You know how people — myself included — say the side dishes at Thanksgiving are the best part of the meal? Well that’s how I feel about snacks and appetizers at summer get-togethers, pool parties and barbecues! There always seems to be at least one showstopper item on the table that makes everyone say, “ohmigod, you have to try this!” And not to sound sappy but… I miss those mingling moments. Although COVID has (quite literally) crashed the party, I declare it v acceptable to pour yourself a refreshing drink and feast on some summer snacks and apps to melt your barbecue blues away.
With temperatures soaring, the goal is to keep the heat outside as much as possible. Who wants to turn on the oven or stove, especially in kitchens without A/C or some sort of circulation situation?? (Heyyy fellow tiny apartment dwellers, I feel you!) We’re gonna stay cool and sustainable and leave them off for today. The beauty of these is that they’re easily customizable, depending on your preferences and what’s available at the store.
Cucumber with hummus and feta
I love Mediterranean food, so these ingredients are pretty much always in the fridge. I like to add a sprinkle of paprika or parsley to add another pop of color and feel a little fancy, but you can obvi skip that if you want. Instead of cucumber, you could use carrot or tomato slices, or even zucchini or eggplant (just be sure to sauté those ones first).
Peaches with ricotta and balsamic glaze*
*I used strawberries in the photo because I couldn’t find the OG photo with peaches in it. I totally would have recreated it, but the ones on my counter aren’t ripe yet… sooo just saying, you could totally try it with strawberries too!
Balsamic is typically used on savory foods, but when it’s reduced to a sweet glaze, it pairs incredibly well with fruit, especially stone fruits like peaches, nectarines and apricots. Most grocery stores sell balsamic glaze in convenient little squeeze bottles, but you could make it from scratch by simmering a lot of balsamic vinegar on low until it thickens. As I said, I’m just trying to avoid the heat appliances :) And if you’ve only ever had ricotta in lasagna—this is a great opportunity to change that.
PB & dark chocolate frozen banana bites
Alright, chocolate-covered frozen bananas have been a thing forever, so this isn’t exactly revolutionary. To jazz it up, we’re making a few tweaks. And since these take a teensy bit more effort, I’m going to list out the steps.
1) First, line a plate with parchment paper. Slice your bananas (duh).
2) Melt 3/4 cup of dark chocolate chips or chunks and 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir well, then reheat for another 20-30 seconds. DO NOT OVERHEAT OR IT WILL BURN!
3) Stir again until mixture is completely melted. Working somewhat quickly, dip banana slices in the melted chocolate, tap off excess chocolate, then place them the plate.
4) Add sprinkles, crushed nuts, cookie pieces, any topping your heart desires.
5) Freeze for at least an hour. Don’t forget to taste test one en route!
Hope you enjoy, let me know how these turn out! When you post it on the ‘gram, don’t forget to tag #fbtfork to be featured on my page!