Next game night, be a winner with homemade snacks
You’re all ready for trivia night. You know who won the Battle of Waterloo (the Duke of Wellington). You know the tallest building in the United States (One World Trade Center). You know how many sentences there are in the Gettysburg Address (10).
But you don’t know what food to bring.
Trivia is only part of the fun of trivia night. The other part is eating.
Anyone can stop at the grocery store and pick up a box of cookies to bring, and many people do. But that is merely perfunctory, a no-thought solution to an immediate need. Surely, your trivia teammates would be happier if you brought in some nice, homemade snack, particularly if you don’t know how many teaspoons there are in a gallon (768).
To be a winner in your trivia snack-making, you only have to remember a few guidelines: It should be something you can eat with your fingers, it should be relatively quick to make and it should not be particularly good for you. Crudités can wait for another occasion.
For my extravaganza, I made five snacks, five also being the number of U.S. states’ names that have a direction in them (North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia).
CHIPOTLE AND ROSEMARY ROASTED NUTS
Yield: 8 servings
3 cups whole roasted unsalted cashews (14 ounces)
2 cups whole walnut halves (7 ounces)
2 cups whole pecan halves (7 ounces)
½ cup whole almonds (3 ounces)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
⅓ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder, or less, according to taste
4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves, divided Kosher salt Note: This recipe can easily be halved. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or coat generously with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, combine the cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, vegetable oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice and chipotle powder. Toss to coat the nuts evenly. Add 2 tablespoons of the rosemary and 2 teaspoons of salt, and toss again.
Spread the nuts in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring twice, until the nuts are glazed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with 2 more teaspoons of salt (use 1 teaspoon if the cashews were salted) and the remaining 2 tablespoons of rosemary. Toss well and set aside at room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking as they cool. Taste for seasoning. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in airtight containers at room temperature.
PER SERVING: 672 calories; 60 g fat; 7 g saturated fat; no cholesterol; 14 g protein; 30 g carbohydrate; 13 g sugar; 7 g fiber; 967 mg sodium; 110 mg calcium — Recipe by Ina Garten
Yield: 16 servings
1 cup shredded parmesan, cheddar or
Monterey Jack cheese Black pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place 1 tablespoon of the shredded cheese in a circle on the prepared baking sheet (you will get more attractive results if you use a 2 or 2½-inch biscuit cutter as a template). Repeat, spacing the piles about 1½ inches apart.
Bake until the cheese is bubbly and starts to become golden, about 8 to 10 minutes for cheddar or Monterey Jack cheeses and about 10 to 12 minutes for parmesan. Remove parchment paper to a counter or platter and sprinkle cheese with pepper while it is still hot. When they are room temperature, remove and store in airtight container.
PER SERVING: 28 calories; 2.2 g fat; 1.3 g saturated fat; 6 mg cholesterol; 1.5 g protein; no carbohydrate; no sugar; no fiber; 42 mg sodium; 50 mg calcium
— Adapted from “My Beverly Hills Kitchen,” by Alex Hitz
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
18 cups popped, unflavored popcorn (from two
3½-ounce microwave bags or a heaping
½ cup unpopped kernels)
½ cup light brown sugar
⅓ cup light corn syrup
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 cup Nutella (one 13-ounce container)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 250 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with foil. Place the popped corn in a very large bowl and set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, salt and butter over medium heat. Cook until the butter is melted and the sugar dissolved, about 2 minutes. Stir in the Nutella until incorporated, then quickly stir in the vanilla and baking soda. Remove from the heat and pour over the popcorn, tossing to evenly coat the kernels.
Divide the coated popcorn between the 2 baking sheets, spreading evenly. Place in the oven and cook, stirring every 10 minutes, until the coating dries onto the popcorn, 30 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.
PER SERVING (based on 6): 435 calories; 13 g fat; 12 g saturated fat; no cholesterol; 5 g protein; 75 g carbohydrate; 53 g sugar; 6 g fiber; 139 mg sodium; 64 mg calcium — Recipe from tastingtable.com
Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts (what was Rosemary Clooney’s first million-selling No. 1 hit? “Come On-a My House”).
Cheese Crisps (what is the most common category in Final Jeopardy? U.S. Presidents).
Nutella Popcorn (what state produces the most popcorn? Nebraska, 250 million pounds per year).