Planning a Super Bowl party and wondering how to lay out the spread? Get creative and build a stadium out of food.
It takes a little planning, but a food stadium can be loads of fun to build, and you can scale it to suit the size of your party. Planning a large crowd? Build a massive stadium with all sorts of snacks, simple main dishes and even desserts. If you're limiting the gang, have fun stacking a few items around a favorite dip or spread.
In the photos above, I describe how to build a stadium of snacks for the big game (and former Deputy Food Editor Betty Hallock walks you through an amazing game day cocktail).
While I've seen a number of food stadiums — just do a basic Internet search, there are a lot of great ones out there — I'd never made one until last year. It was a lot of fun, and I learned a few good lessons:
Plan ahead. Figure out the size of your gathering and plan accordingly. Given how long the game will run, you'll want enough food. Add some simple main dishes — hot dogs, sandwiches — to the spread in addition to finger foods and chips.
Give yourself plenty of space. The "field" is typically guacamole, and you'll need to build out from there. The food stadium I made was approximately 5 feet long by 3 1/2 feet wide, and about a foot tall.
Map out your stadium first: Figure out what you're serving and where it will be placed. This will also help you figure out how much space you'll need. Decide whether you'll stick with snacks, or include dessert items or other things. I once saw a stadium made almost entirely out of meat.
Carefully construct your outer wall. Some people build their outer walls using cardboard or Styrofoam (I've seen some elaborate set-ups online). I wanted to keep everything edible. If you're going the edible route, select foods that are dense and won't give under pressure. These foods will not only need to support the stadium wall, but also the food inside.
Give yourself plenty of time. It took a little over 5 hours to construct.
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