The night before vacation.
The last day of school.
All things that give us all the oh-so-good, anticipation feels. But there’s nothing like the anticipation of the first college football game kickoff. And that season is upon us!
Here in Baton Rouge, we are all about the LSU football experience. While Tiger football feels like the only event happening on earth at that moment, I know that from Philly to Pasedena, folks are celebrating college in stadiums and living rooms across the country. Home or away, no matter who you root for, whether you’re shouting “Geaux Tigers” or “Hotty Toddy” or Wooooo Pig Sooie,” college football is cause for celebration!
When it comes to away games, before you head out to a crowded bar, consider hosting a football watch party. Now, if fretting about a clean house or décor details or food perfection is your thing, I invite you to stop. Immediately. I return, once again, to these wise words from our friend Holly Clegg: “People are excited to be invited to your home.” Truth. Believe it.
Now that we’ve got worries crossed off your list, let’s plan your party! I’ve put together an almost-completely-prepared-the-day-before menu that will have your guests swooning over your hostess-ing skills and asking for the recipes.
To start, toast the start of the season with this Berry Blast Sparkler. Both sparkling water or bubbly work in this fun cocktail (or mocktail) so that everyone on your guest list can imbibe. The dark berry color pairs perfectly with our Blueberry Sugar and a wedge of lemon (for those of us sporting the purple and gold.) But no matter your team colors, steep a big batch of Berry Blast Tea, add bubbles and say “Cheers!”
Set out a bowl of this Smoky Hot Pimiento Cheese and pop open a jar of Cochon Cannery’s Bacon Jam. Crackers, crudité or crostini—they all fit the bill and make the perfect vessel for this delectable pair. Make the Pimiento cheese the day before so that all the flavors marry. Go heavy handed on the Smoked Hot Paprika and Cayenne—you won’t be sorry. The sweetness from the Bacon Jam helps tame the heat.
D’Agostino Pasta + Veggies + Italian Herbs Olive Oil + Lemon Balsamic = Feed-a-Crowd Happiness. Put this Lemon Herb Pasta Salad on your day-before list so that the flavor develops and the goodness grows. Get creative with the veggies. We love the addition of asparagus and peas. Roasted leeks and corn are pretty amazing here as well. Be sure to have extra Italian Herbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Lemon Balsamic Vinegar on hand to add to the salad just before serving.
Hot Wings? Yes, please. Our Hops & Honey Wings feed a crowd and keep them coming back for more. Dry brining is the key here. Toss the wings in our Hops & Honey blend and allow them to chill overnight, uncovered in the cool air of the fridge. The result? Crispy, oven-baked wings with crazy-delicious crunch and flavor.
Looking for a dipping sauce? Look no further than our cool, creamy Tzatziki—another make-the-day-before gem.
Pull out your fourth-quarter sneak play with this Sunday Supper Chocolate Cake. Rich milk chocolate flavor is coaxed along with the addition of both Chocolate and Vanilla Extracts. Make a layer cake with two rounds or pour the batter in a 9X13 pan for a one-layer wonder. Top with a little hand-whipped Chantilly cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Either way, you can guess the result. First, raise both arms over your head. Now yell: TOUCHDOWN!