Getting together with friends and family? Here are some super fast and easy snacks that you can make at the last minute — especially if you're the last-minute host. They're perfect for a Super Bowl party or anti-Super Bowl gathering for those who are boycotting the New Orleans Saints last-minute "loss" in the lead-up to tonight's game, supporting Colin Kaepernick for taking a knee for everyone  or hanging out with your girls just because.  Who needs a reason anyway?

From munchies to punches, we've included some healthy options, shortcuts and DIY alternatives for the Do-It-Yourselfers on the slides below — even if you're starting with a bag of raw, frozen wings. Time's a ticking; let's go!

Super Fruit Bowl

This is a dish that tastes as good as it looks. You’ll literally use a split pineapple as bowls and fill it with your favorite fruit. Here are suggestions below.

Pineapple fruit bowl

Pineapple fruit bowl

Whole pineapple




Seedless Grapes




Cut pineapple in half length-wise, keeping leaves intact but slicing through them as shown. Scoop out pineapple from both sides by cutting into one-inch chunks, and set aside in a large bowl. Reserve the pineapple halves to use as containers.

Cut and rinse the other fruit, as appropriate, and mix with pineapple chunks in the bowl. Spoon the fruit mix into the pineapple shells, and arrange on a platter. Garnish with mint leaves, and drizzle with Grand Marnier, if desired.

Serves 8 or more with refills.

Chunky Guacamole Dip (Photo: Tom Woodward/Creative Commons)

Chunky Guacamole Dip in a molcajete made from volcanic rock. (Photo: Tom Woodward/Creative Commons)

Chunky Guacamole Dip

3 tablespoons tomatoes, diced

3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

2 tablespoons onion, finely diced

1 garlic clove, grated or finely diced

1-2 teaspoons jalapeno, finely diced

3-4 ripe avocados

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Pepper, optional or to taste

½ teaspoon lemon or lime juice

Mix tomatoes, cilantro, onion and jalapeno in a serving bowl or molcajete. Cut avocados into halves, twisting to remove seeds. Slice in both directions down to the skin, and scoop out chunks into bowl. Mix gently to preserve chunkiness, sprinkle with salt, pepper if desired, and lemon or lime juice. Mix again. Serve with thin and crispy tortilla chips (try chia and quinoa) or veggies, such as carrot and celery strips.

Serves 8-10.

Shortcut: Buy fresh homemade salsa, and you can eliminate almost all of the ingredients — except the avocado, of course. You can add jalepeno or red pepper flakes to you want it extra spicy.

Tip: Buy or make extra salsa for a separate snack with or without different chips.

Winning Wings

Bag of wing sections (frozen or thawed)

Italian seasoning

Seasoned salt and pepper to taste

Throw the wings into an oven-safe pan. Sprinkle Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Flip the wings, and repeat. Place in an oven pre-heated to 400 degrees. If you're really in a hurry, put the oven on broil but keep an eye on the wings.

Turn when browned on one side, or periodically if you're impatient. Remove from oven and serve — or sneak one for testing purposes if the wings are being served later.

Servings? It depends on how many you sneak beforehand or your crew's definition of a serving size.

Creative Commons

Honey Hot Wings

If you and your crew like it hot, follow the instructions above. While the wings are baking or carefully broiling, mix 1/2 cup of hot sauce and 1/2 cup of honey in a small sauce pan. Stir on low heat until well mixed.

Pour the sauce over wings just before it's time for them to come out the oven. Toss to make sure the wings are coated on both sides.

Return to oven, turning periodically. No matter how much of a hurry you're in, don't broil the wings; use regular heat. Your oven should be hot enough at this point.

Remove the wings from the oven after the honey has carmelized a bit and/or the wings have a deeper color.

Dip made with prepared eggplant. (Photo: Tasty Bite)

Easy Eggplant Dip

1/4 cup parsley or cilantro, chopped

Roasted or prepared eggplant

8 oz. whipped cream cheese

Salt and pepper (to taste)

Mix the ingredients in a large bowl, chill for 10 minutes and serve with pita chips or slices of pita bread. For this version, you can use a pouch of  Tasty Bite® Punjab Eggplant™.



Eggplants have a heart-healthy flavonoid known as anthocyanins. (Photo: Creative Commons)

DIY: Roasted Eggplant Dip

1 eggplant

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2-3 tablespoons regular or black tahini

1-2 cloves of garlic

1 lemon, juiced

½ teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons parsley

1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried

1 teaspoon fresh mint, chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 stalks of scallions, thinly sliced

Pita bread or chips

Prick the eggplant all over with a fork, so that the steam can escape and it doesn't explode inside the oven. Rub some olive oil over the entire surface and place on a baking sheet. Broil on all sides until the skin is charred black. Peel or cut off the skin; the flesh inside should be soft. Mash the eggplant with the other ingredients, or place everything except the scallions in a food processor for a short quick blend. Stir in the sliced scallions and chill — or serve warm depending on your preference with pita bread. You can make your own pita chips by slicing the bread and toasting it in the oven.

Tip: The eggplant can also be grilled or a combination of broiling and baking in the oven. Some people slice the eggplant lengthwise, lightly salt the flesh, broil it for a little while and then roast in the oven for 30 minutes.


Photo: Unilever

Spinach Dip

A bag of sliced fresh spinach or 2 boxes (10 oz. each) frozen chopped spinach, cooked, cooled and squeezed dry

1 container (16 oz.) sour cream

1 to 2 cups mayonnaise

1 package Knorr® Vegetable recipe mix — or your own seasonings (i.e., garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper)

1 can (8 oz.) water chestnuts, drained and chopped

1 small onion, chopped

Round loaf of sourdough or pumpernickel bread

Vegetables for dipping (i.e., carrots, celery sticks, green peppers) and/or torn chunks of bread (1-2 loaves of sourdough, pumpernickel French or Italian bread)

Mix all ingredients and chill, ideally for two hours or at least while you prepare the bread, vegetables or chips (pita or your favorite type).

Cut a circular hole in the top of the round loaf of bread. Scoop out the bread to create a bowl. Tear the scooped out bread into chunks, along with the one or two extra loaves bread.

Place the bread bowl on a platter or charger. Arrange bread chunks around it. Put the leftover chunks in a plastic storage bag for later.

You can also simply put the dip in a bowl surrounded by veggies or chips of your choice.

Michelle's Mango Punch

1 bottle of mango nectar (2 quarts)

1 bottle lemonade (2 quarts)

1 bottle plain or lime seltzer water (1 liter)

Fresh or frozen raspberries

Chill the liquids beforehand is possible. Place the raspberries at the bottom of a punch bowl. Empty the containers into the bowl, stir and serve. It's that simple. Recipe courtesy of Michelle Trotter, who purchases the beverages from Trader Joe's. You can also add sparkling wine or champagne for a stronger fizz.

DIY: Do-It-Yourselfers can make fresh lemonade and substitute the nectar by blending fruit from at least four mangos in a blender or food processor.

Berry Good Punch

1 can of frozen strawberry or raspberry lemonade concentrate

1 bottles of diet or regular ginger ale (2 liters each)

Fresh or frozen strawberries or raspberries (optional)

Put half of the strawberry or raspberry lemonade in a punch bowl or a third in a pitcher. Pour in ginger ale and mix to taste. Add fruit if desired.