Ways to Help You Prepare for March Madness

march madness, Stola

With the annual basketball tournament right around the corner, we’ve compiled some ideas to help you get ready for all your March Madness parties these next few weeks. Kick-off the basketball championship season with some tasty recipes and decorating tips.

If you’re a host, take note of some of our great decorating tips, along with our recipe trifecta, which will come in handy whether you’re a host or an attendee. The Stola team is here to make planning easy for your March Madness celebrations. Check out our Utility Totes for help carrying party dishes or decorations.

Get Festive in Style

First things first, get on your decorating face to give your entertainment room a March Madness makeover. A frequented area at every get together is the snack table, so don’t leave this out of your décor plans. You can easily buy some Spalding® paper tableware, but if you want to get more creative start with some real basketballs.

Make basketball bowls by cutting a basketball in half—just follow the middle black line with your scissors. To make these bowls food safe either line with plastic wrap or place a similar sized food bowl inside them. Great for chips or dips!

march madness, stola

Pretty generic decorations can also be bought online but a good DIY idea is making your own scoreboard. Just use some craft and printer paper to create a paper scoreboard that matches the one above (without the flashing lights). You can use sticker numbers to keep score, though that’s a lot of work and could get messy. Maybe just print some numbers off to use in the scoreboard, and make sure the team you’re rooting for is ahead.

A Recipe Trifecta

No sports viewing party is complete without an array of delicious food to munch on. We’ve covered all the mains, so you can succeed in whatever food category you’ve been assigned for your March Madness celebrations. Follow these recipes to be the rising food star of your friend group this basketball season.


march madness, stola

Probably the most popular category for any food-centric celebrations, you can’t go wrong with snack food. For a hit snack recipe this March Madness, cook up some bacon-wrapped jalapeños. More is better with this recipe, they’ll fly right off the plate.


10 jalapeños, halved and seeded

12 ounces cream cheese

3 green onions, thinly sliced

2 packs of bacon


  1. Preheat oven to 425°
  2. Cut the jalapeños lengthwise and scrape the seeds out.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl combine the thinly sliced green onions and the cream cheese, mix well.
  4. Evenly scoop the mixture into the halved jalapeños.
  5. Wrap each jalapeño in a piece of uncooked bacon and place on a greased baking sheet.
  6. Bake in the oven 15-20 minutes, until bacon is crispy.


march madness, stola

Hot dogs are a common staple at sports events, but you can step it up a notch with some grilled brats. I personally love brats stuffed with cheese, so I’ve included them in this recipe, along with some preferred toppings. Feel free to mix it up using your favs.


1-pound sauerkraut

3 packs of cheddar brats

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 white onion

Spicy brown mustard


  1. First cook the sauerkraut, as it will take the longest. Drain and wash off your sauerkraut in a mesh drainer in the sink.
  2. Transfer sauerkraut to a pot and cover it with water. Bring it to a boil.
  3. Place a lid on the pot and let the sauerkraut simmer for 35 to 45 minutes.
  4. You can choose to either grill the brats or cook them on the stovetop. (It’s still pretty cold around here in March, so the stovetop might be better.) For grilling, cook at 350° F in a covered grill for 5 to 7 minutes. Or cook in a pan sprayed with cooking oil for 4 minutes on either side on medium-high heat. Turn down the heat, cover the brats, and simmer for about 10 more minutes.
  5. In a separate pan heat up olive oil. Julienne the onion and add it to the heated olive oil, cooking for 5 to 7 minutes.
  6. When all of the ingredients are finished, toast the brat buns. Preheat the oven to 350°
  7. Butter the outside of the buns, then place butter-side up on a baking sheet.
  8. Bake for about 5 minutes.
  9. When everything is done, combine it all on a bun and enjoy! Don’t forget to add the spicy mustard. Pro tip: If you’re hosting, you could just separate all the cooked ingredients for guests to put together themselves.


march madness, stola

Here in the Midwest a traditional dessert everyone loves is “Puppy Chow”. After you take one bite, you’ll understand the appeal of this treat that will keep you coming back for more. It’s probably a good idea to just move your “Puppy Chow" bowl near the TV, unless you want to keep it all for yourself.


1 ½ cups peanut butter

1 ½ cups milk chocolate chips

8 cups Rice Chex™ Cereal

1 ½ cups powdered sugar


  1. In a medium mixing bowl combine peanut butter and milk chocolate chips.
  2. Melt in a saucepan on the stovetop with medium heat, stirring regularly.
  3. When the peanut butter and chocolate have melted together remove from heat.
  4. Add half the cereal to an extra-large mixing bowl and pour half the melted mixture on top. Repeat, using up the rest of the cereal and coating mixture.
  5. Stir everything together until the Rice Chex™ is evenly coated. Pro tip: Combine the ingredients in a food storage bag instead and shake it up to mix everything together.
  6. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes, then add the powdered sugar and mix until everything is combined.
  7. Enjoy your “Puppy Chow”!

Bracket Up

Confidently schedule your March Madness parties with these decorating tips and recipe ideas. Look out for the reveal of participating college basketball teams during Selection Sunday. Who are you rooting for to make it to the national championship game? Let us know in the comments!

Written and Published – Writer at HMS Mfg. Co. for the Stola™ brand

Copyright © 2019 by HMS Mfg. Co. All Rights Reserved

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