Bring the stadium to your living room

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First Posted: 1/23/2015

If you’ve spent any amount of time on Pinterest lately, you may have seen pictures of a variety of “Snackadiums” — a sizable spread of perfect snack foods for the big game, strategically placed in a structure built to resemble a football stadium. They range from really complicated (need to hire a professional builder) to very simple, using one or two trays.

This one is a middle-ground. Assembling the pieces to resemble a stadium was the most difficult and time consuming part. Best to do this part a day or two before the game.

Gather: Keep scissors and duct tape or hot glue, close by. You’ll also need tinfoil trays and loaf pans, plastic containers and toothpicks for the structure. Spare pieces of cardboard and tinfoil are also good to have on hand.

Food items: cheese sticks for stand separators, guacamole for the field, hummus or salsa for end zones, an assortment of cold cuts, fruits, vegetables, chips, popcorn and pretzels to fill the stands.

Build: It’s hard to be precise when working with tinfoil trays, plastic tubs and duct tape, but measuring helps with the arrangement of the foil and plastic pieces to most resemble a football stadium. Assemble “stands” along a flat tinfoil tray, the field, and behind the end zones, securing with tape or hot glue. Tape will give the structure more stability. Keep the incline of your stadium slight, a big incline will cause food to roll down onto the field part and not stay put. There may be gaps near the corners. To fill them, cover pieces of cardboard with tinfoil until the gaps are covered. Duct tape the pieces in place. (This sounds more complicated than it really it is.)

Slice and dice: After your structure is complete, roll the cold-cut slices and halve the fruit items. Items are less likely to slide, or roll, on the trays if there is a flat bottom, especially the cheese sticks. After you’ve cut the fruit, vegetables and cheese, put them in a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to build.

Fill it up: About 30 minutes before planning on serving is when you’ll want to fill the stadium (this will help keep the food fresh until your guests start to arrive) Start from the lowest point, the field. Smear the guacamole in the middle of the tray leaving both ends empty. Fill the ends with hummus to create end zones. For field yardage markers, shredded cheese or sour cream are good options.

Place the halved cheese sticks to divide stand sections into thirds.

Once divided, began to fill your stands.

For the spaces in between the end zones and the length of the field, light items including popcorn and chips are good fillers. If using small peppers, as pictured, place the bigger, heavier ones on the bottom adding the smaller peppers closer to the top.

The end zone containers are more bucket shaped, so putting pretzel sticks, bagel chips or even slices of bread are good options.

Tips: Make sure to fill your snackadium wherever you plan on serving it. Once all the food items are in place, you won’t want to risk moving your structure.

Keep a camera handy because you’ll want to document some astonished looks as your guests marvel at your Super Bowl creation.