Need ideas for the Big Game? Look here!

Published 8:00 am Friday, February 10, 2023

By Kara Kimbrough

As host or guest, it’s time to get ready for the biggest football game of the year this Sunday between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII. Even if you don’t follow football or just watch the commercials, who doesn’t like a day when eating all the wings, burgers and fattening appetizers and dips is considered okay?

I don’t favor either team, but may root for Philadelphia and here’s why.“Philadelphia is on the box of a key ingredient in almost every appetizer and dip in my Super Bowl food repertoire. I’m talking about Philadelphia Cream Cheese, without which no decent Super Bowl spread is complete. Still need a little inspiration? Here are a few more of my favorite Super Bowl recipes and decor ideas.

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1. Football Brownies — Make a batch of brownies and use a football cookie cutter (found at the party store – or do what I did and bend a round biscuit cutter into a football shape) to cut brownies into snacks with at least a semblance of the pigskin’s shape. Top with chocolate frosting; then use white frosting to pipe lines and stitches on each “football.”

2. Super Bowl Selfies — Create your own “selfie corner” or photo booth for guests that “live” to share their party pics. Hang a green cloth on the wall to resemble a football field (let a few feet extend to the floor for selfie-lovers to stand on). Buy large wooden “57” numbers at the craft store (or use cut out cardboard), spray with gold glitter paint and attach to the backdrop high enough to show in photos. Find color photos of the faces of your favorite players on the internet, print and glue onto cardboard and attach to wooden craft sticks so guests can pose with their favorites. Snap photos with phones or an old-school Polaroid.

3. Quick & Delicious Snack Mix — Toss together a party-size bag of regular potato chips, 2 cups each Cheez-Its, Goldfish crackers and mini pretzels, 1⁄2 stick melted butter and a tablespoon of Old Bay Seasoning. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, stirring once. Serve in a large bowl with a scoop with small bags for guests to help themselves.

4. “Crack” Sausages — Roll 1⁄2 of a bacon slice around a cocktail sausage. Warning: plan on preparing a lot of these, as they’re always eaten quickly. Place wrapped sausages on a baking sheet and sprinkle with brown sugar; refrigerate at least 4 hours before baking to allow flavors to meld. Bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes prior to serving.

5. Chiefs/Eagles Rice Krispies – Prepare Rice Krispies Treats using a favorite recipe, separate into two bowls and tint each mixture with food coloring to reflect team colors. Press into two pans, then use a football or “jersey” cookie cutter to shape each treat. Add player numbers with white icing.

6. Super Shrimp Spread — Beat 8 ounces cream cheese until smooth. Drain 2 6-ounce cans of shrimp, then mash shrimp with a fork and fold into cream cheese. Add a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and teaspoon of minced onion and mix well. Serve with crackers.

7. Hot and Spicy Wings – Place 2-3 pounds of wings on a greased baking sheet and bake in a 425- degree oven for an hour, turning frequently. In a bowl, mix together a four-ounce bottle of hot pepper sauce, half cup of melted butter and two teaspoons of white vinegar. Place cooked wings in a bowl and toss with sauce. Serve with blue cheese or ranch dipping sauce.

8. Shortcut Texas Caviar Dip — Stir together cans of drained black beans and black-eyed peas, kernel corn and jar of prepared salsa. Refrigerate for several hours. Serve with tortilla chips or Scoops.

9. Creamy Ham Roll-Ups — Mix 2 packages of cream cheese with 5 teaspoons of prepared horseradish, then spread mixture evenly over several slices of deli ham. Roll up, slice each roll into 4 pieces and secure with toothpicks.

10. Layered BLT Dip — Combine a package of softened cream cheese with 1⁄2 cup of mayonnaise and 1⁄4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, then spread mixture into the bottom of a serving dish. Top with torn lettuce, crumbled bacon, diced tomatoes and cheddar cheese. Serve with pita chips or toasted thin slices of Italian bread.

11. Last-Minute App – Whisk together 4 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning and tablespoon of salt. Pour a 28-ounce bag of frozen curly (or regular) French fries on a foil-lined baking sheet; coat fries with seasoning mixture. Place the pan 6 inches from the oven broiler, and broil for 9-11 minutes, flipping once, until fries are brown and crispy. Serve hot from the oven with ketchup or dipping sauce.

12. Super Easy Baked Chili Cheese Dip — Combine a large can of mild chili, 8-ounce package cream cheese, 1⁄2 cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix and teaspoon of minced garlic. Bake at 375 degrees 20 minutes. Remove from oven and top with cup of shredded cheddar cheese, chopped tomatoes, sliced green olives and dollops of sour cream.

Last, my new friends at Ocean Spray sent me a recipe containing a delicious variation of buffalo chicken dip, a staple on many Super Bowl tables. I’d dropped them an email telling them how often I use whole cranberry sauce in desserts.

I’d never thought about adding fruity Craisins, or dried cranberries, to the meat-based dip, but all I can say is…like Philadelphia Cream Cheese…it works!

Sweet and Spicy Buffalo Chicken Dip
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
1/3 cup Buffalo sauce
1/3 cup bleu cheese dressing
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup shredded cheese, plus more for topping
1/2 cup Ocean Spray® Craisins® Original Dried Cranberries or Craisins® 50% Less Sugar Dried
Cranberries, roughly chopped, plus more for topping
1 scallion, sliced (optional for garnish)
Bleu cheese, crumbled (optional for garnish)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix all ingredients and pour into a baking dish. Top with extra cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and top with extra Craisins® Dried Cranberries and scallion, if desired. Serve with chips, celery sticks, carrots, snap peas, cherry tomato, and peppers.

Kara Kimbrough is a food and travel writer from Mississippi. Email her at