Not a football fan? Who cares? You should still host a Super Bowl party! Because a party is a party, right? Between obsessed football fans and those just in it for the nachos, it’s easy to get a group together. Super Bowl parties have become an American institution, and rather than being stuck at someone else's house where you can’t write the rules, host your own party so you can offer plenty of other options besides just watching football. Ambivalent football fan and caterer extraordinaire Mary Giuliani shares her 7 best hosting tips for making it through the big game. Here’s the game plan. (PS: Scroll down for our Super Bowl cheat sheet. Because even if all you REALLY want to look at is Tom Brady's ass, at least you'll be able to sound like you know what you're talking about while you do).
I’m not a huge football gal but I am a huge lover of melted cheese and salted meats, and Super Bowl is the perfect day for that! Here are some of my best tips for your upcoming game day celebration.
- Mary Giuliani
1. USE YOUR COFFEE TABLE
I’m a big fan of covering my coffee table with “Snactivities” (foods that are fun and interactive) during any time of game watching.
2. MAKE A MACO TACO BAR
I’m a huge fan of the Maco (a mac + cheese taco ) for game day. Make a tray of mac + cheese and place out with taco shells with lots of toppings like shredded chicken, guacamole, salsa and hot sauce.
3. OBVIOUSLY SERVE PIGS IN A BLANKET, TOO
No Super Bowl Party is complete without my favorite party food: Pigs in a Blanket (also the name of my upcoming book available for pre-sale NOW). Dress store bought pigs in a blanket with everything bagel seasoning, taco mix and Parmesan to give a new twist to an old favorite.
4. CELEBRATE BEER
Make some interesting cocktails like a Beergarita (beer with a splash of tequila and fresh lime juice ) or Beerbon (your favorite beer with a splash of your favorite bourbon). Make sure to set the bar close to the TV so the bar cart is very close to the action.
5. HAVE ACTIVITIES FOR NON-WATCHERS
I like to make ballots for favorite commercials. Have your guests write down their favorite commercial and then add them up and announce who the crowd favorite was. Have a Halftime show dance party and encourage your guests to take this moment to get off the couch and shake it up with the performers. You should have seen how crazy I went the year Lady Gaga performed!
6. USE YOUR MUGS … FOR DESSERT
We all have great mugs but we’re usually the only people who see them during our morning coffee. Take them out and use them for Game Day! I love to serve desserts in my coffee mugs. A down-home and easy recipe for Super Bowl is chocolate pudding in mugs topped with potato chips and pretzels. Sound gross but trust me ... it’s delicious!
7. TAKE AWAY TREAT
After all that cheese, beer, chips and bourbon, I like to send my guests home with a little healthy “morning after” smoothie — all the ingredients to just throw in the blender the next a.m. and press blend. In a cute takeaway bag place one green apple, handful of kale and spinach, coconut water and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
THE SUPER BOWL CHEAT SHEET
New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Rams
February 3, 2019
Mercedes Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Kickoff is AT 6:30 pm EST
Airing on CBS
The Pats and the Rams (they were the St. Louis Rams then) played each other in Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002. The Rams were heavily favored but the Pats prevailed 20-17 on a 48-yard field goal as time expired. This was the Patriots first Super Bowl win. In some ways this game is a battle of young and old. Tom Brady is 41 and Jared Goff is 24. Pats coach Bill Belichick is 66 while his Rams coaching counterpart Sean McVay, is a youthful 32 – currently the youngest coach in the NFL.
Surprise, Surprise, The Patriots are back in the big game. They have won FIVE Super Bowls (their last win was two years ago) and have appeared in the Super Bowl in four of the last five seasons matching the Steelers four appearances in five years during the late 1970s.
The Rams were the champions the last time the Super Bowl was in Atlanta (Georgia Dome) beating the Tennessee Titans 23-16 in 2000. Despite being favored initially, the Rams are currently the underdogs with the Pats favored to win by 2.5 points.
PLAYERS to WATCH
Duh. But seriously, if the Pats win, it would cement his GOAT status.
Gronk was clutch in the AFC Championship game with third down catches on each of the Patriots last two possessions leading to go ahead touchdowns. Despite a subpar year, he could prove to be a difference maker in the Super Bowl.
Michel led the Patriots with 113 yards rushing and two touchdowns against the Chiefs last weekend. The Pats are almost impossible to beat when they rush for over 100 yards
The California native was selected by the Rams with the first overall pick of the 2016 NFL draft. He’s young, hungry and at the beginning of his career.
The NFL MVP candidate only carried the ball 4 times and made 1 catch in the NFC championship game against the Saints. Is he injured? He will need to return to form in the Super Bowl for the Rams to win.
The Rams All Pro defensive tackle led the NFL with 20.5 sacks in the regular season. He will be the man to watch on Defense when the Patriots have the ball.
FUN THINGS TO WATCH FOR
• Gisele drinking red wine in her box and possibly yelling at someone if Tom loses.
• Devin and Jason McCourty are identical twins who both play for the Patriots
• The half-time show features Maroon 5, Outkast rapper Big Boi and Travis Scott. It was tough for the NFL to book performers this year with Rihanna, Cardi B and Pink! reportedly turning them down in a show of solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. Will the half-time show be up to the old standards? Stay tuned.
IF ALL ELSE FAILS
LOUDLY SHOUT “GO, GO, GO!” if someone has the ball. Stand up occasionally and get close to the TV. Extra points if you jump up and down. These moves suggest you’re paying attention when in fact you’ve been scrolling though Instagram.
Mary Giuliani is an author, party and lifestyle expert, and founder and CEO of Mary Giuliani Catering and Events and Giuliani Social. Her newest book Tiny Hot Dogs: A Memoir In Small Bites, will be published next year (April 9, 2019 Running Press Adult, a division of Hachette Book Group.) Mary has appeared on The Barefoot Contessa, The Chew, The Today Show, Good Morning America and is a regularly featured guest on The Rachael Ray Show. Mary's first book, The Cocktail Party (Eat, Drink, Play, Recover) came out in 2015. A graduate of Georgetown University, Mary resides in New York's Chelsea neighborhood and Woodstock, New York with her husband Ryan, and daughter Gala.