An Easy Football Tablescape + 2 Game Day Recipes

I'm going to be a little honest. Derek loves watching football when he gets the chance throughout the fall and winter months. Me on the other hand, I could really care less. However, tell me to invite a bunch of friends over for a football game and let me turn it into a party for a small crowd? I'm all in. 

I used to get really stressed out about throwing parties and making sure everything was just right and worrying about all the details, but I've got it down to such an easy science at this point that I can go from, "the house is a disaster", to "party in the basement!" in about one hour of work. 

Once I've gone through the house and have straightened up the messes, I hop onto my computer and print off some cute and easy printables, 100% of the time found on Pinterest. I put my kids to work cutting them out, and then have Derek tape them together. While they're busy doing that, I get work done in the kitchen.

I find parties are really easy to do if you have a few key entertaining essentials on hand. My cake stand, serving trays, burlap table runner, and glass water dispenser are workhorses for us in terms of throwing a party. I also find keeping the food simple is an easy way to not feel stressed out either. 

For this game day spread I decided to keep things really easy by just letting everyone do a DIY sandwich bar with Hillshire Farm® Turkey, and Ham lunch meats from Walmart, and then I also cooked up some Buffalo Chicken Tyson® Any’tizers® Snacks, and served them along side a large selection of vegetables, and my favorite ranch dressing. And because kids are a part of every single thing, I like to keep some quick and easy Ball Park® Hot Dogs on hand along with some Ball Park® Hot Dog Buns as an easy option that will keep everyone happy. If you have just a little bit more time on your hands, two of my favorite game day recipes are shown below:

Grilled Ham and Cheese with Chipotle Infused Gouda:
This recipe is a favorite that I fell in love with a couple years ago. It's a great and flavorful way to use up some Hillshire Farm® Smoked Ham that you have sitting in your fridge, and it the perfect blend of sweet and smoky flavors working together for one amazing sandwich. 

Ingredients:(Yields 1 sandwich)
2 slices Bread
2 oz Chipotle Gouda
4 thinly sliced pieces of smoked ham
3 tbsp chopped parsley
3 tbsp caramelized onions

Caramelize your onions by sautéing them on medium low heat in olive oil for thirty minutes. When onions are done, butter one side of each slice of bread. Put the butter side down in a pan on medium low heat, and then quickly layer the cheese, ham, parsley, and onions. Cook for two minutes, or until first side is golden brown, then flip and cook the other side for two minutes. If needed cover the pan to help the cheese melt. 

This is one of my all-time favorite crowd pleasing recipes! I made this for the first time for a fourth of July party a few years ago and everyone told me they were the best beans they ever had. No surprise that six years later I'm still making them. Most of the ingredients can be found in your pantry, and then top them off with some Wright Brand® Bacon and you're good to go! 

8 slices bacon (the thick kind), halved
1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 28oz cans Pork and Beans
3/4 cup BBQ sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tbsp dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 325°F In a large pot render the fat out of the bacon (don't cook it all the way, just enough that the fat comes off, but not cooked enough that you would want to eat it). Remove the bacon from the pan, and set on paper towels to get rid of the excess fat.

Sauté, the onions and peppers together in the drippings from the bacon until soft. About five minutes. Remove the peppers and onions from the pot, and drain on paper towels as well. Drain the remaining bacon grease out of the pot. 

Put the pot back on the stove over medium heat and add the peppers, onions, beans, BBQ sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and mustard. Bring the mixture up to a simmer, and let simmer for 5 minutes.

Transfer the entire bean mixture into a 9x13 dish and then place the bacon slices on top. Bake low and slow in your preheated oven for 2 hours.

When the beans are done cooking, there will be a lot of liquid in your pan. Remove the bacon slices carefully from the top, and place them on a plate for a minute. Take a slotted spoon and transfer the beans to another 9x13 pan, draining off as much of the excess liquid as possible. Then arrange the bacon slices back on the top of the beans, and place under the broiler for 5 minutes. At this point you can either cover them with foil, hop in the car and head to your BBQ, or grab a fork and dig in!

What are your favorite game day recipes? Be sure to share all your good ideas in the comments below!



  1. Such a cute party layout and those recipes look amazing! Can’t wait to try that baked beans recipe!

  2. My friend mentioned to me your blog, so I thought I’d read it for myself. Very interesting insights, will be back for more! Recipes