Click inside for the weekly food for thought with items on throwing the best Super Bowl party, a recipe for popovers, beer in 2011 and more. Or check out these links:
When the best two professional football teams square off at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas on Feb. 6, partiers in parking lots and homes across America will expect the ultimate football party.
Joe Cahn, widely known as the Commissioner of Tailgating, has spent 14 years on the road, tailgating with football fans across the country. After all, it's the food and the camaraderie that truly make the Super Bowl the biggest football party of the year.
Cahn offers his top 10 football party-planning tips for a fantastic game day.
1. Show team pride. Your local fabric store can be a great resource for finding a budget-friendly way to display your team's colors and set the tone for your party. A few yards of fabric can easily become a tablecloth or a flag marking the right address.
2. Four quarters to feast. Your party is going to be an all-day event, so don't plan anything formal. Instead, offer items that allow people to graze while they're standing, cheering and chatting. And don't forget to recycle during the event.
3. Corral the grub. Keeping food in a separate room from the TV means guests won't inadvertently block someone's view of the action. Placing the food in another room also allows people who may want a break from the game to socialize without distracting hard-core fans.
4. Hydrate the fans. Have plenty of ice and water on hand. Yes, water is an "adult" beverage and should be readily available to your guests.
5. Bring the party to others. Encourage people to capture video and photos that can be uploaded to social network sites to share the fun and memories with others.
6. Prepare a take-home menu. People can it take home to remind them of the great food. Leave some room for people to jot notes. Be creative and make it feel like a game program. Guests will enjoy looking at it long after the game is over.
7. Know the game. Get up to speed on the game's most decisive players so you can chime in on football conversations. Go to Bing.com and search for "player X vs. player Y" to get informed, and impress everyone with your game-day knowledge.
8. Safety first. If there's drinking involved, always make sure there are designated drivers among your guests or help schedule cab rides.
9. Take care of your host. This tip is actually for the guest –– make a party MVP ball: buy a football and markers and ask everyone at the party to sign it. Then, present it to your host at the end of the game with a "Most Valuable Party Thrower" award.
10. Football is a team sport. Again, for the guest –– assist in set-up and serving food, or handle clean-up duties after the game. Also, feel free to contribute a food specialty, but ask the host to make sure you're not doubling up on anything.
Tip of the Week: Dehydrate your fruits and veggies
Drying is the oldest method of food preservation, and dried fruits and vegetables are high in fiber but low in fat. Electric dehydrators are available to dry out food at home and create on-the-go, low-calorie snacks that taste great.
Easy recipe: Popovers
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease six nonstick popover or muffin cups extremely generously.
2. Blend eggs, flour and milk in a processor, or whisk by hand, until smooth.
3. Pour equal amount of batter into muffin tins, filling about three-fourths of the way to the top. Turn the oven down to 375 degrees while letting muffin pans sit for 10 minutes.
4. Transfer pan to oven. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately.
Makes six servings.
-- Linda Bassett/ North Shore Sunday
Did You Know?
About 1 in 25 people suffer from a food allergy, the most common being milk, eggs, nuts, fish, soy and wheat.
What unusual animal was hunted for food to the point of extinction on the island of Cyprus?
B. Pigmy hippopotamus
C. Pigmy elephant
D. Sabre-tooth tiger
Answer is at bottom of column
Wise to the Word: Harissa sauce
[hah-REE-suh] From Tunisia, this fiery-hot sauce is usually made with hot Chile peppers, garlic, cumin, coriander, caraway and olive oil. It's the traditional accompaniment for couscous but is also used to flavor soups, stews and other dishes. Harissa can be found in cans and jars in Middle Eastern markets.
Number to Know
260: One slice of a 12-inch cheese pizza from Pizza Hut is 260 calories.
The Dish On …
“Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet Cookbook: Lose Weight with 433 Foods you Crave!” by Taste of Home magazine
A follow up to the best-selling original, this second volum offers new family-friendly recipes for hearty all-time favorites with fewer calories than expected. In addition, testimonials and photos from actual dieters, a six-week meal plan, notes on exercise and tips on making healthy food choices are included.
Realistic portions combined with exceptional taste put pleasure back in healthy eating without sacrificing quality or satisfaction. After all, the Comfort Food Diet is about what people can eat, not what they have to give up.
-- Reader’s Digest Association
From the Beer Nut’s Blog: More to expect in 2011
I recently wrote two columns about beers coming out in 2011 and, as sometimes happens, some breweries didn’t get me the info about their new beers until after deadline. So, here are some beers to look out for this year.
First up is Founders Brewing Company. This year they will release Endurance Ale, a low-alcohol beer made with enough hops for a hop head. It’s 4.7 percent ABV, and will hit stores in the spring.
Next up is Pretty Things. Brewer Dann Paquette said a new Once Upon a Time historical beer will probably be released in September. In addition, they will be returning Fluffy White Rabbits, Field Mouse’s Farewell and Our Finest Regards, along with American Darling and Babayaga this year.
The Wachusett Brewing Company will introduce its Belgian White in 22-ounce bottles in March. It was previously available only in 12-ounce bottles.
To read more from the Beer Nut, visit http://blogs.townonline.com/beernut/.
Food Quiz Answer
B. Pigmy hippopotamus
GateHouse News Service