It’s official; staying in really is the new going out.
A study by Studyfinds.org found out that 71% of those surveyed looked forward to cancelled weekend plans so they could stay in. One observer of the study added, “Americans are deciding home is the best place to relax. Instead of going out, they’re enjoying downtime or entertaining friends at home.”
Entertaining friends at home is big business these days, with the pandemic seeing many people confined to their homes. They carried out improvements, with NPR.org revealing that almost 75% of US homeowners carried out some sort of improvement due to the pandemic. That included backyard projects, games rooms and other places to entertain.
Having friends round for a games night has always been a part of US culture, but it’s on the increase. Some of the ‘old favorite’ games are on the rise, with poker being one that is experiencing a resurgence. Indeed, Poker.org claim it is now one of the world’s most popular pastimes, and weekend basements, garages and games rooms across the US are filled with friends playing a few hands.
However, entertaining at home is not just about the game or the renovation you’ve carried out; it’s about the food as well. If you want your friends to come back, you need to feed them well. Although they’re not specifically for a games night, you might gain insight from our article ‘5 Healthy Meals Your Family Will Love’. However, they might be a bit too complicated for snacking on during a game of poker. So, to help you further, we’ve put together some ideas that are perfect for a poker night but do deviate from the accepted norms of chips, dips and soda.
The beauty of deviled eggs is that they’re not excessively greasy, so the poker cards won’t get in a state, and you can’t be accused of marking cards! They’re easy to make and can be personalized to your tastes.
Simply boil enough eggs for your party, and gently peel once cooled. Carefully remove the yokes, and mix with mayonnaise, mustard and cayenne. Mashed that together and then pile into the space left by the yokes in the egg whites, and serve. For an extra kick, why not go all-in and add a little turmeric as well?
Parsnip and Carrot Chips
The temptation for a poker night is to go with chips and dips, unhealthy in the extreme. What if, instead of chips, you had parsnip and carrot to dip in the sauces?
Take three or four carrots and a couple of parsnips, and use a vegetable peeler to peel away large strips, which you allow to drop into a bowl. Do this around the whole vegetable a couple of times, and when you get to the middle, discard the solid core.
Fry in light oil with some salt and thyme until lightly browned. Now soak on kitchen paper to drain the excess grease and serve. Delicious without dips as well.
Poker is a game that requires concentration and longevity, so breaking for a meal midway through isn’t advisable. Therefore, a snack like cashew nuts is great, but you can still impress your guests by doing more than opening a pre-bought packet.
You’ll need raw cashews, some salt, a pinch of cayenne pepper, two tablespoons of chilli powder and ¼ of a cup of lime juice. Mix all the ingredients bar the cashews into a jug, and blend vigorously. Toss the cashews into the mixture and blend until they’re coated properly. Then, simply spread the cashews on a baking tray lined with paper and roast for an hour, switching them up every 15 minutes, so they cook evenly.