Friday 5: Memorial Day Snickities

My dad had speed boats during my childhood and every summer we went to Lake Erie and got season passes to Cedar Point. We'd boat out to Kelly's Island, eat some amazing pizza, then go to Cedar Point for their laser show while we devoured Dippin' Dots.

All of this sounds awesome. Except for the fact that I was petrified of boating and hated roller coasters. 

Ol' pops was really holding out that I would come to like it. But after being caught in an untold number of 8-10 foot wave storms, I was adamantly convinced that this would never be a hobby in my future once I had the choice. 

Fast forward to my college years where I was invited out to my now in-laws place on a quiet river in Pennsylvania. Calm waters, smooth riding, and it not being crowded led to a change of heart. I discovered I liked boating, just not waves.

During my first trip out to this river in PA, I attempted my first water sport, wake-boarding. My husband and father-in-law have been doing it for years, and they're awesome. I was just stoked to get up on the first try! I've since retired from wake-boarding because I get too nervous and now just lounge on the boat. 

And this Memorial Day we return to PA with some sweet friends and delicious snacks. Because we all know good snickities really make or break an event. 

Here are five snacks I'm whipping up this weekend: 

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1. Restaurant Style Salsa

Earlier this week I tried out this recipe (via Rachel Schultz) to make sure I liked it and it's delicious! Blue chips are our favorite and made this salsa really pop in each bite. I prefer my salsa on the smooth, liquidy side so I pureed it until very smooth. 

2. Stromboli

We eat very little processed food and I typically prefer to make everything from scratch. A few weeks ago, my husband was having a bachelor party for his cousin so I made a bunch of food and needed a shortcut. 

When I was younger, my mom would make this amazingly scrumptious and yet simple stromboli using Rhode's Dough. 

I don't have a specific recipe so I thaw the dough according to package instructions, roll it out and top with about two cups of shredded mozzarella and a package of pepperoni slices. Roll long-ways (hot-dog style) and drizzle the top with olive oil. Bake for about 25 minutes, slice and serve with your favorite sauce.

3. Spinach Salad

Spinach is the go-to green for salads in the Shirkman house. Topped with fresh parmesan, dried cherries, gala apples, strawberries and almonds, it is the perfect amount of crunchy, sweet and salty.

Jordan prefers olive oil straight up as his dressing and if I don't do that, I'll mix together olive oil with honey and lemon juice for a quick and easy dressing. 

4. Banana Bread

The classic quick bread with more variations than Lady Gaga's wardrobe. I still haven't found the ultimate recipe, but I have a few I rotate through. Since my father-in-law loves banana bread the day after it's baked, I always make it a day early. 

Here are two of my favorite recipes, one healthy and one more indulgent.

5. Extreme S'mores

Ok, I know this isn't exactly the most creative snack on the planet, and is pretty much the exact opposite of non-processed and healthy, but sometimes you just gotta splurge.

The first time I went to the lake house in PA, we really doctored up the traditional s'more recipe with what we like to call "Extreme S'mores." You'll thank me after you try it.

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Here's how to achieve the extreme s'more (with a picture demonstration above from the night of its origination!):

After breaking your graham cracker perfectly in half (can anyone do this 100% of the time?) slather crunchy peanut butter (or smooth if you're one of those people) on one half. Align 1/4 of a (standard-sized) Hershey's dark chocolate bar in the center and THEN take Reese's Pieces and put four on each side of the chocolate.

Roast your marshmallow to golden brown or burnt perfection and squish over that choco-peanut butter goodness. This weekend I decided to try out the square-shaped mallows... have you tried them? I'm curious to see how they'll do over the fire!

Side note: after living overseas, you quickly discover that PB+Choc is a very American concoction, with many foreigners finding it incredibly strange. They are missing out!

What snickities are you whipping up for Memorial Day?