Let me guess, you’ve been invited to a Super Bowl party. Maybe even more than one. If you’re already a fan of the Patriots or Eagles, or if you’re just rooting for one to lose, you’re probably going for the game-watching, and will end up either glued to the flat screen or simply staying home out of superstition. A Super Bowl watch party Is about much more than just the game, though.

More than sports, the Super Bowl provides an events to plan a get-together around, an opportunity to socialize, to eat and drink together, and of course to check out the latest round of memorable multi-million dollar commercials. From coin toss to halftime show to the final score, a Super Bowl can be an engaging experience, even if you don’t particularly like football!

If you’re firmly in the category who’s looking to eat, drink and be merry, here’s a tip: ditch the bag of chips and salsa you were planning to pick up, and surprise your hosts and friends with a little imagination and effort. A quick shopping trip and a few extra minutes of effort can promote you to party MVP!

So, let’s talk game plans.

With the big game in Minneapolis this year, plenty of hearty culinary creations should be emerging from a part of the United States that stays frozen during the winter. Dark breads, savory cheese, warm and rich comfort – you can have all of these with a simple St. Andre Dip!

Buy your favorite oval or round loaf of bread. Harris Teeter bakery usually has some on sale Super Bowl 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. 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. Thanks to Maura Zarnik for this delicious dip recipe.

If you’re looking for something with a little more meat for your game day snack, look no further than these delicious turkey pull-apart sandwiches. I affectionately call them Scooby Snacks, and they’re always a crowd pleaser!

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)

These little sandwiches are filling and easy to pull apart and eat. Thanks to Jan Bolick for sharing this recipe with me years ago that she remembers from a dear friend’s Mom.

Baking a dish is a classic party move, and luckily there’s an easy cheese bake that you can whip up and leave to bake while you finish getting ready to leave.

Just take 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 tasty repertoire.

If you don’t have time to cook at all, though, you can stop by the frozen food aisle of your favorite grocery store, or the bakery that you’ll likely find next to the deli, and find all kinds of cakes, oversized cookies, and ice cream treats in football shapes. Football cookies, helmet cakes, super bowls of ice cream… they’re all guaranteed to make you the hit of halftime!

No matter what you end up bringing to the party, enjoy the game, the commercials, the camaraderie and the spread! Don’t forget to don your team colors in style, and may the best team win!