Did you know that the Chicago Bears have an "Unofficial Tailgate Hearse?!" See, that's the kind of room I would need if I threw tailgate parties. That's why I throw my parties at my house.
Superbowl is almost here! My friends are looking forward to the game - I'm looking forward to the commercials. At least we won't be fighting over the remote. You know I've got to have some great Gluten Free eats too, - here are my ideas for hosting a great G-Free football bash of your own!
Do as much as you can ahead of time - you want to have fun too!
Invite guests to arrive at least ½ an hour before Kick Off - everyone can get in, get settled, grab a snack & place a bet for $$ or bragging rights before the game starts
Set up self-serve stations - your guests can snack as much as they want without you providing service
Plan a main dish at Half Time - that way you won't get snacker's stomach!
Serve dessert in the 4th quarter, then guests feel like they can leave after the game if they want, or the party can go as long as you'd like it to!
Football is sort of a beer & soda sport, isn't it? You can set up a self serve station with soda, iced tea, water & regular beer for non-G-Free guests. Locate a trash can & recycling can nearby for easy clean up. Store Gluten Free beer (Redbridge is easy to find, I like Bard's) in a separate spot (outside fridge maybe?) so it won't get mixed in with the rest. Or, mix a special batch of G-Free cocktails for yourself & whoever wants to join you! Your beverage station should have an ice bucket, glasses (or traditional plastic cups & permanent markers, or Etch-it cups for names), napkins, and your beverages.
Remember to put serving pieces, plates or bowls, silverware & napkins out that work for each item! Fir a causal sports-themed party like this, I like to use heavy duty plastic plates, paper napkins in a fun print, and real silverware - it's easy to throw it in your dishwasher, and it's a pain in the butt to eat with plastic.
Snacks - I'd put these out right before guests start to show up. I love a chip & dip bar, and it's easy to do: Set up 2-4 large bowls of different chips: corn, potato, rice - whatever G-Free chips you want. In front of that, place your dips (with spoons for each one!) I like to set each bowl of dip over a bowl of ice (use the same size bowl or one size smaller for easy stacking) so I don't have to worry about items getting warm. For cool dips, I like both a mild & a hot salsa, guacamole, Gluten Free Dill Ranch or French Onion Dip, and hummus. If you'd like to add in a warm dip, plan for it to be ready about 10 minutes after guests start to arrive. I like Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip.
You can also put out veggies cut into to strips or diagonal slices for easy dipping. You can do carrots & celery of course, but I like to add in red bell peppers, cucumbers and thinly sliced radishes too.
Here are a few recipes for other snacks to add to your lineup:
Skewered Tomatoes with Cucumber & Feta
Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage & Cream Cheese
Brown Sugar Bacon - my friends love this as much as I do, make a couple of batches!
Chicken, Fig, and Pancetta Skewers
Spiced Maple Cocktail Riblets
Spicy + Sweet Pumpkin Seeds or Sweet and Spicy Nuts
I have two much-loved formats for parties like this! They are Chili & Soup and Pizza Bash. Read on:
Chili & Soup: This is really the easiest option for hosting Game Day! The morning of the party, I prep two or three slow cookers with delicious Chili & Soup recipes, and set the crocks to be ready by Half Time. If you did a chip & dip bar, this items can now double as toppings for your meal. You may want to have a bowl of shredded cheese or sour cream ready to pop out when you serve the meal. I'd serve Gluten Free Cornbread, Cheddar Chive Biscuits or Sweet Potato Biscuits too. I also like to serve chili over Polenta sometimes for a hearty meal.
Here are some great Chili & Soup Recipes, these are all ones that could be made in a slow cooker:
Chocolate Chip Chili from Nigella Lawson - my favorite chili recipe lately!
Spicy White Bean Chicken Chili
Black Bean Chicken (or Turkey) Chili
Black Bean Soup
Vegan, Gluten Free Split Pea Soup
Pizza Bash: Before the party, prep your favorite Gluten Free pizza dough or stock up on your favorite frozen pizza crust (we did a pizza crust review if you need some help!) Fill a bowl with pizza sauce and have a ladle handy. Buy or grate a blend of mozzarella & provolone cheese (or your favorite blend.) Prep toppings (or buy pre-sliced stuff!) and get out a couple of large cutting boards and a chef's knife. At about ten minute before Half Time, crank up your oven and start assembling pizzas.
I like to use 12 inch crusts so I can bake 3 at a time and mix up the toppings. By the time you cook the second batch, the cutting boards should be empty from the first round.
I don't have to tell you how to do the basics - I'm pretty sure you can figure out how to layer sauce, pepperoni & cheese with out my help. But here are some other cool ideas:
Fig or Apricot Jam + Fresh Mozzarella + Fresh Basil + Prosciutto
Sauce or Pesto + Baby Spinach (works best UNDER the cheese) + Cheese + Sliced Zucchini & Fresh Mushrooms
No Sauce + Roasted Beets + Carmailzied Onions + Goat Cheese + Drizzle of EV Olive Oil & Sea Salt after baking
Sauce + Cheese + Roasted Red Peppers + Artichoke Hearts + Prosciutto
Don't forget to finish your pizzas! A drizzle of good olive oil, cracked pepper, a dash of sea salt or red pepper flakes can make all the difference when they come out of the oven!
This one's a mixed bag - some guests won't have room for dessert, some won't feel complete with out it! I'd make a pan of G-Free Brownies - maybe some with nuts, some without and pick up some ice cream or sorbet & dessert sauce at the store. Or, make some impressive but super-easy sweets that taste good - and won't break your heart if nobody eats them!
Try these desserts:
2 Ingredient Peanut Butter Fudge
Gluten Free Double Chocolate Ooey Gooey Butter Cake
Oatmeal Toffee Cookies
Gluten Free Red Velvet Whoopie Pies - a little work, but fun & delicious!
Happy game day Everybody! Feel free to leave your ideas in the comments!