We have a yearly tradition. For Super Bowl Sunday, we invite friends over to our house to eat, have some drinks and watch the game. Until our younger son, Michael, came into our lives, neither of us were much interested in sports.
Attending UCLA during the John Wooden days, when the men's basketball team reigned supreme, I never went to a single game. I didn't care. But Michael did. From the time he was a toddler, he watched Sports Center, baseball, basketball and football.
Like any parent we wanted to find common ground with our son. For us, that meant catching up with a three year old's encyclopedic knowledge of major league sports.
At first a chore, we got into it. We learned to cheer on the Lakers, root for the Dodgers and follow the careers of our favorite quarterbacks (Manning, Brady, Luck, RGIII, Rogers and Kaepernick).
During the season, I wouldn't miss an episode of Showtime's Inside the NFL, although I am growing tired of the tedious insider kidding the hosts treat themselves to every week.
For our friends on Super Bowl Sunday, I bring out favorite recipes, ones I would take to the beach or park for a picnic. They're all easy-to-make. Put them on the table and watch the game. Everything can be prepared ahead. Everything will taste as good in the fourth quarter as it did before kick off.
Have a great Super Bowl Sunday. May the best team win!
What to serve
Picnic food is perfect for watching the game: rosemary fried chicken, egg salad with grilled vegetables and bacon, lobster salad, carrot salad with lemon soaked golden raisins, green salad, oven roasted beets tossed in seasoned olive oil, chicken wings, Caesar salad with grilled shrimp, baked parsley-garlic chicken breasts, sage and shallot stuffed porchetta, and brown sugar pork ribs.
And for desserts, we'll have some choices: handmade chocolates, apple pie with candied ginger crust, ice creams, banana chocolate chip-walnut cake, vanilla custard, dried fruit compote and fresh fruit (Valencia orange wedges and Fuji apples).
I love chicken wings. Southern fried wings with a light, seasoned flour dusting or marinated and roasted with Korean (kimchi) or Vietnamese (nuoc cham) spices.
For this Super Bowl Sunday, I'm making the Nouc Cham version. Spicy, sweet, moist and delicious. They are a crowd pleaser.