Winnipeg Jets Home Opener Party Plan

| October 6, 2011 | 0 Comments

So what do you do if you want to celebrate the return of the Jets but happen to be over 1440 miles away?

You throw the most kick ass Jets home opener party in the state of Texas, that’s what you do.

I moved down to Austin TX over 10 years ago to pursue a career in film. There is a small, yet very passionate and knowledgeable, hockey community which I immediately sought out  and latched onto. There is nothing like going to the rink in the middle of February wearing shorts and flip flops! I knew if I threw a party for the Jets I would get a huge response.

As soon as they announced the NHL was coming back to Winnipeg, I said to my wonderful wife that I wanted to do something to celebrate. The first plan was to drive up to Dallas to see the team play there. Sadly, that plan died when it was announced that the Jets would be staying in the east for at least another year and wouldn’t be visiting Dallas.

Onto plan B which was to invite a bunch of people to my house to watch the game.

You see while almost every hockey fan down here is happy the Jets are back none of them are as big of fans as I am. I was there for the first white out and for every game the final season. So, it was on me to have a party to welcome the Jets back.

My main concern was that I would not be able to get the game down here. Thankfully, the NHL network announced they would pick it up, so I dodged a bullet on that one.

Now onto the menu.

Texas has great food. I wanted to come up with a menu that was both simple (I don’t want to be cooking the whole game) yet would appeal to a large group. My first notion was to cook a brisket. In Texas the cooking of a brisket is a time extensive almost religious experience. Depending on the size of the cut of meat it would take over 12 hours to properly cook.

I spent most of my summer perfecting my brisket technique. I experimented with rubs, looked into injections and researched what type of smoke would give it the best flavor. Then came a wrinkle in the plan.

We were invited to a good friends wedding on Oct 8th. The wedding is over an hour and a half from my house and I wouldn’t have the time needed to prep and cook a brisket properly to have it ready for the home opener. We would probably be returning late from the wedding then I would have to fire up the smoker no later than 3am and even then that would be cutting it close.

So, as with everything else in this story, I needed to come up with a new plan. I decided to go with a very easy yet flavorful recipe that everyone seems to love.


Queso & Chips


  • 2 lb. (32 oz.) VELVEETA Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 can (10 oz.) Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, undrained (can substitute with a jar of salsa)
  • 1 lb. (16 oz.) Jimmy Dean Hot Pork Sausage (optional)


First in a nonstick pan cook the sausage. Be sure to drain any excess grease.

You can do this in a microwave as well but I prefer to do it in a crockpot. The flavors seem to blend a lot better. Place the cheese into the pot and melt completely on high. Stir in the the tomatoes and green chilies. Once they are mixed well put the cooked pork sausage, stir and then put the lid back on the crockpot. Set the heat to low and let it simmer for a while.

Serve with tortilla chips.

This is a very quick and easy dish and great for any party.


Crackpot Chicken Tacos


  • 4-6 lb skinless boneless chicken breast (can be frozen)
  • 3 cans Green Chilies undrained
  • 1 package of Chicken Taco seasoning
  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 1/4 Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This is another recipe where you need a crockpot (I have like 3). Place all the ingredients into the crock pot together. DO NOT STIR. Set the crockpot to low and let cook for 4-6 hours. Once the chicken is done, shred and serve on Corn Tostadas with Monterey Jack cheese and the veggies of your choice.
The beauty of both these dishes is that they take very little prep time and can be cooked throughout the day of the party. I would say do the Queso about 20 minutes before guests arrive and for the tacos I would start them around noon so they can be ready for the first or second intermission. Add in some adult beverages and you have yourself a party.
Now I need to go and start cleaning up the house.
After the game I will be posting my reactions with some pics of the party.
Go Jets Go!

Related Jets Articles:

  1. Deron Quint
  2. Kris King

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