Sunday, January 27, 2013

Super Bowl Sunday - The Ultimate Celebration: 49ers vs. Ravens

Besides the fact I just generally love watching football, any game, any team, I am now particularly excited to watch the Super Bowl because my very own San Francisco 49ers are playing. It's been an incredible year for Bay Area sports whether or not they win or lose... But that's a different story.

Needless to say we're throwing a viewing party. It's the first week I've had cable in over five years and what perfect timing!

Here are some recipes and games to throw your very own Super Bowl party.

First things first, if you didn't hear by now, maybe you don't have Facebook or cable (like us) the Super Bowl is February 3rd at 6:30 EST in New Orleans. It's the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens and fun fact: the two head coaches are brothers! Some are now deeming this the Harbaugh bowl; Ashkon even remixed a song - Harbaugh so hard! This is the 47th Super Bowl, 49er’s 6th appearance and the Ravens 2nd since being relocated from Ohio. Half time performers will include none other than Beyonce herself.

Second, here are my favorite
Super Bowl recipes:

1.     Chili Bean Dip in the Crock-Pot

This is honestly the easiest recipe in the world and brings back lots of memories from Super Bowl parties growing up.

  • 2 40 oz. cans Original Dennison’s Chili Con Carne
  • 2 8 oz. containers of cream cheese

All you do is dump the chili and cream cheese in the crock-pot and heat. On high it should take about an hour at the most. To speed up the process cut up the cream cheese into smaller cubes so it melts quicker. Stir until all the cream cheese is melted and serve with tortilla chips or Lays.


2.   Spinach Ball Hors D’oeuvres

This recipe is a variation of my mother’s famous sausage puffs. They are incredibly tasty but probably not the best thing for you. Besides that the sausage puff recipe is a family secret, this is the more healthy alternative J

·      2 pkgs (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach
·      1 small onion, finely chopped
·      2 cups stuffing mix, crumbled
·      1 cup Parmesan Cheese
·      6 eggs beaten
·      ¾ cup melted butter
·      ½ tsp. thyme
·      Garlic salt, pepper to taste

Thaw and drain spinach very well. Mix all ingredients and chill. Roll into 1-2 inch balls. Freeze on tray. Store in container. Take out and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes 3 dozen – 2 inch balls.

3. Fried Bocconcini with Spicy Tomato Sauce


For the Sauce –
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes, juice reserved
  • Salt & Pepper

Fried Mozzarella –
  • 3-4 cups peanut oil, depending on type of pan you will be frying the cheese in
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 2 lb. mozzarella bocconcini (about 50 pieces)
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups panko

  1. For the sauce: In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the ½ cup olive oil
  2. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until the garlic is soft but not browned, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the tomatoes and their juices and simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 6 minutes.
  4. Season with salt & black pepper. Set aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200 F
  6. For the fried mozzarella: Drain the cheese from its liquid. Place the cheese on a paper towel-lined baking sheet and pat dry.
  7. If your cheese balls seem big, halve or quarter them into bit size pieces. Once they get the panko breading on them, they will be a lot bigger.
  8. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk.
  9. Put the egg mixture and bread crumbs in separate wide, shallow bowls. Combine the panko with the teaspoon of salt and Parmesan in another wide, shallow bowl.
  10. Roll the cheese in the flour; dip into the egg mixture and coast with breadcrumbs, shaking off the excess after each step.
  11. Repeat the breading process one more time for each cheese piece.
  12. In a large, deep sauté pan over medium-high heat, pour the oil to depth of 3 inches and heat to 350 F on a deep frying thermometer.
  13. Working in batches, fry the cheese until golden, about 45 seconds (or until golden brown watch them carefully as over temperatures may vary). If you notice that your thermometer’s reading decreases, wait for a little while until the oil gets back up to the proper temperature.
  14. Transfer the fried cheese to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt and lack pepper. Place the cheese on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while frying the remaining cheese.
  15. And serve!

This was a Pinterest recipe, thank you Curvy Carrot! 

For more recipes check out my Pinterest board; Game Day Entertaining. 


Whether you are throwing an adult & kids party or just adults this fun way of betting can be adapted for all ages.

1.  Take a piece of paper and use a ruler to make eleven long columns and then eleven columns the other direction to create a checkerboard. The top column will have numbers 0-9 as will the left side going down. But don't number them just yet!

2. Pass the board around to everyone at your party and have them initial two squares to start. After that pass around until everyone has equal squares and all 100 are filled.

3. Next shuffle the numbers 0-9 and randomly assign them across the top and left side. These are the ending numbers of the scores at the end of the quarter, half, third quarter, and game.

4. Label the top one team and the left the other. Example: End of the first 49ers are up 14 to 7, whoever is in the 49ers 4 and Ravens 7 spot wins!

To make this interesting you can charge a dollar amount per square or as host you can have prizes for adults & kids.

Post on the fridge or a public spot so everyone can check whose winning whenever someone scores.

Adults Only:

For an adult only party here’s a fun drinking game I found online from an angry fan that used it to force his Super Bowl party guests to pay attention during the game and not socialize as much. 

Tell everyone to choose a team, ideally the team they're rooting for. That gives indifferent people a vested interest in a side. 

You take a drink:
Every time your team loses yardage on a play.
Every time your team commits a penalty. Take another drink if the other team declines the penalty.
Every time your team takes a timeout.
Every time your team allows a play of ten yards or more.
Every time your team gets a field goal, safety, or extra point. 

You drink for five seconds:
Every time the other team scores a touchdown. 
Every time your team commits a turnover. 
Every time you lose a challenge. 
Every time your team has a kick blocked. 

Everyone drinks:
Every time the announcers agree that the refs made a terrible call. 
Every time they show a commercial that unanimously sucks. (This is my personal favorite)

Have fun and remember, Super Bowl Parties are the most fun when they’re potlucks. It’s always interesting to see what your friends bring. Maybe you’ll learn a new recipe!

Go 49ers!

XO, Chelsea 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Not Your Typical Birthday Bash - Ideas for Santa Monica, Los Angeles Parties

On January 11th, one of my best friends turns 23. She’s hilarious, does great impressions, loves adventures, and loves trying new things. I wanted to make her birthday extra special and plan a new experience for her.  Something different from the typical night-out-at-the-bars that we'd become accustomed to for every birthday celebration. After doing some research, I realized that sharing what I learned might be helpful for others as well! For those of you living in the Santa Monica, Venice, Hollywood area of Los Angeles, here are some fun “experience” birthday (or other event) ideas that are sure to be a blast and create lasting memories.

Bowling in Hollywood

Lucky Strike Bowl is not your typical bowling alley. Forget those Sundays as a kid spent bowling with hot dogs and popcorn.  Instead, check out these upscale, sophisticated alleys equipped with full bars and, if you're lucky, a live DJ. Lucky Strike specializes in parties for all ages; from bar/bat mitzvahs to bachelor/bachelorette parties.

Personally, to spice up the night even more, I was thinking about having a limo pick us up to continue the fun at one of the many Hollywood clubs after we had enough bowling.

Prices vary, for specific pricing check out Lucky Strike’s website:

Beach Barcycle

We did this for my birthday a few months ago and it was a blast! Everyone had such a good time. To sum it up, it is a 17-person bicycle that everyone pedals together. For non-locals they offer touristy routes, but, for locals, this is a great way to gain a new perspective of your usual go-to bar route. Barcycles are for rent in Santa Monica, Venice, Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach.  We took the Santa Monica route and highly recommend it.

If you embark on the Beach Barcycle, ask for Larry to be your driver. He’ll show you a good time, guaranteed.

Price: $390 for a private bike (split between 17 people it comes out to about $23 a person).

Santa Monica Pier Arcade – Pacific Park

For you competitive types, head to the arcade on the Santa Monica Pier for a night full of air hockey, skee ball, tickets and prizes! I loved it because all the arcade games took quarters, instead of tacky arcade tokens. While there, grab a drink at the Sonoma Wine Garden, or a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants (the pier is full of great places to eat).  There is always the infamous Santa Monica Ferris Wheel and roller coaster if you’re feeling adventurous. Depending on the season, the Pier also has other fun activities like live jazz music or movies playing from a projector onto a huge screen for all to see.

Wine Tasting at Malibu Wines

Our group has always wanted to go wine tasting but most of the time it can be pretty pricy. Malibu Wines is located off of Mulholland and is a great place to bring a picnic, drink a glass of wine and enjoy some live music.

For reference, a flight is $12 for four tastes and a glass of wine averages about $5.

Silent Disco

Finally, if you enjoy dancing, but are looking for a unique experience, check out The Central SAPC. Once a month they have a silent disco. Instead of playing music through speakers, everyone wears headphones. That way, when you take them off it looks like everyone’s dancing in silence. This is actually a great compromise to wanting to dance but being in an atmosphere where you want to talk.

The cover fee changes depending on the night, as does the type of music, so be sure to check the calendar at

Have fun!

XO, Chelsea