Although it’s a bit weird to say as hockey is normally thought of as a winter sport…it is officially spring, and that means that excitement of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs!
If you are hosting (and want to host again in the future) you need to feed your guests and keep them happy. Want to be the “go to” spot amongst your friends and family? Then check out these great snack ideas!
#1 – Chips
Sometimes you can’t go wrong with standard and boring. Chips have been a staple for game food for probably as long as sports have existed. If you plan on serving chips for your Stanley Cup get together, ensure that you have plenty of options. Some prefer regular chips, while others like nacho chips and everything in between.
The biggest problem with chips is that they are one of the unhealthier options available. So, if you have friends that normally live a healthier lifestyle, you may want to look into some alternatives as well. Although I haven’t tried these yet, I have heard great things about Plantain chips. If you are willing to put in a bit of effort, this recipe sounds quite delicious.
#2 – Wings
How many times have you gone to the pub with the guys for some beer and wings? This is another typical food consumed in large quantities for big games.
Now you could go to your local grocery store, head to the frozen section and pick up a few boxes to cook in the oven. However, that is kind of boring. If you really want to stand out, why not make your own at home?
The best thing about wings is the many different flavors you can do. Mix it up! Have some BBQ flavored wings, some Medium heat, and perhaps some sweet Honey Garlic flavored wings. Although this certainly involves more effort, I think homemade wings would really set you apart from all the other parties in your neighborhood.
#3 – Nachos
This is a personal favorite of mine and like wings feel like you would be better off made at home. What I really like about nachos is the immense amount of different flavor and ingredients you can add to them. My personal favorite recipe is as follows:
- Tostitos chips
- Chili powder
- Green Onion
Add some sour cream to the side and you’ll have people demanding you host more often!
#4 – Pizza
Another classic food for really any part of life is Pizza. As opposed to other foods on this list, I believe pizza is always better when made from a restaurant instead of at home. I’m not sure why that is (I probably just don’t know how to make a great homemade pizza), but splurging for a quality pizza is a great idea on game night.
Now the biggest challenge with pizza is the preference of your friends and family members. Depending on how many people are coming, it may be a better idea to have different pizzas for people that prefer meat only, some that prefer veggies only, and a mix (i.e. Works). The biggest thing to watch out for however is any food allergies. The last thing you want to happen is someone having an allergic reaction – that would put a damper on the game awfully quick!
The great thing about pizza is it is quick (especially if you order it). The Stanley Cup playoffs are on just about every night and for most the last thing you want to do after a long day of work is to prepare a whole bunch of food. Therefore on weeknights, pizza makes for a perfectly acceptable meal/snack for your guests.
#5 – Healthy Options
So far, the snack ideas mentioned above could be considered a bit unhealthy. Although these are the standards, there are plenty of great options for those that are more health conscious and more concerned about the waistline.
Here are some great alternatives to the choices above:
- Chips – Why not try unsalted nuts or plantain chips?
- Pizza – Perhaps try some flatbread instead of the regular pizza crust. You could also go with a lower fat cheese and add more vegetables instead of your typical deli meat.
- Meatballs – another great and tasty option are meatballs. Try to use lean meat such as turkey or lamb as the main component with a low-fat pesto sauce. Here is a complicated recipe that looks delicious and could be considered as healthy pub food.
- Peas – Nothing screams boring and gross like peas. But have you ever tried adding a bit of flavor to snap peas? They are delicious and will certainly make you feel less guilty when you indulge
The biggest disadvantage of these options is the time and money that may be required. Healthier food is, unfortunately, more expensive, and not easily ordered from anywhere. That being said, if you want to feel better the morning after and don’t feel the need to get on the treadmill for a few hours then these are great choices.
If you are hosting friends & family for a playoff game, you really can’t go wrong with any of the snacks above. Like anything in life, the more effort you put in the more likely people will come back looking for more.
In my opinion, the best way to do this is by making snacks and providing people with a large variety of options. This approach, however, takes quite a bit of time and may be better for a weekend get together rather than those right after work!
Now although it’s not as popular as the Super Bowl in the NFL, there are many people that get together to watch playoff games on a nightly basis. The excitement of seeing the best NHL players playing at the top of their game is an opportunity many don’t want to miss.
Have any more ideas that have worked for you? I’d love to hear them!