February 11, 2011

HB Cooks: Super Bowl Menu Recap

Congratulations to the Green Bay Packers for pulling out the Super Bowl XLV win, and thank you to the NFL for inspiring me to tackle such an extensive menu!  My party took around 2 days of prep, including shopping and cleaning.  The fantastic result was two dozen meatball sliders, a dozen deviled eggs, 42 dates wrapped in bacon, a dozen baked pecan chicken wings, 2 batches of homemade guacamole, and a football cake (as well as some fresh fruit and veggies)!

The sliders and the cake ended up being the most time consuming. Thankfully, I had started them the day before!  The Martha Stewart sliders recipe wasn’t very difficult, but it does take some time and should not be left to the last minute if possible, especially if you are making other fresh items. I made the meatballs and sauce the night before, stored in the fridge overnight, and reheated right before the party.  I also learned that, unless you're a pro, there's nothing good about icing a cake on little or no sleep, or under stressful party planning conditions. I don't recommend it! (I guess you won’t be seeing me on Cake Boss anytime soon!)

All in all, the food turned out delicious. The deviled eggs received a lot of praise, and I used this simple recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook (14th ed.).  The chicken wings and dipping sauce were also tasty, but I would cut down on the steak sauce ingredient next time.  The big disappointment of the weekend however was the Wilton football-shaped pan. I used a box mix and followed the pan’s directions, but that resulted in a little too much batter, so the cake bubbled over in the oven and cooked unevenly. I recommend cooking slowly at 325 degrees no matter what homemade or box recipe calls for, and lining the pan edges with tin foil to prevent burning around the edges. Luckily frosting and a little trimming can cure most issues if the cake is salvageable.  My guests had no clue that there were any baking flaws (one guest thought it was professionally done!). I have faith that the pan can work better with a little tweaking. It was a long two days, but worth the work!

Do you have any great super bowl recipes you can share?  Please add them in the comments section. It's never too early to start thinking about the next party!

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