New Year’s Eve is Sunday, and it seems like people are preferring to stay in this year, perhaps more than in the past.

If staying in is your preference, you’ll still want some yummy snacks for the occasion, especially if friends dropping in may occur.

Here are two recipes that are very little trouble to make, and delicious.

The crackers are a hit by themselves and really add some zing to a charcuterie plate (don’t get nervous — it’s just cured meat, think salami and pepperoni, and cheese with a few grapes tucked in).

The “fondue” is really just a warm dip that is made in a slow cooker. “Dippables” may include pretzels, chips, bread cubes, apple slices, or raw broccoli and cauliflower.

Whatever method you choose to mark the end of 2017, take a moment this weekend to reflect on all that is good in your life. Being bombarded with the bad is not instructive, nor is it healthy.

At my little homestead, a new granddaughter, continued health for loved ones near and far, and employment top the gratitude list.

Comeback Crackers

1 box saltine crackers (all four sleeves)

1 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons steak seasoning

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Large container with tight-fitting lid

Place all crackers upright, rather than flat, in the container.

Mix oil and spices together in a bowl. Whisk to combine.

Drizzle over the crackers as evenly as possible. Make sure to scrape out all the seasoning in the bowl.

Seal the container.

Flip the container upside down and let sit for 5 minutes. Continue to flip every 5 minutes for 30 minutes.

Store in the container. They will stay crispy for up to a week, but they’ll be gone long before that.

(Recipe from

Beer-Cheese Fondue

1½ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

1¼ heavy cream

½ cup lager beer

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2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup butter, softened

½ cup all-purpose flour

1½ teaspoons spicy brown mustard

2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Soft pretzels or other dippables

In a 1½ or 2-quart slow cooker, combine the first four ingredients (through garlic). Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours. Meanwhile, in a bowl, stir together butter and flour until a paste forms.

Turn cooker to high. Whisk paste into broth mixture until smooth (mixture will thicken immediately). Cover and cook 30 minutes more.

Whisk mustard into broth mixture. Gradually whisk in both cheeses until smooth. Serve with pretzels or other dippables. Makes 22 ¼-cup servings.

Tip: If there are leftovers of the dip, use as the base for macaroni and cheese sauce.

(Recipe from

Follow community news editor Sally Ann Shurmur on Twitter @WYOSAS


Community News Editor

Sally Ann Shurmur arrived at the Star-Tribune to cover sports two weeks after graduating from the University of Wyoming and now serves as community news editor. She was raised in Laramie and is a passionate fan of Cowboys football, food and family.

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