Nothing says Friday night like situating all your family members on the couch, picking a movie, and hanging out together for two hours. And what makes it even more fun? Skipping dinner and serving some delicious finger foods and snacks. Here are a few scrumptious ideas you and the kids will love from some of our readers.
Sweet and Sour Chicken Nuggets
From Marge Killmon:“I first developed this chicken nuggets recipe when my three children were in elementary school. All three of them loved the nuggets but the recipe needed more food value. One didn’t like pineapple and another didn’t care for peaches, but they all liked apricots.”
1 (12-ounce) package frozen breaded chicken nuggets
1 cup water
1 cup uncooked instant rice
1 (16-ounce) can apricot halves, drained
1 (6-ounce) package frozen pea pods
¾ cup sweet and sour sauce
Cook chicken according to package directions; set aside. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan; add rice. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Combine apricot halves, pea pods, and sweet and sour sauce in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until hot. Stir in chicken nuggets. Spoon rice on a serving plate and arrange chicken mixture over rice.
NOTE: To make your own sweet and sour sauce, bring ½ cup pineapple juice, 2 ½ Tablespoons water, 1 ½ Tablespoons white vinegar, 1 ½ teaspoons soy sauce, ¼ cup brown sugar, and 1 ½ Tablespoons cornstarch to a boil. Cook until thickened. This will yield the ¾ cup sauce needed for this recipe.
Pantry List: instant rice
Grocery List: apricot halves, frozen chicken nuggets, frozen pea pods, sweet and sour sauce
The Famous Popcorn Balls
From Katie Martin: “One day, I decided to make popcorn balls. When the popcorn balls were done, I asked my spouse how many he wanted me to save for him. He said to go ahead and give all of them away. Decades later, people still remember these fabulous popcorn balls … and I always save my spouse at least one.”
Yields 6-8 popcorn balls
½ gallon prepared popcorn
1 cup sugar
1 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon butter
Prepare popcorn; don’t season. Mix sugar and syrup together in a large saucepan. Cook slowly, just until it starts to boil. Don’t stir after it reaches this point. Remove from heat and let cool to 275 degrees. Stir in one teaspoon butter. Pour syrup mixture over popcorn. Mix well, until all popcorn is covered. With buttered hands, form into balls and let cool.
NOTE: To make a half-gallon of popcorn, use approximately ¼ cup of popcorn kernels.
NOTE: Make sure to use pure maple syrup and not pancake syrup.
Pantry List: butter, maple syrup, sugar
Grocery List: popcorn kernels
Peanut Butter Banana Cookies
From Mary Haymaker: “I worried that the banana chips might get mushy in this recipe, but while they didn’t really retain their crunch, there was no mush to be had. The banana chips added a wonderful hit of banana that you don’t really get from the banana mixed into the batter.”
Yields 30-35 cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1 medium ripe banana, sliced or mashed
1 large egg
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup banana chips, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degree. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. Using an electric mixer, combine the butter and brown sugar on medium high until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the peanut butter, banana, and egg and beat until well combined. Turn the mixer off and add the flour mixture. Beat on low until it comes together into a batter. Add the chocolate, peanut butter, and banana chips and either beat in on low or stir in using a wooden spoon. Use a tablespoon or a tablespoon-sized cookie scoop to portion the dough onto the baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Cool the cookies on wire racks before serving.
NOTE: Do you want your cookies to look like they came out of a magazine? Sometimes you just need the right tools. A cookie scoop make beautiful, even cookies. Baking cookies on a silicone mat will keep the cookies from sticking to the pan and will nicely brown the undersides.
Pantry List: baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, butter, chocolate chips, cornstarch, egg, flour, peanut butter, salt
Grocery List: banana, banana chips, peanut butter chips
This article originally appeared in HomeLife Magazine. HomeLife is looking for family-friendly, budget-conscious, original recipes from readers like you. Simply email us your recipe, name and contact info to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will pay $25 for each recipe that is printed. We regret that mailed submissions cannot be accepted. Recipes become the property of HomeLife and may be edited prior to publication. Share your recipe with HomeLife!