First grade starts in less than two weeks and the talk coming from my little girl is more about lunches than what to wear on the first day. With my daughter, it's never a sure thing if she'll eat her whole lunch, but if there's a piece of sweet and salty jerky nearby, she's sure to mow it. So with school on the horizon and a beckoning London Broil at the neighborhood butcher, all signs this week pointed to making a big batch of jerky.
Puppy chow is dangerous stuff. I had never even heard of the snack until my friend Beth, an Iowa native, left some at my house after a holiday gathering and I found myself eating handful after handful of the sweet, crunchy, nutty mixture. Why wasn't there a warning label? It didn't last the night.
So when I was coming up with a menu of slightly upscale versions of lowbrow snacks for an outdoor movie party, puppy chow seemed like the right fit, especially since I was co-hosting the party with Beth, the friend who had introduced me to the treat in the first place. And adding Nutella? Well, that's always the right fit. The result is a snack that is as crunchy and addictive as the original, but less tooth-achingly sweet, with the perfect balance of toasty cereal, sweet hazelnut, dark chocolate and a little salt — just enough to keep you going back for handful after handful.
Back-to-school time is always bittersweet.
There's the excitement of returning to friends and favorite teachers, but it's
always hard to bid goodbye to summer. One way to sweeten the return to school
is to celebrate with a special after-school snack –– something that shows
you’re thinking about them. Once they’ve enjoyed their cookies, it might turn
into an opportunity to get them into the kitchen, whipping up another batch to
share with old and new friends.
I discovered my all-time favorite granola bar at a Canadian lodge one Christmas about eight years ago. We were in the middle of nowhere and I figured out pretty quickly that I wasn't as good at cross-country skiing as I thought I would be, so I set up camp in the lodge with books, coffee and granola bars from the hotel's small snack bar. They were so incredibly perfect that the granola bars are my most vivid memory of that trip. Not the dog sleds or the ice skating — nope, the granola bars.
Whether homemade or store-bought, kimchi is delicious straight from the jar, but it can also be incorporated into lots of other dishes. These savory kimchi pancakes make a scrumptious snack, side dish, or appetizer. It's easy to make them gluten-free and vegan, too. Just grab a skillet and a few simple ingredients.
It seems like everywhere I turn there's a new "hand-crafted" food gracing store shelves or farmers market booths. These words and phrases have become quick and easy marketing speak, a necessity for small food businesses to woo new customers. Sometimes this can get confusing and even a little onerous, which is what I initially thought when I saw Quinn popcorn on store shelves a few weeks ago. I mean, do we really need gourmet microwavable popcorn? I'm here to tell you that we, in fact, we do.
If your nose doesn't lead you straight to the kettle corn vendor at just about any state fair or festival this summer, then your ears surely will. The aroma of lightly caramelized popcorn combined with the merry sound of popping is all the encouragement I need to buy myself a big bag for snacking. Craving this sweet and crunchy treat without the road trip? Here's how you can make kettle corn at home.
To be honest, I have not been the greatest cheerleader of S'mores. The texture throws me off: hot gooey marshmallows, crunchy graham crackers, and a hard piece of chocolate. The whole thing tends to fall apart in your hands. And yet I can't deny the nostalgic fondness people have for this sticky treat, and when my sister asked for a backyard S'mores birthday party, I decided to find a S'more combination that would be more to my taste. This key lime pie S'more was my own personal smash hit of the evening.
Don't you just love a good pico de gallo salsa? Fresh, crisp, and singing with a touch of heat and cilantro, pico de gallo goes with so much more than the usual bag of corn chips. Use it as a sauce for broiled fish or chicken; spoon it over thinly sliced skirt steak, scrambled eggs, or roasted vegetables; or toss it into a bowl of beans. And of course, use it with tacos and burritos or any other dish that needs a dose of freshness and zing.