Throwing a boy-girl Super Bowl party can be tough: They require absolute silence during the game. You're busy shushing them during the commercials. They'd be happy with a large pizza and a supersize flat screen. But you feel pressure to serve things like appetizers. On napkins.
And yet, the one thing we can all agree on is that everyone likes a get-together with good food and mind-bending libations.
So we turned to an expert. Lulu Powers, entertaining guru and author of "Lulu Powers Food to Flowers
," has thrown parties for the likes of Jada and Will, Hillary and Bill. More importantly, she believes in the power of ingredients that hold sway over both sexes: Bacon. Beer. Cheese. Tequila. Plus, theme cocktails and cupcakes!
After the jump, her five steps to throwing a co-ed Super Bowl bash -- including every recipe you'll need to make mouths water and heads spin.
Step 1: Serve Theme Cocktails
No, this is not in lieu of beer, it's in addition to. Beer is football's best friend. Theme cocktails are simply the fastest way to get your buzz on. Besides, they're cute. And serving one for each team gets the rivalry going.
Colts Signature Drink: The Blue Curaçao Margarita
1 bottle Corona
1 can (12 oz.) limeade
3 oz. curaçao
In a pitcher, dump the Corona and the limeade. Take the limeade can and fill it to the brim with tequila. Add that to pitcher along with the curaçao. Mix it up and add ice. Voila!
Rim glasses with blue tinted salt or blue sugar and serve over ice or shaken well in a martini glass.
Hint: Juice glasses are also great for serving these. If you're feeling splashy, try these 6-ouncers from Crate and Barrel
. They're great to serve wine in, too, and harder to break than regular wine glasses.
Saints Signature Drink: The New Orleans Hurricane
Note: This is the original recipe from Pat O'Brien's restaurant in the French Quarter.
1 oz. light rum
1 oz. dark rum
1/2 oz. passion fruit juice
1/2 oz. lime juice
Garnish with a lime squeeze, a couple cherries, a pineapple spear and a paper umbrella, of course.
Step 2: Get Crafty. The Brilliant, Under-$20 Decorating Idea
Set the table (and create the mood) by serving food on your own football field.
• Get a big piece of green felt from your local craft store, or a piece of green Astroturf from your hardware store. Make sure it's the right size to cover your table. (Hint: measure before you ask the guy to cut off a swath.)
• Once you get the felt or Astroturf home, use white chalk or painters' tape to draw the field lines.
• You can also use white paint. Your hardware store will have professional paint pens that dry fast.
• Use the "field" as your tablecloth. It's totally festive and easy. And if someone spills beer on it, so what?
Hint: If you want to go all out, you can paint the end zones with blue paint for the Colts and gold paint for the Saints. Mark out the space with the painter's tape and get letter stencils to paint the team names.
Step 3: Let Them Eat Bacon
There's nothing easier than roasted-bacon almonds, and they're a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Did we mention they involve bacon?
2 cups roasted almonds (16-oz. bag)
2 strips bacon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
A pinch of pepper
You can use 1 tsp. honey or agave nectar instead of the sugar.
• Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
• Cook your two strips of bacon in a frying pan until they seem crispy. Take out of pan and drain on paper towel.
• Put your almonds into a bowl and mix with the bacon grease. Give them a good stir and then spread on to a cookie sheet.
• Bake for 5 to 7 minutes.
• Mix sugar, salt and pepper together in a separate bowl.
• Take the almonds out of the oven and place in a brown paper bag (shopping or lunch bag works great).
• Grip the top of the bag closed and shake, shake, shake. The grocery bag will absorb any extra grease.
• Take the coated almonds out of the bag and place in a mixing bowl. Crumble your bacon into bits and add to nuts. Then, add the mixture of sugar, salt and pepper.
• Ta da! Put the nuts in to a serving bowl and watch them disappear.
Hint: To make the day-of preparations easy, you can make the Roasted-Bacon Almonds a few days before and store them in a Tupperware container.
Step 4: Serve a Finger Food Smorgasbord
This trio will ensure that no guest goes hungry -- and you'll be sane enough to sit back and enjoy the game.
Pizza Gets a Makeover
Whether it's frozen or delivered, use clean kitchen scissors to cut the pizza into strips and pile on a cutting board. You can even sprinkle with fresh herbs...looks homemade, baby!
Mini–Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Who doesn't love these? Use truffle oil and fancy cheeses to make them seem gourmet.
1/2 lb. (2 sticks) salted butter, melted
20 slices potato bread (or other bread if you don't have potato bread)
One 12-oz. package 4-cheese blend or grated Asiago, Parmesan, Fontina and Provolone
3 cups fresh baby spinach or arugula leaves
Truffle oil or chili oil (optional)
• Add a few drops of truffle oil or chili oil to the melted butter if you want to be fancy.
• Place a piece of wax paper on each of 2 baking sheets. Spread out 10 pieces of bread on each baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush each piece with butter and turn it over, or if you don't have a pastry brush, just drizzle with butter.
• Sprinkle two tablespoons cheese on each bread slice and cover with spinach or arugula.
• Place the other piece of bread on top and butter the top of the bread completely.
• You can cook the sandwiches in a large frying pan or on a griddle. Spray a frying pan with olive oil spray and bring to medium-high heat. Place four five sandwiches in the pan and let them brown for two to three minutes. Flip them over and cook for two to three minutes, or until brown. (I press a weight on the top of the sandwiches to get them crispy, but you can use a spatula to hold each one down.)
• To serve, cut off the crusts, then cut each sandwich into 6 bite-size pieces. Serve warm.
Hint: You can make these before Super Bowl Sunday and store. After you cut off the crusts, place the piece
s in a freezer bag, separating the layers with wax paper. To reheat frozen sandwiches, place them on a baking sheet and bake them in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes. They will keep for up to one month in the freezer.
Peanut Butter & Bacon Bonanza
Cut out white bread with a football-shaped cookie cutter
or just make the shape with a knife. Toast the bread, spread with peanut butter and adorn with crumbled bacon -- different and totally divine.
Step 5: Chow Down on Theme Cupcakes
Top your favorite flavor cupcake with dyed coconut in the teams' colors. Because what's not to love about coconut and cupcakes?
How to Dye Coconut:
Just use the liquid food coloring you can find at any grocery store.
• Place one bag of shredded coconut in a large bowl.
• Sprinkle a few drops of food coloring (blue for the Colts, yellow for the Saints), being careful not to add too much as you can always add more.
• Wearing rubber gloves, toss the mixture with your hands until all of the coconut is uniform in color. If you don't have gloves, put the coconut in a plastic Ziploc bag, sprinkle with the food coloring, zip and seal the bag, and shake, shake, shake!
• Adorn your frosted cupcakes with the colored coconut and watch guests fight for one in their team's color.
Since founding her catering company, chef to the stars Lulu Powers
has become one of Los Angeles's most sought-after caterers, delighting clients such as Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Arianna Huffington, Madonna, and Bill Clinton with her inspired take on entertaining, investing every detail, from food to decor, with her distinctive sparkle and personality.