With January and Super Bowl just around the corner we know that throwing a killer Super Bowl party can be hard work and has the potential to get pricey depending on group size, but we’ve found a way you can do it for a reasonable cost with good popular choices to serve your guests when they show up for the big game.

But, did you know every year, there are 72 footballs used for the Super Bowl? There are more than 700,000 footballs purchased for the NFL each year. Also, beer stays steady in the number one spot as the most preferred beverage to chug during the game, followed by soda and carbonated water. Here’s an interesting fact: according to Nielsen, the percentage of consumers who said they were drinking or serving beer fell to 30 percent from 35 percent a year ago.

Oh Yeah...Happy New Year!

Super Bowl snacks are all winners. Here are a couple good recipes to add to your already scheduled offers:

Parmesan Ranch Snack Mix

2/3 cup canola or olive oil

1 one-ounce packet ranch dip seasoning mix powder

About 4 cups popcorn, popped 2 to 3 tablespoons un-popped kernels

About 3 1/2 cups waffle-style pretzels

1/2 to 1 cup peanuts, almonds, cashews, or favorite nuts or mixed nuts, optional

3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated

In a large microwave-safe bowl, add the oil, ranch mix, and stir to combine. Add the popcorn, pretzels, nuts and optional ingredients see below. Tip to make popcorn easily — add 2 to 3 tablespoons un-popped kernels to a brown paper lunch bag, fold the top down twice, and heat for about 90 seconds on high power — don’t add oil, butter, or anything else, just the kernels.

Toss to evenly coat the mixture; it may seem a bit on the oily side, this is okay and it absorbs. Heat on high power for 2 minutes, stopping after 1 minute to toss the mixture because the oil has a tendency to pool at the bottom of the bowl. Add the Parmesan and toss to coat evenly. Serve mix immediately. Mix will keep for up to three days in an airtight container or large zip top plastic bag; but is best enjoyed same day, noting that cheese has been added and some may wish to refrigerate the mix if storing it longer term.

Optional Variations - Can be added instead of or in combination with the other dry ingredients: coarsely crushed saltines, oyster crackers, Club or Ritz crackers, rye crisps, Asian-style rice crackers, tortilla or potato chips, favorite gourmet or specialty crackers, cashews, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, pistachios. For a spicy version, add a pinch of chili powder or cayenne pepper, to taste.

Yield: 8 cups

Homemade Hummus

1- 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained, with juice reserved

1/4 cup reserved chickpea juice

The juice of one lemon

1 large clove of garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon tahini Add more to taste

Simply blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender for three minutes or until creamy. Serve with store bought pita chips.

Yield: servings for 4