheese), 8 ounces cream cheese, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 2 tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano (i.e. Parmesan Cheese) and 1/4 cup white wine.  Mix above ingredients together and heat in the microwave on high for five minutes (possibly less depending on your microwave).  Serve the dip warm inside the hollow bread bowl and serve with the bread cubes, veggies, pretzels and chips.  I told you it was easy!  And oh so good!  Thanks to Maura Zarnik for this delicious dip recipe.

Pull Apart Turkey Tailgate Sandwiches (aka Scooby Snacks)
Go to the bread aisle of your favorite grocery store and buy whatever brand pull apart rolls you can find like Pepperidge Farms, King Hawaiian, etc.  They usually come in packs of 12 or 24.  Cut the rolls in half horizontally keeping them attached.  Butter one side and sprinkle with poppy seeds.  Spread your favorite mayo and mustard on the other side.  Layer the bottom half of the rolls with thinly sliced turkey (or ham) and thin slices (or shredded) cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese.  Add the top layer of rolls and wrap them in foil.  Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese melts. (approximately 10-15 minutes)

Filling and easy to pull apart and eat.  Thanks to fellow Local Buzz columnist Jan Bolick for sharing this recipe with me years ago that she remembers from a dear friend’s Mom.

Easy Cheese Bake
Two cups chopped sweet onions, two cups shredded cheese (your choice) and two cups light mayo.  Mix ingredients together.  Place in casserole dish and bake until bubbly and brown in a 350 degree oven.  You will definitely score points with this party pleaser from Jean Durham’s always tasty repertoire.

Carvel or Snickers Brand Game Ball Ice Cream Cake
I love themed food!  Here’s your hall pass to visit the frozen food aisle of your favorite grocery store.  Yes, it’s a cake shaped like a football.  You will be the hit of halftime!
I’m making cheese fondue in a bread bowl and possibly picking up the game ball ice cream cake to celebrate a friend’s birthday.  I’ve also dusted off my NFL vinyl table cloth that looks like a football field and my football stadium platter and football shaped serving bowls to share at a friend’s party.  The tailgate queen travels with her themed accoutrements!  

Enjoy the game, the commercials, the camaraderie and the spread!  And may the best team win!

Those are my Super Bowl party secrets.  Email me for more party pleasing recipes and share yours below.