We are huge football fans around here, but I think you knew that already. We have traditions for football watching, especially when it comes to playoff football. I’m one of those people who has a holiday box just set aside for football. Game time in our house is something special. Even the wee ones get into the action with their loyalty-showing clothes. And the food? Of course, that’s key.
Fortunately, DiGiorno pizzas from Nestle make that easy. I want to be sure that I’m not spending my time in the kitchen missing out on the action. Things happen to fast in football, and I don’t want to miss out. Instead, one of my favorite football party ideas is to make up our pizzas in advance, stick them in the oven during a commercial, and eat them – buffet style, of course – during a break in the action. The DiGiorno rising crust 4 cheese pizza? Now that’s the perfect blank canvas for our masterpieces!
Granted, DiGiorno offers many other pizza varieties from supreme to pepperoni to three meat and more, I like to start with the “plain” four cheese and make the pizzas exactly how I want. Even better? Right now, the DiGiorno Rising Crust pizzas at Walmart are on rollback for $4.50 apiece. When I told Mister Man that he was going to get to have pizza, he was happy. Just a little bit.
I always forget how many different pizza varieties there are in stores. In the frozen section, there is a whole aisle dedicated just to frozen pizzas. That’s a lot of choice!
Once we purchased our pizzas – and a few extra toppings to make them special – we headed home to make sure we wouldn’t miss a minute of game day! I had explained to Mister Man that he got to be the one to make the pizza however he wanted when we were shopping in Walmart, but it apparently didn’t sink in until we were home and I had the ingredients all laid out in bowls to make it easy to place them on the blank canvas of our DiGiorno pizzas.
Only then did he figure it out and truly get excited. And yes, my boy was just a touch excited to customize his pizza however he wanted.
Needless to say, he quickly got to work. While he passed over the tomatoes and kalamata olives and goat cheese – granted, those were for the adult pizza – he knew exactly how he wanted to make his own. The Canadian bacon and pineapple chunks were placed quickly all over that pizza. He knows he likes a lot of toppings!
Fortunately, the DiGiorno pizzas take toppings well. They aren’t floppy or soggy, so we can add what we like to make them custom pizzas. It’s the perfect compromise between completely making a homemade pizza and going with the convenience of a frozen pizza for football game day. I love how it means we can make half a pizza or a quarter of a pizza with or without a particular ingredient depending on what people like – or don’t like.
We’ve found over the years when hosting that one of our best football party ideas is to have our guests make their own pizzas and then bake them. They have a blast with the creation – especially kids, who don’t get to play in kitchens nearly often enough – and everyone gets to put exactly what they want on their pizzas. Sometimes we end up with some fairly entertaining combinations, but somehow they all get eaten. Today? We went with half Canadian bacon and pineapple for Mister Man, four cheese the way it came, and a second pizza with my favorites of kalamata olives, goat cheese, and tomato. The only thing it was missing was some artichoke hearts! Who knew a frozen pizza could turn into such a delicacy?
The good news about pizzas is that they can hang out for a bit before baking. I know the instructions say to keep them frozen until you bake, but once you add your toppings, you can either pop them back in the freezer or fridge until you’re ready to eat. When we’re watching football, we work up an appetite. All that cheering is hard work, especially if my team isn’t winning.
I do my best to make sure they do win, but it doesn’t always work. I have football lights (they’re pretty cool, no?), and I’ll string them around my television in an effort to get some good mojo working. And of course we wear the “right” clothes to show our support. And you’ve seen my football manicure before, haven’t you? All that goes into place as we sit (or stand or jump) to cheer for our teams on game day. We may not be hungry when the game starts, but we definitely are once the game is on.
When we set up the buffet, we keep the football theme going. I have a football tablecloth that I use to cover the main kitchen table where our snacks and appetizer go – the better to make them accessible as everyone walks in and out of the kitchen – and I use my football shaped bowls for chips and dips and other finger foods that can handle sitting out during the game. Pizza has its own spot on the buffet, however. The highlight of our game day meal gets highlighted with more football lights, and the football plates and napkins (no, this is not going overboard) start the buffet so everyone can get in and out quickly and return to the game. This is the one time of year when we allow food in the family room and not just in the kitchen!
Do you see how ooey and gooey that cheese is on our DiGiorno pizzas? They bake perfectly, even with our toppings added on. The crust is crispy and chewy at the same time, and the cheese melts and crisps up just a little bit, while they toppings heat and melt and ooze into that pizza perfection we created. We may start out with a full buffet of pizza, but I’m consistently shocked by how quickly it disappears!
The only thing missing in this round of our playoff game day? Football cupcakes. But don’t worry, those are still to come. By the time it’s the official big game, those will be ready for public consumption (pun intended), along with all the other goodies we require to cheer on our teams. So what are your best football party ideas? You have just two weeks, after all….