Have you ever wondered what I eat when I throw my own parties? It’s been a super long time since I’ve posted about my adventures in hosting, because it’s been that long since I hosted. I post about Feisty Family parties sometimes – and those are often some of my most popular posts – but that’s more a collaboration of many people. Well, Super Bowl Sunday was fast approaching and I was only invited to one Super Bowl party. As it was both upstate and hosted by someone with whom I’m not close, I suggested just watching the game at DLS‘s. I offered to make a few snacks, and listed a bunch of things, but then realized that this would require either making it all at my place and lugging it quite far, or somehow magically making his kitchen suitable for an involved dish (wings, buffalo mac&cheese…). It was thus decided we could just get food from various places to satisfy our needs. So no, I didn’t make anything for Super Bowl Sunday this year. No 20 lbs of wings and no cute wager with a New England based food blogger, boo.
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Funny enough, in the week leading up to Super Bowl, I won a Twitter contest with Nanoosh by answering what I like to eat for watching football, with a slightly naughty answer, haha. I won my choice of crudite platters and I chose veggie, knowing the rest of our snacks wouldn’t be quite so healthy.
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The hummus was deliciously creamy, nicely spiced, and came with a stack of pitas still warm when I picked up my platter. Though I think this is a bit overpriced at $25, I could see picking one up for a party when you’re super pressed for time and can’t cut up your own veggies and pick up a container of your favorite hummus. Their hummus was a little bit above what you might find in most supermarkets, anyway. Thanks to Nanoosh for holding this contest!
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On my way back from Nanoosh, I wandered by Kashkaval, and picked up more dips for the pita (and it came with pita too). I’ve done this a bunch of times and just never posted about it – for $10, you get a sampler platter of 4 of whatever’s in the cold case you choose – from left to right, taramasalata, artichoke dip, tzatziki, and guacamole. I love their taramasalata – it’s one of the best I’ve had in NYC, and is the best that I can get just like that, scooped into a container for me. The artichoke dip I could live without, it tasted slightly tinny, while the tzatziki is fabulous. The guacamole was mostly because it’s football, how do you not have guacamole (though we had no salsa!), but it was just OK. I definitely like their taramasalata the best – oceany, salty, creamy, delicious spread on just about anything. Yum!
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And finally, our hot snacks – we went to RUB to pick these up; a loaded stuffed baked potato for DLS, with brisket and so much cheese! It looks dented because some cheese clung to the lid – DLS’s one complaint was that there was too much meat and not enough cheese, but I could tell he enjoyed it otherwise cuz he ate it all 😉
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Wings – smokey, delicious, meaty, and totally great.
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Chili cheese fries – I love their chili because they use burnt ends in there and it’s awesome, meaty and delicious. So good. Also, the leftovers of this? I wound up heating in a dry skillet, then adding two eggs, beaten with salt/pepper/milk/Sriracha, on top of it, scrambling it a little bit, and that was my breakfast one morning a few days later. SO GOOD.
But here’s a moment to applaud RUB for their excellent customer service. We foolishly went to RUB around 4:30 to pick up food that we hadn’t pre-ordered, and the place was mobbed. They took our order and told us 30 minutes, so we went to Whole Foods to pick up some other snacks (chips, soda, etc.). When we came back, we took a seat because there was clearly still a wait – which is fine. But the woman at the counter – who was obviously swamped with orders, new ones and old ones, the area behind the counter was stacked with bags waiting to be picked up or moved, and servers were digging through them to look for orders, it was close to mayhem – kept her cool, and kept us appraised of the status of our orders. Yeah, some people were antsy, but I liked that she realized hearing something is better than just sitting there with no clue what’s going on. Obviously it’s a busy day for them. The owner also came by and offered everyone waiting a beer (or non-alcoholic beverage, which is what I chose), apologizing for the wait, which he totally didn’t have to do. I appreciated the gesture.
Beyond that, though, when we got back to DLS’s place finally after being unable to find a cab – JUST making it in time for kick-off – I opened the bag and was crestfallen to see that my chili cheese fries were not in there. I wasn’t sure what to do – I mean, I knew I had to call them, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be the resolution (having worked in customer service, I know that knowing what I want as the solution makes it that much more likely I will get it, once I explain; if you just call to complain for the sake of complaining, you won’t get very far very fast). I called them and explained, figuring that a refund to my credit card for that one item would work (though digging through all the credit cards would probably kill her). But when I said it was just the chili cheese fries missing, without missing a beat, she said someone would bring them to us – even after I said DLS was outside their delivery zone. No problem. And the guy arrived so fast – I’d figured on them arriving for halftime. That’s excellent customer service, my friends, and will make me remember RUB for a long time to come. It may not seem like a big deal, but on easily one of their busiest days of the year, she went out of her way to make a customer happy, which goes a very, very long way. Remember that.
Also, while we were waiting, I overheard an order go out for the Jonas brother who’s doing How to Succeed in Business (Nick Jonas?) and learned that he’s a HUGE fan of RUB. So if that sort of thing excites you, there you go – he has it delivered to his hotel quite frequently.
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Finally, a sweet bite to end the night – I made some of my chocolate almond bread pudding with leftover bread. So I’ve never really looked up a recipe for bread pudding, nor have I eaten it, I just made it up in my head, and it seems bread pudding often is much more singularly-textured, but I like my way.
Chocolate Almond Bread Pudding
leftover bread, cubed
eggs, beaten with milk and sugar, almond & vanilla extract
chocolate – sometimes I use Guittard discs, but this time I used Ghirardelli chips I had leftover from cookie swap
Soak bread in milk mixture in mixing bowl; if it looks dry add a bit of heavy cream. Add chocolate chips and stir to evenly incorporate. Pour mixture into greased baking pans – I like using mini loaf pans so everyone has their own – and top with slivered almonds. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or so, until set. Serve warm topped with ice cream, if desired.
How did you celebrate the Super Bowl this year?
(And I mean really, Eli’s my quarterback – picked him to go all the way this year, woo! GO BIG BLUE!!!)