Looking for a fun, low-stress way to spend an evening with your family? Why not have an at-home Movie Night? If you have young kids, you can tailor your movie selections to G- and PG-fare such as Cars 3 and The LEGO Batman Movie. If your kids are older or it’s just the grownups around, you can turn to stronger stuff –live-action superheroes, explosions, adventure and maybe a little romance.
Whatever your movie fare, everyone will want something to snack on. This is where you can offer up some cool – and easy – alternatives to usual movie-theater fare. Best of all, you don’t have to save these snacks just for Movie Night.
Cookie Monster Popcorn
10 cups popped popcorn
3 T. butter
3 cups mini marshmallows
1 Go-Pak container miniature Chips Ahoy cookies
1 Go-Pak container miniature Oreos
1 package Wilton candy eyes
Blue food coloring
1. Make popcorn.
2. Salt popcorn and set aside.
3. Melt butter in medium saucepan on medium heat.
4. Add mini marshmallows to pan and stir until melted.
5. Turn off heat.
6. Add blue food coloring to the marshmallow mixture.
7. Coat popcorn with marshmallow mixture to taste.
8. Pour coated popcorn onto a prepared cookie sheet.
9. Drizzle remaining marshmallow mixture over popcorn.
10. Sprinkle Mini Oreos and Mini Chips Ahoy cookies onto the popcorn.
11. Strategically place the Wilton Monster Eyes in the popcorn.
12. Allow to cool and serve.
4 cups Lay’s wavy potato chips
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup cooked crumbled bacon
¼ cup finely chopped chives
1/3 cup sour cream
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Place the chips on a sheet pan or in a pie plate.
3. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the chips, then add the bacon on top of the cheese.
4. Bake for approximately 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
5. Top with sour cream and chives and serve immediately.
Sweet Pepper Poppers
12-14 miniature sweet peppers
½ cup low-fat cottage cheese
2/3 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1 t. spicy Cajun seasoning or other spicy seasoning blend
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Slice each pepper in half, lengthwise. Remove the seeds and inner membrane but allow the stem to remain intact. The pepper halves should look like little boats.
3. In a small bowl, combine the cottage cheese, pepper jack cheese and Cajun seasoning or other blend. Mix thoroughly to form a filling.
4. Carefully spoon the filling into the pepper halves, making sure to not overstuff the peppers.
5. Arrange them in an oven-proof skillet that’s coated with oil, butter, bacon fat or some other fat to keep the peppers from sticking.
6. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted, bubbling and slightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before enjoying.
Apple nachos with peanut butter and chocolate
1 apple, cut into 32 thin slices
¼ cup smooth peanut butter, melted
¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
1 handful of chocolate chips, for sprinkling
1. Arrange apple slices on a plate.
2. Drizzle melted peanut butter over apple slices with a spoon. Do the same with the melted chocolate.
3. Sprinkle handful of chocolate chips over the plate as topping.
4. Serve immediately.
Peanut butter cup crack brownies
1 box brownie mix (not family-sized), prepared according to package directions in a 9 x 9 pan
½ cup chopped salted or honey-roasted peanuts
12 peanut butter cups, chopped
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 T. butter
1 heaping cup creamy peanut butter
1¾ cups crispy rice cereal
1 t. vanilla
½ t. – 1 t. kosher salt
1. Bake brownies according to package directions in a 9 x 9 pan lined with foil.
2. During last 5 minutes of baking, remove from oven and sprinkle chopped peanut butter cups and chopped peanuts on top. Return to oven for remaining 5 minutes to melt the chocolate.
3. As soon as you pull the pan out of the oven, spread the melty peanut butter cups/ peanuts with an off-set spatula to smooth the top. Let brownies cool.
4. In a microwave-safe bowl combine chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. Heat in microwave for 1 minute, stirring when done. If needed, continue heating in 20-second increments until chocolate chips are melted.
5. Stir cereal, vanilla and salt into chocolate chip mixture until combined.
6. Pour chocolate chip mixture over brownies and smooth. Chill until chocolate is set, about 2 hours.
7. Cut into squares and serve.