With the Big Game coming up tomorrow, we decided to hit Heinen’s for ideas to inspire menus that will score winning points at football watching parties around town. We asked four Heinen’s shoppers about their Big Game predictions and their favorite game-day dishes. Then, we turned to Heinen’s associate V Squires to get her recommendations to suit each shopper’s tastes.
We walked away with a list of super ideas for game day foods along with a few predictions about whether the Denver Broncos or the Seattle Seahawks will take home the trophy, starting with Heinen’s shopper, Carl Kubiuk.
Not only is Carl a huge football fan, he’s the father of Barrington High School senior and Bronco’s quarterback, Dan Kubiuk.
We found Carl shopping in Heinen’s Meat Department for ingredients to make game-day chili. Carl says he’ll be watching the Big Game with Dan and the rest of their family this Sunday with a big pot of chili on the stove for a dish that’s so easy to serve and eat, you barely have to take your eyes off the big screen.
Carl Kubiuk’s Big Game Prediction
“Right from the beginning of the season I thought Denver was going to be in it. Seattle was kind of up in the air. With the game happening in New Jersey, my prediction is Denver over Seattle by seven because Denver’s a cold weather team and I just think Peyton Manning is a better quarterback.”
Carl Kubiuk’s Big Game Menu
“Chili is great because it’s easy to serve, easy to clean up and everybody loves it. We’re also going to have nachos, a lot of hors d’oeuvres, shrimp and sandwiches, but chili’s going to be the main course.”
When it comes to chili for football game entertaining, like Carl, V’s a big fan. “When you think about the game, you think about family being around you’re looking for something that’s warm and filling and hearty and chili is the perfect comfort food. You can put it in your crockpot for hours so your house will smell great all day as you’re getting ready to watch the game.”
V also says Heinen’s can help if you’d like to serve chili without lifting a finger at home. “We always have beef chili available at Heinen’s soup bar. And our sweet cornbread from Heinen’s bakery is the perfect accompaniment. It’s moist and it’s thick and it has a nice little hint of sweetness. People are head over heels about our cornbread!”
In Heinen’s produce department, we found two shoppers who think the Seattle Seahawks have this weekend’s Big Game in the bag. Todd Vanderveen, who was shopping with his wife Carrie, says he recently bumped into a bunch of the Seahawks in Seattle.
Todd’s Big Game Prediction
“I’ll be cheering for the Seahawks because I was actually at a casino in Seattle this past week and there were six or seven of the Seahawks playing at the table right across from me. It was Richard Sherman, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Mike Richardson and they were literally playing ten feet away from me.”
“For Sunday’s game, I think it’s best defense against best offense. Because defense normally wins championships, I’m going to pick the Seattle Seahawks, 24 to 21.”
Todd’s Big Game Menu
“I’ll be making fresh guacamole, all from scratch, with avocados, some lime juice and a little extra sea salt.”
Love dipping chips into some rich and creamy guacamole? V says you have to try Heinen’s hot dips found on the shelves to the right of the deli counter.
“We have a Chorizo and Cheddar dip that has jalapeno peppers and ground chorizo with a little bit of pico de gallo and cheddar cheese on top.”
We also have a Sweet Onion Dip with vidalia onions mixed with cheese and some panko bread crumbs on top. Our Buffalo Chicken Dip has blue cheese and celery on top.
And our Spinach and Artichoke Dip, which is the fan-favorite, is nice and creamy with perfect, bite-sized artichokes.”
To go with Heinen’s hot dips, V recommends trying a side of Donkey Chips. “They’re really popular because they’re a thick corn chip. You know how most chips break when you go to dip them in? The Donkey Chips don’t break.”
This week we also met Heinen’s shopper Bob Jacob who was picking up ingredients for his Big Game menu with a few predictions of his own.
Bob’s Big Game Prediction
“I’m predicting the Denver Broncos will win. I came from Kansas City an I’m a Chiefs fan so anyone that can beat the Chiefs, I’ll be pulling for them because it’s the same conference.”
Bob’s Big Game Menu
“I’m pretty much a traditionalist. I like the quick things like wings, nachos, the kind of standard fare that we can prepare fairly easily and just snack on throughout the game.”
Love bite sized snacks? V Squires recommends you stop by Heinen’s meat department and pick up some chicken drumettes for a quick and easy game day finger food. “You can always fry them or bake them and then toss them in some Frank’s hot sauce mixed with butter for a great buffalo sauce.”
“You can also toss them in our Two Brothers sauces like our BBQ sauce or Teriyaki marinade for a little something different.”
And V has two recommendations for shopper Mike Geers who has a few game day predictions of his own.
Mike’s Big Game Predictions
“I think Seattle is going to win because of their defense. Three of the last four Super Bowls where the number one offense went against the number one defense, the number one defense won so odds are that Seattle’s going to win because of their defense.
Mike’s Big Game Menu
“I like a variety of finger food. The type of stuff that you can munch on during the whole game like dips, chips, meatballs, cheese and crackers, maybe little bits of pizza. Things that are easy for the host and easy for the guest, where you don’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen.”
For shoppers like Mike Geers who favor finger food for football watching, V has two great ideas. “First, I’d suggest our Niman Ranch Pulled BBQ Pork.”
“It comes already packaged in the meat department and you can make pork sliders using our slider buns in bakery.”
“Or, you could pick up some of our Lou’s Italian Sausage along with a bottle of Mid’s Homestyle Pizza Sauce and some Boboli pizza crusts and make bite sized versions of a great game day pizza at home.” With the selection of fresh items available in Heinen’s produce department, V says you can choose any topping for your mini pizzas to please all palates this Sunday.
And if you’d like to keep your Big Game menu as simple as possible, V’s final recommendation is to visit Heinen’s Prepared Foods counter where you’ll find some great pre-made appetizers.
Her favorites include Pig Wings (rib meat on the bone tossed in Two Brothers BBQ Sauce), Sauerkraut Balls (Sauerkraut with minced ground beef tossed in panko bread crumbs and deep fried) or Habenero Bites (habanero peppers with minced ground beef tossed in a panko breading crust and deep fried).
Whatever you choose to serve, you’ll find Big Game winners in every department at Heinen’s Grocery in Barrington.
Heinen’s Grocery is located at, 500 N. Hough Street, between E. Main Street and Route 14 (next to Meatheads) in Barrington, Illinois. They’re open 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit Heinens.com.