12 Genius ways to turn junk food into company-worthy fare
Dinner parties always sound like a great idea — in theory. Until you realize you have to spend hours pretending to be a gourmet chef, without a spare second to enjoy your friends, fine foods and a few glasses of wine.
If I were to invite you to a dinner party at my house, you might notice something a little different. It's not that I am a five-star chef. Quite the contrary. I am more of what you would call a "chef hacker," which simply means I am capable of cooking a good meal that might rely heavily on the shortcuts, with a few dollops of delicious deception for good measure. (As we all know, that's what Pinterest is for.)
If your dinner party is fast approaching and you don't have a gourmet recipe to your name, the good news is that you have stumbled upon the perfect post to help you pass your friends' taste test with flying colors. Not only is it possible to whip up a delicious dinner for company in a short amount of time, but you can often do it with the crap packaged foods you have hiding in your cabinets.
Appetizers, snacks and sides
1. Bacon-wrapped tater tots
If you've got bacon in the crisper, those tater tots gathering frost in the back of your freezer are finally ready to serve their divine purpose.
2. Caramel Cheetos
These mouthwatering caramel Cheetos might just be crazy enough to work — and trust me when I say they do work.
3. Dorito dust
It's safe to say that turning Doritos into a convenient junk food spice may be the best thing that's happened in your kitchen all week.
4. Lucky Charms snack mix
Now there's a perfectly good reason to justify the copious amount of Lucky Charms you've been stockpiling.
5. Baked Parmesan hash brown cups
Regular old hash browns scream "diner." But bake them in a cup and add some Parmesan cheese, and suddenly it's fine dining.
6. Cheerios onion rings
Two foods you thought should never mix (who puts onions in their cereal?) come together as the best appetizer on the table.
7. Chocolate-covered potato chips
Dude. Dude. No one will ever judge you for making something so delicious (and so easy).
8. Chicken nugget tacos
It may officially be the end of days when you can dress up frozen chicken nuggets as a trendy street taco, but you don't hear me complaining.
9. Chicken yakisoba
Fine cuisine made with packaged ramen is all the proof you need that your years spent living on cheap noodles in college finally paid off.
10. Fancy hot dogs
Serve this haute dog dish as a main course, and watch all the hot dog haters eat their words.
11. Italian meatball burger
Swap out frozen meatballs in this recipe, and you have foolproof Italian sliders fit for a king.
12. The ultimate snack cake cake
Please don't make the mistake of saving this marvelous monstrosity for a special occasion. Your dinner party won't be complete without a custom-made tower of junk food treats — held together only by frosting.