Posts Tagged ‘snacks’

Seasoned Oyster Crackers

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Recently, my family had a party celebrating my grandpa’s life. He died a few years ago, but we decided to celebrate his birthday this year by coming together as a family and playing some of his favorite games and eating some of his favorite foods.

There are a few things that stand out in my mind when it comes to “Paw-Paw” foods, but I knew that the family would have most of them covered. (Fried Bologna Sandwiches, Colby Cheese in the wax wrapping, and spreadable yellow mustard in a jar, in case you were wondering). But one of the most iconic “Paw-Paw” foods for me has to be oyster crackers. My grandparents kept them in a canister on the fridge, and when he ate soup for lunch, the canister would come down as he set out everything he’d need for his midday meal. They were fun for me, as a little kid–we didn’t really have them at home. And as I got older, whenever I happened to come across them (mostly on the side of a Steak ‘N Shake cup of chili), they always made me think of Paw Paw. Today, they’re my own soup-cracker of choice, and I remember him fondly whenever we have chili or soup at home.

For the party, I wanted to be a little creative with oyster crackers–treat them as my own kind of “secret ingredient,” Iron Chef style, but I was stuck. When I mentioned my dilemma to some co-workers at lunch, a few people suggested this recipe for seasoned snack crackers. On their recommendation, I decided to whip them up.

When my roommate Leah came home and saw me making them, she got super-excited…apparently they’re a treat from her own home, something her mom would make from time to time when she was younger.

The recipe was about as simple as can be, and the crackers were pretty tasty. Nothing extraordinary, but a quick and tasty treat. The kind of thing that will be nice to have in my back pocket for late-notice parties. These could be set out anywhere you’d put out Chex Mix, or mixed nuts, for example. I also ate some of the leftovers with a bowl of tomato soup, which really dressed up a basic soup.

Seasoned Oyster Crackers

  • 2 bags oyster crackers
  • 2 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 packet dry ranch dressing (I used Hidden Valley Ranch)
  1. Microwave oil in a 2 cup glass container for about 45-60 seconds. Whisk in seasonings and buttermilk ranch dressing package.
  2. Pour over oyster crackers in a large container and mix until thoroughly coated. Store in an air tight container.

Kevin Bacon Popcorn

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Everything is better with bacon. At least, that’s what everyone says these days. So even though I was a little bit skeptical of this recipe from the latest issue of Food Network Magazine, I was willing to give it a try. And I’m glad I did.

This “Kevin Bacon Popcorn” is part of a feature called “Best Supporting Snacks” for your Oscar party (which includes many other ridiculously-named treats, like “Chex and the City Mix” or “Cheesy Move Dip”). In honor of the nominations today, I figured it was a good time to share it with all of you.

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Kevin Bacon Popcorn
Adapted from Food Network Magazine

  • 16 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup of popcorn
  • smoked paprika
  • popcorn salt
  • bacon salt

1. Place bacon slices on a metal rack in a baking pan, sprinkle with brown sugar, and bake at 400 degrees until crisp (about 12 minutes). Chop.

2. Make stove-popped popcorn using bacon drippings in place of oil. (To make stove-popped popcorn, heat about 1/3 cup of oil until very hot, but not smoking, in a large heavy pot with a lid. Add a couple of kernels to the pot–when they pop, you know the oil is ready. Add remaining popcorn in a single layer and put the lid on. Shake the pan during popping to keep the kernels from burning. When the popping slows, remove the pan from the heat until the popping stops.)

3. Toss the popcorn with bacon, smoked paprika, and salts, to taste.

Note: This was an awesome twist on a standard snack. Bacon does, indeed, make it better. The paprika and bacon salt add smokiness to the popcorn, while the small pieces of sugar-glazed bacon spread throughout the popcorn bring the perfect balance of salty and sweet into the mix. I know I’ll make this again.

I don’t know if everything is better with bacon, but I can say for sure that popcorn is better with bacon!