Blue Party

March Madness is just getting started! Have you been enjoying all these tournament games? Before tournament games can begin the regular season must first come to an end. Anyone tied with the Blues Rivalry (AKA Carolina and Duke) will know that the last regular season game is always a Battle of the Blues. This final Carolina/Duke matchup is typically 3-4 weeks past the first meeting of the season.

Today's post is all about the viewing party we hosted for the first matchup which happened to fall on my birthday! Here's the Paperless Post invite we sent to our neighbors:

If you're hosting some sort of basketball viewing party over the next month then take note! This is an easy prep spread and the dip can even be made ahead. We served everything on our ottoman in the living room so we could all seat ourselves on the sectional and not miss any of the basketball action. We had a serving tray to corral the plates and napkins as well as the chips and dip. Then we placed our large bamboo cutting board next to it which completed the spread.

The spread included chips and spinach-artichoke dip, shrimp cocktail, and crackers with salami and goat cheese. We first made the spinach-artichoke dip as a holiday appetizer a few years ago and it's become our go-to dip when we're not serving salsa with chips. You can find the recipe here. I made it the day before our party and warmed it before tipoff. I'm fairly sure the whole dish was polished off by the end of the game. For the shrimp cocktail, I purchased raw shrimp that I shelled (left the tails on) and then quickly boiled for a few minutes until opaque and pink. They were served with a prepared cocktail sauce. And the crackers with salami and goat cheese should need no explanation. 

As I said this viewing party was coinciding with my birthday and a birthday isn't complete without cupcakes! I attempted Carolina and Duke cupcakes but I put too much blue for the Carolina ones... oops. All were still tasty!

As with all Carolina-Duke games only one of us goes to bed happy. Fortunately we split this season so it we were happy and sad. Hopefully there won't be any tournament matchups!

Don't let the Madness be too maddening. And if it is just have a cupcake. 

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