Host a game day bash for sports fanatics―or those there just for the food.
Food Loves Beer Editor
9 WINNING SUPER BOWL PARTY IDEAS
With Super Bowl Sunday coming up, you might be planning to celebrate with friends and family. Luckily, we've put together a list of festive football-themed decor and serving ideas you can use to pump up the football fever and score big with your party guests.
SET AN ALL-STAR TABLE
Accessorize your table and really set the scene for your party with this quirky paper novelty runner by Beistle. It looks just like a football field with yard lines. (Available at amazon.com)
KICK-OFF YOUR SUPER BOWL CELEBRATION IN STYLE
Sure, you can serve your delicious game-day appetizers on a boring old tray, but with this fun football-shaped bamboo cutting board/platter from Totally Bamboo, why would you want to? (Available at amazon.com)
SHOW OFF YOUR HOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE WITH A DIY PROJECT
Create these fun football field centerpieces designed by Heather Patterson and Vanessa Hunt. All you need is faux wheatgrass (at amazon.com), miniature footballs (at amazon.com), and mini chalkboard signs (at amazon.com). Visit HGTV Garden for step-by-step instructions.
Serve popcorn and your favorite snacks in them or fill them up with vegetables for dipping, either way you'll score a touchdown with these adorable football themed snack boxes by Pinwheel Lane.
GO GREEN! BRING ON THE TURF
If you’re looking to add a touch of whimsy to your party, set out these Astro Turf Coasters from Epic Products to protect your table and counter from drink spills. (Set of 4, available at amazon.com)
FUMBLE-FREE FINGER FOODS
Die-hard fans will love these football cocktail/food picks! Use them to skewer hors d'oeuvres, cocktail snacks, and bar garnishes, or to dress up cupcakes. (36 count, available at PartySwizzle.com) Photo by Randi Dukes.
WATCHING THE SUPER BOWL IS ONLY HALF THE FUN
Don't just watch the game, play a game! Keep guests entertained and enthralled all party long when you make the Super Bowl an interactive event with these Super Bowl bingo cards designed by Studio DIY. Visit Studio DIY for the free printable.
SIP IN STYLE
With the drinks flowing, it's not hard to lose track of your beverage. Make sure everyone knows which drink is theirs with these beverage markers by Hayden Brook Studios! (Set of 4, choose from football or helmet charms)
TACKLE EXTREME ENTERTAINING
The Cuisinart® Multicooker lets you serve up stress-free slow cooked dishes so you can sit back, and enjoy the game! This cool all-in-one cooking appliance also sears, sautés, and steams. (Available at Sur La Table)
Pair these décor and serving tips with mouth watering Super Bowl worthy foods to turn your game day celebration into a wow-worthy event guests will cheer about.
*There are affiliate links in this post.
For some of us, game day is really all about the food!
Food Loves Beer Editors
A BEERY SUPER BOWL RECIPE ROUNDUP
Super Bowl Sunday is just days away, and we want to make sure you're well-prepared for the big day. Whether you’re eagerly awaiting kickoff, excited about the fun commercials, or like us, think it's another great excuse for a party, you’ll want to have plenty of scrumptious, crowd-pleasing food that's easy to make and eat. So we've gathered together some of our favorite recipes to make your game day extra delicious. Here are six spectacular Super Bowl recipes (all featuring beer) for you to serve up. Cheers!
1. BACON WRAPPED BEER AND BRAT BITES
How can you go wrong with beer, brats and bacon? You can't. That's why these bite-sized appetizers are a winning game day snack. Get the recipe »
2. SUPERBOWL BEER NACHOS
Crispy chips, gooey cheese, and your favorite toppings—what's not to love? You'll want to add these ultimate beer-cheese nachos from HonestlyYUM to your game day menu. Get the recipe »
3. BEER BATTERED CAULIFLOWER BUFFALO BITES
Buffalo chicken wings have long been a Super Bowl staple. Here’s a vegetarian take that's growing in popularity and every bit as addictive. Get the recipe »
4. STICKY BEER GLAZED CHICKEN WINGS
Chicken wings and football go together like chicken wings and beer! So we're sure you'll enjoy these beer-glazed chicken wings from Potlicker Kitchen. Get the recipe »
5. COWBOY BEEF BOSTON LAGER CHILI
The perfect dish for chilly winter days and NFL playoffs, nothing says party like a bowl of this hearty, old-style chili from Samuel Adams. Get the recipe »
6. DRUNKEN MONKEY BREAD
Score a touchdown with our twist on a classic biscuit dough favorite! This sweet and gooey pull-apart bread will be an ideal ending to your game day party. Get the recipe »
You don't have to be French to enjoy this beer dinner party concept.
I never claimed to be French.
I find that I'm often defending this point to my American friends, though I can understand their confusion; I've been living in France for five years, and while I've done my best to acclimate, going further than many French natives even in my Francophile interests – a master’s degree in French literature and a knowledge of the French subjunctive that borders on obsessive, off the top of my head – there are elements of my American-ness that remain and are even exacerbated the longer I stay here.
I am, for example, much more willing to try new things for the heck of it, to see if there are ways to do something better than age-old tradition... something that isn't always appreciated, especially when it comes to French cuisine. I'm happy to announce, then, that my decision to pair beer with the French classic raclette, isn't of my own invention at all, but rather a time-honored classic... and for good reason.
When I first moved to France, my French was limited, as was my knowledge of anything more French than Ludwig Bemelmans' Madeline and Gene Kelly in An American in Paris. I welcomed every element of culture offered to me by my French host family with the same over-generalizing acceptance, which led me to believe that all French families brew one extremely strong pot of coffee every morning that they water down and heat in the microwave over the course of the day (which they do not) and that all French families have a raclette machine (which they do).
This machine, which has recently become popular in the States, was a wonder to 14-year-old me. I was told to place a slice of cheese in the small tray I was handed, slide it under the contraption, and wait. I watched the 7-year-old baby of the family, who was slightly more adept than I was at most things, for clues as to what to do with the plate of potatoes and ham. He sliced his potato into coins and cut the ham into small pieces, sprinkling them over the top. He then sliced a small cornichon very thinly and arranged these pieces over the ham. By the time he had finished, his cheese had melted, and he used a plastic spatula to scrape (racler in French, which gives the dish its name), allowing the cheese to fall luxuriously onto the pile of potato-ham-cornichon. I followed suit and swooned: it was love at first bite.
Raclettes after that first were few but memorable. While the first was accompanied by water – we were children, after all – the next few were eaten alongside red wine, which has the added bonus of creating a hole in your stomach to allow for more cheese.
It was during one such dinner that cheese finally defeated this cheese-lover; this raclette, eaten in Cannes as spring turned to summer – not an ideal time for eating mass quantities of melted cheese – was of the traditional Alpine variety: a wheel of raclette cheese, suspended on a melting apparatus, was placed in the middle of our table set for five. Potatoes were unlimited and were taken from a basket that hung from the ceiling; the cheese seemed never-ending. I approached it as a challenge. I should have known that cheese always wins. My friends moved on to a bar for drinks, while I waddled home, wishing that I had a wheelbarrow and a well-meaning French-man to push me home in it.
Cheese may have defeated me that day, but I by no means forgot my love of the perfect combination of melted cheese, potato, ham and pickles. But it wasn't until my almost-mother-in-law gifted me and my French boyfriend with our very own raclette machine this Christmas that I got the chance to make raclette at home. By this point, I had had enough experience with raclette to know what the players at the table were meant to be: tiny cornichons, lots of raclette cheese slices, a variety of ham, salami, prosciutto and viande de grison — which I can best describe as the lovechild of ham and beef – … and salad. For decoration, mostly.
I've long known that white wine served with hot cheese is a no-no. Some claim that the cold wine congeals the cheese in your stomach (unappealing to say the least), and others claim that it's just too much acid. I've always preferred red wine, although the temptation as I set out to find the ingredients for our raclette machine's inaugural run gave me pause. Why not echo the nutty flavors of the cheese and cut the richness with something slightly bitter? Why did I have to serve raclette with wine... why couldn't I serve it with beer?
Before the skies had time to open with choruses of singing angels, Google shot down any delusions of grandeur I had: serving raclette with beer is a time-honored tradition, pairing the Alpine dish with Belgian pale ales and lagers. Both cheese and beer are products traditionally made by farm wives. They would pair their cheese with their beer, each bringing out the strong points of the other. What resulted was a combination of raclette cheese — a cheese with a high fat content and a smooth, buttery flavor – and regional beers, which brought out the flavors of the cheese that had been made on the same farmstead. A match made in heaven... or at least in the Alps.
Sure enough, the farm wives had it right. I find that they generally do. It took more than words, though, to convince my French friends. I invited a few of them over to break in the new machine for the first raclette of the season, knowing well in advance I would not be serving the traditional red wine. They seemed skeptical when I brought out my 75 centiliter (750 ml) bottles of beer, but I had a plan.
Variety was the name of the game, with a variety of raclette cheese slices — traditional, black pepper, mustard — as well as three different beers, which my friends at Bières Cultes, a favorite beer store in Chatelet, were more than happy to help with.
The first beer we tried, an IPA from Gouden Carolus, had spicy notes that went particularly well with the peppercorn raclette cheese. The light carbonation and slight bitterness of Saison Dupont worked wonders on cutting the richness of the dish without overpowering the flavors. And what's more, the carbonation had the opposite effect of wine. I was fuller faster and thus avoided the unspeakable catastrophe of eating too much cheese (though I made a concerted effort).
Perhaps the best combination of tradition and innovation was to pair the raclette with a fruity, red Flanders ale. I selected Caracole, which had nicely sweet notes, bringing out some of the underlying flavors in the rich cheese. This was the clear winner amongst my friends… even the French ones. As for me, well, I never claimed to be French.
Want to host your own raclette party? Check out our raclette party guide below.
RACLETTE PARTY GUIDE
What You Need
The Raclette Grill - Get equipped for your raclette party with this simple-to-use Swissmar® Red Raclette Party Grill. It serves up to eight people and allows you to simultaneously cook food on the top grill, and melt cheese on the trays below. (Available at amazon.com | $110.46)
The Raclette Cheese – In France, raclette cheese is sold in slices, ready to use in a raclette grill. Unfortunately, this has yet to hit the States in a big way, so you’ll need to buy a wheel or a half-wheel of cheese and slice it yourself. You’ll want between four and five ounces of cheese per person. Order a 1-pound wheel raclette cheese.
The Charcuterie – Use a combination of your favorites. Traditionally, a combination of cooked and cured ham, salami and viande de grison is used, but you can also add Canadian bacon, small chunks of slab bacon or even thinly sliced sausage.
The Potatoes – Use smallish, evenly sized potatoes boiled in their jackets. Varieties like yukon golds, charlottes and bintjes are ideal, as they hold their shape well and have tender skin and creamy, yellow flesh when cooked. Consider three to four potatoes per person.
All The Trimmings – Round out your traditional raclette meal with cornichons (mini gherkin pickles) maybe alongside silverskin onions (pickled cocktail onions), and try serving a simple seasonal green salad as a starter or accompanying side. You can also include cherry tomatoes, sliced peppers, onion or mushrooms, and if you prefer, some crusty bread or sliced baguettes.
The Beers – We loved the fruitiness of the red Flanders ale, and the Belgian IPA and Saison were delicious accompaniments as well, but an American IPA or porter would each be a great match too.
What To Do
One Day Ahead
The day of
One hour before
Just before eating
Heat the raclette grill.
Preparing the biggest meal of the year just got easier.
Food Loves Beer Editors
10 COOL TURKEY DAY TOOLS
We want you to have the tastiest Thanksgiving ever! That’s why we've assembled a top ten Turkey Day preparation collection that includes everything from cook’s tools to what you need to serve the feast. It's all here. So relax, enjoy the slideshow, and let Food Loves Beer help you pull off a stress-free holiday dinner.
Cheers, and Happy Thanksgiving!
What have we missed? What are some of your essential Thanksgiving tools? Tell us in comments.
We're thankful for these delicious dishes!
Food Loves Beer Editors
Thanksgiving is the perfect time for celebrating family, friends and autumn’s bounty, including seasonal craft beers, and we’d like to help you make this year’s feast the most memorable ever. That’s why we’re sharing some of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes, from appetizers to desserts. We hope you enjoy making them as much as we do. Cheers!
SOUPS & STARTERS
SALADS & SIDES
SAUCES & CONDIMENTS
Have a dish you'd like us to add? Tell us in comments.
Add a touch of autumnal flair to your Thanksgiving entertaining.
Food Loves Beer Editors
A HARVEST TABLE
Company’s coming! Create an atmosphere of relaxed elegance. Be inspired by the season. Set an autumnal table: Use a mix of flowers, herbs, and decorative gourds as a centerpiece, and add a combination of warm and neutral colors, plus a bit of festive bling to create a beautiful harvest-themed tablescape for Thanksgiving.
1. Sur La Table Autumn Jacquard Table Runner $23.96
2. Sur La Table Antique Copper Chargers, Set of 4 $19.96
3. Sur La Table Pearl Round Dinner Plates $10.36
4. Sur La Table Rocco Brushed Gold Flatware Set, 5 Pieces $29.96
5. Schott Zwiesel Brussels Pilsner Glasses $12.00 - $72.00
6. Meri Meri Thanksgiving Place Cards, Set of 10 $11.96
7. Sur La Table Autumn Jacquard Napkins, Set of 4 $23.96
8. Sur La Table Modern Napkin Ring $3.96 Each
9. Orange Bliss Roses, 1 Dozen $49.95
10. Luna Bazaar Gold Mercury Glass Vases (ruffled swirl design) $18.34
11. Staub Burnt Orange Pumpkin Cocotte $149.96
12. Sur La Table Palm Leaf Appetizer Plates, Set of 8 $5.56
13. Sur La Table Copper Tealights, Set of 24 $7.96
14. Sur La Table Metallic Glass Candle Holders $3.96 Each
15. Sur La Table Cranberry Taper Candles, Set of 6 $13.00
16. Luna Bazaar Gold Mercury Glass Candlestick (swirl design) $37.95
17. Boston International Decorative Harvest Scatter $13.25
How do you set your Thanksgiving table? Tell us in comments!
Dress up your table in boo-tiful style.
Food Loves Beer Editors
12 IDEAS FOR A TRÈS CHIC HALLOWEEN TABLE
Halloween decor doesn't have to be about orange and black. Here's a contemporary palette of black and white with just a touch of bling. From simple and stylish to quirky and whimsical, these looks will give your table setting an eerie, yet sophisticated vibe. Plus, you can always add pops of color with all the sweet treats.
1. Sur La Table Spider Web Table Runner
2. Porcelain Black and White Chevron Plate by Parlane
3. Sur La Table Bistro Round Salad Plates, Set of 4
4. Sur La Table Spider Web Napkins, Set of 4
5. Kim Seybert Spider Beaded Burst Napkin Ring Platinum, Set of 4
6. Dress My Cupcake Stamped Wooden Cutlery Set, 18-Pack
7. Striped Ivory/Black Taper Candles by Ana Candles
8. Areaware Distortion Candlestick, Black
9. Sur La Table Black Glass Cake Stand
10. Sur La Table Chalkboard Pumpkin
11. Dress My Cupcake Black Chevron Vintage Paper Straws, 50-Pack
12. Sur La Table White Pumpkin Tureen with Ladle