This week, most folks are talking Super Bowl, so why not join the conversation?

Let's start with the easiest way to host a Super Bowl party: Place an order. Pizza, chicken wings, taco kits, sub sandwiches, pulled pork. Easy peasy.

A close second in the easy hosting category is having guests bring something, You can plan a theme such as Mexican or go with potluck and let everyone bring their favorites.

If you are doing most or all the food prep yourself, there are all kinds of items to help lessen the stress. Frozen meatballs can be sweet and sour, teriyaki or barbecue. Cocktail wieners are popular with young and old. Rotisserie chicken turns into many favorites. Frozen hamburger patties save tons of time. Sliced deli cold cuts, cheese and rolls offer choices for even the pickiest guest. Or grab some French bread and make your own sub sandwiches.

An important component in any party is the slow cooker. Can you have a real Super Bowl party without cheese dip? Don't forget the slow cooker liner for this one. Fill the slow cooker with seasoned beef for tacos or taco salads.

Rotisserie chicken makes great chicken tacos. Heat chunks of the chicken in a skillet with taco seasoning, then transfer to a slow cooker. Offer up taco shells and/or tortillas with shredded lettuce and cheese, chopped tomatoes, salsa and sour cream for a do-it-yourself taco bar. Go that extra step and wrap the shells in foil and warm in a slow cooker.

A big pot of chili is so versatile. Eat it plain, topped with cheese, onions and sour cream or use for a Frito pie.

Hawaiian rolls and a slow cooker of frozen meatballs cooked in pizza or spaghetti sauce and topped with mozzarella means meatball sliders that are easy, yummy and filling. Or fill the slow cooker with a sloppy Joe mixture for help-yourself serving.

It takes a little more time, but individual English muffin pizzas can become messy but fun. Line up pizza sauce, assorted toppings and cheese for self-assembly. If using the oven, you can heat several at one time or let everyone fix their own in a toaster oven.

You can find many favorite ready-made dips as well as seasoning packets that mix with mayo or cream cheese to match up with chips.

Got lots of kids joining the party? Crescent rolls and cut-up hot dogs combine for pigs in a blanket that will be more than welcome.

Best Super Bowl idea from Facebook? Use your Christmas tree cookie cutter and turn the cookies sideways for Kansas City arrowhead decorating.

Let's explore a simple and delicious way to serve frozen meatballs. The ingredient combination sounds way off but couldn't turn out better. This recipe is from

The nachos recipe, from "Rotisserie Chicken to the Rescue," is a tasty variance from beef tacos. Make them your own with your choice of accompaniments.

Whether you are the hostess or the guest, a simple dessert that serves a lot is always a good idea. The candy bars can be made a day or two ahead of time, covered with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to a week. Snickers, Butterfingers and Baby Ruth are some good candy bar choices.

Go Chiefs, and happy eating.



2 pounds frozen meatballs

1 (12-ounce) jar chili sauce

1 1/2 cups grape jelly

Add chili sauce and jelly to slow cooker; stir to combine. Add meatballs and stir to coat. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Yields 12 servings.


Crunchy cheesy chicken nachos

1 (12- to 16-ounce) bag tortilla chips

2 cups rotisserie chicken, skin removed and cut into bite-size chunks

4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

4 green onions, thinly sliced

Sliced jalapenos

Sour cream



Line a 15-by-13-inch baking sheet or two smaller baking sheets with foil, shiny side down. Line baking sheet with single layer of slightly overlapping chips. Scatter chicken over chips, then sprinkle with cheese. Dot with onions and jalapenos if desired. Bake at 400 degrees until cheese is bubbly and melted, about 10 minutes. Use a wide spatula to transfer to serving platter and serve with accompaniments. Yields 8 to 10 servings.


Candy bars

1 yellow cake mix

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted

2 eggs

1 cup chopped candy bar pieces

Blend all but candy pieces on low for 1 minute. Scrape sides of bowl and blend 1 more minute. Fold in candy pieces. Pour into ungreased 9-by-13-inch baking pan smooth out evenly. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool 1 hour. Yields 24 bars.

Cheryle Finley is a food columnist for The Joplin Globe. Address correspondence to Cheryle Finley, c/o The Joplin Globe, P.O. Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802.

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