If your Super Bowl party prep is limited to a phone call to Domino's or a swing by Wingstop, we suggest you call a timeout and examine your snacking lineup.
We asked readers to send us their favorite game-day recipes and got more than 50 enthusiastic responses.
Here are six of their noshes that are sure to score high at your Super Bowl gathering Sunday. Take it from these creative party coaches: When you serve game-time grub that pleases a crowd, everyone wins.
Dawnyel Vess, 23, Fort Worth
These cleverly named Super Bowl party favorites were passed down to Dawnyel Vess through the men in her family -- from her grandfather, to her father and now to her. She says they're perfect for her family's football-watching parties because they're easy to make, one recipe makes a lot, and they're a tasty little bite bursting with flavor from the bacon and jalapeño.
"We call them bombers because, out of all the food and snacks at any party, these are the bomb," she says. "Forget about halftime -- these are usually gone by kickoff."
Up the ante by decorating them with flags from both teams, and you'll easily be able to tell which team your crowd's going for.
Makes 32 pieces
16 jalapeños (2 inches long)
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1 package thick-cut bacon (24 ounces or 1 1/2 pounds) (See note.)
1. Wearing rubber or latex gloves, cut the tops of all peppers off, half and deseed.
2. Using a knife, fill all the pepper “boats” with cream cheese.
3. Cut strips of bacon in half. Gently stretch and wrap half-strips around cream cheese-filled pepper boats. Once wrapped, insert toothpicks to secure the bombers together.
4. Line 2 pans with foil (for easy cleanup), place bombers on foil and cook in 375-degree oven for 30-45 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Cool, serve and watch them fly off the platter.
Note: Traditionally we use hickory-smoked bacon, but you can use peppered, maple, apple or any other type of bacon for a different flavor.
Nutritional information per piece: 149 calories, 13 grams fat, 1 gram carbohydrates, 7 grams protein, 26 milligrams cholesterol, 360 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber, 79 percent of calories from fat.
— Dawnyel Vess
Sue Newby, 56, Fort Worth
Reader Sue Newby has been enjoying this easy but decadent jalapeño "fudge" for more than 30 years. The recipe was handed down by her late Granny (not a blood relative, but a special friend), who served it at her football-watching parties.
"We spent many happy, fun years with Granny and her husband watching Cowboys football games and Super Bowl games," Newby says. "Both Granny and her husband passed away several years ago, but I will always think of her when I make this dish."
Newby suggests serving it at parties with grilled, sliced Eckrich sausage, or with chips and salsa. But her husband really loves it when she serves it for breakfast alongside bacon and blueberry muffins.
Makes 15-18 piece
8 large eggs
4 cups (2 packages) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 fresh jalapeño peppers, finely chopped (more or fewer to taste — I include the seeds)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat eggs. Add cheese and jalapeños, and mix well.
2. Pour into greased 13-by-9-inch 8-by-8-inch glass baking dish. Bake 20 minutes or until edges start to brown and middle is set.
3. Cool for 10-15 minutes. Cut into 2-inch squares. Serve immediately. Note that this recipe is easy to double and the squares can be cut smaller.
Nutritional information per piece, based on 15: 163 calories, 13 grams fat, 1 gram carbohydrates, 11 grams protein, 147 milligrams cholesterol, 221 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber, 71 percent of calories from fat.Stephanie resent to Betsy Monday morning with change in yield, pan size.
— Sue Newby
Halftime muffuletta subs
Wayne Brink, 64, Bedford
Reader Wayne Brink came up with this recipe, he says, to have everything ready for halftime so he could watch the big game -- and the commercials. Brink has reason to stay glued to the game this year: He's a die-hard New York Giants fan. Last time they played the Patriots, as underdogs in the 2008 Super Bowl, he says, he was in Las Vegas. Odds were 4-to-1 against the Giants and he walked away with $1,200. He'll be enjoying the game with friends closer to home this year and will be toting these easy-to-make sub sandwiches with him to the party.
As for the recipe, he says, he fell in love with muffuletta sandwiches on a trip to New Orleans. "People love these because they are delicious and go great with a cold beverage," he says. "I love them because they are so easy and can be made ahead of time."
Halftime muffuletta subs
For the spread:
1 cup ripe black olives, drained
1 cup green olives with pimento, drained
6-ounce jar Progresso artichoke hearts in oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon capers, drained (optional)
For the sandwiches:
6 torpedo rolls (or any hoagie rolls)
1 pound ham, sliced
1 pound hard salami, sliced
1 pound American cheese, sliced
1. Make the spread: Combine first three ingredients in food processor and process until finely chopped. Add remaining three ingredients and process until well-blended, about 10 to 20 seconds.
2. Cut rolls in half lengthwise and add spread to top and bottom. Place equal layers of ham, salami and cheese on each sub. Place in a foil pan and seal the top with foil. Heat in 225-degree oven for 30 minutes.
Note: These can be made the day ahead and kept in the refrigerator.
Nutritional information per sub: 965 calories, 64 grams fat, 48 grams carbohydrates, 49 grams protein, 168 milligrams cholesterol, 3,938 milligrams sodium, 5 grams dietary fiber, 60 percent of calories from fat.
Mexican spread for tortillas or chips
Mary Ann Williamson, 72, Burleson
Reader Mary Ann Williamson says she has had this recipe since about 1970 and has served it at many Super Bowl parties with friends.
"It goes over really big because it's got about everything you need," she says.
Simply bake the casserole, set out the garnishes and let party-goers create their own burritos with flour tortillas or nachos with tortilla chips.
It can be prepped ahead, she notes, by chopping all the ingredients and covering them with plastic wrap. That's a big score for the party host.
Mexican spread for tortillas or chips
3 pounds ground chuck
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons red taco sauce
1 16-ounce can stewed tomatoes (can use Ro-Tel)
3 teaspoons chili powder
2 16-ounce cans tomato sauce
2 16-ounce cans refried beans
1 cup Jack cheese, grated
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated (Note: You may use the packaged Mexican four-cheese blend instead of these two cheeses.)
1. Brown beef, celery, onion and garlic; drain off fat. Add remaining ingredients except beans and cheese. Simmer mixture for 30 minutes.
2. Add beans and mix gently. Place in a large baking dish and cover generously with cheese. Bake for one hour in 325-degree oven. (Note: If it seems too runny, Williamson suggests using flour to thicken the mixture a little before it's baked.)
To serve, place the casserole on a warming dish surrounded by a big bowl of round tortilla chips, flour tortillas in a tortilla warmer and bowls of garnish. (See list of suggested garnishes, below.) Let guests spread the meat mixture on tortilla chips or flour tortillas and top with garnishes.
Chopped green onions
Hot peppers of your choice
Taco and hot sauces of your choice
Nutritional information per serving (spread only): 497 calories, 31 grams fat, 24 grams carbohydrates, 31 grams protein, 103 milligrams cholesterol, 1,006 milligrams sodium, 6 grams dietary fiber, 55 percent of calories from fat.
BLT & avocado dip
Vickie Sparkman, 53, Stephenville
This is a recipe Vickie Sparkman and her friends used to serve at all their Cowboys playoff game-watching parties. But since there haven't been many of those in the past decade or so, she says, they serve it at college-football and Super Bowl parties that feature other people's favorite teams.
She says this bacon-lover's dip is "a perennial favorite of the Mewhinney annual Super Bowl watching party in northern Erath County. [I'm] unsure if this recipe's popularity is due to a room full of 30-year friendships, the magnificent horse-filled view off the back porch, or simply about combining bacon with anything and, in this case, guacamole."
BLT & avocado dip
1 pound bacon
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 3-ounce package real bacon bits (not Bacos)
3 chopped tomatoes, seeded and patted dry on paper towels
3 green onion tops, chopped
1/4 to 1 teaspoon (to taste) Cajun spice
4-5 ripe avocados, peeled and cubed or mashed
1/4 cup minced sweet onion
4 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons salsa
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Shredded lettuce (enough to cover your serving platter)
Grape tomatoes, for garnish
Bagel chips or tortilla chips
1. Fry 1 pound of bacon. Drain and crumble.
2. Stir together mayonnaise, sour cream, bacon bits, chopped tomatoes, green onions, Cajun spice and crumbled bacon. This may be done earlier in the day.
3. In another bowl, gently combine avocados, minced onion, cilantro, lime juice, salsa and salt. You can leave this mixture pretty chunky.
4. Cover serving platter with shredded lettuce. Place bacon mixture in the middle and surround with the avocado mixture. Garnish with grape tomatoes. Serve with chips.
Nutritional information per serving: 406 calories, 38 grams fat, 8 grams carbohydrates, 13 grams protein, 35 milligrams cholesterol, 824 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber, 80 percent of calories from fat.
Stuff and clutter
Mary Ann Wiley, 68, Fort Worth
Reader Mary Ann Riley, a big Cowboys fan, has fond memories of the day this snack mix came together. "I created this party mix for Super Bowl VI, on Jan.16, 1972," she says. "It was the Dallas Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins playing, and the Cowboys won, 24-3."
She says it is still her most popular Super Bowl snack, 40 years later. Riley and her husband recently moved to Fort Worth from Jakarta, Indonesia, where she ran a catering business for many years.
Her traditional Chex Mix-like recipe gets upped a notch with a dressing that includes bacon drippings, steak sauce and celery seeds. She doesn't remember how she came up with this recipe -- she was living in Tulsa at the time -- but she knows that if she puts a big bowl of it out at a football party, all 12 cups of it disappear by halftime.
Stuff and clutter
2 cups Rice Chex
2 cups Wheat Chex
2 cups Cheerios
2 cups Planters cocktail peanuts
2 cups very thin pretzels
2 cups oyster crackers
1/2 cup bacon drippings
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Heinz 57 sauce
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 1/2 cups butter
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt
1. Mix together cereals, peanuts, pretzels and crackers.
2. Mix and heat remaining ingredients. Pour over cereal mixture.
3. Place mixture in large casserole dish. Bake at 150 degrees in preheated oven for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Nutritional analysis per 1-cup serving: 682 calories, 47 grams fat, 26 grams carbohydrates, 12 grams protein, 71 milligrams cholesterol, 1,501 milligrams sodium, 3 grams dietary fiber, 73 percent of calories from fat.