100th post, Salute to Snacks

Well, it’s been 2 years and 11 months (exactly) but we’ve finally arrived, you guys.

It’s my 100th post.

I celebrated sandwiches for my 50th post and I plan to continue the tradition by saluting my next favorite thing for this milestone, snacks!

If you’re telling me that a snack is quick and easy I expect three things:

  1.  The snack can be made with five ingredients or less.
  2.  Assembly of said snack can be completed without any advanced cooking tools or methods (so… it’s easy).
  3.  I can be sitting down and enjoying the snack within ten minutes of initial conception.

If the snack isn’t all three of those things, it’s not quick and easy.  The good news is that I’ve got three quick and easy snacks to share. More good news is that additionally, I’ve got two easy (but not quick) snacks to share. The last bit of good news is that I’ve got a final snack recipe that isn’t quick or easy at all, but it is very yummy… and I was wrong about that previous information being the last bit of good news, because the actual last bit of good news is: there is no bad news. Onto the snacks!

Quick and Easy Snacks

ants on a logAnts on a Log
A classic go-to. Three ingredients: celery, peanut butter, raisins (check).  Rinse and dry celery, smear on peanut butter, drop on raisins, cut and serve (boom, check #2). If you’re fast you’re enjoying this delightful no-so-bad-for-you snack in five minutes flat (triple check).

Confirmed: Ants on a Log = The Definition of Quick and Easy.

 

apple granola bitesApple Granola Bites.
A play on Ants on a Log; an apple, peanut butter (or greek yogurt is a delicious substitute!) and granola are all you need ( √ …(not an actual check mark, but will have to do)). Wash, core and slice apple, spread on peanut butter, sprinkle on granola and serve( √√ ). Another snack you can sit down and enjoy within minutes ( √√√ ). Quick and Easy.

 

bite size tuna bitesTuna Bites
Ingredients include cucumber, carrot (optional), tuna and mayonnaise (or dijon mustard or some plain yogurt, or whatever you want to make your tuna salad out of, and also, √). Wash cucumber and carrot, slice cucumber in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds with a spoon, eat (or discard, you wasteful jerk), use a peeler to peel one or two long slices of carrot, divide into smaller pieces.  Open and drain tuna, mix with your mix, I usually use a bit of mayo and a small bit of dijon. Scoop the tuna mix onto the little cucumber boats you made, divide into bite size pieces, top with carrot, serve (√√). It took me ten minutes the first time I did it. (√√√). Quick and Easy.

 

Easy (but not quick) Snacks

deviled eggsOh, Deviled Eggs, how I love thee, let me count the ways… you need egg(s), mayonnaise, dijon, salt, pepper and olives (optional). Let me tell you something about the olive, it’s changed my deviled eggs forever. It’s the poor man’s caviar. The saltiness of the green olive is the perfect topping to the cholesterol ball you’re about to consume. Hard-boil the egg(s), this is what drops this snack out of the quick part of the quick and easy snack. I let the eggs boil for about 90 seconds before removing it from the heat and letting it sit for 12-15 minutes, transfer the eggs to an ice bath to cool them before peeling. Cut the peeled egg in half, remove the yolk and combine with mayonnaise and mustard (everyone is different, I use equal parts of both), add pepper if you like. Slice some green olives, I use one per egg slice. Fill the egg whites with the yolk mixture, top with olive and sprinkled salt and eat all of them in one sitting enjoy!

 

fruit and yougrt popFruit and Yogurt Pops
You need fresh fruit and yogurt (I used vanilla flavored greek yogurt). You also need a mold to make your pops in, and material to use as a popsicle stick. You can make whatever you want! I used fresh peaches, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. In some pops I mixed several fruits, others I made with only one type of fruit. These things will last a few months and are a fantastic, healthy go-to snack. I’m actually going to have one right now.

That was good.

 

Not Quick or Easy Snack

Behold, the soft pretzel. I am a huge sucker for these. I’ve always loved them, always will. This was my first time trying to make pretzels, I think they came out pretty good. The recipe I used was found by Googling “bread machine soft pretzel dough”, because I am lazy and the recipe book that came with my bread machine didn’t have soft pretzels (sadface).

 

Soft Pretzel Dough

1⅛   cup warm water (70-80 degrees)
3¼ cup flour
3 tbsp brown sugar
1½ tsp yeast

Load the dough ingredients into your bread machine based on the bread machine’s instructions.

Additionally, in a saucepan you’ll need:
8 cups water
½ cup baking soda

Finally, and optionally, you can add to taste and coat the baked pretzels in:
melted butter
salt


When the bread machine is done doing all of the hard work for you, knead the dough on a floured surface. Also, now is the time to bring the 8 cups of water and baking soda to a boil AND preheat the oven to 425°.


I rolled the dough into a ball, rolled over that with a rolling pin and divided the dough into 6 roughly-equal pieces.


I then rolled the dough in between my hands to make long, round strips.


If you want pretzel bites (like I made, along with a few miniature pretzels), snip the strips into bite-size pieces. If you want to make large, soft pretzels twist the dough and dab some water to ‘glue’ the pieces in place.


In small batches, boil the bites for 10 seconds before transferring to a colander or paper towel, let them dry for a moment before transferring to a greased baking sheet.


The pretzels held their form, no problems.


Bake for 8-10 minutes or until dark brown. I only cooked them to golden brown because I knew I would be reheating them the next day to serve at a party and wanted to
really brown them then. I know they look burnt, but that’s the color you ultimately want to strive for. That dark outer layer is the crispy part of the pretzel while the inside remains nice and soft. Toss or brush them in melted butter and salt. Eat them as they are or make a dipping sauce! Some people like cheesy dips, others like mustard.


Me? I’m happy with just a little extra salt sprinkled ontop.

If you’re going to reheat them (to serve at a gathering, for example), set the rack to the top position and broil them on high for a few minutes, keep an eye on them and turn them over once, take them out once you get that nice, crispy dark brown pretzel shell!

For those of you who have been with me since the beginning, thanks for sticking around for 100 whole posts! For those of you who have found me along the way, thanks for sticking around, haha. For those of you who are reading something of mine for the first time… what can I say? Feel free to stick around! I can only hope for everyone that the next 100 are more interesting, inspiring and insightful than the last!

lizzeh

 

 

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