Every once in a while, some of the food blog networks I partner with will offer up an opportunity to cook/make/build/eat something. When the e-mail titled “Snackadium” rolled in from Pillsbury, I knew I would be interested. What better opportunity to feed tons of my friends during the first round of football playoffs? So I set off to research Snackadiums. The Pillsbury site featured a picture of a near flawless – and giant, Snackadium.
(Pictured: Near Flawless Pillsbury built Snackadium)
In fact, a Google search of “Snackadium” reveals Snackadiums of all shapes and sizes. Huge, tiny, dessert focused, veggie focused, salty snack focused etc. But I didn’t think about the fact that Pillsbury literally had an army of people and a custom built stadium shape to house all the snacks. I mean duh, they’re a multi-billion dollar company, of course they’re going to do it right. I figured I’d throw together some relevant snack holding materials and be on my way. I got a little too obsessed with thinking there had to be some “stands” like elevation, which may have ultimately been a downfall.
I read somewhere a suggestion that desk organizers or plastic magazine holders are great ways to achieve this look. No problem. I headed for Bath & Beyond and Target to see what I could find. No plastic, but I did find some nice canvassy magazine holders & organizers. This would work I thought. A little pricier than what I would have liked for something to just hold a snack, but everything looked to be the perfect size and shape. This would be flawless. But when it came time for actual construction, I realized people might not find snacks in a canvas textured holder to be appetizing. Hmmmmm….they would have to be lined with something. With not much time to figure it out, I just went nuts lining everything with tinfoil. Pro-tip: if you want food presentation to be aesthetically pleasing, don’t wrap everything in tin foil. It just looks shiny and cheap.
Other bloggers definitely went a different route, from a kid friendly version heavy on fruit & cheese to a more detailed focus on the field to a smaller “Dessert Stadium.” Dude Foods seemed to be more down with my line of thinking: pile lots of food around a central field looking shape.
But we’re not here for aesthetics are we? No. This is So Good. We are here to consume massive amounts of snacks! So aesethics be damned, lets get this thing set up! What’s on the menu? Where to begin? Our field consisted of a massive tray of guacamole with queso and salsa for endzones. We also had: Tostitos scoops, the beloved-but-rare Fritos scoops, mixed nuts, Salt & Vinegar potato chips, Salt & Pepper potato chips, Snyders Buffalo Wing pretzel pieces and of course grapes and baby carrots for any poor souls at this snack-based party watching their figure. But that was just the snacks! I had a 2.5 pound turkey breast that I seasoned with rosemary, sea salt & black pepper and roasted up to carve fresh for sandwiches. Trays of these sandwiches plus Pillsbury crescent rolls and slices of cheese pizza I made with the Pillsbury thin crust pizza dough provided some more hearty sustenance and took up some extra space on the backside of the stadium. Lets call them the stadium parking lots. Oh, and wings. We definitely baked up about 5 pounds of wings (and went a little overboard with the cayenne pepper, but that’s a story for another day). At the end of the day, we had this:
It didn’t look too pretty (thanks ugly tin foil). But oh boy was it massive. And we definitely achieved the field/endzone look with our dips. I also liked that we did, in fact, achieve the elevated stands look, even if they essentially turned into tin foil lined troughs. I had about 15 people over, but I was very worried we wouldn’t even put a dent in it. Amazing how drinking beer for 7 hours will spur that appetite though. At the end of the day, other then a handful of chips, a couple wings and a little guacamole, we had eaten EVERYTHING. Hot damn. But also ugh. Definitely ugh when I felt too full to move off the couch for the next 6 hours.
My advice to potential Snackadium-ers out there? Don’t think quite as big or ambitious as I did. And if you do, make sure you have snack receptacles that won’t need to be awkwardly lined with tin foil. That was definitely my biggest downfall in terms of aesthetics. Also – budget plenty of time! Between constructing the whole thing, roasting a turkey breast, building sandwiches, baking pizza, baking crescent rolls, mixing 12 avocados worth of guacamole and just overall general assembly, I must have spent 4-5 hours on this. Plan ahead, think a little smaller, and give yourself 2-3 hours of preparation before guests arrived.
I have partnered with Pillsbury through DailyBuzz to help promote their Crescent Roll and Pizza Crust products. I have been compensated for my time commitment to work with this product. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments. Thank you Pillsbury for this awesome opportunity to create a Snackadium!