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15 Game Day Snack Upgrades To Instantly Elevate Your Party

Based on the last two years of viewership for professional football's Big Game, more than 111 million people will be watching later this week. For those of us lucky enough to have the day off, we'll be somewhere surrounded by people, a large TV and most importantly: snack food. Over a billion, that's with a "b," wings will be served this Sunday. Without a doubt those wings will be accompanied by millions of platters stacked with various snacks, assortments, appetizers and delectable finger food.

But we're tired of the same 'ol thang. Delivery pizza is lazy.

Bean dip is really just refried beans with different packaging.

Using cheese out of of a can as the sole topping for your nachos? Please.

It's time. It's time for food to be a centerpiece, not a mundane afterthought. It's time for party-goers to ask each other, "Have you seen the chocolate-dipped strawberry footballs?" instead of "Did you see that car insurance commercial?" It's time for dual-purpose snack tables to become more prevalent in homes across America. Of course we want the option to instantly play old-school paper football whilst still providing a portable, durable surface for the food cornucopia.

Welcome to our first comprehensive list of game day upgrades that will leave your friends and family yearning for more food, regardless of the game's outcome.

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Turf Table

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Turf Table

At first it seemed like the high school glory days would be coming immediately back to me as my first paper football flick went straight through the middle of the uprights. It felt as though nothing could stop me from entering the soon-to-be established paper football hall of fame. And then I shanked the next four flicks in a row. My dreams came tumbling down. But then I remembered that this paper football setup, outfitted with a custom turf tablecloth and hand-painted uprights, was a snack table five minutes earlier. I felt a lot better, even if that meant remembering the loss for eternity.

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Game Day Concessions at Home

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Sometimes it's the little things that add up to something greater. That's definitely the case when using creative concession packaging to help bring the game day atmosphere to your living room. We found great options all over the Internet and party retail stores including packaging for peanuts, pretzels, hot dogs and popcorn. "PEANUTS! GET YOUR PEANUTS HEEEEEEEEERE."

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Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Footballs

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It wasn't easy finding a way to upgrade chocolate-dipped strawberry footballs. But where there's a will, there's a way. Use dark chocolate chips for the dark brown football aesthetic, and then pipe melted white chocolate chips for the laces. We recommend practicing piping with frosting on a plate or napkin beforehand, especially for first-timers.

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 Cheesesteak Dip

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Spinach Dip is a classic. No one is saying to completely replace it, per se, but it's always nice to provide some diversification for your taste buds. And in this case diversity means translating a Philadelphia classic sandwich into a dip with top sirloin and four different types of cheese. When in the history of mankind has adding more cheese been a bad idea?

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 On-The-Go Peanut Trophies

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You shouldn't be awarded a trophy for signing up to play a sport. Participation isn't what trophies were created for. But now, we finally have use for these 4-inch cups—as containers to hold delicious peanuts. And as a bonus, only your hands will be touching your snack. We think you're a winner no matter how your team fares, and now you have the trophy to prove it.

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Football Pizza

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Find your favorite pizza recipe. If you're making your dough from scratch, make sure to carve out some extra time to let it rest. If you're using a store-bought dough, we've found them to be convenient, though a bit less malleable for making the football shape. Whoever originally thought of string cheese for the laces, you're a genius.

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Mini Bread Bowls

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Children. Puppies. Bread bowls. What do these things have in common? They're all cuter when they're smaller. Mini bread bowls can also help your wallet, since they're simply holed-out dinner rolls leftover from last night. But don't use the dinner rolls from three weeks ago, that's gross.

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Yellow Napkin Penalty Flags

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There's always a clumsy guy or gal at a party. If you don't think there's one, surprise! it's you. No longer can we allow them to spill drinks and/or accidentally change the channel during crunch-time and get away with it sans consequences. And since party referees are very expensive and completely unnecessary—we have to take this into our own hands, literally. She hits someone in the face with a poorly timed, inside-the-house football throw? Blow the whistle and throw the flag. He stinks up the living room as soon as he takes off his shoes? Blow the whistle and throw the flag. Let the party know what they've done.

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Chocolate Caramel Football Pretzels

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Football pretzels aren't the easiest to find, but as with almost anything, enough searching the Internet can usually take you to the promised land. But the pretzels themselves aren't enough. When you place chocolate caramels on top, slightly melt them to soften, then finish with another football pretzel, you've got a mighty fine, sweet snack sandwich. Don't stick the pretzels in the oven for too long though, or they'll get a bit too gooey and messy.

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 Bell Pepper Dip Bowls

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The game's about to start. You're fresh out of bowls and your friends are clamoring for MORE DIP. When the stakes are high, bell peppers come to the rescue. To add some color to the table: cut the top off the pepper, hole out the inside and voila, instant bowl for your dipping pursuits. We found that the wider the bell pepper the more functional.

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Game Day Eating Playbook

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You have to remember that people only have so much room in their stomachs. And with all of these upgrades, you're going to have to give your guests a game plan on how exactly to consume the spread. Sure, you could create a handwritten menu, but we prefer executing a strategy with Xs and Os. Obviously, we take food seriously. Bring your A game.

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Nacho Bar

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The only thing better than nachos are nachos you can customize yourself. Put the power into the people's hands, and they will love you for it. We found that aluminum foil worked really well for a single batch in a toaster oven or for multiple servings in your standard oven, so you don't have to dirty all your baking sheets. You can easily find over a dozen different toppings just by walking through your local grocery store, which translates into thousands of delicious combinations.

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Blue Cheese Ranch

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No one in our office understands how our entire team has never seen this idea executed before. "Ranch or Blue Cheese?" is the standard question with any buffalo wing order, yet why haven't we ever combined the two? Our favorite recipes for both have a base of sour cream, buttermilk and mayonnaise—so it became an even bigger no-brainer to integrate them together. Find your favorite ranch dressing and add as much blue cheese or gorgonzola to achieve the perfect taste.

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Football Bread Dip

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Just when you thought that dips couldn't be upgraded anymore, here we are showcasing the grand dip finale. The football bread is easier than it looks, since you can use store-bought-french-bread dough. It does require you to tap into your elementary school art education while molding the dough into the ball shape. We thought the stripes and laces were a nice touch. I'm personally fond of filling the football bread with sriracha-spinach-artichoke dip, but to each their own.

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Marshmallow Cereal Treat Football

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We knew once we found that football pans existed, we had to do something with them. Our best option was this cocoa marshmallow cereal treat football. In the midst of constantly using your oven and range for big game entertaining, it can be nice to prepare a dessert that needs neither. All you need are some pantry supplies, a mixing bowl, refrigeration time and white fondant for the laces and stripes. Even without much baking experience, we found that using fondant was easier than expected and took the presentation up a few notches.

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This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Planters Peanuts. These recipes are not Kraft recipes.