Welcome to May!
Before we get to this month’s theme, I have an announcement: Savvy Game Night has launched! Each week, I’ll be posting a new board game review. You’ll always be able to find my latest reviews by clicking Savvy Game Night in the menu up above. Or, if you want to be notified whenever I post something new, you can subscribe here:
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Now, back to this month’s theme! This May, we’re all about entertaining. I love planning and hosting events, whether they be small get-togethers, bigger dinner parties or our annual games-and-food New Year’s Eve blow-out. So this month, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite party ideas and some new recipes for entertaining.
To start, let’s talk about this DIY popcorn bar. It is my birthday tomorrow (hello, 27!), so we’re having a few friends over for some board games, cake and a DIY popcorn bar. If you’ve read Savvy Eats for any length of time, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that popcorn is my all-time favorite snack. Plus, it is easy to eat with your left hand while rolling dice or moving your piece around a game board with your right. So of course I’m going to serve it at my board game birthday gathering!
This party idea couldn’t be easier:
1. To start, pop a big batch of popcorn. I use this popcorn maker (it requires less oil than stovetop popcorn, and I like how it turns out better than an air popper), but however you usually make popcorn should be fine.
2. Pull out some bowls, bags or other serving vessels for your guests. I would keep the containers on the smaller end – that way, everyone can feel free to go back for more popcorn with a new flavor combination!
3. Now comes the fun part: the toppings! Let your imagination run wild here – you can never have too many options. But make sure you get something from each of these categories:
FAT. You need something to toss with the popcorn before you add your toppings so that they stick to the popcorn – otherwise, you’ll have a bunch of plain popcorn on top, and a ton of tasty toppings at the bottom of the bag. No fun! Melted butter or a bottle of olive oil are always a good choice, but they aren’t your only options. Consider putting out some truffle oil for the savory folks, or melted coconut oil for your sweet-toothed guests.
SWEET. Popcorn that doubles as a dessert? Why not! Some combination of the following are sure to be delicious: Cinnamon-sugar. Coconut flakes. Chocolate chips (semisweet or white chocolate!). M&Ms. Reese’s pieces. Gummi bears. Hot cocoa mix. Pumpkin pie spice. Nuts. Raisins. Dried fruit.
SAVORY. Want something cheesy? Put out some finely grated Parmesan or one of my cheesy popcorn seasonings. Most spice mixtures are also great on popcorn – I even used my smoky sweet chicken rub on popcorn the other day. Other good choices: Dried herbs. Curry powder. Chili powder. Black pepper.
SALT. Plain sea salt is fine, but you can also mix it up with some seasoned salts, whether you go the DIY route or purchase them. I recently won a pack of gourmet salts from SaltWorks on Nutmeg Nanny, and I cannot stop putting the truffle salt on my popcorn.
4. To finish up, put your toppings in their own little bowls or ramekins. Popcorn goes in the middle with the oil/butter, then the sweet toppings go on one side and the savory on the other.
That’s it. Break out the board games, because we’re ready for a popcorn and games night!