This post brought to you by Farm Rich. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Stuff Parents Need.
This is one of my very favorite things to do when entertaining guests during the holidays, OR when I want to treat my family to something special and fun but not spend too much time in the kitchen: I make an entire meal out of appetizers, and by using a few simple tricks, I pull this bite-sized feast off without too much effort on my part.
I recently headed to Walmart, armed with a get $1.50 off 2 Farm Rich snacks coupon and after viewing all the great options, I basically just went nuts and brought this awesome assortment home to my deep freezer.
I decided to have a special weekend meal for my crew today, even though my “to do” list was a mile long. Still, I wanted to make a bit of time for getting into the spirit of the season, and that means having festive and fun food for some of our meals. I knew that I could put together an entire meal with appetizer options from Farm Rich Snacks , and I’d have enough of each item left over to repeat this meal again later on in the season since the boxes and bags can all be closed.
I started things off by preheating my oven to 425 degrees and getting out my toaster oven, which I needed for the pizzeria bites, as they need to cook at 375 degrees. While my oven was preheating, I got out two baking trays and covered them with aluminum foil, and sprayed them lightly with olive oil. I put Farm Rich meatballs on half of one of the trays. The meatballs went in first because they take the longest to cook (around 35 minutes). While they were cooking, I made a super easy sauce for them out of a bottle of barbecue sauce and a can of whole cranberry sauce, just letting it warm on the stove top. DELISH!
After the meatballs have been cooking for 15 minutes, it’s time to add the breaded mushrooms. Set the timer for just 3 1/2 minutes, because more food will need to go in the oven at that point. The breaded mushrooms taste fantastic with a ranch dip. I made mine by combining 2/3 cup of greek yogurt, 1/3 cup mayonnaise and 1/2 of a packet of ranch dip mix.
When your meatballs and breaded mushrooms have about 10 minutes left to cook, it’s time to add a second tray of food to the oven, and it should have toasted ravioli and cheese sticks on it. They are both HUGE hits with my kids, and I loved arranging the raviolis in the shape of a circle and putting a bow at the bottom to make it look like a wreath. This couldn’t have been easier, friends!
I found it easy to make the sauce in between the time I was putting everything else together. You’ll need one 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes, 1 Tbsp of minced garlic (I buy the stuff in the jar; I can’t really tell the difference between it and garlic I peel myself and it saves a TON of time). You’ll also need some olive oil, a pinch of salt, 1/4 tsp dried oregano, 1/4 tsp black pepper and a bit of fresh basil.
Cook the garlic in the olive oil over medium-high heat for about a minute, and then add the tomatoes and give it a stir. Then add the salt, oregano, black pepper and a sprig of basil (spring for the fresh stuff…it honestly makes a difference). Give it another good stir and bring it to a simmer, and then reduce the heat to just above low (so that’s setting 2 on my stove) and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove the basil before serving. Easy!
The only other thing that I added to our appetizer feast was some yummy rasperry and honey crackers with goat cheese. You just need some water crackers with a smear of goat cheese on them. Place a fresh raspberry on top and drizzle with honey. These are nearly effortless and they were inhaled VERY quickly. I made them as everyone was getting out plates, cups and utensils.
I so love that this entire meal came together with me just putting stuff in the oven at the right time and making three SIMPLE sauces! And yet, it felt like quite the feast. Having some Farm Rich products tucked away in your freezer this holiday season for a quick appetizer, or for an entire meal of appetizers, is a great idea. I’ve found the food to taste fantastic and to be really enjoyed by those it is served to (which makes them great for bringing to gatherings, too!). And of course, I have personally loved how much time they save me in the kitchen. My family enjoyed every product on our table today. On my list next to try are the Loaded Potato Skins, which sound absolutely perfect for a cold night!
Have you ever done an entire meal of just appetizers? I think it is so much fun! If you’d like to try it for your family, be sure to look for Farm Rich Snacks to help you out so that the fun dinner idea doesn’t become overwhelming for the chef! Use the Farm Rich Product Finder to make your search a snap.