Everyone knows that half the fun of watching the Big Game on TV is enjoying great food and drinks between plays. With the NFL’s title game approaching on Feb. 13, California Grown has teamed up with some of the Golden State’s most talented food bloggers and culinary experts to help fans create the perfect spread featuring delicious bites made with seasonal California produce.
This recipe e-book—Golden State Game Day Eats—is free when you sign up for Visit California’s e-newsletter. (Please note that by doing so during this promotional period you agree to receive emails from California Grown.) The e-book will demonstrate how to pre-game California style, whether you’re tailgating outside SoFi Stadium in Inglewood or tuning in from the comfort of your couch.
Even better: Show us how you pre-game by posting on your social channels and you could land a cool California prize package. Simply include the hashtags #CAPregame, #VisitCalifornia, and #CAGROWN when you post for a chance to win. Check out the contest rules for more information.
The e-book features recipes for touchdown-worthy drinks, snacks, and desserts from Sarah Gim, founder of The Delicious Life; This Mess Is Ours blogger Meg van der Kruik; A Girl Defloured author Alison Needham; and K.C. Cornwell, social and digital director at California Grown and creator of the G-Free Foodie blog.
“Since the Big Game is happening in California this year, we thought it would be fun to share some delicious ideas for Golden State–style snacking,” says Cornwell. “It makes perfect sense, because California grows over 50 percent of the nation's produce and produces much of the country’s cheese, wine, and other gameday must-haves.”
As the nation’s leading agricultural state, California is home to more than 81,000 farms and ranches that produce more than 400 different crops—including more than a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts. It was this bounty that inspired the eBook’s recipes.
“The gameday staples are all there—slice-and-share sandwiches, nachos, brownies, big-batch cocktails, and spicy nuts—but with a fresh California spin that makes them even more delicious,” says Cornwell. “Not everyone swirls marshmallow and almond butter into brownies or piles nacho fixings on top of homemade sweet potato fries, but we do. The recipes are really easy and next-level tasty.”
One of Cornwell’s favorite recipes is the SoCal Sangria, made with California Zinfandel and fresh citrus juice. She’s also a big fan of the Roasted California Onion Dip featuring caramelized onions, shallots, and garlic. “Once you try this dip you’ll never go back to the packaged mix,” says Cornwell. “I'd definitely recommend making a double batch.”
For cheese board fanatics, the book includes a step-by-step Epic California Cheese Board guide by Gim, known on Instagram for her gorgeous graze boards. Along with a variety of Golden State cheeses, Gim’s “Super Board” showcases California-grown fruits—hello, strawberries and citrus!—along with colorful carrots, beets, nuts, olives, and dried fruits.
Another game-changer is Needham’s recipe for Loaded Sweet Potato Nacho Fries. The dish replaces traditional tortilla chips with oven-baked sweet potato fries, topped with melted jack cheese, pickled jalapeños, Cotija cheese, chipotle crema, and chopped cilantro.
California is home to hundreds of incredible craft breweries, but beer isn’t the only option for washing down game day eats. With their fresh and fruity flavors, wine-based cocktails might just become fan favorites. “The SoCal Sangria and California Gold Rush can both be made in batches before kickoff, so you don’t have to spend time mixing drinks during the halftime show,” Cornwell says. And for non-imbibers and designated drivers, she adds, “the honey-lemon-thyme syrup in the California Gold Rush is also fabulous in sparkling water or tea.”
For more California-inspired recipes and tips for your football-watching feast, sign up for the Visit California e-newsletter to get your free copy of the e-book. And don’t forget to share your spread on social media.