Getting Ready for the Big Game

With just a little over a week to go before the big game, we were struck with the idea to have a little get together.  Even though our beloved Philadelphia Eagles have been ousted and we don’t have a horse in the race, we couldn’t resist the idea of gathering a few of our friends to eat lots of delicious snacks and to crack open a few tasty beverages.  Especially because there are so many party perfect recipes that have caught our eye over the last few months.  Since we’re only a small group, and our guests will definitely bring treats of their own, we may have to whittle down the menu, but here are the recipes currently in the running!

First up we have Dips… Who doesn’t love a good dip? Hot or cold, it doesn’t matter to us.  Rather than stick with our usual go-to dips, we are excited to try something new.  The two recipes at the top of our list both come from a blog that we LOVE… Well Plated by Erin. This site offers great recipes and beautiful pictures. We’ve includes a few shots from the site along with the links to the recipes below in case any of you feel inspired to give them a try too!

Roasted Red Pepper Parmesan Dip – This one caught our eye due to its simplicity and the fact that it is a healthier option than our usual choices. And even though we do not typically gravitate towards bean dips (not a favorite of the Sweet one), we’re excited to step outside out comfort zone and give this a try!

Next up for the hot option… Loaded Baked Potato Dip. This one also looks delicious and unlike anything we have ever made. We’re certainly going to follow the instructions listed to serve this one hot.

NOTE: For those who are interested in our old standbys… Classic Spinach Dip in a Bread Bowl as a cold option & Warm Artichoke Dip for a hot choice.  The recipe we use for the latter comes from the ‘Best of the Best from New England Cookbook‘, a book we bought years ago. Not sure if we have ever made anything else from this book, but this artichoke dip is a consistent crowd pleaser! On the off chance that anyone out there has this cookbook or knows someone who does, please comment on this post with your favorite recipes from this book.

After the dip, always comes the apps! So far, we are only considering one new recipe, because we couldn’t possibly throw a football party without Pigs in a Blanket, and since we’re only a small group, we don’t want to go too far overboard. The app we are excited to try is Creamy Spanakopita Tarts from With Salt and Wit, another great blog that we follow. This particular recipe inspired us because Spanakopita is an absolute favorite of the Sweet one. Her mom has made an appetizer version for years, but due to the complexity of working with phyllo dough we have never tried it at home.  This recipes uses frozen phyllo tarts and therefore takes away that major pain point.

For the main course, the Sweaty one is insisting that Chili be served, but rather than treat our guests to our favorite, tried and true Rachael Ray recipe for Indian Summer Turkey Chili, we’ve decided to do something crazy (and a little frightening).

A bit of background, several years ago (maybe 2002 or 2003 season), our Eagles were trying to go all the way, and we decided to have a football party (very unusual for us when one of our favorite teams is involved, as the Sweet one is very superstitious when it comes to sports). Back then we were true novices in the kitchen, yet we decided that we wanted to craft our own Chili recipe.  So we researched and researched, we must have read hundreds of recipes for inspiration, and drafted up the recipe you see below.  So why is this so frightening you ask? Because after that day in football history when we made this chili and fed it to our 15-20 guests, we never made it again.

Until now… we’re going to give it another try. Even though the proportions seem a bit off and we’re sure we’ll have to change it up as we go to avoid disaster (we’re already planning on substituting ground turkey), we’re going to use this as the base…  So wish us luck, and if any of you home cooks out there have any recommendations on fixing our proportions, we’d love to hear them!

Happy Party Planning!

-The Sweet and Sweaty

Big Game Chili – Sweet and Sweaty Style

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2 lbs Ground Beef
2 Medium Yellow Onions – Chopped
5 Cloves of Garlic – Minced
4 Bell Peppers
Vegetable or Olive Oil
1 t Cayenne Pepper
28 oz Diced Tomatoes
6 oz Tomato Paste
2 cans of Red Kidney Beans
1 can of Black Beans
1 small can of Chipotle Peppers
2 bottles of Mexican Beer
Juice of 1 Lime
2 C of Frozen Corn
4 Celery Stalks – Chopped
3 T White Wine Vinegar
1 Bay Leaf
2 T Chili Powder
2 T Cumin
1 T Paprika
1 T Basil
Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
2 T Brown Sugar
1 Can Chicken Broth
3/4 C of Red Wine


  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside (except basil and bay leaf).
  2. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat.
  3. Add onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes until slightly tender.
  4. Add beef and 1/3 of the dry mixture and saute for a few minutes until no longer pink.
  5. Add beer and Worcestershire sauce and cook for a few additional minutes.
  6. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  7. Bring to a slight bubble before reducing heat and simmering for the several hours.