Sunday, April 29, 2012

Foodbuzz 24x24: Playoff Hockey Party

You may not know this, but along with food, one of my other passions is hockey!  I was born a hockey fan and throughout the years I've grown to truly love the sport. The very first hockey game that I attended was a playoff hockey game... when I was one-week old!  I've had a chance to cheer for many different teams throughout my life - the Calgary Flames, Quebec Nordiques, Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks, Washington Capitals, and Toronto Maple Leafs.  Once, I even got to drink champagne out of the Stanley Cup!

As a lifelong hockey fan, the Stanley Cup playoffs are the ultimate cause for celebration. The playoffs are full of excitement and some of the most exhilarating moments in sports.  From April to June, teams battle to get to the finals for a shot at winning the Stanley Cup.  It is said to be the most difficult sports trophy to win, and the teams definitely put on an amazing show for their fans as they attempt to win the 16 games necessary to be crowned Stanley Cup champions!

Every month,  Foodbuzz hosts an event called 24x24. The idea is that 24 bloggers host a food-related event all on the same day. Unfortunately, for as long as K&K Test Kitchen has been a Foodbuzz Featured Publisher, I've always been busy on the 24x24 date. But, this month, I was not only available, but I also had an idea for a party - a playoff hockey party, with food you'd either find at the hockey arena or in the home cities of the teams that were playing on the Saturday of the party.  I wanted to celebrate hockey and the excitement of the playoffs.

The difficult part of the idea was that I didn't know who would be playing on Saturday night until Friday morning!  The playoffs were so exciting that 3 teams took the full seven games of their series before a winner emerged.  So all week, I cheered for teams not based on whether I liked the team, but based on who I felt had some of the most delicious food. In the end, we had two hockey games to watch on Saturday:  New York Rangers vs. Washington Capitals and St. Louis Blues vs. L.A. Kings.


Stanley Cup Champagne Punch
Chili Dogs
Homemade hot dog condiments - ketchup and relish
Stanley Cup-cakes
NY Style Cheesecake
Caramel Popcorn

A huge thank you to Foodbuzz for sponsoring the party! And many thanks to N for his artistic decorating skills and to my friends for helping with some of the final food prep and clean up!

I will share the rest of the recipes later this week!  For now, here is the cocktail recipe!  The top of the Stanley Cup is actually a punch bowl made of silver that was gifted by Lord Stanley in 1893 to the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association.  These days the Cup has grown and is engraved with the names of the players on the Championship team, and players often drink champagne in the locker room after they win it!  So, I made a champagne based punch fit to drink out of the Cup!

Stanley Cup Champagne Punch

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Zest from three lemons (peeled, rather than grated)
3/4 cup lemon juice
1-1/2 bottles Champagne (or Brut Sparkling Wine)
1-1/2 cups vodka
600 ml Ginger Beer

In a small saucepan, stir together sugar and water, then bring it to a boil.  Cook it until it reduces by half.  Add the lemon zest to the syrup and let it cool.

In a large punch bowl or pitcher, mix together syrup, lemon zest, lemon juice, ginger beer and vodka.  Stir well, then slowly pour the champagne into the mix.  Serve in champagne flutes.

Adapted from Martha Stewart


  1. I love HOCKEY!!! Looks like a nice spread for playoff watching!

  2. so cool that you've gotten to drink out of the Stanley Cup!! great idea for the party, looks like an awesome spread :)

  3. Congrats on 24x24! Everything looks really good and great for a game party! I like hokey too, and would totally make your whole menu! Thank you for sharing!!!

    1. Thanks Sandra! I wish I could have attended your 24x24 though too since I love pasta!

  4. Congrats on the 24x24! Looks like an awesome (and delicious) party!


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