Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Superbowl Party Ideas

I'm not exactly an uber football fan...but I AM a fan of parties...so bring on Superbowl XLV! :-) 


Here are some really inexpensive ideas and you probably have most of these things already at your casa! 

#1: For a table runner/table cloth....use black paper & draw plays on them with chalk. You could also go to your local school supply store & get a piece of green paper cut to your table dimensions. (My mom's a teacher & she said it's around $0.75/yard or so...SCORE!) On the green paper, draw a football field in chalk. 

#2: Serving Dishes - Use plain white dishes, but use ribbon in the different team colors to spice the dishes up. (see pic below) You could also get some little numbers (felt or iron on) that correspond with the popular players & decorate the bowls/plates. (BONUS: By finding out which players are the most popular & what they're numbers are...you will impress the socks off your man! :p) 

#3: Want some fun, cheap-o koozies? Take some of those striped knee-high socks & cut the bottom portion off...voila...koozie & you've saved someone the embarrassment of wearing those in public. (No offense if you have a pair...or two...I just have traumatic childhood memories of my dad wearing those, along with short shorts when I was in elementary school....in the 80s. My dad is the best, but not the best fashion sense)

#4: Have a little more time on your hands & want some budget-friendly coasters? Go to Home Depot or Lowes & buy a little bit of that fake grass...cut some circles out of it...and you have authentic turf coasters!


This is, in my opinion, one of the BEST Superbowl recipes ever! It transforms the football favorite fare of wings (say that three times fast...and no, I'm not really sure that makes sense) & makes it into a dip. Trust me...you will have no leftovers. 

It's got a really complicated name, too...

Wing Dip :-) 

3 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Cream Cheese (8 oz)
Blue Cheese/Ranch Dressing (8oz) I personally like the Ranch
1 to 1/2 tbs. of Franks Buffalo Sauce (depending on your preference)
8oz. Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil/cook chicken & shred. Place chicken aside. Mix softened cream cheese & dressing (ranch or blue cheese) together until well blended. Add Franks Buffalo Sauce to the chicken & coat. Spread chicken into a 9x11 glass baking dish. Cover the chicken layer with the cream cheese & dressing mixture. Spread the cheese over the top. Cook for 30-35 minutes, or until cheese starts to bubble. 

Serve with Tostitos chips or whatever you prefer! :-) 

A desert item you can make that is easy, cheap & everyone loves...

Brownie Footballs

Just make the brownies from the box mix, bake them, then once they're cool, cut them into football shapes (tip: get the more cake-like brownies so you can cut them easier). Use some white icing on the football shapes to represent the seams. 


Superbowl Commercial Rating -

Who does not love the superbowl commercials? All-time favorite one from last year...two words....Betty. White. :-) 

Give your guests some paper & pen & have them rate each commercial throughout the game. At the end, tally the ratings up to determine the favorite commercial. It will be fun to see how it stacks up the next day with the rest of the worlds. 

Players Number Lottery -

Place the numbers of the players that will have an opportunity to score during the game in a hat/bowl. As the guests arrive, have them draw a number or two. If their player scores during the game, give them a little prize. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Trimmings & Tapas Part 2

So...I guess I took quite a long time to get that snack from the earlier post! My bad. :p

Let's talk about the tapas, shall we?

I wanted to go cheap (I had a $50 budget to work with) & delish & small (hence the name tapa) & southern.
Here is the first menu item:

                                                               Chicken Bon Bons 
                           Ok, so take away the cheesy name & they're basically chicken nuggets

Chicken Bon Bons

1 Pkg. Frozen Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts (I got the Publix brand for $6.49 & there were 8 breasts in it)
Eggs (2-4)
Bread Crumbs
Salt/Other Seasonings

These were super easy to make & I kinda eye-balled most everything...the DAY of the party! I know, it is a horrible habit & I've got to stop doing stuff like that. Thankfully, for this party, it worked out great! Thaw the breasts, cut them into bite-size pieces, then dip them in an egg bath, then dip them in bread crumbs mixed with seasoning. For seasoning I mixed a little bit of dried parsley & seasoning salt. It was so simple but turned out tasting delicious! Once you've dipped all the chicken pieces in the two mixtures,  place the chicken bites bon bons in a glass baking dish (sprayed with non-stick spray). I cooked these on 350 for about 25-30 minutes. Since they're smaller, I'd set the timer for 18-20 minutes & check on them. My oven is a little old. ;p

                                              Breaded Green Beans & Macaroni Cups
Breaded Green Beans

1-1.5lbs green beans (ended up costing just under $3)
Olive oil or Canola Oil (I know you're not supposed to fry things in olive oil...but I'm a rebel, what can I say?)

I boiled the green beans until a little tender and I did this the day before. Once you're ready to fry em up, dip the green beans in a milk bath, then in a flour mix. (Mix the flour with salt & any seasoning you want) Then, I just fried em up & put them on a plate.

Macaroni Cups

3 boxes of Shells & Cheese ($1.50 ea)
2 eggs
Parmesan Cheese (optional...or if you have any other cheese you can add to it)

Make the shells & cheese according to the directions on the box. Add two eggs, maybe three to the mixture. This is where it gets fun. I had some parmesan cheese from a recipe I had made a week before that, so I added the parmesan cheese with a tiny bit of italian seasoning. You can be creative with whatever you think would taste ah-ma-zing! In a non-stick muffin pan, scoop out a couple of spoonfuls of the mac n cheese into the muffin cups. Put the mac cups in the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Once they come out of the oven, sprinkle a little dried parsley or fresh parsley on the top to add some flair (ala Office Space).  They look great, simple & inexpensive.

                                                             Martini Mashed Potatoes

A Southern staple, given a little sophistication!

Martini Mashed Potatoes

Potatoes (whichever are on sale...I got a 5 lb bag for $1.99 *score)
Milk (or whatever you prefer to make your pots creamy)
Scallions/Fresh or Dried
Bacon Bits
Green Beans not fried, let over from the fried green beans

Make the mashed potatoes to your liking. Scoop into martini glasses (we used several real martini glasses & a few plastic ones) Garnish with scallions & bacon bits. Add two green beans to the martini glass for the finishing touch.

                                                              Parmesan Mini Biscuits

Parmesan Mini Biscuits

2 Pillsbury Grands Biscuit Cans (Or whatever is cheapest...I got it for $1.59 each)
Parmesan Cheese

Take each biscuit & divide it into two. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese & bake as directed.

                                                                Red-Neck Hummus

I honestly wasn't sure how this was going to turn out. I had no recipe, had never heard of anyone that has ever made it and was...ofcourse....planning on trying this the day of the party. It was actually a hit!

Red-Neck Hummus

1 large can of baked beans (I bought the original recipe for under $2)
BBQ sauce

Drain most of the liquid from the baked beans & put into a food processor. Add a little BBQ sauce. Mix with the food processor until it becomes a hummus consistency. Serve with potato chips & celery. I garnished it with a little BBQ sauce, bacon bits & parsley.

                                                           Banana Pudding Cupcakes

Banana Pudding Cupcakes

These were actually made my sister, so I don't have all the directions for you. I'll have to have her to do a post about these later. Basically, she made a banana cake, topped it with banana pudding, a dollop of whipped cream & a vanilla wafer. They were better than any banana pudding I've ever had! :-)

And now, here's a pic of the whole set-up....

...Oh, I almost forgot....

Drinks! We mixed up a great cocktail for minimum pennies. It was southern & sweet...just like us! :p


1 Gallon Sweet Tea
2 quarts Lemonade (I bought the frozen lemonade & it was the cheapest)
Vodka (I bought a small bottle for about $7 & it lasted the whole night...what can I say? We're light-weights)

I eyeballed a lot of this. I mixed about 2/3 Sweet tea with 1/3 Lemonade & then about 1/2c to 1c vodka. You can garnish with lemon slices if you'd like.

And...for the plates, napkins, plasticware, decor & food...it all added up to be just barely under $50! Goal! :-) It was a stretch, but we tried to stick with simple foods with a twist & use things we already had.

Party On people!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Trimmings and Tapas Party Part 1

So...Christmas was like soo last month...but since I'm a newbie to the blogging world, I'm hoping you'll cut me a little slack. Especially when I tell you about this party I threw during Christmas. First I wanted a party theme that was a little out of the box...then I gave myself a few challenges...

Challenge #1: Coming up with a favor to give the guests that wouldn't cost me a penny!

Challenge #2: Coming up with a fun theme where the guests could bring something or contribute something without it costing them a penny

Challenge #3: The WHOLE party...decor, food & all...costing under $50!

The theme? Trimmings (get it? You trim the Christmas tree with ribbons & bows? :-)) and Tapas (just because I sooo heart alliteration)

To go along with the Trimmings part of the theme, I asked each girl (oh...I forgot to mention...this was a girls invite only party...just because) to wear a bow somewhere on them. I got a silver ribbon & tied it around my waist (see pic below)...other girls wore it in their hair. It was fun to see the different bow fashions (Rachel Zoe, feel free to take note).

                                                        Meg, Myself and friend Ashley

And here comes challenge #1...I asked each girl to bring a piece of jewelry that they owned but never wore. (You probably have a one too...you know, that piece of jewelry that never ends up quite going with anything, but is still really cute and you can't seem to part with it?!) Each girl wrapped up the piece of jewelry and we did a jewelry exchange at the party. It was soo much fun! Everyone loved their "new" jewelry and the best part....not a penny for our pockets! (BTW....connection....Jewelry = Trimmings :-))

Okay...guess I just covered Challenge #2 too!

How in the world was I going to pay for paper goods, decor and food for under $50? (Plus, we wanted to serve a little cocktail)

For the food, we wanted to serve tapas. I feel like tapas were invented for me, excuse me, for women every where. They are the perfect size...and the best part...you can try a lot of different dishes without stuffing yourself! Instead of spanish tapas, I decided to do my own Southern Tapas. (a nod to being a Georgia Peach)

I'll talk about the food & the recipes in the next section. Here are a few pictures from the party...

                                                            Ready for the tasty tapas

      Oh man, this is making me hungry...I'm gonna grab a snack & I'll be back for Part 2 of Trimmings & Tapas