Ring in the New Year with the Rose Bowl

Ring in the New Year with the Rose Bowl

Make New Years day all about the important things: flowers, family and football! Recipes for a large crowd or a small group of fans, plus fun rose-inspired decorating tips. 

Like any holiday, New Years day means different things for different people. For some, January 1 means nursing a hangover and attempting to get out of bed before noon. For others, the beginning of the new year is a time for resolutions, reflections and of course, football. Gathering with friends and family to watch the Rose Bowl football game (and maybe the parade before) is the perfect way to ring in the new year.

The Rose Parade and Bowl game have been national New Year's traditions since their conception before the turn of the century. And while these two stereotypically opposite ideas – roses and muscle-bulging football players – seem an unlikely pairing, Americans have been loyally watching parade and play-by-play since 1902 when the first football game was added after the parade as entertainment for the parade-goers.

This year, as Penn State and University of Southern California face off in Pasadena for the 120th Rose Parade, why not invite friends to spend the afternoon munching and lounging. Here are a couple party ideas and themes you might want to use to entertain (or use as a test-run for your big Super Bowl party coming up!). The game begins at 4:30 PM EST, don't miss it!

Just the Basics - Some crowds just don't want anything but their traditional football routine. Brats. Wings. Beer. Repeat. Here are some recipes that won't fail.

Beer Cheese Spread

Buffalo Wings

Grilled Chicken Wings

Brats and Beer on the Grill

Cheese-Stuffed Brats

Yummy Cole Slaw

Chili con Carne

3-Bean Vegetarian Chili

Easy White Chili with Chicken

Fudge-Topped Brownies

Football Fiesta – An easy way to feed a big crowd is with Mexican food like tacos, rice, salsa and guacamole. Certainly not your typical football fare, but it's a fun change.

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Fresh Guacamole

Chicken Quesadillas

Chicken Tacos

Grilled Beef Fajitas

Chicken Taco Filling

Black Bean, Spinach and Mushroom Burritos

Mexican Rice

Mexican Bananas

Mexican Sundaes

Mexican Tea Cakes

Everything's Coming Up Roses - In the spirit of the day, why not try to incorporate the fleur du jour into your cooking as well? You can be very creative with this and take the theme literally or metaphorically. Because the flower of the rose tends to have a sweeter taste, it's easier to use in desserts, but as you can see, the possibilities are endless!

Blooming Onion with Creamy Chili Sauce

Aromatic Blossom Butter (serve with a crusty bread or crackers)

Rose Petal Salad Ras-Malai Cheesecake with rose water

Persian Apple Dessert with rose water

Thumbprint Cookies with Rose Jelly

Gumdrop Roses

Rose Ice Cream

A few other "rosy" ideas:

- Use radish roses to decorate the tray of a cold cuts platter

- Choose a seasonal fruit like kiwi, strawberries or clementines to make a fruit bouquet. Cut and peel the fruit accordingly to look flower-shaped. Use wooden skewers to stick the fruit in and arrange in a vase on the table for guests to take. If you feel really adventurous, pair each flower with a chocolate leaf.

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