Super Bowl 50 in Germany

In Life & Travel by Jackie Cruz

Last Sunday, we transformed* our apartment in Erfurt, Germany, into Super Bowl fever! We had first row seats in Levi’s Stadium!

*Disclaimer: A ladder was not used in all of the construction. With the help of my boyfriend and his 6’ 4” build, he was able to hang most decorations from the ceiling. Also, I apologize for the Panther ears! I could not find a Broncos hat at the store because everything was sold out due to Karneval here in Germany.

When friends walked in, they peered down a longer hallway that resembled the players tunnel before entering the field. I kept the lights off, hung a few streamers from the ceiling and turned on a flickering Halloween light for more effect.

To recreate the tunnel atmosphere, I cut 2 life-size football players out of black construction paper. I used 3 large posters for each player and cut out their silhouettes – helmets and pads included. Their massive bodies and equipment made the hallway realistic. The only thing I was missing was my dream smoke machine – but I tried to keep the party under budget, so we did not order it.

I wanted to make guests feel like they were inside the stadium, so these 30-foot long posters from Party City worked great! I use thumb tacks to hang both lower and upper decks to the wall.

The first down markers were made of styrofoam and paper. We recently bought a new TV stand and it came with long, protective styrofoam pieces, which I used to cover with orange and black paper.

I have been really homesick lately and absolutely had to include the California sun! It did not turn out exactly how I wanted, but it was still glowing across from the California and United States flags!

Some final accents were a green carpet runner with yard lines and a grass tablecloth, along with a couple Super Bowl banners and balloons.

A huge Super Bowl tradition is having the Blue Angels fly over the stadium, as well as the annual Fleet Week in San Francisco. So, naturally, I bought 4 toy planes and hung them from the ceiling with transparent string. We also found a great blimp from eBay Germany with the NFL and sponsor logos!

A personal touch was the menu. I love the old school look of Coca Cola menus, so I created my own using Pixelmator. This program is a shamazing alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It costs pennies compared to the expensive, professional software and is more user-friendly. Getting the red background just right was a challenge, but after a quick Google search, I found the hex color code.

To keep stomachs happy and full, we made several snacks (recipes are at the bottom). A sugar bomb that tastes out of this world is my no-bake cheesecake. You do not need to eat sugar for a month after devouring this small snack!

To counter the sweetness of the cheesecake, I made a 5-layer bean dip. I made the guacamole first and then layered it between the hearty beans and smooth sour cream. The recipe is below, but might be a bit small for bigger parties because I used 2 smaller dishes instead of a big platter.

I remember falling in love with garlic fries at a San Francisco Giants baseball game when I was in high school. My grandparents took my good friend and I to the game and we could not get enough of them! During our Super Bowl party last year I bombed the delicious side dish with too much garlic and some of the guests could not eat it! Sorry to all those involved. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I ate them so fast this year, I did not take a picture!

We also had pretzels, an assortment of candy, pizza bread, a handmade pizza blossom and homemade Mars Rice Krispy treats. Thanks to the teammates for making them!

To the main show! The best way to watch the Super Bowl when you are abroad is, of course, on a big screen TV or at a sports bar, however, the show will only be in German. Nothing against the language, but it is just not the same as when you hear American NFL commentators. Even my German boyfriend prefers to pay extra for the English broadcast. How can you not hear “What a pass!” or “That is the play of the week!” on game day? We searched for different solutions and were going to use Apple TV, but were afraid that the NFL Game Pass streamed show would be slow or delayed, which has happened before. We chose to watch it on a German channel and were happy to be able to see the halftime show!

It was a blast having my friends here to share the Super Bowl and some American culture. Some were avid NFL fans and for some, it was their first American football game! It meant more this year because the game was in San Francisco and I could not go home for Christmas. Thank you again to everyone who came! And thank you to my boyfriend for helping decorate and sharing this day with me!

Recipes

Garlic Fries
Use:
1 bag of fries*
2 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of parsley (cilantro works, too, but I cannot find it in Germany)
2 teaspoons of olive oil
Himalayan pink salt to taste
French fry seasoning (optional)

For Fries:
1. Cook fries in oven on cookie sheet per instructions on bag .
2. While cooking, cut garlic and parsley. Place garlic, parsley and olive oil in a small bowl.
3. Once cooked and golden, place the fries into large mixing bowl and add seasoning.
4. Add salt to taste. Don’t forget to say BAM! (like Emeril Lagasse) when adding the last pinches of salt! His show was the best.

*I usually make fries from scratch using potatoes and the oven, but they do not get very crispy. So, I chose to buy them frozen for tonight. For the homemade variety, cut potatoes into long fries, place on cookie sheet and drizzle a bit of olive oil over.

No Bake Cheesecake (adjusted from my favorite recipe at Gimme Some Oven)
Use:
15 Oreo cookies (for crust)
8 ounces of cream cheese (softened)
4 Tablespoons of butter (softened)
3/4 cup of cake batter dry mix (straight from the box)
1/4 cup milk
6 ounces of whipping cream (there is no Cool Whip at my grocery store, but I would have used that)
Sprinkles

For crust:
1. Open Oreo cookie and scrape out the filling. Place cookies in separate bowl and crumble.

For Filling:
1. With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
2. Add dry cake mix and milk. Continue mixing until well blended.
3. Add in whipping cream and blend with mixer until thick. Or if you are using Cool Whip, fold in the whipped cream topping with a spatula.
4. Spoon the filling into serving jars.
5. Top with sprinkles.

Jell-O Shots
Use:
1 Jell-O packet
8 ounces of water
2 ounces of cold water
6 ounces of Vodka
40 plastic containers (found on Amazon)

For Shots:
1. Boil 8 ounces of water.
2. Once boiled, turn off heat and add Jell-O packets to water. Stir until powder is dissolved.
3. Add Vodka and remaining cold water. Stir for a few minutes.
4. Chang mix into smaller pot with pouring lip or use a turkey baster.
5. Pour into plastic containers and store in the refrigerator overnight.

Small Bean Dip (Guacamole + Dip)
Use:
3 avocados
1 clove of garlic
1 bunch of parsley
2 Tablespoons of lime juice
Himalayan Salt to taste

For guacamole:
1. Mash avocados in separate bowl.
2. Chop garlic and parsley. Add to avocados and mix gently.
3. Add lime juice and salt. Mix gently.

Use:
1/2 bunch of chives
1 can of kidney (or your choice) beans
1 cup of sour cream
3/4 cup of grated cheese
(olives and tomatoes are great as well to this recipe)

For Dip:
1. Chop chives.
2. Drain liquid from can and add beans to the dish as the 1st layer. Spread out with spoon.
3. Add sour cream and spread with spoon.
4. Add guacamole and spread with spoon.
5. Sprinkle grated cheese.
6. Sprinkle chives.