Oscar snacks and more.

First off, I realize it’s been much more carbs than fiber around here lately. I’m working on a knitting post, promise. But first it’s time to talk about Oscar snacks.

One of my favorite kinds of “dinners” is what I call schnack— just a bunch of little foods/appetizer-type things/dips and whatnot all laid out for your grazing pleasure. Sometimes this is a function of necessity, for instance, when you are hungry but low on groceries and don’t particularly feel like remedying that situation. Or sometimes it is driven by occasion, like the Oscar broadcast is on and you’re going to be floating in and out of the television room all night. I decided Sunday night would be a schnack night and we set about gathering materials accordingly.

We had some chips and salsa but quickly set those aside in favor of smoked salmon with shaved red onions, capers and lots of salt on tiny baguette slices. Also three kinds of cheese, crackers of course, and mini-meatballs in marinara sauce.

I don’t know why, but I am a terrible sucker for party snacks like meatballs and, yes, cocktail wieners. Set me up with a mini Crock-Pot full of cocktail wieners and BBQ sauce and I’m pretty much set. I will not apologize for this. In any event I had a half pound of ground turkey that needed a purpose in life so I decided to give meatballs a whirl. I’ve actually never made meatballs, but the Giada De Laurentiis recipe I found seemed easy enough to tackle for a first-timer. I made some adjustments right off the bat, namely halving the recipe. I had some homemade bread crumb mixture in the freezer that incorporated parsley, which was fortunate because I’d thrown away the sad remnants of my last bunch the day prior. Everything else went by the book except for the sauce, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

I mixed together the ingredients as directed and ended up adding a little bit more of the breadcrumb mixture—the meat mixture seemed a little too moist (possibly due to me adding too much egg). I used a cookie scoop to portion out the meat mixture, which worked really well.

So, the sauce. Here’s the thing. Giada’s simple tomato sauce recipe is not hard and is in fact exactly the kind of sauce I make all the time if we’re having pizza or pasta. But if you’ve got a couple of 40-cent cans of Hunt’s tomato sauce, some dried herbs and some tomato paste, you can make a sauce that’s even easier. I used two 8-ounce cans of sauce, about a tablespoon of tomato paste, two crumbled dried basil leaves, a generous pinch of dried oregano and some salt and pepper.

You’ll be parked on your couch heckling Oscar speeches in no time!

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