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When it comes to the big game, no one tackles football food quite like Sunny Anderson. She’s a passionate football fan with a knack for turning out touchdown-worthy classics like wings, chili, dips and nachos at home, and her kickoff plan for easy entertaining is a cinch to follow and guarantees stress-free hosting. Just in time for next weekend’s big game, FN Dish chatted with Sunny to find out her ultimate team matchup and go-to chili toppings, plus learn what she’ll be cooking for the celebration and a few good-to-know party tips. Read on below to hear from Sunny, then watch her video to find out more about her kickoff solutions.
What is your dream team matchup for the big game?
Sunny Anderson: I think my dream matchup … would be Jets versus Giants. Let’s just settle it. The Giants are better. Let’s just grudge-match settle it.
What will you be cooking for the big game this year?
SA: I’m cooking everything. Usually I do a smorgasbord of wings. So I like to just do, like, two or three wings. So it’s usually going to be the basics, which is like a good spicy wing — a Buffalo wing — and then I go crazy from there, so definitely my PB&J Wings, and then I’m in love with Sticky Onion Crunch Wings, another recipe that I just put together. And then just lots of, like, dips; I have a crab-avocado, guacamole-type thing. And then you’ve gotta have dessert, because to me, dessert is like what you serve when you’re ready for people to go home. It’s your cue to leave when the coffee and dessert comes out.
What are your favorite chili toppings?
SA: I love nothing more than chili, no beans, a squirt of yellow mustard, and piles and piles of freshly chopped onions. That’s all I want. It’s very Coney Island chili.
When it comes to entertaining during the big game, what should people always have on hand, and how can they make hosting easier for themselves?
SA: Never underestimate ice. You need more than you actually think you need. I’d say a bag for each person that’s coming to your party …. You not only need it to keep the drinks cold, but you need it inside the drinks, so just think about it like that. I think people say it all the time, but it’s so real: Set up different eating stations and different eating areas, because you will have, like, a traffic jam in your kitchen or a traffic jam in your living room, so have different stations, different places. And you can never have enough trash cans. You really can never have enough trash cans. People should be knocking their knees on trash cans at every corner, because people are always going to ask you where it is. And if they don’t have a trash can, they’ll just leave it on the counter, so if you give them a place to put the trash, they’ll use it. And I also think in this day and age, people also want to know what your Wi-Fi code is, so I usually have little index cards everywhere. When people ask me what the Wi-Fi code is, I just point to the card. There it is. Type it in. So, be prepared for your friends to come over and want to know your Wi-Fi code.
What are three must-have things at your ultimate tailgate?
SA: Cold beer, lots of Sternos and a smile, because it’s all about inviting other people over from their tailgating party. It’s a community thing.
Rapid fire: Think fast!
Salsa or guacamole: Guacamole
Spinach dip or onion dip: Onion dip
Chips or pretzels: Chips
Brownies or blondies: Brownies
Beer: light or dark? Doesn’t matter. Beer. Just beer.
Commercials: yay or nay? Yay, and shut up. Shut up during the commercials and shut up during the game.
Visit Food Network’s big-game headquarters for crowd-pleasing recipes and easy entertaining ideas to help you host the ultimate football-watching party.