The clock is ticking, but you aren't the one who should be nervous. Leave any Super Bowl game-day jitters to the Broncos and Seahawks. You, party host, have but one job: Enjoy yourself.
Throwing a successful party is all about the preparation. Here are five tips to ensure you get to relax, eat and watch the game, in whatever order appeals most, at kickoff time.
1. Have fun with a theme. This doesn't necessarily mean decorating your home in Seahawks blue and green or Broncos blue and orange. (A wild guess: You have some Jets and Giants fans on the guest list.) Instead, hit a place like Party City and get decorations that serve a higher purpose: easy cleanup. Stock up on football-themed paper plates, napkins and cups and you'll not only look prepared, but your place will be practically tidy as folks are pulling out of the driveway.
2. Plan a menu based around items you can cook in advance. No one wants to spend the entire party chained to the kitchen worrying about the timing of courses and checking slabs of whatever for doneness.
One suggestion, perfect for this year's game, is green chili, a favorite of Coloradans. See a recipe here.
3. Set up buffet style. This is, after all, a football-watching party, inherently a casual affair. People will want to graze, which happens to make things a bit simpler for you, dear host.
4. Serve food in courses. Keep the party humming by having a solid rotation of items. Start with finger foods (check out a sumptuous sweet-spicy wings recipe), then move to more sit-down appetizers on through a main meal at halftime. For dessert, salty pretzel chocolate chip cookies pair perfectly with beer (and milk).
5. Make it BYOB. When guests ask what they can bring, direct them toward refreshments. They're easiest to grab last-minute, plus people naturally gravitate toward choosing what they like to drink. Stick a bucket of ice at the end of the buffet table for even more convenience.
Just make sure to grab yourself a cold whatever and cheer your hosting success.