As if it wasn’t epic enough to be snuggled under blankets on the couch watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy, there is just one more thing that can take this scene to the next level — a snack! Whether you need something creamy, cheesy, savory, sweet, salty, or indulgent, here are six of the yummiest movie snacks you need to splurge on, and the tricks to make them tastier than ever.
Don’t settle for the boxed version of this classic when you can have homemade, cheesy deliciousness in ten minutes. Boil your macaroni in milk until the pasta is cooked through and then stir in the cheese, butter, and salt. A good rule of thumb is to use four cups of milk to three cups of pasta, and one cup of cheese. Salt and butter are to taste, but typically a generous chunk of butter — about two tablespoons — will do the trick. For best results, just remember to freshly grate your own cheese while the pasta cooks; pre-grated cheese is often processed with cellulose, which can make your macaroni lumpy.
Gone are the days of mediocre microwave popcorn laced with sad butter flavoring. While nothing beats cooking up a batch of fresh popcorn on the stove, there’s no reason you can’t revel in the convenience of having your popcorn ready in minutes, minus clean-up. But, to get all the flavor you crave, toss your microwave popcorn in a generous dollop of melted butter. If you want to add the ultimate pizazz, sprinkle with the seasoning of your choice. If you’re in a spicy mood, go with cumin, paprika, and even a splash of hot sauce. Otherwise, cinnamon sugar stirred into your melted butter is a sure sweet-tooth pleaser.
Pretzels and Cream Cheese
Few snacks can rival this blend of crunchy, salty, savory, and creamy. Soften a brick of cream cheese and stir in the spices of your choice. Chives, paprika, or minced garlic pair excellently with cream cheese. Or, if you’re impatient and always hungry like this writer, you can just dig right in and scoop up gobs of cream cheese with your pretzels. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
What is more satisfying than warm cookies bursting with chocolate chips and a cold glass of milk to wash it down? Watching a movie while enjoying those cookies and milk. Anyone who’s had cookies fresh out of the oven will assure you the boxed versions just don’t stack up. You can’t rush fresh cookie dough, so, if you want an authentic (and convenient) cookie experience, this is a snack that will require some planning. Fifteen minutes on a slow afternoon or long night will get you the dough. But, instead of baking your cookies all at once, roll the dough into balls on a baking sheet, wrap with plastic wrap, and freeze for up to one month. This way, you’ll be just minutes away from satisfaction when the cookie craving strikes.
Amped Garlic Bread
It’s a simple hierarchy. Bread is good. Bread-and-butter is better. Bread, butter, and garlic rule. With a stick of butter, a loaf of bread, a few cloves of garlic, and a hot oven, you’ll be savoring this melt-in-your-mouth classic in just ten minutes. For crispy bread, lay your slices out on a baking sheet and broil until toasty and golden. If you want your garlic bread to be soft, arrange the slices into a loaf shape and wrap the loaf in aluminum foil before baking. Either way, you’ll want to start off mixing fresh minced garlic into a stick of softened butter and generously slathering slices of crusty bread. Bake until warm and melty according to your preference. For extra indulgence, dust with parmesan cheese and parsley.
Never Say No Nachos
Layering is the single quintessential technique behind every good nacho platter. Don’t just dump a bag of tortilla chips on a plate and pile on your toppings. Instead, divide your chips and toppings into layers that alternate between a bed of tortilla chips and a portion of each topping, so that all your ingredients are evenly distributed. You can go classic with your meat of choice, shredded cheese, chopped tomato, and onion; or you can get funky and create BBQ, breakfast, or even dessert-themed nachos. They can be served hot and melty or cold and crunchy. Beyond layering, there’s no rule to what makes good nachos.
Olivia Amici is a hustler who has been writing short stories for fun since high school and editing scientific papers since moving to Concepcion, Chile, for a gap year. Before then, she paid her way through community college while working as an event coordinator and a dental assistant. Once she returns to the States, she is excited to complete her degree in biology at University of Florida. In ten years, she would like to be working as a medical research editor and own an African Gray Parrot and a house in San Diego.