On-Sides Kick:Top Ten Take-Alongs for Super Bowl Sunday

I've got to be honest. I hate it when people show up to a party with a bag of chips.  It's like, Really? That's the best you could do? You shouldn't have...

According to treehugger.com, the average Super Bowl Party will host up to 17 people.  And that's a lot of extra mouths to feed.  Assuming you'd like to continue a friendship with the people who are hosting the Chow and Chant Fest, you might want to offer to bring something a bit more substantial to share. (And don't be the guy who shows up with food just for himself.  Nobody likes that guy.)  Most likely the host is taking care of the main stuff (ie. burgers, wings, or hoagies), but would love some on-sides help. If the host gives you a specific thing to bring- great!  Less brain power needed on your part.  Otherwise, you may need to get a little creative, with the Just-Bring-A-Snack-To-Share response.

Top Ten Sides & Snacks to Bring

1.  Sweet Potato Fries
Take your potato offering up a notch by bringing the sweeter (and surprisingly more healthy) spud slivers.  The freezer section has plenty of fun choices - from sea salt and pepper to spicy cayenne - and they require virtually no effort.  Or, try making a (super healthy) baked version.

2.   Veggie Tray
Yes, I realize that this is the Holiday-De-Los-Carnivores.  But, trust me, there are very few times that a veggie tray isn't all but cleaned out by the end of the game.  Just think of it as a palette cleanser between burgers and ribs.

3.  Mac and Cheese
Who doesn't love this simple comfort food?  If you have the time, nothing beats homemade (That crunchy topping is just So Good!).  If you don't, scoop some up at the deli in your local grocery store.

4.  Beer
Beer seems to be the drink of choice for most people on Superbowl Sunday.  Yet, keeping people suds'd up can be an expensive venture.  Do your hosts a solid by grabbing a case to share pre-party.  Want to impress? Choose a local craft beer.  Want to REALLY impress?  Choose beers from the competing teams' cities. 

5.   Spinach & Artichoke, Cheddar & Bean or Crab Dip
It's one thing if you only bring a bag of chips. But it's a whole different beast if you bring some chips and a kick-ass dip.  Dips are probably one of the easiest things to make (usually they involve opening cans, and stirring things together.  Hard to screw that up.), and EVERYONE loves to blow calories on them.  Get funky with your chip options: try bagel chips, blue corn tortilla chips or pita chips - and leave the Lays to someone else.

6. Deviled Eggs
It's a pretty safe bet that the host won't wind up with thirty trays of these.  It's also a nice protein option for the veggie-only crowd.  And if you can boil water, you can make them.

7. Fruit
Again, with all of the meat and carb options, it's nice to have something clean and sweet that you can snack on, sans-guilt.  Pick up some grapes, apples, watermelon, strawberries and pineapple and get to choppin'. Want a challenge that's sure to wow? Try my Watermelon Football Helmet.

8.  Homemade Chex Mix
Mmmmm - remember that stuff? '80's moms everywhere used to make this easy take-along for parties.  Once the snack started being sold pre-made in bags, the DIY kind disappeared.  But nothing beats the homemade version of this grab-n-go goodie.

9.  Mini Meatball Subs
Got a slow cooker? Put it to good use.  Throw in some frozen meatballs and tomato sauce and set on low.  Bring along some mini rolls and shredded cheese and you have a super easy, not-too-expensive snack that requires nothing more than an outlet.

10.  Ice Cream Sandwiches
Cupcakes, cookies and brownies will abound.  But how many people will think to bring this finger-lickin'-good chocolatey treat?  Win or lose, no one laments this kind of sweet ending!

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