Cozy Game-Day Decor for Two

My husband, 007, enjoys watching football from the comfort of his recliner. No crowds. His favorite foods and our favorite things surround him. I’m not that huge of a pro football fan. Pro football is his hobby. Mine is making it an event for both of us. That’s why I like to add a little cozy game-day decor to his man-cave in mid January. Decorating the table, preparing a few finger foods and wearing team colors make it an event for the two of us. He watches the game and I watch the commercials and halftime show. Fun for both of us! If you aren’t that big a fan either, here are a few vignettes to help you cozy up to gameday.

GameDay Decor – Centerpiece

cozy gameday decor

Paula Deen magazine shows us how to make these adorable centerpieces and napkin rings. Tweak this vignette with your own team colors for a fun day. Should it be the Ravens, black placemats with purple napkins and yellow flowers support your team in high fashion.

 

Football Field Green Tablecloth for Game-Day Decor

grass tablecloth

Using a green “grass” tablecloth adds texture and lays a perfect foundation for your team colors. Add a colorful runner, food and beverages of your choice.

Playbook Table Decor

 

playbook table cover

This butcher-paper playbook table cover is an easy starting place for your gameday decor. Adding flowers, napkins and favorite foods make this an easy clean-up option after the game.

There’s one recipe that we love every year. It’s easy, tasty and a tradition for Super Bowl Sunday. So, once you have your table set, add this platter of wings. For the two of us, we keep it simple with wings, celery, dipping sauce, a variety of chips and a cheese ring with crackers.

Crispy Baked Wings

Ingredients

For the Wings:

  • 4 lb (1.8 kg) chicken wings, cut into wingettes and drumettes
  • 2 tablespoons aluminum free baking powder (NOT BAKING SODA) (21g)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Nonstick cooking spray

For the Buffalo Sauce:

  • ½ cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (120ml)
  • ½ cup butter (4oz, 113g)

Celery sticks, for serving

Instructions

For the wings:

  • Preheat oven to 250F. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions.
  • Dry the wings thoroughly with paper towels.
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then place a rack on the foil. Spray the rack with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Toss the wings with baking powder and salt.
  • Place the wings on the baking tray in a single layer. They don’t have to be very spaced out because they will shrink while cooking.
  • Place wings on the lower-middle oven rack and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Move wings up to the upper-middle rack and increase the oven temperature to 425 F. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes, using tongs to flip the wings halfway through.
  • Remove from the oven.
  • Toss with Buffalo Sauce or serve sauce on the side.
  • Serve with your favorite Ranch Dip and celery sticks.

For the Buffalo Sauce:

  • Heat butter and hot sauce in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking until combined.

 

Girls of Fall – Mobile, AL

On Thursday, August 21, 2014, the Girls of Fall event took place in Mobile, AL. If you’ve never been to one of these events, mark your calendar for next year. It is an event for women, put on by the Reese’s Senior Bowl, filled with fun, football and fashion. Yes, you read that correctly, it’s about football for women, hence the name Girls of Fall.

This could’ve been a religious experience for some. I’m friends with some pretty avid football fans who follow the SEC like disciples. But, for this night in Mobile, AL, it was simply a girls night out to support the Senior Bowl. Invited by my friend, Beth Thomas, I had the extreme pleasure of meeting several of her sweet friends.

Girls of Fall Group

From the left: Beth Thomas, Kathy Zoghby, Wanda Martin, Me, Ginger Mullin, Phyllis Saxon and Rachel Willcox.

The event was well organized with food, beverages and shopping in the great hall of the Mobile Convention Center. Break-out sessions held in four rooms off the hall, covered topics like Tailgating Tips, X’s and O’s, and Rules of the Game. The night ended with a game day fashion show.

Girls of Fall

Our first session, Tailgating Tips, was led by none other than Panini Pete himself. Pete Blohme is the renowned Chef of Panini Pete’s Cafe and Bakery in Fairhope and Mobile, AL.  He shared how to make a brine for pork or chicken, a couscous recipe, and my personal favorite – a beignet-type bread pudding. You just had to be there! Some of his tailgating tips included:

  • Plan ahead and shop early
  • Prepare a checklist that you can use before each game
  • Form a team and have your teammates help with the cooking
  • Brine before BBQ for tender, succulent meats
  • Use artisan breads for a tastier sandwich

Panini Pete

(Cell phone shot  – sorry for the poor quality.)

Next, we sat in on the Rules of the Game, where I learned so many things. I’ve been watching football since high school and only knew a fraction of what I thought I knew. Our coach was SEC Referee, David Smith, who set me straight on a few things. First of all, do you know how many referees there are on the football field? I would have guessed 5 or 6 and been wrong! There is only 1 referee, 1 umpire and then 5 other officials. Yep, I thought they were all referees, and umps were only in baseball. Silly me!

David Smith

Shopping was our next fun event.  Vendors set up with school colors of both Auburn and Alabama, the purple and gold of LSU, and our own local South Alabama Jaguars. They had every college team near the Gulf covered.

X’s and O’s, and nickels and dimes, were the next topic of conversation. Phil Savage, the Executive Director of the Senior Bowl, did an excellent job with us ladies. It was his job to teach us the many different player positions of the game. But, those who read CoziNest regularly, know me and this is what I took away from this session…

Helmets weigh about 9 pounds (a little heavier than the babies we birth).

Girls of Fall

Beth is such a sport, modeling a 9 lb. helmet.

Girls of Fall

It is an I formation – not an eye foundation.

The tight end is a very important player and has nothing to do with gluteals.

Girls of Fall

The movie Blindside, was aptly named.

Girls of Fall

And… I learned how to use a nickel and dime defense the next time I go shopping. Mr. Cozi doesn’t have a prayer!

And speaking of shopping! There are shops to check out immediately. Retail was well-represented by the city of Mobile and the world wide web in this incredibly stylish fashion show. No more t-shirts and jeans, ladies! You can shop for game day at The Mint Julep BoutiqueUrbane BoutiqueOld NavyBCBG Max AzriaSlater Zorn and a new line from three University of Alabama grads called Three07.

Girls of Fall

The Senior Bowl is scheduled for January 24, 2015. Shop for the perfect outfit and keep the spirit of football alive in winter by cheering for this season’s seniors. The game will be played at the Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, AL and televised by the NFL Network.

We all had a blast. And to that woman sitting across from us who thought the fashion show was an actual football game… be watchful. You probably ended up on YouTube.