Party in Five: Football Game-Day Party

We here at Cooking Channel love a good party. But throwing a memorable event requires more than just gathering some food and drink. We show you how with just five main “ingredients” (including recipes, big-impact decorating ideas and easy DIY elements) you can throw a party that feels like it has a cohesive theme — minimal work required.

There’s nothing like getting a group together for a game-watching party — the entertainment’s a no-brainer, the food is hassle-free and the guests arrive ready to have a good time. This year, I hosted a big-game party for a group of fellow fans, and after a bit of planning, the day came together in a way that was both stylish and sporty. The food centered around a build-your-own-chili bar with details in our home-team colors, and in addition to the game playing on a big screen, I set out some fun activities and more than enough beer.

To throw your own football game-day party, you’ll need five essential ingredients:
• printable bingo cards (download the template here)
• homemade chili and lots of toppings (get recipes below)
• paper flag banners in team colors
• roasted peanuts in newspaper cones
• AstroTurf coasters

Click here to see the party in action and get tips on hosting your own football game-day party.

Spotlight On: The Menu
Game day calls for some hearty grub — and there’s no heartier dish than chili. I decided to create a build-your-own-chili bar and asked a few friends to bring their signature chili recipes for some friendly competition. We offered three options — white bean and chicken chili, Texas chili and a classic game-day chili — and an array of toppings like red onion, shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, chives and hot sauce. A chalkboard menu displays all the chili choices (in a sporty locker-room way), and I served cornbread straight from the oven in a cast-iron skillet. To set up your own buffet, serve chili in enamel or stoneware pots that can go straight from stovetop to table, and place toppings in small glass bowls. Hang paper flag garlands above the table for added festivity and a burst of team colors.

Since watching sports also requires snacks in front of the tube, set out tortilla chips and homemade guacamole on the coffee table, along with roasted peanuts (still in the shell) in newspaper cones. First top the coffee table with a large square of kraft paper for a casual, masculine look that also makes clean-up a snap. Since many fans wouldn’t dare cheer their team on without a beer in hand, fill glass beer growlers with your favorite ale and let guests fill and refill their mugs as needed. (Bonus: You’re free to  watch the game relatively uninterrupted!)

Find out how to set up your chili bar, print game-day bingo cards and get more decorating ideas here.

Camille Styles is the founder and editor of lifestyle blog, where she shares creative entertaining ideas for parties and everyday life. She also owns Camille Styles Events, a design and planning firm that transforms ordinary events into extraordinary experiences.