Football season in my house means plenty of game day celebrations. We love to host friends and family in the kitchen and around the television with menu favorites that elicit as much excitement as the touchdowns. And when your entire cheering section is hungry for game-day fuel, you need to have the perfect “play” for tackling cooking and cleanup. Read on for my tricks for winning any game day with ease.
Do Your Pre-Season Training
Just like a Thanksgiving dinner or a birthday brunch, hosting family and friends requires some advanced planning.
Start by asking yourself, what can I prepare in advance so game day is all that more relaxing? For example, I will often head to the grocery store for fresh veggies and fruit one or even two days before the game because I know my Bosch Refrigerator will help keep my produce fresh even if I’m not serving some of my favorite fresh side dishes, like my Cucumber Watermelon Salad, until the next day. Here in Phoenix, where fall temperatures are still very warm, I use the SuperChill function to cool the interior in preparation for the foods from the grocery story that may have warmed up in the car.
When it comes to storing your fruits and vegetables, here’s a pro tip to keep in mind: your produce should not be wrapped tightly in plastic bags. The VitaFresh drawers in Bosch refrigerators maintain a certain level of humidity to keep produce in perfect condition. We recommend putting things with skins and peels together in one drawer and leafy, more fragile fruits and veggies that may be considered more perishable together to share the humid environment. This prolongs storage life and keeps your ingredients fresher longer.
The Cooking Playbook
Once you’ve sorted the prep work, it’s time to hit the playbook.
First and foremost, like all pregame celebrations, it’s good to come equipped with snacks. If your friends and family are anything like mine, each person has their own starting lineup of appetizers. For this reason, our pregame snacks are often potluck style with each person bringing their favorite dish, but there are a few things I always have handy, like the makings for a nacho bar, homemade popcorn (I just love these popcorn recipes from Danny Seo) and even guacamole, which can also double as toppings for the MVP of the menu—cheeseburgers.
I have to admit, tasty Grilled Cheeseburgers, while simple, are the football game favorite in my neighborhood, and I always turn to my Bosch Induction Cooktop for the perfect sear. I love how precise the temperature is when I use my induction cooktop – using a large frying pan I can sear the patties on the perfect medium-high heat for crispy burgers that are still juicy on the inside. My final secret for this game day dish? While melting thick slices of sharp cheddar on the top of your burger patties, broil your delectable toasted buns in the Bosch Speed Oven.
Rounding out the meal, I’ll often serve a variety of salads featuring some of my favorite in-season vegetables. Talk about a touchdown menu!
Save Room for a Sweet Finish
If you are feeling stressed preparing all this food for your guests, it might be tempting to run out to the grocery store for some chocolate chip cookies as dessert. I know the feeling! But, I have to say baking is oh-so-simple when you use the Bosch Steam Convection Oven.
Pear and Gingerbread Cake is one of my fall go-to desserts and it just feels a bit more elevated than the finger food desserts you might expect at a football game viewing party! When you toss your batter into the Bosch Steam Convection Oven, it is transformed into a light, fluffy cake without removing the moisture. It preserves just the right amount of density whilst not drying the cake out. And if you decide to bake your cake ahead of time, just use the reheat mode to refresh the cake to that just-baked texture because we think you, your guests, and your team, deserve a sweet finish during every game this season.
Tackling the Clean Up
Say goodbye to dreadful game day clean up with a key player—your dishwasher. Yes, there’s some work to tackle once the team leaves the field, but the Bosch Dishwasher ensures there aren’t any extra-curriculars after the final whistle blows.
I personally like to use plastic dishware when hosting game days as it’s easier to transport and won’t get broken in all the excitement. My Bosch dishwasher will treat more fragile plastics kindly since our drying is achieved by condensation method rather than using excessive heat that could potentially distorts plastics. Plus, each and every serving utensil finds a secure washing spot with the flexible MyWay rack. And for the glassware that was used in preparing the meal, there are multiple cycles, including Speed60, that adapt to the type of dishes as well as the quantity and soil level.
Now, if you want to get a head start on clean-up by running the dishes that were used in preparation while the game is still on, have no fear! The quiet Bosch Dishwasher won’t cause any disruptions during the game, because you may not even know it is on. Another pro tip: enlist the help of your friends! The beautiful thing about a Bosch dishwasher is that no matter how it is loaded, those dishes come out clean. Remember, there’s no I in team!
I’m always looking for new game day treats to integrate into our football traditions, so don’t forget to share yours in the comments below!