27 March 2010

Snacky Dinner Evolution

We have a particular meal that has had a major overhaul since we moved to Germany. We call it Snacky Dinner because it's basically a meal of small snacks. It has always been one of Jason's favorites, but I never particularly warmed to it because it's not a warm meal. I know, I know, I'm picky, but I just don't like cold meals... breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I want something hot (or at least warm). It can be 95 degrees outside and I'd rather have something hot than cold. It's why I'd rather have grits than cereal, or when I'm forced to eat a sandwich, I'm much more likely to be happy about it if it's grilled or baked.

Snacky Dinner started as triscuits (I'm not a big fan, but Jason loves them so I survived), salami, cheddar, broccoli (raw), and a cut up apple to round out the food pyramid. I made it edible (for me) by popping those crackers with cheese and salami into the toaster oven for a few minutes, but that always made dinner lonely since Jason would finish long before I would (he liked his cold). When we moved to Germany, Jason asked for snacky dinner again. We had a terrible time finding crackers, but we found salami, broccoli, apples, and cheese with no problems. We even found a tasty yogurt based salad dressing that slightly mimics ranch.

But one day I bought a baguette and some shredded gouda. I went a little crazy and added butter, garlic, salt, and the gouda to the baguette and popped it in the oven to melt the cheese. Then I went even crazier and threw together a quick tomato sauce to dip the cheesy garlic bread in. I originally served the cheesy bread to guests as an appetizer, but it quickly replaced the crackers and cheese in Snacky Dinner. And now Jason and I both look forward to Snacky Dinner.

The baguette has evolved in the short time we've been here too. I've eliminated the butter and salt (with all that cheese, who needs the extra fat? It's not missed), and swapped the shredded gouda for fresh mozzarella. I sprinkle the bread with garlic powder, add some slices of mozzarella and bake until brown and bubbly.

Snacky Dinner
Fresh fruit of your choice, sliced
Broccoli, cut into florets
3 mozzarella balls
One can crushed tomatoes, with herbs
Onion powder to taste
Garlic powder to taste
Salami of your choice

1. Warm the crushed tomatoes with a little warm on the stove. Add extra Italian herbs and onion powder to your taste. The longer it sits on the heat, the more the flavors will meld, so make sure to do this step first. I like to add a little crushed red pepper flakes for some extra zing. Today I added fennel, basil, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper.

2. Slice the baguette into three equal pieces. Slice each piece lengthwise so you have six pieces. Drain the mozzarella balls, then slice. Each baguette piece should get half of a mozzarella ball with a little bit of cheese left over for pre-Snacky Dinner snacking.

3. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. If the cheese is not brown and bubbly, turn on the broiler. DO NOT WALK AWAY!! Or you will have burnt cheesy bread rather than delicious cheesy bread. Note: baguettes are not incredibly stable, so they will try to roll around on you a bit. You can prop them up next to each other to help stabilize them.

4. After the bread comes out of the oven, remove the tomato sauce to a serving bowl, and set the table with a bowl for each snack. Enjoy!


  1. You're making me want garlic bread! Fabulous!

  2. This sounds really good!

  3. I am now hungry..

  4. @ Anonymous: I hope it's close to meal time!


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