In America, Super Bowl Sunday is basically a national holiday. It's a day for gathering and eating, leaving plenty of opportunity for problems. Here are some tips to help you prepare ahead of time, and also fix any last-minute mistakes that arise.

  • Brown Guacamole

    The Hass Avocado Board is expecting over 100 million pounds of avocados to be consumed during the big game.

    The biggest enemy when it comes to cut or mashed avocado is air. The fatty acids oxidize and turn color. The easiest way to store your guacamole if its made ahead of time is to press the mix into a container, releasing any air bubbles throughout the mixture. Then press clear plastic wrap directly onto the guacamole, again pushing out any air bubbles. Cover with an air-tight lid and store in the refrigerator. Using an acid, like lemon or lime juice, while preparing the dish will also prolong its storage life.

    If any of the guacamole does turn brown, do not stir it into the green areas in hopes of it regaining its vibrant green hue. Instead, scrape off the brown parts.

  • Separated Queso

    Velvety, creamy and completely irresistible, queso is a staple at any watch party. And with the invention of Velveeta, it is almost foolproof to make. However, no one likes a filmy, separated cheese dip.

    Cheese begins to congeal, or set, as it cools. Leave that queso out too long and suddenly your dip is chunky and the ultimate chip-breaker.

    To help prevent this from happening use milk or heavy cream in your recipe. For most Velveeta and Ro-Tel recipes (i.e. one pound and one can) it can be as little as 1/4 a cup of milk with fat in it.

    It also helps to keep your cheese dip warm until it is served, or keep it on consistent low heat while serving. Try making your queso in a slow cooker instead of on a stove top. Be sure to use a slow cooker liner for easy cleanup.

  • Warm Drinks

    Perhaps you spent all of your time preparing the food and you forgot to chill down the brewskies. If you're in a bind to get those beverages cold, all you need is water, ice and salt.

    Arrange your drinks in the cooler and add equal parts water and ice until the bottles or cans are submerged. Next add salt. A good handful or two will do.

    The salt will lower the freezing temperature of the water. This allows the water to reach a colder temperature without freezing, thus making your drinks cool down quicker. It helps if you swish the mixture around a little bit to speed up the process.

  • Unruly Guests

    It's a big game and diehard fans are expected however, the safety and enjoyment of your guests is imperative. If the guest was not on the invite list, it is solely the responsibility of the person who brought the guest to step in.

    Of course, the final decision always lies in the hands of the host.

    Feel free to lay out some ground rules before hand. In many instances, unruly fans at professional sporting events must pass a code of conduct before they are admitted back into the game. You don't have to administer a test, but if you are hosting you have every right to ensure things don't get out of hand.

    Brownie points go to the host who wears a referee jersey while doing this. Or better yet, make this a job for kids or unbiased guests.

  • Specific Diets

    It is more common these days for people to have specific dietary preferences or needs. In my family we have vegetarians and vegans, as well as gluten and lactose intolerant tummies. The easiest way to handle these individuals without having ask them directly is serve simple options they can eat.

    Some all-encompassing ideas are rice wafers, popcorn, and vegetable or fruit platters. It's not easy figuring out what everyone can or will eat, but if you put it out there they can make the decision on their own. It's the effort that counts.

    This will also be a blessing for people who don't necessarily need these specifications, but are trying to monitor what they eat.

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