Vail Daily column: Super Bowl Sunday calls for unpretentious entertaining
America’s most loved sports event is fast approaching and whether you are a football fan or not, chances are you’ll find yourself near a TV screen on Feb. 6. Super Bowl parties abound on this day and many partygoers simply love the excuse to get together with friends at the end of long, cold, bleak month of January.If you haven’t made plans yet, host your own Super Bowl Party. The most unpretentious of events, these parties require only television, beer and snack foods. How much further you want to go above that is an entirely blank canvas.The most important dcor item is your TV. If you have multiple TVs, set them up in various rooms. The die-hard football fans will find a spot to seriously watch the game without the chatter of the party. The socializers might have a smaller TV in the room with the food. Turn the TV’s sound off, and have a playlist of high energy music in the background. Another good dcor piece is the Football Pool Poster. Take a piece of poster board and make a grid of squares 10×10. Above the grid, write one team’s name, then number above the top row of squares 0-9. Label the right side of your poster the same way with the other team’s name. Invite guests to buy squares and write their names in the squares of their choice. At the end of the game the score determines the winner.What about food? Junk food usually rules: wings, chips, dips are kings. For something more substantial make a pot of chili or a southwestern lasagna like the layered turkey tortilla below. Beverages? Simply have plenty of beer on hand. Or mix up some hail bloody marys from Larkspur’s bar manager Josh Stevenson.Hail bloody mary1 1/2 ounces veggie-infused vodka1 cup bloody mary mixCombine the infused vodka and bloody mary mix with ice in a shaker. Shake well and strain into a tall glass, rimmed with Old Bay seasoning and filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a skewer of spicy pickle, pepperoncini, green olive and lemon wedge.Veggie-infused vodka:1 liter vodka2 carrots, peeled and chopped1 onion, peeled and sliced1 red pepper, sliced1 green pepper, sliced2 stalks celery, chopped2 jalapenos, slicedCombine all ingredients and allow to marinate at least 24 hours. Mixture becomes more spicy the longer it marinates. Strain vodka from veggies before using.Bloody mary base:In a one-quart container combine:2 Tablespoons Celery Salt2 Tablespoons Onion Powder2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder2 Tablespoons Prepared Horseradish 50 Turns of Fresh Cracked Pepper1-2 oz. Fresh Lime juiceFill container to quart line with WorcestershireShake well (makes one quart of base)Add 8-10 ounces of base mixture above to 1 quart of tomato juice to make the mix.Layered turkey tortilla2 pounds turkey, cooked and diced2 cups diced roma tomatoes2 cans black beans, drained2 cups frozen corn, thawed1/2 cup diced green chiles1/2 cup diced jalapenos1 cup picante sauce1 Tablespoon cumin1/2 Tablespoon salt1/2 Tablespoon black pepper8 flour tortillasSauce, recipe below1 cup grated cheddar cheeseCombine all ingredients except tortillas, sauce and cheese in large bowl. Preheat oven to 375 and grease two 9-inc-by-11-inch pans. Place one tortilla in bottom of each pan. Spread about 1/6 of filling mixture on each tortilla. Continue layering, ending with tortilla on top. Spread sauce on top of each, allowing to run over sides. Top each with cheddar cheese. Bake until heated through, about 45-60 minutes. To serve, slice into wedges.Sauce:4 cups crushed, canned tomatoes1 cup water1/2 cup picante sauce1/4 cup diced green chiles1/4 cup chopped cilantro1 Tablespoon cumin1/2 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon sugarCombine all ingredients and mix well. Caramel Crunch Bars4 ounces butter1 cup sugar1 egg1/2 teaspoon vanilla1 1/2 cups oats1 1/4 cups flour1/2 teaspoon baking powder1/4 teaspoon baking soda1/2 teaspoon salt1/2 teaspoon cinnamon1/2 cup chocolate chips1/2 jar caramel saucePreheat oven to 375 and grease and flour an 8×8 baking pan. Cream butter and sugar. Mix in egg and vanilla. In another bowl place next six ingredients and toss to combine. Add to sugar mixture and combine well. Spread half of this dough in prepared pan and press to cover bottom of pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips over dough in pan, then drizzle generously with caramel sauce. Crumble remaining dough over the top. Bake 18-22 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting into squares.Sue Barham is the marketing director for Larkspur Restaurant and Restaurant Avondale. Larkspur (larkspurvail.com), at the base of Vail Mountain, has been serving American classics with a fresh interpretation since 1999. Avondale (avondalerestaurant.com) opened in September 2008 in the Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa and features a West Coast-inspired, market-driven menu.