Sunday, February 6, 2011

Third Annual Not-a-Superbowl Party

Okay, it's not that I HATE football. I just don't see the point of it. I know, I know. There are a lot of folks out there who are really into different teams and who have a lot of fun hollering at the television set over various plays and decisions, as if the coaches, refs, and players can actually hear them (my dad, my husband, my oldest son, & my brother just to name a few), BUT I am not one of those people. I'd rather PLAY football than watch it, and given a choice of what to do on ANY given day, I will NEVER choose watching football (well, maybe over watching pro-wrestling...if I can't choose to watch nothing at all).

However, I do support my husband's, brother's, father's, and sons' choice to watch the Superbowl and enjoy the experience. The men in my life don't tend to take advantage of football season as an excuse to totally absent themselves from family life (we don't even have cable TV here, so for hubby this year, the Superbowl was it), so it's not hard to want for them to have a fun day of "guy time." I am perfectly happy watching the kids and trying to keep them out of the way, so the guys can watch the game uninterrupted.

In fact, I am so happy to do that, that the last few years, since moving back near my family, my mom and I have hosted an "Not-a-Superbowl Party." Twice, we had it at her house, which is also where the guys were watching the Superbowl. Her house is large enough to support having two groups of folks doing two divergent activities without there being a conflict of interest, and it was easy for us to relax in one room and monitor the snack area, while they yelled at the television in another.

This year, the Superbowl Party was hosted at my brother's house, which was going to be full of adults having fun, so I decided to do it a bit differently and have my own non-Superbowl celebration over here. Seriously, who wants to monitor four kids under age seven at a grown-up party, and spend the entire evening (which was a late one) keeping them out of the way? My hubby was happy to head on over to my brother's house with the older boys, leaving me behind with the kids, and I didn't mind it one bit because I had PLANS.

I figure, I think it's great the guys (and gals) who like football have this one day of the year to look forward to...but just because I DON'T choose to watch the game, should I be left out of the fun...and the awesome snacks? When we bought the ingredients for the traditional seven-layer dip my guys always ask me to make (recipe below), we made sure there was enough to prepare TWO pans of dip, bought extra bags of chips, and I also asked hubby to splurge for me and buy us a veggie tray (I figured someone at the other party would bring a veggie tray for those guys...or something more up the guys' alley like hot wings). After church, I made the dip, then sent the boys on their way to have a nice evening of pick-up basketball games, Wii, watching the football game, and junk food. The kids and I waited for my mom to show up (she, like me, does not prefer football so she joined me...since my sister-in-law was hostessing the Superbowl party, she wasn't with us this year) and then we got started on our fun.

The kids were definitely excited to have an evening of watching videos, playing games, coloring, and yummy food to look forward to. We were kind of in the mood to take it easy, so we spoiled the kids by letting them watch a few Dora the Explorer episodes while they colored pictures. After a relaxing chat with Mom while we partook of the bountiful feast, we dressed the kids in their PJs and served the remains of the spread on trays for the kids: pineapple, canteloupe, bananas, and strawberries, a veggie tray with broccoli, carrots, celery, snow peas, and ranch dip, my seven-layer chip dip, cheese slices, drinks, and overfrosted cupcakes. YUM!

You should have seen those kids dig into that broccoli! Each one took a tree-sized bunch, dipped it into ranch, and devoured it in less than a minute. I was so proud that they like their veggies! I chose an old Cary Grant/Deborah Kerr movie from Netflix (The Grass is Always Greener), and while the kids ate and then played in their room, mom and I watched the movie and sewed on our projects of a yoyo quilt top (me), and a cross-stitch bookmark (mom). There was no yelling at the TV at our house, or wild and crazy commercials, bad half-time shows, or singers who get the words wrong to the National Anthem, but we had fun in our own quiet way. Then we tucked the kids in, said prayers with them, and I walked mom to her car so she could get home before the less-tame party-goers got on the road.

At previous years' parties we've been a bit less laid-back...the first year we had a long table set up in the living room and spent the day scrapbooking (and eating) like maniacs. The second year, I think we played games and watched a movie, visited a lot and had some really great food (hubby made some very spicy hot wings that year...whew...I am still sweating from eating them!). This year, I am still not feeling great because of the miscarriage, so simply enjoying each others' company, sewing, and watching an old movie, was just what the doctor ordered. Thanks for joining me, Mom. Maybe next year we will record a bunch of Dancing With the Stars episodes (my mom loves that show) and have our own fun time yelling at the TV...Who knows? ;-)

Here's that recipe:

Simple Seven-Layer Dip

I say"to taste" a lot in this recipe, because every family is different. This recipe is easy to tweak so that your family will absolutely love it when you make it. Adjust it however you like.
  • two cans of refried beans
  • container of sour cream
  • can of sliced olives
  • diced green onions (about a half cup, or more, to taste)
  • shredded lettuce (about two cups, or more, to taste)
  • diced tomatoes (about a cup, or more, to taste)
  • A bag of shredded cheddar or mexican-mix cheese (about a cup, or more to taste)
  • taco seasoning (I use about one teaspoon per can, but you can use more or less, as your taste dictates)
  • due to taste preferences, we turned a potentially eight-layer dip that included guacamole into a seven layer one. You can add the guacamole back, or serve it on the side.
  • another optional layer is salsa, which I have found makes the dip too runny, so I serve it on the side.
  • a final optional layer is jalepeno peppers, or some other favorite pepper, which I would serve on the side for the benefit of those folks who like to cry when they eat.
Get out your largest rectangular casserole dish (or even better, one of those disposable aluminum ones from the dollar store). Put the two cans of refried beans in a bowl and add the seasoning, stirring and adding more until the flavor suits your taste. Spread the cold beans evenly on the bottom of the casserole dish. Using a spatula, spread the container of sour cream over the beans, trying not to mix the sour cream in with the beans. Sprinkle the shredded lettuce on top of the sour cream. I use a bag of shredded lettuce when I am strapped for time. Sprinkle the diced tomatoes on top of the lettuce, the diced green onions on top of that, then the cheese, and the drained olive slices go on last (I only put them on half of mine because I do not like them). Serve with chips (we use Santitas as they are inexpensive, but pretty tasty and don't break really easily), and salsa/guacamole/hot peppers on the side. Enjoy! (My son said the big pan of dip I sent lasted about five minutes at their Superbowl party. It made me feel great to hear that, but I wish I'd sent more!)

So what do you do on Superbowl Sunday? Party with the football buffs (because you are one, or because you love one?)? Go shopping? Go to a movie? Hide in your room while your hubby hollers at the TV? Keep busy serving the partiers? Go to a special event at your church? Visit a friend? Have your own Not-a-Superbowl-Party? If you do something special for Not-Necessarily-Superbowl-Sunday, let me know and leave a link if you have a related post.



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