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Ten tips for last minute party planning

Published February 05. 2010 05:00PM

Need some last minute ideas to help make this year's Super Bowl party "super?"

Food Network has provided 10 tips that will help any party planner score a festivity touch down this Sunday.

1. Raid the pantry. If you've got sour cream and mayo in the fridge, canned clams or even tuna, you have what you need to whip up a super-fast dip. All that's left to do is buy chips or swing by your grocer's salad bar to get crudites for dipping.

2. Dress up your dip. When it comes to what you can add to a basic dip, the sky's the limit. Creamy, strong-flavored cheeses work well with standard sour cream and mayo. And in a pinch, use chopped frozen spinach, jarred artichoke hearts or roasted red peppers.

3. Be creative. If you've got frozen peas, make pea "guacamole" throw frozen peas into a food processor, pulse a few times and finish it with salt, pepper, diced tomatoes and a squeeze of lime juice. This recipe is excellent with tortilla chips or pita chips.

4. Think basic. A wedge of cheese with some fruit jam on the side makes a great appetizer.

5. Choose a cocktail. For a truly last-minute party, guests won't expect you to have anything more than beer or wine. But you could keep ingredients on hand to make one "house cocktail," such as margaritas or gin and tonic.

6. Keep your freezer stocked. Spiced nuts are quick and easy to whip up, and they last for months in the freezer. Make them in advance.

7. Everyone loves sandwiches. Check out your local butcher or specialty meat store to find an assortment of cold cuts and pates. Then arrange them on a platter with jarred cornichons, good bread and strong mustard.

8. Deli counters are a great source for antipasto. Buy small balls of mozzarella, a few different kinds of olives, cherry tomatoes and marinated peperoncini. Then arrange them in small bowls.

9. Pop some popcorn.

10. Make the easiest nachos ever. Top tortilla chips with canned black beans (rinse them before using), canned jalapenos, jarred salsa and shredded cheese. Then put under the broiler for a few minutes to melt the cheese.

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