Binge-watching shows is pretty much our national pastime here in the U.S., and I’d be willing to bet we’re not the only country that has made online streaming a top industry in our various economies.
What can we say? Having unlimited movies and television shows at our disposal for the price of a quarter tank of gas is just too good to be true.
Now, we would never judge your binge-watching habits. But what we would judge is the snacks you chose to eat during your various TV show marathons.
Popcorn and chips, guys? Come on, Netflix disrupted the whole concept of television and you’re honoring their ingenuity with Ruffles? We can do better, and we will, with these prime-time binge menus.
Overindulge in the perfect snack for the show of your choice while your brain does the same through six straight hours of Orange Is the New Black. Now your mind and your stomach can live in excess together. What a beautiful thing.
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
If you haven’t caught up with everyone’s favorite woman-child, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt wrapped up its second season in April of this year. We highly suggest a two season binge of the show – it’s the perfect cure for the it’s-almost-the-end-of-the-summer-blues.
To get in the mindset of our favorite Mole Woman, we suggest a sugar-charged smorgasbord of Lunchables, an ice cream sundae topped with candy, and a side of Wild Berry Pop Tarts, all washed down with a refreshing can of Tang. Tubular, dude.
If you’re crazy for the sexy medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, then you know that Meredith Grey’s passion for Dr. McDreamy is only outweighed by one thing: her love for tequila.
The only thing that could make this roller coaster of emotions even better is enjoying Meredith’s favorite beverage in a sweet, crunchy form. Yes, we are absolutely talking about tequila-spiked popcorn. All the flavor of tequila, minus the urge to take your clothes off and sing an off-key version of “Man, I Feel Like a Woman.”
TEQUILA-SPIKED CARAMEL CORN
16 cups air-popped popcorn
1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts
1 cup light brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
3 tablespoons agave nectar (see Note)
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 tablespoons tequila
Preheat the oven to 250° and position racks in the upper and middle thirds. Toss the popcorn with the roasted peanuts in a large heatproof bowl.
In a large saucepan, combine the brown sugar with the butter, agave nectar, corn syrup and salt and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Boil over moderate heat for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Using a long spoon, stir in the baking soda and tequila; the syrup will foam. Immediately pour the hot syrup over the popcorn and peanuts and, using 2 spoons, toss to coat thoroughly.
Spread the popcorn on two nonstick baking sheets and bake for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally and switching the sheets halfway through, until golden and nearly dry. Turn off the oven, open the oven door completely and let the popcorn cool completely before serving.
Netflix and chill? Yawn, very 2015. Might we suggest some Netflix and grill, instead? Bob’s Burgers, the animated dry comedy that’s been taking streaming by storm, follows an off-kilter family who run a burger joint and their daily shenanigans.
Considering most of the show takes place next to a griddle, it only makes sense to choose one of Bob’s favorite cheeseburgers to whip up for your burger binge sesh. Our personal favorite from the Bob’s Burgers blackboard is the “I’ve Created a Muenster Burger,” which should be piled high with melted muenster cheese.
“I’VE CREATED A MUENSTER!” BURGER
10 ounce package white button mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound ground beef
8 thick slices muenster cheese
Green leaf or Boston lettuce
Melt the butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Sautee the mushrooms in the butter until they are light brown.
Form four patties and season both sides with salt and pepper. Cook the burgers for about four to eight minutes per side and until the middle is at least 155 degrees F, but just under 160 degrees F on a meat thermometer (it will continue to cook after it is remove it from the heat).
Turn off the heat and flip the burgers one last time and place one slice of cheese on each burger. Then pile ¼th of the mushrooms on top of the cheese and then top with a second slice of cheese.
Build your burgers by placing a bottom bun on your plate, then lettuce, followed by one of your burgers. Top with ketchup, if you wish, and finally the top bun. Enjoy!
Arguably the hottest show on Netflix right now is the sci-fi/horror hit Stranger Things, which follows a group of young boys and their community as a series of strange events lead to a child disappearing into thin air. Think Alien meets The Goonies. One minute, you’re watching a scary AF alien taking someone down, and the next, you’re seeing a group of young friends playing “Dungeons and Dragons” in someone’s basement.
Get in the mood for alien hunting by powering up on some serious nerd food: pizza rolls and Doritos, of course. We suggest some homemade pizza rolls, so you can get all the flavor of a WoW meeting but with a DIY flare. We can’t help you make Doritos, they’re best purchased in bulk and as soon as possible, too.
HOMEMADE PIZZA ROLLS
1 ball pizza dough (about 1 pound), store-bought or homemade
1 cup tomato sauce, store-bought or homemade
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 pound cooked sausage, crumbled (optional)
Flour for dusting
Preheat the oven to 500°F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Gather the pizza dough and bring it to room temperature, as well as the sauce, mozzarella cheese, and cooked, crumbled sausage (if using).
In a medium bowl, combine the pizza sauce, cheese, and sausage. Stir until completely mixed together.
Cut the dough into workable pieces, about the size of a tennis ball. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a long rectangle, until it’s about 4 inches wide and about 1/4-inch thick.
Down one side of the dough, drop small spoonfuls (roughly 1 teaspoon) of filling ingredients in little mounds. Leave about 1 inch between each mound of filling.
Fold dough over the top of the toppings and press between the mounds of filling with your fingers.
Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut each pizza bite apart from the next.
Pinch the freshly cut ends together. They’ll be sticky and should hold together nicely, making a neat edge. The amount of execution needed for this step will usually depend on your dough and its willingness to play nice.
Transfer the pizza bites to a baking sheet, spaced about 1-inch apart. Lightly brush the top of each pizza bite with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the tops are golden-brown. Remove from the oven, cool slightly, and serve.
Photo: Gossip Girl Wikia
Feeling fabulous? Snap on your Blair Waldorf-style headbands and turn on the cult favorite, Gossip Girl. In this glamorous show, we follow the lives of privileged high schoolers, who live in fabulous New York City flats and in no way pass as 17.
Prepare yourself for a slew of unrealistically expensive parties, streetwear to drool over, and killer jaw bones all around with an expensive sushi roll and a glass of Pinot Noir. Try this epic Dragon Roll for starters. It’s pricey, but Blair Waldorf would do it, and so should you.
1 Japanese cucumber
½ lemon (optional)
2 nori sheets, cut in half crosswise
About 2 cups prepared sushi rice (each roll needs ½ cup sushi rice)
8 precooked shrimp tempura
⅛ cup (20 oz) Tobiko
Grilled unagi (eel) (optional)
Black sesame seeds
Equipment you will need
Bamboo sushi mat
Cut cucumber lengthwise into quarter. Remove the seeds and then cut in half lengthwise.
Cut the avocado in half lengthwise around the seed and twist the two halves until they separate. Hack the knife edge into the pit. Hold the skin of the avocado with the other hand and twist in counter directions. The pit will come out smoothly.
Remove the skin and slice the avocado widthwise.
Gently press the avocado slices with your fingers and then keep pressing gently and evenly with the side of knife until the length of avocado is about the length of sushi roll (length of nori seaweed). If you don’t serve the sushi roll right away, squeeze lemon over the avocado to prevent from changing color.
Wrap the bamboo mat with plastic wrap and place half of the nori sheet, shiny side down. Dip your hands in tezu (vinegar water) and spread ½ cup sushi rice over the nori sheet.
Turn it over and put the shrimp tempura, cucumber strips, and tobiko at the bottom end of the nori sheet. If you like to put unagi, place inside here as well.
From the bottom end, start rolling nori sheet over the filling tightly and firmly with bamboo mat until the bottom end reaches the nori sheet. Lift the bamboo mat and roll over.
Place the bamboo mat over the roll and tightly squeeze the roll.
Using the side of knife, place the avocado on top of the roll.
Place plastic wrap over the roll and then put bamboo mat over. Tightly squeeze the roll until the avocado slices wrap around the sushi. Be gentle so you won’t break the avocado slices.
Cut the roll into 8 pieces with knife. Clean knife with wet towel after each cut. If the roll got messy while cutting, tightly squeeze the sushi roll again with the bamboo mat. Remove the plastic wrap on top of the sushi and transfer to a serving plate.
Put tobiko on each piece of sushi and drizzle spicy mayo and sprinkle black sesame seeds on top. If you like, put some unagi sauce on the plate so you can dip the sushi. Enjoy!
Photo: USA Network
One could argue that, next to computer programming, popcorn is one of the crucial plot point of the thriller-drama, Mr. Robot. Our favorite hacker, Elliot Alderson, is rarely seen working without popcorn, and a popcorn machine even plays a pretty big part in the Season 1 finale…sorry, no spoilers here, folks.
It seems inappropriate to not be snacking on Elliot’s favorite treat while you binge-watch his hacking antics! But Mr. Robot is no ordinary show, so you shouldn’t be snacking on any ordinary popcorn. Mix it up with these sweet maple bacon popcorn balls. These snacks are the perfect combination of savory and sweet with a seriously satisfying crunch.
MAPLE BACON POPCORN BALLS
10 cups JOLLY TIME® Blast O Butter® Microwave Pop Corn
1/2 cup finely chopped crisp bacon
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup maple-flavored syrup
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup smokehouse maple or hickory-smoked salt
Place popcorn and bacon in large bowl.
Mix sugar, syrup, and water in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook 5 minutes or until very thick. Stir in butter.
Pour hot sugar mixture over popcorn, tossing quickly to evenly coat.
Wet hands with water (or lightly spray with cooking spray); form popcorn mixture into 1-1/2 inch balls. Sprinkle with flavored salt.
Store bites in an airtight container, in layers separated with sheets of waxed paper.
Orange is the New Black
The talk of the Netflix world, for years now, has been Orange Is the New Black, a dark comedy that follows Piper Chapman, the newest inmate at Litchfield Penitentiary. Between the wild sex scenes, intense plot lines detailing true prison life, and hating Piper with every fiber of your being, a viewer tends to get worn out.
Snack away your stress with some peanut butter sriracha toast. This bizarre snack is everything that OITNB is, too; spicy and extremely weird. Next, cool down your mouth with this indulgent Guinness milkshake because as any fan of the show will tell you, doing whatever you damn well please is the name of the game at Litchfield.
PEANUT BUTTER SRIRACHA TOAST
Flaky sea salt
Spread peanut butter on a slice of toast.
Top with sliced scallion, fresh cilantro leaves, and Sriracha.
Finish with lime juice and flaky sea salt
2 pints (4 cups) vanilla ice cream
1 (14.9-ounce) can Guinness Draught
4 tablespoons chocolate syrup or chocolate sauce, for drizzling
Semisweet chocolate shavings, for garnish
Place 4 pint glasses in the freezer to chill.
Place the ice cream and Guinness in a blender and blend on high until smooth, about 30 seconds.
Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the chocolate syrup or sauce down the insides of each glass. Divide the shake among the glasses and garnish with chocolate shavings. Serve immediately.
Game of Thrones
Photo: Spoon University
Ever wanted to know what it’s like to feast with the Lannisters in Westeros? Haven’t we all. Well, amateur chefs Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer are making your dreams a reality with their passion project, A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook.
Prepare yourself for all the blood and badassery you’ll experience in your GoT marathon with some Pease Pie, an honest-to-goodness treat of the Seven Kingdoms. This is a savory 9-inch pie, filled with baked peas and laced with pieces of smoky bacon. Add some roasted chicken legs on the side and pretend they’re mutton to complete your feast. Sorry, Khaleesi fans, no stallion heart this time around.
6 cups shelled fresh green peas, or most of one 32 oz. bag frozen, thawed
pastry crust, top and bottom
3 Tbs. butter
pinch each salt and pepper
4 strips bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
1 Tbs. grape juice
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. cider vinegar
1 egg for glaze
Preheat oven to 425.
Divide your pastry dough in half. Roll out one half and lay in a pie pan. Set the other half aside.
Put your peas into a saucepan with water, and bring to a boil for about 5 minutes. Drain in a collander, then pour into your prepared pie crust. Using the palm of your hand, press firmly down on the peas to pack them down.
Melt 3 Tbs. butter, and add the saffron to it. Allow to cool slightly, then pour over the peas. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and spread the crumbled bacon on top of everything.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Fill the prepared shells with the cooled peas and top with some small pieces of butter. Lay remaining dough circles over tops of tarts. Pinch crusts together, using a little brushed-on water as glue. Trim off any excess dough, and crimp. Make a few slits in the top crusts with a sharp knife so that steam can escape. Brush top crusts with beaten egg.
Bake until brown, about 30 minutes. Let settle on a wire rack for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Be careful as the peas will roll and spill from the sliced pie.
Bob Ross: The Joy of Painting
Let’s be honest, the addition of Bob Ross’ The Joy of Painting was one of the best things Netflix has done for potheads since they added all of Weeds to their lineup.
If you’re watching The Joy of Painting in the right frame of mind, all you’ll want while you’re binge-viewing is some serious comfort food. And, we don’t know about you, but the perfect comfort food (that also requires the minimum amount of effort) is the grilled cheese. The Almighty. If you have it in you, step up your grilled cheese to this pizza panini. It’s pizza in grilled cheese form and it’s exactly what you need to aid your Ross-related munchies.
8 thin mini pizza dough bases
2 tablespoons Pizza Tomato Paste (or Pizza Sauce), divided
2 tablespoons roasted red capsicum/pepper paste (optional, but it guarantees a great flavour; if you don’t have this just replace with extra tomato paste), divided
Italian dried herbs mix (oregano; basil; parsley; thyme, etc)
12 slices Pepperoni, divided (or more — adjust to your tastes)
8 thin slices Mozzarella cheese
Olive oil spray
Preheat your Panini Maker; Sandwich Press or George Foreman Grill according to manufacturer instructions. (Or use any of the other cooking methods mentioned above in this post).
Lay each pizza base down on a work surface. Spread both the pizza tomato paste/sauce and the red capsicum/pepper paste on each pizza base; sprinkle with the Italian herbs.
On only four of the bases, layer with the pepperoni slices and mozzarella cheese. Season with salt and/or pepper (optional). Place the remaining four bases over each pizza to create a sandwich. Spray your Panini/Press machine with cooking oil spray, and lightly spray the outer sides of each sandwich (or brush over with oil). Place onto the Panini/Sandwich maker and cook until the pizza crust turns golden and the cheese on the inside has melted through.