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root beer

If your week has been like mine – crazy to the brim – Sunday’s Super Bowl might have snuck up on you too. And nevermind the Pinterest Pressure: that feeling every occasion needs to be extremely cute and photo perfect. If making a stadium out of snack foods or pennants to string across your living room is far from how you envision spending weekend, here’s a little help if you forgot you were hosting this weekend’s big game.

While at the grocery store grab a container of jalapeño dip from the deli section (about 16oz or 2 cups worth), a block of feta cheese and pita chips. In a medium mixing bowl, break up 1/2 cup to 1 cup of feta into smaller pieces, mix in the dip until combined. Transfer to a smaller bowl and serve with the pita chips. Feta dip tip: I like the block since pre-crumbled feta has microscopic crumbs that get lost in dips; the block allows you to have chip-worthy feta hunks.

Since you’re at the store, grab some nut mixes; one sweet, one savory if possible. I’m a big fan of Sahale Snacks nut blends. And pick up some pre-sliced carrot and celery sticks, and serve them with the above dip too.

To have a homemade element: get some slow cooker chili rolling in the morning. This recipe is a huge hit whenever I make it. Before guests arrive, place various sized mugs next to the slow-cooker so guests can easily serve themselves a little or a lot. While at the store, pick-up a loaf of artisan bread (pre-sliced works great) and have it ready in case some folks wish to dunk it in their chili. Chili confessions: 1) Prep everything the day or night before so you can throw it all together Sunday morning while enjoying your morning coffee; 2) Even though the recipe says to discard the ham hock, I shred the meat on it and toss it back in right before I serve it. It’s delicious.

For dessert, keep it simple: pick-up cookie and brownie bites from the grocer’s bakery and place them on a wood board or plate for people to grab as they wish. Oreos and Nutter-Butters are always a hit too. If you have M&Ms in your pantry, pour them into small bowls and set them out.

Don’t feel like drinking beer but still want to enjoy an adult beverage? Add a shot of vanilla vodka to your 7-Up and toss in a maraschino cherry or two. Or brew some coffee and have a bottle Bailey’s ready for guests to add as they wish.

Just remember to keep your Super Bowl Sunday menu simple so you can enjoy the game with your guests. No reason to miss all the action – and the commercials – because you’re busy in the kitchen!