Donatella Diaries: Gearing Up for the Big Game

I’ll be in Miami this weekend participating in Viceroy and Eos foodie events for the Super Bowl, so I wanted to share my thoughts on how to prepare for the game. While I know many women who love the Super Bowl as much as the man in their life—we all know this is ultimately a “guy-night.” The key to success is to cater to their needs (with some stylish touches, of course).

Pre-Game Must-Do

1. Position your furniture. Arrange the living room so that each person has a comfortable seat with a good view of the TV. Set up the buffet table near the TV so your friends don’t have to miss even a minute of the action.
2. Buy plastic. This is the only time I would dare say this, but for the Super Bowl, disposable dishware is key. You don’t want to be stuck with a ton of dirty dishes at the end of the night. Opt for good quality plastic plates and fun colored solid tablecloths, but use REAL utensils. If you’re trying to be greener, there are some nice biodegradable options you can easily source online.
3. Clean up the fridge. Everyone is going to be in and out of your refrigerator for drinks and ice, so neaten it up before they arrive. You may even want to consider an easy access cooler in the living room—just make sure to put down plastic in case it leaks.
4. Present a “key bowl.” As guests enter, have them drop their keys in the bowl. This way partygoers won’t be tempted to drink and drive.
5. Have enough to drink. My estimates (and male sources) say for heavy drinkers allow about 6 beers per person, and if you have extra, so be it! Go light with your beer selection—no one wants a heavy beer to weigh them down. Opt for Coors or Bud Light, but have wine at close reach just in case someone’s “plus 1” isn’t a beer drinker. I like to have some vodka, Makers Mark and Tequila on hand as well, just in case.

Food

1. Outsource. Believe me, you don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen missing all the action. My biggest tip is to outsource. In Miami, the best wings come from Tobacco Road. Order ahead to avoid the last minute rush, and be sure to present them nicely on your own serving platters. And don’t forget lots of napkins.
2. Serve in stages. Think ahead and have plenty of food to last you through the day. The game starts at 6:30, but guys like to arrive early and stay late, so plan for different segments of food. One idea is to make an “Epic Dip,” which is a one pot masterpiece consisting of several layers of goodness. There is no cooking involved, just assembling. For dessert, I like to offer drunken watermelon, Jell-O shots or an ice cream cake.

Games

It always adds an element of fun when you bring a bit of competition into the mix. Start with the classic football game grid, but take it a step further and vote on the best commercials and the best element of the half time show. One friend of mine gets all his guests (normally 20 people) to pitch in $50 and he buys a 60” TV. At the end of the night, whoever wins the football grid gets the TV. Great for the guests and even better for the winner!

 

- Donatella

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