Honestly, most of the time Food Network’s behind-the-scenes snacks and junk food show “Unwrapped” just annoys me. I think it’s too cheerful or something. But as I rather prefer a good molestation-packed marathon of “Law & Order: SVU,” perhaps I just have darkness in my soul, an often-contemplated possibility for so many SVU junkies.
Despite and/or because of this preference, I’ve recently found amusement in creating novelty, name-brand snacks at home. It just makes you feel like you’ve found some secret loophole in the system. “Oreos, pour forth from mine oven! I have the power!” Plus there’s the satisfaction of way less mystery stuff going into your mouth, even if not all your ingredients are necessarily organic.
This simple delight combined with the persistent glee of certain food television programming makes for a great way to unwind. Grab a few friends, whip up a few homemade snacks and log some serious TV time.
What: A TV, junk food and gab fest, since no one really gets mad if you talk over Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
For: A few of your closest pals. It’s kind of like a normal night in when you’d pick up a bag of Doritos and Chips Ahoy, but an inch more special ’cause of the new and improved snack products involved.
When: Whenever you’re looking for a drama-free end to the week to catch up with the gang. You can even spring for a good old fashioned sleepover.
What to Eat: Almost any junk food indulgence you can think of has been mastered by at least one curious soul across the internet, so pick your favorite and Google away. Some recipes that find a happy home in my bookmarks folder are peanut butter cups, fudgesicles (pictured above), Oreos, Golden Graham bars, Chewy bars, Nutrigrain bars (pictured below) and marshmallows. Don’t be afraid to go salty, either, with treats like pretzel sticks, Wheat Thins or Goldfish. Split the snack duties or go solo.
How to Set the Scene: Since this is a casual affair, no special decor is necessary. As of this publication, “Unwrapped” is only on at 11:30am, but put on some Food Network, Cooking Channel or Travel Channel and hope for one of those food-as-spectacle shows, world’s craziest something or other. Man v. Food is on Instant Netflix, but it looks like the rest of the food stuff they’ve got depicts the horrors of fast food, commercial agriculture, etc. Important stuff, but kind of a downer for tonight. Besides, you’ve just produced a non-processed, preservative-free snack extravaganza!
Attire: Comfy. For example, we can draw inspiration from rapper Drake: “Sweat pants, hair tied, chillin’ with no make-up on.” He goes on to say “that’s when you’re the prettiest; hope that you don’t take it wrong,” and isn’t that just the nicest sentiment? Hands down, guys, this night will be… Wait for it… The best you ever had.
Jen Cantin is a new Philly resident with a degree in English and Journalism from Clark University in Worcester, Mass. She shares other (a)musings at Deep Fried Epiphany and dedicates this post to Cara for unleashing the greatest chocolate milk the world has ever known.