Add These to Your Big Game Food Prep

football and two helmets, on the fieldEvery year I try to pull together a viewing party for the Big Game the beginning of February. You know what I’m talking about, the Game That Shall Not Be Named but is the final for a season of the National Football League. Yeah, that game. 🙂  Now people who follow me know that 95% of the time, when I mention “football”  I mean the kind with the round ball, big nets, and guys being given yellow or red cards for getting caught doing something dumb and/or violent.

Turns out that Big Games are a similar watching experience whether we’re talking about American football, soccer, basketball, lacrosse or even baseball. A bunch of fans – typically mostly guys – watching, talking, cheering, raging at the bad plays, complaining about the officials and eating. And eating.

The food at a stadium is pretty predictable too, overpriced beer, overpriced burgers and overpriced hot dogs, with some more exotic fare thrown in depending on what region of the country you’re in. At home, however, you can upgrade what you eat and serve your friends, going with the old standards like chips and dip, burgers and beer, but with a modern, foodie, indie flair.

And that’s where the team at Babbleboxx came into the picture for me, sending along a sample box of some great options for your Big Game festivities, whether it’s just you and a buddy or a gang of a dozen or more! The most unlikely food was also one of the tastiest: frozen burgers from AdvancePierre Foods under the Big AZ brand. I mean, looking at the package, you’d think it was something you’d pick up from 7-11 when you were desperately hungry:

big az kickin' jalapeño burger in wrapper

And you’d be right that they are distributed through convenience stores, but also so darn wrong about the taste and quality of the sandwich. In fact, after a mere 90 seconds in the microwave, it was a delicious, fresh burger with zesty jalapeño, just as advertised on the wrapper:

big az kickin' zesty jalapeño burger

I know what you’re thinking, but you’re wrong. It was really good, hot and tasty, with a fresh-tasting bun and zesty jalapeños that added just the right amount of spice. Heck, I decided not to share these with my guests as they’re such easy and tasty meals. In addition to the Kickin’ Jalapeño Burger, I also got to sample the Cheeseburger, the Country Fried Chicken Sandwich and the breakfast-oriented Big AZ Biscuit Stacker.

Doesn’t the Biscuit Stacker (with sausage, bacon egg and cheese) look like a tasty way to start a morning?

Big AZ Biscuit Stacker breakfast sandwich

The company strongly suggests that you thaw out any frozen Big AZ sandwiches in your fridge for 24-hours before putting them in the microwave and heating them up. If that feels like a lot of advance planning, well, hey, just remember the day before The Big Game to toss ’em all in your fridge. You can do it!

Tip: You can grab a $1.00 coupon right off the Big AZ site by clicking on this link.

Burgers are always well paired with beer, and for this I was introduced to Full Sail Brewing and its Session Premium Lager:

full sail brewing - session premium lager

As you can see, it’s a classic lager with its beautiful golden color and modest head of foam. It’s a light, tasty beer that comes in cool, microbrew-style bottles and is available in convenient 12-packs at your local liquor store. I’m not a huge beer drinker, but I found the Session Premium Lager a refreshing beer that paired well with the Kickin’ Jalapeño Burger.

Now imagine I said that part about “pairing well with” in a snooty, upper-crust British accent. You know, that’s what you were thinking anyway, right?

Burgers and beer. All that was needed to complete the full Big Game snackfest were chips and dip, and I had that covered too, with two delicious flavors of tortilla chips from Hain Celestial Garden of Eatin’ and two flavors of red bean dip from Better Bean Company:

garden of eating tortilla chips + better bean red bean dips

Again, it was all quite delicious and it took me quite a few chips to decide on my favorite between the Garden of Eating Creamy Farmhouse Cheddar with Paprika Nacho chips and the Garden of Eating Buttermilk with Garlic and Onion Ranch chips. My choice? Ranch, for the win!

Adding to the flavor were the tasty, though less spicy than I prefer two dips from Better Bean: Skillet Refried Red Beans and Roasted Chipotle Red Beans. As you can see in the photo above, it all added up to a gooooaaallll, um, I mean, “touchdown” of snack foods.

Tip: follow this link for a downloadable buy one get one free coupon, store finder and game day recipes from Better Bean Co too!

And one more thing: Full Sail Brewing definitely was having some fun with the beer bottle caps, as you can see:

rock paper scissors beer caps

Of course, once you’re the proverbial two sheets to the wind, it might not matter what you get, but it’s a fun idea and a lot less boring than a blank metal slug or company logo!

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by on behalf of Single Edition Media.

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