The nights are starting to draw in and thoughts of an evening curled up on the sofa all warm and cosy seem much more appealing now that summer is on the wane.
We all love to indulge in a quiet night in now and again, but if you don’t want to go into full social hibernation mode just yet why not invite friends round for a casual drink and some nibbles?
Like the idea of entertaining but not the thought of spending all day preparing food? These 6 quick and tasty ‘sofa snack’ recipes are exactly what you need for an informal night in with friends.
They can all be done and dusted in less than an hour giving you time to pour yourself a glass of something nice, sit back, relax and wait for the doorbell to ring.
1/ Baked Camembert with nutty cranberry crumble
This is a classic sharing treat, everyone grab a bread stick and dip in!
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas 4. Leave your cheese in its box and score the top in a grid pattern with a sharp knife. Drizzle with a little olive oil and poke some fresh Rosemary sprigs into the skin. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, or until visibly gooey in the middle!
Break up some stale bread into bite sized pieces, and place on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and a tiny sprinkle of sea salt, and place these in the oven to bake with the Camembert.
Chop up a handful of mixed nuts and dried cranberries and place in a bowl, voila ‘cranberry crumble’
With everything ready, take a crunchy bread bite and dip it in the Camembert then in the ‘cranberry crumble’ it’s a little taste of heaven!
2/ Kale Chips
This is the latest fad to hit UK homes and even Pret A Manger now sell them by the bag. So if you want to surprise your guests with something new and healthy try rustling up some kale chips, they are easy to make and very moreish.
Preheat the oven to 175ºC/gas 4. Line a tray with baking paper. You can buy bagged kale to make prep time even shorter, but don’t forget to wash and thoroughly dry it before cooking.
Once that’s done break the kale into bite sized pieces and arrange on the tray. Drizzle it with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Bake it for about 10-15 minutes until the edges of the leaves go brown, not burnt!
3/ Parsnip Chips
In addition to your Kale chips for those with a sweeter tooth these parsnip chips are a great alternative to the humble potato.
You’ll need to peel approximately 1 parsnip per person (depending on your guests’ appetites!) and cut it into chunky chips. Rub with sunflower oil and seasoning then roast at 220ºC/gas 7 for 20-30 minutes until crispy and golden
With all these yummy chips you’re going to need some dip. Here are 2 recipes that will have your guest coming back for more
4/ Maple Mustard Dip
Unusual and super tasty this is a dip combo your guests won’t be expecting!
Take a 200ml tub of crème fraîche and mix with 2 tablespoons of grainy mustard and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Mix it all together and you can add a delicious dip to your ‘sofa snack’ repertoire. This goes great with the parsnip chip recipe above.
5/ Classic Guacamole
Everybody loves avocados they are the darling of the fruit and veg world, deliciously full of ‘good fat’ you don’t need to feel guilty when enjoying this fresh vibrant condiment.
Roughly chop up half a small red onion, a de-seeded chilli, and 6 ripe cherry tomatoes. De-stone 3 ripe avocados and scoop out the flesh. Add the juice from 1 lime and 1 tablespoon of oil. Chop further then mix all the ingredients together until they are easily combining into the consistency of a dip.
If you’d like more of a kick in your guacamole then scatter a finely chopped fresh chilli over the top for that added zing!
For the super health conscious guest these are a winner, they may dodge the Camembert calories like the plague but these healthy treats will soon get gobbled up.
You can't go wrong with carrot batons and celery sticks. Sliced up peppers and cucumber are also a tasty and colourful addition. Dip them in the guacamole for a little extra pep!
If you have any go to ‘sofa snack’ ideas then let us know in the comments below we’d love to hear them.