Football watch parties on a budget

HOUSTON So before you get ready to plan your football party-- in this Stretch Your Dollar report, we have ideas on how to do have a fab get together on a budget.

Chips and queso, hot dogs and hamburgers is the usual fare whether you're tailgating or watching the big game. But it doesn't have to be ordinary. With some imagination you can take your football party to a whole new level--- without spending a bunch.

Kimberly Park Communications' Christina Terrill says when you are planning your party, think outside the box. Take for example, get a green table cloth, which we picked up for a dollar, and simply add your own yard lines with a marker. Instantly, you've created a football field.

"This whole thing is not even two dollars," Terrill said.

No need to spend a lot of money on Texans gear. Just choose accessories in red and blue and add stickers to dress it up. For example, we found a red tub for $2 at Target.

"So it's a fun little ice chest," Terrill said.

Terrill says you can also add accessories like footballs and mini helmets to dress up your table. She found some at Michaels in the dollar section. And instead of koozies, try a beer mug. Terril picked up some at the 99 Cents Only store and dressed them up with a bandana.

"It personalizes which one is your drink," she said.

When it comes to food, she says to take the ordinary and make extraordinary.

"If you can take it and make it a little more different and a little unexpected, it's not expensive to do," said LJ Wiley, executive chef for Yelapa Playa Mexicana.

Wiley says guacamole is a staple at any football party, but instead of making a dip, a salad is a great alternative.

"Just cut it into large chunks, about eight pieces," Wiley said.

Scoop your avocado into a bowl; add onions, roasted corn, a fruit that's in season, cilantro and romaine lettuce. Then, toss in a dressing your choice and top with crumbled tortilla chips. The next recipe: Frito Pie. It's always a crowd favorite.

"Throw some chili on there," Wiley said.

But Wiley says a cheap way to take this recipe over the top: add chives, cilantro, roasted corn, and black olives.

"Southwestern style, Tex-Mex style Frito Pie," she said.

Wings are a must at any football party -- but the secret to making this same ol' recipe different is in the sauce.

"This is a spicy mango sauce," Wiley said.

When it comes to garnishing your wings, add color with fruit and lettuce to compliment the spicy flavor. A little ground chili completes this dish.

Wiley's wings recipe is a little tricky but once you make a batch, you can keep it in your fridge for a month.

Frito Pie • Fritos • Chili • Cheese • Scallions • Roasted Corn • Black Olives Place Fritos in a bowl and top with ingredients.

The Real Guacamole • Chopped up Avocado • Lettuce • Corn • Onions • Cilantro • Fruit (in season) • Dressing of your choice • Tostada Chips Toss all ingredients in a bowl, add dressing and top with crumbled up tortilla chips.

LJ Wiley's Wings


  • 300 g orange juice
  • 100 g bitter orange marinade, Goya
  • 5 pc lime leaf
  • 12 pc garlic whole, crushed
  • 2 pc chipotle torn in large pieces
  • 200 g corn oil
Bring to a boil and chill until 40*F before marinating wings.


  • 1000 g shallots peeled and sliced thin
  • 500 g garlic sliced thin
  • 500 g ginger fine brunoise
  • 1000 g cooking oil
  • 3 ea ghost pepper
  • 3 c piloncillo (brown sugar cone) chopped
  • 1 c molasses
  • 15 g shrimp paste
  • 1 c soy sauce
  • 1 L red wine vinegar
  • 1 L lemon juice
  • 2 L mango puree
Heat oil and add garlic; fry until golden. Strain through a chinois. Return oil to the pan and add shallots, fry, stirring, until golden. Strain oil.

Return oil to the pan and add ginger, fry, stirring, until golden. Strain oil.

Put garlic, ginger and shallots in a rondeau, add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil; reduce until thickened and glazed.

Remove from heat and puree in blender until smooth. Pass through chinois.

To Serve

  • 6 pc chicken drumstick and wing, retain wing tip for stock
  • 100 g cornstarch
  • 120 g sauce mango, battonet
Remove wings from marinade and coat with corn starch.

Fry until golden brown (make sure wings are well done). Season and sauce wings in a mixing bowl, then place on plate.

Garnish with mango and serve.

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