FOOD ARTICLES: Super Bowl Recipes

Finger foods are a must If you're planning a Super Bowl Party, the most important thing to do is prepare in advance. Get as much done ahead of time so you can enjoy the game with your guests. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Do all your chopping and slicing in advance. Store chopped veggies in plastic bags, ready for your platter. Crockpots are great for keeping foods warm. Borrow extras from your friends. Use for cheese dip, meatballs, or sausage links. A quick and easy sauce for meatballs or sausages is a mixture of store-bought or homemade raspberry chipotle sauce and a small can of tomato sauce. Choose foods that require little, if any, silverware. Be prepared with plenty of toothpicks and napkins for those finger foods. Have plenty of coffee and sodas ready well before you end the party. Don't let your friends drive home drunk.

Finger food ideas

One of the hottest football party foods is chicken wings. Whether you make them Buffalo-style, sweet and sour, honey-glazed, or otherwise, these are sure to be a hit. To save time, choose a baked chicken wings recipe, make in advance, and just reheat for the party.

Steam a bag of scrubbed baby red new potatoes in their skins. Toss in kosher salt while hot, then let cool. Cut in half and scoop out centers (reserve for potato salad), leaving 1/4 inch of potato inside the skin. Fill with herbed cream cheese or sour cream, salsa, taco-seasoned chicken or ground beef, chicken salad, or whatever sounds good to you. Serve at room temperature.

Pick up a bottle of raspberry chipotle sauce or make your own. Pour over a block of cream cheese and serve with club crackers. Salsas over cream cheese with tortilla chips is another popular quick dip.

Don't waste money on one of those giant submarine sandwiches from the deli. Pre-order a large loaf from the bakery or bake your own bread. Several large bread rounds will also work. Buy your favorite deli meats and cheeses. Load them up in the morning, wrap in foil and refrigerate for later. You can warm them in the oven or serve them cold.

Wraps, pita sandwiches, and roll-ups are easy to put together ahead of time. For roll-ups, spread tortillas with cream cheese, mustard, mayonnaise, or your favorite condiment, layer with thin slices of meat or poultry, roll up and slice into bite-size pieces. Pre-make pitas and wraps or consider letting guests make their own, buffet-style.

Hollow out hard rolls, sourdough rolls, or any rolls with a hard crust to use as edible bowls for chili.

Make hot dogs the main event at your Super Bowl party by cooking them in beer and setting up a condiment bar.

Large, hollowed-out sourdough bread rounds make a great container for dips. Use the same idea with red or green heads of cabbage, multi-colored sweet bell peppers, tomatoes, grapefruits, and oranges.

Fill celery ribs, hollowed cherry tomatoes, snow pea pods or cooked, drained, and cooled large pasta shells with tuna salad, chicken salad, ham salad, or cheesey mixtures.

Don't forget the chips, dips, and salsas.

For dessert, go with bar cookies, mini-muffins, and cookies.