(Family Features) Whether you’re prepping for an extravagant party or an impromptu get-together, being prepared with cupboard staples and entertaining tricks can help you take your gathering to the next level.
Make menu planning a breeze and put a unique twist on your party from start to finish with these great ideas from the experts at Dare Foods:
Snacks with flair. Use geometric cookie-cutters to bring thoughtful detail to essential hors d'oeuvres like crackers, cheese and melon slices.
Vivid votive. Fill mason jars with water and add slices of lemon or lime along with sprigs of rosemary. Float a tea light on top and place around the yard or on tables for a beautiful way to decorate your outdoor space.
Sparkler sendoff. Light up the night with festive sparklers for endless entertainment. Place them in a decorative pail and sit back as guests enjoy the photo opp.
When it comes to bite-size snacks, crackers are one pantry basic you can dress up or down for a wide range of party-worthy treats in minutes. For example, garden-fresh fixings atop crisp crackers make for light canapes that celebrate the best of summer flavors. Just start with one of Dare’s mouthwatering crackers, loaded with crunch and packed with flavor, and pile on the goodness.
If you’re looking for an elegant appetizer to wow dinner guests, a robust, crisp cracker makes the perfect base for a sweet corn salad and luxurious scallops. Or, for a delicious sweet treat, use Dare’s sweet potato cracker to lend a unique twist to a classic s’mores recipe.
Find more creative cracker recipes for your next event at darefoods.com.
Sauteed Corn, Feta, Cherry Tomato and Scallop Crackers
Prep time: 15 minutes
- 2 ears corn
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 10 large scallops
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 2 tablespoons finely sliced basil
- 10 Brenton Vinta crackers
- Slice corn off of cob.
- Heat vegetable oil in pan until hot, saute corn until golden brown, 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- In another pan, heat vegetable oil until hot. Salt scallops then sear for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Slice in half to create 10 round scallop discs.
- Mix corn, feta, tomatoes and basil together. Season with salt and pepper.
- To compile, place spoonful of corn salad on each cracker. Top with 2 pieces of scallop and 1 sprig of basil.
Marshmallow, Chocolate, Sweet Potato Crackers
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 10 large marshmallows
- 20 Breton sweet potato and ancient grain crackers
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips, divided
- Heat broiler to low (set rack in top two-thirds of oven if low-heat setting is unavailable).
- Place marshmallows on one cracker and broil 1-3 minutes, or until they begin to brown and soften.
- Remove from oven and place 1 teaspoon chocolate chips onto hot marshmallows.
- Let sit 1 minute to allow chocolate to soften.
- Place cracker on top and enjoy.
Source: Dare Foods
(Family Features) No matter what kind of events you have on your social calendar, you can pop up delicious treats that are sure to be a hit.
Whether hosting a get-together for the guys and tuning into the game or having a night in with the girls, freshly popped popcorn, which is naturally low in fat and calories, non-GMO and gluten free, can help you please every palate.
Sweet, spicy, salty or served in more non-traditional ways, the possibilities are endless, and perfect for everything from date night to a family movie night or even a sleepover or kids’ party. And since it’s healthy and whole grain, popcorn is a satisfying snack suitable for every occasion that you can feel good about serving.
Find more versatile, nutritious recipes for your next event at popcorn.org.
Cookies ’N Cream Popcorn
- 12 cups popped popcorn
- 1 package (11 ounces) white chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 15 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped
- Place popcorn in large bowl; set aside.
- In medium saucepan on low heat, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil; stir until blended.
- Pour melted chocolate over popcorn, stirring until well-coated. Stir in chopped Oreos.
- Spread mixture on baking sheet and chill until chocolate has set. Break into pieces to serve.
Popcorn Party Pizza
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 bag (10.5 ounces) mini marshmallows
- 2 quarts popped popcorn
- 1 tube (.68 ounces) red piping gel
- 1 package red raspberry fruit roll-ups
- green jelly beans
- candy-coated chocolate pieces
- Spray 12-inch pizza pan with cooking spray; set aside.
- In large saucepan over medium heat, heat butter.
- Stir in marshmallows until melted.
- Stir in popcorn until well coated.
- Spread mixture evenly onto prepared pizza pan.
- Drizzle red piping gel over “pizza” to make “sauce.”
- Cut small circles (about 1 1/4 inches in diameter) from fruit roll-up and place on pizza for “pepperoni” slices.
- Decorate as desired with jelly beans, coconut and candies. Allow to cool completely before cutting into wedges to serve.
Popcorn and Peanut Truffles
- 6 cups popped popcorn
- 1 cup roasted and salted peanuts
- 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup honey
- In large bowl, stir popcorn and peanuts together; set aside.
- In microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate chips 10 seconds. Stir chips and repeat, stirring after each 10 seconds, until chips are melted. Warm honey in microwave 10 seconds and stir into chocolate until well blended.
- Pour chocolate mixture over popcorn mixture and stir until popcorn is evenly coated. With small ice cream scoop, push popcorn mixture into scoop and release onto wax paper to form truffles. Refrigerate until firm.
Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Truffles can be stored in an airtight container up to 5 days.
Toasted Coconut and Chocolate Popcorn
- 10 cups popped popcorn
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 bag (7 ounces) shredded coconut, toasted
- Place popcorn in large bowl; set aside.
- In small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and coconut extract; stir until melted and combined.
- Pour over popcorn, coating well. Spread popcorn onto large cookie sheet.
- In glass measuring cup, melt chocolate chips and vegetable oil in microwave on low heat until smooth. Drizzle over popcorn. Immediately sprinkle coconut over popcorn mixture; cool.
- Break into pieces and serve.
Cheesy Pepperoni Popcorn
- 1/4 cup nonfat Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1/8 teaspoon dried sage
- black pepper, to taste
- 12 cups popped popcorn
- 3/4 cup turkey pepperoni, cut into bite-size bits
- olive oil cooking spray
- In small bowl, combine Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, oregano, marjoram, basil, sage and pepper; mix well.
- Place cooked popcorn and turkey pepperoni in large bowl; spray lightly with cooking spray.
- Sprinkle popcorn and pepperoni with cheese mixture and toss to coat evenly.
Source: Popcorn Board
(Family Features) Whether you’re a casual exerciser, a professional athlete or just looking for a nutritious breakfast, kick off your day with protein-packed recipes.
As an expert in the nutritional needs of professional athletes, Megan Chacosky, chef and registered dietitian for the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team, stresses the importance of protein in any fitness enthusiast’s diet. Protein helps build, maintain and repair muscles while increasing energy and endurance, which can help strengthen the body and avoid injuries. Adding a protein beverage like Rockin’ Protein, made from fresh Shamrock Farms milk with up to 30 grams of protein per serving, into healthy breakfast recipes is one way to increase the protein level and nutritional benefits of your breakfast.
These recipes are quick to prep for grab-and-go mornings to start your day with proper nutrition. To learn more, visit rockinprotein.com.
- 1 bottle (12 ounces) Chocolate Rockin’ Protein Builder
- 12 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 cup oil
- 2 cups roasted hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- Heat oven to 325° F.
- In large bowl, combine protein builder, rolled oats, maple syrup, oil, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds; mix until oats, hazelnuts and seeds are coated. On baking sheet, spread granola in thin layers and bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes.
- Cool completely then sprinkle in chocolate chips and serve with yogurt, on smoothie bowl or as cereal.
Nutritional information per serving: 295 calories; 32 g carbohydrates; 7.5 g protein; 16 g fat; 6 g sugar.
Blueberry Cornbread Muffins
Servings: 12 muffins
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 egg
- 1 cup Vanilla Rockin’ Protein Builder
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Heat oven to 400° F. Line muffin tin with 12 paper or foil muffin liners and set aside.
- In medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; once mixed, toss in blueberries to coat.
- In separate bowl, combine egg, protein builder, oil and lemon juice. Pour liquid ingredients into dry mix and stir until just combined. Divide into lined muffin tins and bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
Nutritional information per serving: 245 calories; 25 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 15 g fat; 6 g sugar.
Source: Rockin’ Protein