6 Ways to Play with Your Food, from Mac and Cheese Pops to S'mores Bars
It's time to let loose in the kitchen. Instead of sticking to strict recipes and living by the cookbook, take a day to play with your food. No, we're not talking about having a food fight It Takes Two style, but rather experimenting with fun shapes, sizes and topping bars for your next party.
Whether it's making your mac and cheese into pops or assembling a taco-and-margarita bar for a Mexican fiesta, there are plenty of ways to get playful. Bonus: Once the prep work is done, your guests do all the work making their own creative concoctions.
Everything's better on a stick, and sticks make corn on the cob easier (and less messy) to eat. Try Bobby Flay's Grilled Corn Skewers with Chipotle-Lime Butter, or mix things up with an assortment of butters and toppings like Cotija and Parmesan cheese for a DIY corn on the cob bar.
Any of our top taco recipes could be used at a taco bar party. Just assemble bowls of grilled or braised meat, fresh vegetables, beans and rice, cheese, guacamole, salsa and sour cream, and ta-da! The fiesta can begin. We're partial to Kelsey Nixon's Shredded Pork and Pineapple Tacos, which you can make in a slow cooker ahead of time and keep warm throughout the party.
Just like with tacos, burgers can get the topping treatment with as low-brow or gourmet ingredients as you want. Tyler Florence's Burger Bar has crispy rosemary bacon, caramelized onions, fresh tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms and herbed horseradish mayonnaise. Just grill up burgers and put out your toppings before letting your guests loose at the bar.
Again, food on a stick is the best, and kids and adults alike will love Mac and Cheese Pops. You don't have to stop at this cheesy goodness, though — try giving the Popsicle treatment to Chicken and Waffles on a Stick, Pecan Pipe Pops, Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Cheesecake Pops and much more.
This DIY bar lets your guests choose their own fruity adventure. Start with a basic margarita recipe and then blend up some purees like peach, raspberry and strawberry to mix and match. You can do them frozen too; use this recipe for a Frozen Mango Margarita and add any kind of frozen fruit your guests desire.
This is the time to go wild with ingredients. Instead of just graham crackers, grab some cookies for your s'mores bar and set up an array of treats to stuff inside with marshmallows and chocolate. Prepare for sugar highs (and sugar crashes) after serving, but these are well worth it. Check out the video from Good to Know below to see how to make it all happen.
Tia Mowry takes play time and food to new 6-foot-7-inch heights when Metta World Peace stops by on the next episode of Tia Mowry at Home. Tune in to see how she and the pro basketball player make cooking fun on Wednesday, May 27 at 9pm ET.