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Super Bowl Sunday: It’s a family affair

Not a football fan? Don’t be intimidated by daddy and hubby’s uproar in front of the TV. Join in the action! With a little fun, games and creativity, Super Bowl Sunday can be a game day for the whole family.

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Mark Armstrong

Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013 7:40 am

Tips for creating a successful Super Bowl game day in which everyone has a little fun.

  • Make a game out of the commercials. Play Commercial Counting, where you assign each child an object or animal (car, can of soda, horse, etc). When watching the commercials, they get one point every time they spot their object on the screen. Similarly, create a BINGO game with BINGO cards listing jersey numbers, coach names or yardages in the boxes.
  • Have the kids entertain the family with their own halftime show. Encourage them to perform a rock concert, magic show, puppet show or dance off at half time. You provide the costumes and props; they will provide the entertainment.
  • Make Super Bowl Sunday Sundaes. After the wings and pizza, it will be time to fill up on something decadent. Set up an ice cream sundae bar with toppings, sauces and ice cream.
  • It’s never too early to create a football fan. Help children appreciate and understand the big game with football-related books, like “Kick the Football, Charlie Brown!” adapted by Judy Katschke or “T is for Touchdown: A Football Alphabet” by Brad Herzog.
  • Create zones in your home. If the boys have taken over the garage as the “sports center” for the day, create a sperate zone for crafts, a movie marathon or the “Puppy Bowl.”
  • If the children get antsy by the end of the first quarter, get their hands moving. Cook up something simple, like Maggie Creamer’s veggie pizza. It uses mostly raw ingredients, and is perfectly easy for kids.

If you want to take the creative level even further, give them construction paper and scissors and have them create jerseys of dad’s favorite players or team banners.

— Lauren Nelson

How football fan, father of four and Grape Festival CEO Mark Armstrong has turned Super Bowl Sunday into a family tradition

If there is a Lodi family who loves the world of sports, it’s the Armstrongs. Along with his wife, four children and another family with four children, Grape Festival CEO Mark Armstrong says Super Bowl Sunday became a ritual family play day more than a decade ago.

While the kids almost always end up outside playing basketball or touch football in the front yard, everyone — from the youngest to the oldest — gets involved in their in-house football pool. It’s not about winning money, but small, inexpensive prizes. They make a grid and people have to guess answers to questions like: “What will the total score be?” “Who will win?” and “Which team’s cheerleaders will be shown first?”

There’s also a food-related competition every year. Last year, the theme was Crock-Pot. This year, guests will compete to be for best appetizer.

“It gets pretty heated,” Armstong said.

It’s also the perfect time for Armstrong to debut his annual homemade beer.

And, of course, the game corn hole and a Nerf gun is almost always involved somehow.

With so many activities, Armstrong admits that the real game “kind of become’s secondary.”  Not this year, though. With the Niners in, all focus will be on the TV.

— Mark Armstrong

Linda Brown’s family gets a kick out of simple joys that come with touchdowns and grandchildren

Our family loves the Super Bowl. When the 49ers play and get a touchdown, or even during a first-down, our grandchildren push the button on our 49ers doll and it dances and sings to

“Are You Ready for Some Football?” by Hank Williams Jr.  Everyone cracks up! Of course, the most fun is having many friends and family over to watch the game and yell with happiness when a touchdown happens. Us girls like the commercials!

— Linda Brown

The Super Bowl Baby

Though she’s a big-time Broncos fan and disappointed her team won’t be in the big game tomorrow, Lodi resident Andrea Sogney-Neff holds Super Bowl close to her heart.

In 2002, when the Super Bowl was pushed back two weeks due to the Sept. 11 attacks, Sogney-Neff went into labor with her daughter Juniper Neff while she was setting up for her game party.

Now, Jupiner gets two birthday celebrations each year — on her Feb. 3 birthday and on Super Bowl Sunday. Unfortunately, this year they are on the same day.

Super Bowl staple: Chicken wings, tried and tested to be adored by your guests

New Orleans is home to this year's Super Bowl, and no matter how heated the contest gets on the field or in the stands, most people would agree the food culture of the Crescent City can't be beat. Here's a recipe from chef Phillip Lopez of Root for chicken wings — second in Super Bowl popularity, according to a Harris Interactive poll conducted for Supervalu Inc. — with a hot, new Korean twist. The recipe name — “KFC” Korean fried chicken wings — is a sassy send-up of Colonel Sanders; famed product.

‘KFC’ Korean Fried Chicken Wings

Preparation: 30 minutes

Cook: 40 minutes

Makes: 36 pieces

Adapted from a recipe by chef Phillip Lopez published in “New Orleans Chef's Table” by Lorin Gaudin.

Melt the pepper jelly over low heat in a saucepan; sweet Thai chili sauce can sub in.

2 stalks lemongrass

5 cloves garlic, whole

1 cup soy sauce

1 piece (3 inches long) ginger, sliced

Juice of 1 lime

1⁄2 cup salt

18 jumbo chicken wings, tips removed, cut into 2 sections

2 cups non-glutinous rice flour

Peanut oil for deep frying

3⁄4 cup (6 ounces) jarred pepper jelly, melted or sweet Thai chili sauce

1 tablespoon each: toasted sesame seeds, chopped chives

1. Heat a large stockpot of water to a boil over high heat. Add lemongrass, garlic, soy sauce, ginger, lime juice and salt. Cook, 5-8 minutes. Turn down to a simmer. Add chicken wings; blanch, 3 minutes only. (This will release some fat from the skin and make the skin tighter for frying.) Remove with slotted spoon; shock in ice water. Dry; tamp dry with paper towels.

2. Toss the wings in rice flour to coat well. Submerge wings, in batches, in hot oil at 350 degrees; fry until fully cooked inside, about 7 minutes. (Alternatively, place wings on a baking sheet and roast in a 375 degree oven, rotating the pan halfway through, 15-20 minutes.)

3. Place hot wings in a bowl; add melted pepper jelly or chili sauce. Stir to coat wings. Arrange wings on serving platter; sprinkle with the sesame seeds and chives.

Maggie Creamer’s veggie pizza

Growing up, I remember helping my mom whip up this delicious recipe for potlucks, picnics and any last-minute occasions. It seems so simple, but I guarantee people will ask how you made this delicious appetizer. The pizza makes 12 to 16 slices depending on how you cut it. On Super Bowl Sunday, this recipe is sure to be a hit among veggie loving women and pizza loving men.


1 tube of Pillsbury Crescent Original rolls

1 16-ounce Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing and seasoning mix

1 cup of regular mayonnaise

1 cup of cream cheese (I use the 1⁄3 fat free)

1 bag of broccoli florets

1 container of grape tomatoes or 1 or 2 whole tomatoes

1 small red onion

1 package of shredded cheese (I use the Mexican blend)

1 13-by-9 inch pan  

1. Preheat the oven to the directions on the crescent tube.  Use PAM cooking spray or butter to grease the pan. Roll out the crescent dough so it covers the entire pan’s surface. Bake for 8-10 minutes, checking frequently. Once it is brown around the edges, take out and put in freezer.

2. Blend the mayonnaise, cream cheese and ranch packet together with a whisk or blender.  Spread onto the cooled crust. (Sometimes I save any extra to dip snacks in later).

3. Cut stems off broccoli florets, chop up tomatoes still leaving big chunks and dice the onion. Spread evenly over the pizza. Finish with shredded cheese spread on top. Cut with a pizza cutter and enjoy!  

— Maggie Creamer, city hall reporter



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