Meals are the major events when it comes to food, but as great as breakfast, lunch and dinner are, it's important that we all take time to remember snacks as well. The food that we have in between food is every bit as welcome as our main courses, and some snacks are so important that they've even gotten an honorary not-quite-a-meal-but-sorta-considered-a-meal title—shout out to brunch and it's less famous cousin, linner.
Look, we'll try to keep this short. Our point is, snacks may not take the place of our three major meals, but that doesn't mean they don't play any role in our diets. Why, without snacks, we would be hangry all of the time, as opposed to just most of the time. We would be hard to bear. Even more so than we already are, and that's saying something, trust us.
Snacks are important all the time, but parties are when they really get their chance to shine. Whether it's a family get-together, a backyard barbecue with the neighbors, a business function meant for networking or fun sleepover with all the besties, snacks are front and center at them all! Play take it or leave it with these party snacks, and we'll pair everyone up with a famous Chris!
Soft Pretzel Bites
Gasp! Did somebody say "soft pretzel bites"?! Oh, wait, that was us. Well, anyway, we would love to eat about a hundred of these things right about now. Perfect for fondue, but also great for popping into your mouth one after another until there aren't any left, soft pretzel bites are a welcome addition to any snack table.
Blondies are brownies but with no milk or dark chocolate. They're usually made with melted butter and sugar (how could that possibly taste bad, we ask you?), and they can contain any number of mix-ins. Personally, we're fans of walnuts, pecans and white chocolate chips, but, really, there's no wrong way to do a blondie.
When you get down to it, what are nachos, really, but chips with the dip already on them? In fact, we think you could even argue that nachos are a kind of casserole, since all of the ingredients are put together before the dish goes into the oven. In any case, we love nachos, in all their chippy, beany, cheesy glory. How do you feel about this party food?
Buffalo wings may be a lot of trouble to eat. They may be messy, they may be zesty, they may set your mouth and your fingers on fire. But, on the plus side, they are very good, and plus, they're probably the best thing to ever happen to celery, and it's about time that stringy vegetable got a break.
A ball of cheese, that's what every party needs! No, seriously, guys, cheese balls are so stinkin' good, we can barely stand it. Cream cheese mixed with other cheeses, spices and herbs, then rolled on a bed of chopped nuts so that it resembles a ball, this appetizer is perfect for chips, crackers and veggies, too!
We guess calling them "half a baked potato" is just a little too much for people, so instead, these appetizers are called potato skins. These delicious delights are often filled with things like chives, bacon, cheeses and sour cream, and no matter what, they're always amazingly yummy. Must be all those carbs.
Many's the time we've eat an entire platter full of these before reaching down for another one and realizing all too late the havoc that we had wrought. We don't know what these eggs have done to deserve to be called deviled, but we're willing to forgive them their sins because they're so darn delicious.
Know what mozzarella sticks are? Fried pieces of cheese. No, honestly, that's it. And, yes, just in case you've never had them, they are every bit as delicious as you're imagining. Designed for dipping in marinara sauce and eating until you can't eat them anymore, these puppies make for an excellent party food.
Stuffed with cheeses, tomatoes, herbs and other delicious ingredients, these mushrooms are both elegant and simple, both casual and sophisticated. You might find them at a fancy pants business meeting, or you might see a plate full of them on a table at a super bowl viewing party. You never know where you'll find them, but you'll always be glad you did.
Chips and Guacamole
Chips and dip go together like, well, chips and dip, but no dip pairs better with chips than guacamole. Sliced, diced then lightly pureed avocados with spices, lime and sometimes other mix-ins, like bell peppers and onions, avocado isn't just a dip at this point, it's practically a side dish. Man, what a time to be alive!
English Muffin Pizzas
Oh, yeah. We ate a lot of these puppies back in college. 'Course, back then, it wasn't because we were partying. We were, but that's not why we ate so many English muffin pizzas. We ate them because they were just about all we could afford to eat. Well, that, and ramen noodles. Ah, memories...
Pigs in a Blanket
Little sausages tucked away in a crescent roll, pigs in a blanket are a classic party snack, and we can't say this for certain, but we're pretty sure it's required by law to have them at a party. And we're glad of that, by the way, because we wouldn't want to go to a party that didn't have a tray of these things.
Brownies have so many hats. They're a snack, but they're also a dessert, but they're also a party food, but they can also be a gourmet treat, depending on what you put in them. We don't care if they're plain or with nuts or iced or not. We love a brownie, and we'll bet you do, too!
Sliders are just small sandwiches on tiny little hamburger buns. 'Course, we don't mean that to sound like we're trying to demean them, that couldn't be further from the truth. We love these little guys! They can be anything, from hamburgers to PB&J's, and no matter what, they're always a satisfying party snack.
As a kid, eating all of the vegetables off of your pate at dinner time seems like such a chore, but as an adult, whenever we go to a party, we suddenly start to crave vegetables. A vegetable tray not only adds a burst of color to a snack table, it also provides a healthy does of fiber—and nothing says "CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES!" like a properly functioning digestive system.
Iced Sugar Cookies
Sugar cookies are perfect just the way they are, but when they're cut into fun shapes, iced and decorated with colorful sprinkles, they're just so much more festive, and we think that adds something to the flavor. A tray full of these puppies set out on the snack table is the quickest way to jazz up any shindig.
Hummus is like someone tried to make something similar to peanut butter, only with chickpeas, but instead of getting chickpea butter, they just wound up with this oily porridge. But, we mean, it's not like it tastes bad. In fact, it tastes quite good! Especially atop a pita chip or some toasted bread. Yum!
We like shrimp, and since it appears that this puff is made of some sort of pastry, we can only assume that we like it, too, so when it comes to shrimp puffs, we would have to say that we're big fans. So, who wants to volunteer to make us some? Anyone? 'Cause we're getting really hungry looking at all these yummy party snacks.
Jalapeno Bacon Poppers
Jalapenos are tasty, but our tongue's such a drama queen when it comes to eating them. "Oooh, those are too zesty for me! Get me a glass of water! I can't take the heat!" Be quiet, you baby! We don't care if these things are zesty, we don't care if our tongue can't handle them, we WILL eat an entire plateful of these delicious bacon and cheese jalapeno poppers, dang it!
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
This dip. We could eat it forever. Spinach and artichoke dip is so satisfying, so soothing and comforting, seeing it on the snack table at a party is like hearing the angels sing. This stuff might be something of an acquired taste, since both artichoke and spinach can take a little getting used to, but in the end, we say this stuff knocks it out of the park.
Not to be confused with actual puppy chow, we have no idea why this stuff has a weird name, but we're so distracted by the incredible taste that we always forget to care. Puppy Chow is Chex Mix covered in powdered sugar and tossed with a variety of mix-ins, like Reese's Pieces and/or M&Ms. Tasty good!
When their rapping gig just didn't pan out, Lil' Smokies decided not to pack it in and call it quits quite yet. Instead, they switched their focus from the music industry to the world of being an appetizer at parties, and, man did that work out well! Lil' Smokies are sausages that always satisfy, and they pair perfectly with a craft brew.
No matter how many of these things we eat, we always want more s'mores—and we guess that means they're very appropriately named. Roasted marshmallows, melted chocolate, lightly scorched graham crackers. Hey, what's not to love about these tasty campfire treats? We don't care who builds them or who roasts them, we're just happy we get to eat them!
Uh, excuse us, but did you just say taco "cup"? Because, if so, then heck to the yes, we are on board with that idea! Deliciously flaky taco shell cups, filled to the brim with meat, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes and other things you might find in a regular taco, these appetizers just might be the best thing ever.
The vegetable tray's close but better liked cousin, the fruit platter features all manner of delicious, fresh produce. Apple slices, berries of all sorts, chunks of pineapple, kiwi, mango, grapes, both green and red, here's room for every fruit here. And, sometimes, these trays even come equipped with a delightful yogurt or cheese based dip. Yum!
Lollipops are all well and good, but we'll tell you something, you guys, cake pops are the wave of the future. Gosh, what a time to be alive! We love nothing more than to see a bouquet of these beauties on the snack table at a party. No matter the flavor, no matter the theme, we're always ready to down a cake pop.
Pinwheels are incredibly easy to make, and yet the end result is so elegant, it makes it look like you spent hours toiling away in the kitchen. And these appetizers don't just look great, they taste great, too, especially when they're filled with cheeses, bacon, dried tomatoes and just about anything else you can imagine.
Garlic bread is nothing short of amazing, but to take that garlic bread and to then twist it into a knot before proofing and baking? Now that's just sheer genius right there. We could eat these all day long, and if we had more than two pairs of sweatpants, we totally would.
Seven Layer Dip
Seven layers of pure yum, this dip has everything you could want in a topping for your tortilla and/or corn chip. It's got beans, it's got sour cream, it's got all kinds of cheeses, onions, herbs, spices and olives. Seriously, this stuff has got it all. Heck, forget chips, we'd eat this with a spoon!
Fried ravioli. We didn't even know that we needed that in our lives until just now, and if we don't get some of this stuff immediately, we don't think we're going to make it. Perfect for dipping in a delicious marinara sauce, or for swallowing whole, fried ravioli is the next big thing, you heard it here first.
Mini Fruit Pies
We love ourselves a big, heaping slice of fruit pie, but it is definitely NOT a finger food. You carry a slice of that stuff around in one hand at a party, and you're going to get escorted out. Especially if you weren't invited to begin with (speaking from experience here, folks). Fortunately, these fruit hand pies provide all the deliciousness of regular pie, but without the mess.
Cupcakes! Yay, hooray! Aw, come on, people, who doesn't love a cupcake? We don't care what flavor it is—vanilla, chocolate, carrot, strawberry, anything and everything in between. When it comes to cupcakes, we're happy. Just the right amount of cake with a generous portion of irresistible icing, cupcakes are just about as tasty as it gets.
Foods on a stick are mildly fascinating to us. We love that they're finger foods that don't get your hands messy—not that we have anything against messy finger foods, mind you, but it's nice not to look like a complete pig all the time. Fajita skewers deliver a healthy dose of protein and vegetables, and they really pack a flavor punch, too!
Slices of a baguette lightly toasted and topped with tomatoes, garlic, herbs and just a drizzle of olive oil, bruschetta has a way of making us feel so very fancy every time we eat it. And it's so festive, too. Sans bruschetta, a get-together is just a get-together, but with bruschetta, a get-together can be transformed into a real, honest to goodness soiree.
Ants on a Log
Peanut butter is the glue that makes this match made in foods that nobody really likes heaven. Without some Jif or some Skippy's, raisins and celery would remain inedible, but with a healthy dose of PB to cement one to the other, they become not just a bearable, but a perfectly crave-able finger food.