Snacks & Drinks

Ants on a Log Variations

Fill celery cavity with cream cheese and then top with dried cranberries.

Fill celery cavity with ranch dip and then top with sliced olives.

Fill celery cavity with ricotta cheese and…

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Appetizer and Beverages Basics

An appetizer and beverage buffet is a fun twist on entertaining and lends itself to a less formal atmosphere than a traditional sit-down dinner. But don't be intimidated by such an undertaking.…

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Apple a Day the Easy Way

Julie Ann M. of Germantown, Maryland found that her young son gobbles up apple slices topped with a spread made from two parts peanut butter to one part honey.

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Cloudy Iced Tea?

To keep brewed iced tea from getting cloudy, allow it to cool to room temperature before chilling. If it has already turned cloudy, try stirring in a little boiling water.

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Coffee Making Tips

To preserve maximum flavor, store fresh ground or whole bean coffee in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Long-term storage is best done in the freezer for up to 1…

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Delicious Squash Snacks

“Even after I use a lot of my garden-fresh zucchini and yellow squash, there’s still plenty left over to serve this way,” chuckles Grace L. of Alvin, Texas. “I beat an egg with milk, salt and…

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Dip Carrots In Honey

Felix B. was reluctant to eat nutritious raw carrots until he tried dipping them in honey. “I like it so much I may start eating more carrots,” says this Fairmont, West Virginia reader.

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Individual Milk Shakes

Whenever I blend a batch of milk shakes, I freeze a few individually for treats when the grandkids pop in. It takes just 30 seconds in the microwave to soften the shakes to the right consistency.…

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Jazzing Up Plain Popcorn

For buttery Cajun popcorn, stir 1/4 cup melted butter with 2 tablespoons lime juice and 4-1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning. Sprinkle 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese.

For buttery nacho popcorn,…

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Make Special Ice Cubes

Iced tea or lemonade for a party looks lovely and tastes great when served with special ice cubes. Freeze a sprig of mint or lemon balm or several slivers of lemon zest in each cube and drop a few…

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Popcorn in the Pressure Cooker?

Did you ever pop popcorn in your pressure cooker? It’s delicious. Just leave the steam vent open so the steam can escape. In my 4-quart cooker, I use 2 tablespoons of oil and 1/3 cup popcorn.…

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Popcorn Pointers

Lean your ears this way for a few kernels of wisdom that will steer you toward perfect popcorn; 1 cup of unpopped kernels equals about 8 cups of popped popcorn.

To pop popcorn on the stove,…

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Preparing a Cheese Platter

For a simple addition to an appetizer buffet, consider offering a simple cheese platter. Whether served by itself or alongside fruits, vegetables, crackers or bread, cheese appeals to people of…

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Quick Fix for Iced Tea

To make iced tea in a hurry, I put two family-size tea bags in the basket of my automatic drip coffee maker. I prepare the tea like I was making coffee. When it’s done, I add sugar, cold water and…

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Second Life for Tortilla Chips

After the party, do you have leftover tortilla chips that are going stale? Here are some tasty ways to give those chips a second life.

Finely crush the chips and use in place of dry bread…

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Setting Up A Coffee Service

When offering an assortment of rich desserts—like cheesecakes—it's nice to serve guests a hot beverage. Here are hints for successfully serving coffee.

For guests to dress up…

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Storing Popcorn

For maximum yield, store unpopped popcorn in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 1 year. Do not refrigerate.

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Tea Making Tips

You can store tea bags or loose tea at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 years. Be sure to keep each kind or flavor of tea separate storage containers.

To make the…

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Tips for Stuffing Mushrooms

When making stuffed mushrooms, remove the stems, then scoop out some of the inside with a small round teaspoon (1/8 or 1/4 teaspoon). Use the teaspoon to easily stuff the mixture into the caps.

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Toasting Pumpkin Seeds

Don't toss out the pumpkin seeds from a freshly cut pumpkin. Instead, toast them for a tasty snack. Wash and dry the pumpkin seeds. In a skillet, saute 1 cup seeds in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil…

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Unmolding an Ice Ring

To remove an ice ring from a mold, wrap the bottom of the mold with a hot, damp dish towel. Invert onto a baking sheet; place fruit side up in a punch bowl.

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