(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) Planning health-conscious New Year’s resolutions typically includes cutting back on unhealthy foods during meals from breakfast to dinner. However, it’s also important to cut out sugary, calorie-laden snacks that can counteract all your hard work throughout the rest of the day.
Rather than skipping snacks entirely, it’s possible to instead incorporate nutritious options that pack protein to help you recharge without going overboard on calories, sodium and sugars. Opt for quick bites like Baked White Bean and Artichoke Dip paired with light, crunchy, low-sugar crackers to get the fuel you need between meals.
This snack idea can be especially filling yet nutritious when you dip with an option like gluten-free, non-GMO Crunchmaster Protein Snack Crackers, made with wholesome ingredients crafted to fit healthy, active lifestyles. With five grams of plant-based protein per serving, the cholesterol-free crackers can aid in providing energy without unnecessary sugars.
As you take steps to incorporate a healthier lifestyle in the New Year, be sure to take into account healthy activities along with nutritious eating habits from the first meal of the day to the last, and each snack in-between.
For more nutritious snacking ideas and recipes, visit crunchmaster.com.
Baked White Bean and Artichoke Dip with Crackers
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 1 can (15 ounces) organic white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (14 fluid ounces) water-packed artichoke hearts, drained
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, divided
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 package (3.54 ounces) Crunchmaster Protein Snack Crackers in Roasted Garlic flavor
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- In food processor, puree beans, artichokes, olive oil, 1 tablespoon chives, lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne until smooth. Scrape into 4-cup baking dish and smooth over top.
- Bake 15-20 minutes, or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining chives and serve with crackers.
Tip: Substitute parsley or mint for chives, if desired.
Nutrition information per serving: 200 calories; 10 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 580 mg sodium; 21 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 7 g protein.
(Family Features) A traditional backyard barbecue is typically filled with a wide array of tempting foods that make it hard to keep a healthy eating plan on track. With a few simple modifications to your menu, you can transform your grilling party into a spread of better-for-you foods you can still enjoy.
Get creative on the grill. An easy swap like chicken or pork instead of burgers and brats is an instant nutrition boost. Use wood chips or a marinade to create a main dish so tasty you’ll forget it’s a health-conscious choice.
Put produce front and center. There’s no time like summer to enjoy the bounty of the garden, so pile on the veggies in place of dense, calorie-laden sides. A crisp, refreshing salad, lightly seasoned veggies on the grill and even fresh raw veggies with a light yogurt dip can all be healthier additions to your barbecue menu.
Make apps amazing. A health-conscious meal doesn’t have to mean eliminating entire courses. Appetizers while you wait for the grill to heat are practically a requirement, after all. Instead of the typical rich, creamy dips, try a lighter approach, like these cracker canapes. Add a special touch with Crunchmaster crackers, which are gluten-free, non-GMO and full of flavor. Made with wholesome ingredients from trusted sources and available in Sea Salt, Roasted Vegetable, Applewood Smoked BBQ and Aged White Cheddar flavors, these snacks are crafted to fit healthy lifestyles.
Find more delicious ideas for summer entertaining at crunchmaster.com.
Grilled Watermelon, Feta and Balsamic Cracker Canapes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
- 4 watermelon wedges (1/2-inch thick slices, 4 inches wide at base)
- 16 Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Sea Salt Crackers
- 1/4 cup finely crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup prepared balsamic reduction
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
- Heat grill to medium-high; grease grate well. Grill watermelon wedges, turning once, 3-5 minutes, or until grill-marked on both sides. Cut each watermelon wedge into four smaller wedges.
- Top each cracker with watermelon wedge and sprinkle with feta. Drizzle with balsamic reduction. Garnish with fresh mint.
Tip: Add finely chopped Kalamata olives for a tangy twist.
Feed your family something simple and delicious like this Easy Tuna Casserole, loaded with vegetables, pasta and tuna for a filling meal that everyone can enjoy. In just a few easy steps, you’ll be able to please the entire family without spending hours in the kitchen – perfect for those busy weeknights when time isn’t on your side. Find more family recipes at culinary.net.
Easy Tuna Casserole
- 6 cups boiling water
- 3 cups uncooked macaroni
- 1 cup frozen vegetables (corn, carrots and peas)
- 4 TBS butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cheese powder packet
- 1 can of tuna in water (drained)
- 8 - 10 buttery crackers rounds (crushed)
- Boil water in sauce pan, then add in macaroni. Stirring ocassionaly. Boiling 8-10 minutes.
- Add frozen vegetables 2 minutes before the end of boil time.
- Drain and return to sauce pan.
- Add in butter, milk and cheese. Stir until mixed.
- Pour into casserole dish.
- Add tuna and stir into macaroni mixture.
- Sprinkle crushed buttery crackers over macaroni mixture.
- Serve immediately.
Makes about 7 dozen crackers
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black
- 1/2 teaspoon ground
- white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (about
- 8 ounces) grated
- Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter,
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1/3 cup milk
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In small bowl, combine flour, black pepper, white pepper and salt. In large bowl, beat cheese, butter and garlic until smooth. Gradually add flour mixture to cheese mixture. Mix until dough forms a ball. Gradually add milk, mixing until fully incorporated. Shape into small logs and place in Cookie Master Ultra II. Using desired disk, press crackers onto ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet on cooling grid. Remove from sheet and cool completely. Store in airtight container up to 1 week.
Source: Wilton Enterprises