It's Super Bowl time! And that means something almost more important than the big game: it's Super Bowl food time.
If you're not tailgating, chances are good you are entertaining at home. You could go the traditional route: seven-layer dip, deviled eggs, and all that crap. Boring, boring, boooooring.
More from The Stir: 5 most memorable Super Bowl halftime shows
Or you could opt to travel the route of really awesome food. Food that thrills the tastebuds but doesn't leave you sweating in your Steelers jersey. We're talking seriously easy and low-maintenance food that still kicks ass.
Ready for kickoff?
Taco Cups -- Buy a bag or two of those Tostitos Scoops -- the ones shaped like little cups. Add to each cup some refried beans, cheese, salsa, even a little seasoned beef if you want. Top them with a slice of green chile and some sour cream. Voila! Single-bite layered dip with no pan to clean.
Crudité -- Skip the prepackaged veggie tray and slice your own carrots, cukes, and peppers. Then make a trio of dips using one single base: mayonnaise and sour cream (just combine to taste). Basil, garlic, and parmesan give you a pesto dip; dill, lemon zest, and garlic powder yield a ranch-type flavor with more kick; and chile powder, cumin, and cayenne create a bit of heat.
More from The Stir: The 5 hottest Super Bowl players, ever
Pigs in a Blanket -- These aren't your mama's piggies. Skip the Lil' Weinies and spring for a spicy chorizo or summer sausage. Pair them with queso fresco and wrap in pieces of puff pastry, then bake until the pastry is golden and the cheese is meltingly delish.
Kebabs -- Get the most out of your skewers by offering three different types. Greek kebabs can hold olives, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, and marinated mushrooms. Avoid making a pot of chili by putting it all on a stick: seriously seasoned ground beef, onions, and peppers with a generous hunk of pepper jack cheese. For something a little lighter, make a fruit skewer with melons, berries, and even starfruit or papaya. If you want to get really serious, pick fruits in team colors for your skewers.
Bacon -- When in doubt, add bacon. Wrap asparagus in bacon and bake until crisp. Repeat with breadsticks, shrimp, chicken. You can even pair bacon with some fruits, like dates or figs. Or add it to dips and even those yummy taco cups.
What kick-ass foods will you be serving this year?
Image via Mark Z/Flickr
More from The Stir:Don't have sex with a football fan
Football players = Totally bad parents