As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve spent a lot of my time this week staring at a screen at what’s going on in Vancouver (a lovely city where, incidentally, Mr. Twistie and I honeymooned). That’s meant less time than usual for cooking and more need than usual for the kind of fun, easy to eat snacks that one doesn’t feel so horrible about accidentally strewing about the room on seeing someone do something incredible or seeing one’s personal favorite athlete make the podium (Go Evan Lysacek!).
In addition to that, this happens to coincide with a request from reader JB who apparently read my mind and requested a couple recipes that don’t require an oven, since she is currently without.
I also decided that it was time to take a look at some of the great recipes available for free on the web instead of cookbooks that might or might not fit into the current available budget of some of our readers. There are some fabulous sites out there brimful of great recipes that are fun to make and utterly delicious. Besides, my personal challenge was to use written recipes I’ve never used before, but I never said they had to come out of books!
So it was that I perused the quick and easy snack recipes over at epicurious and found a couple goodies that looked tasty and wouldn’t dislodge me from the hypnotic joys of curling or the drama of short track speed skating (You couldn’t pay me to watch roller derby, but put it on ice skates instead of wheels, and I can’t look away. Go figure.) for too long.
Since the recipes are both available online, I’m just posting links to them and notes about how they worked for me.
First up, Pecan Praline Popcorn Treats. This is what Cracker Jack wants to be when it grows up. Ridiculously simple, quick, and a fabulous combination of crunch, goo, salty and sweet. In short, this is the almost perfect TV watching junk food. The almost? Well, that gooey, sticky factor does eventually make you either go wash your hands or get caramel all over the remote. Keep a couple wipes at hand, so you don’t wind up with a remote that sticks to both the couch and the cat. Enjoy the heck out of this one!
Next, Cheddar Chutney Tea Sandwiches. After all, you’ll need some savory treats as well as sweet. These lovely little bite-and-a-half sized sandwiches are a breeze to make (all you’ll need is a knife, a grater, a spoon, and a bowl, really), delicious, zesty, and satisfying. Watch for drips if you don’t just pop the whole (tiny) sandwich in your mouth. I recommend extra-sharp cheddar for the bite, but it would still be good with a milder cheese. I also substituted a different chutney than Major Grey’s. MG’s is more than fine, but I get an incredible tamarind-based chutney from my local farmer’s market. Play with cheeses and chutneys until you find the combo that makes you smile.
Maybe I’ll have some of both while I watch tonight’s broadcast.