I’ve hosted hundreds of parties over the years, and I always enjoy preparing food for them.
Most people really enjoy party food. In fact, tasty foods are often a big part of any get-together. I’ve hosted hundreds of parties over the years, and I always enjoy preparing food for them. I think one reason for this is because I always include a lot of easy foods, so I’m not stressed out before the event even gets started. Don’t get me wrong, I always include some more complicated dishes too, but easy food items are great for “filling in the gaps.”
Just recently, I got some easy food ideas from my best pal, and one of them was a neat recipe for spicy crackers, called “firecrackers.” Of course, I had to do some experimenting of my own, so I created Cajun firecrackers with seasonings usually associated with Cajun recipes. If you’re searching for easy party food ideas, give this one a try!
Cajun Firecracker Recipe
If you like Cajun recipes and party food, these crackers are a perfect marriage. They’re hot, savory, and very addictive.
I thought for sure the crackers would be soggy after adding so much oil, but they weren’t. They turn out crispy, believe it or not. And if you turn the bags often enough, each saltine will get a nice coating of seasoning.
You can make this entire recipe in just one big bag, but it works better if you divide the crackers and seasoned oil into two bags. I’ve tried it both ways, and while both methods worked, the seasonings were more evenly distributed with the two-bag method.
If you want, add a bit of dried thyme to your recipe. Also, if you think these crackers will be too hot for you, your family, or guests, reduce the amount of cayenne and red pepper flakes.
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- 1 box multigrain saltine crackers
- 1 1/2 cups oil
- 2 packs dry ranch dressing mix, (one ounce size)
- 3 tablespoons red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- Place two sleeves of saltines in a one-gallon Ziploc food bag. Place the other two sleeves in another one-gallon Ziploc. Place each bag inside another gallon bag to prevent leaking.
- Use two mixing bowls to divide the remaining ingredients. Into each bowl, add ¾ cup oil, 1 envelope ranch dressing mix, 1 ½ tablespoons red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon dried parsley, ½ teaspoon cayenne, ½ teaspoon paprika, ¼ teaspoon dried oregano, and ¼ teaspoon dried basil. Whisk to combine well.
- Pour the contents of one bowl over one bag of crackers. Do the same with the other oil mixture and the other bag of crackers. Seal all bags and gently shake.
- Every couple of hours, shake the bags again and reposition. The firecrackers will be ready to eat as soon as the oil is absorbed, but they’re much better the next day.
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Different Ways to Eat Firecrackers
- Firecrackers are great with cheeses, especially mild, creamy cheeses like mozzarella, provolone, and mild cheddar. I like them with pepper jack cheese, too.
- Try them with cream cheese spreads, cheese balls, and dips.
- For a real treat, serve the firecrackers with a shrimp, crawfish, or crab spread.
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These crackers would also be perfect for a 4th of July party! They’d be great for picnics because they’re so portable. They’d also be perfect for munching on at a cookout while guests are awaiting the grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ chicken, or ribs.
Other Cajun Food Ideas
My family members are all die-hard southerners, and we love Cajun recipes. Even most of the grandkids like hot, spicy foods, and they loved the firecrackers I made for our Memorial Day cookout. I often use Cajun recipes for meals, but they work just as well for party foods. Most Cajun recipes are highly seasoned, and many are downright hot. Popular seasonings include cayenne, red pepper flakes, onion, garlic, oregano, paprika, black pepper, basil, and thyme.
Some of our favorite Cajun meals include:
- red beans and rice with sausage
- shrimp etouffee
Some of our favorite party foods with a Cajun flair include:
- steamed crawfish
- spicy shrimp
- crab claws
Finger foods are always a good idea for just about any event. Even if you’re serving a buffet or sit-down meal, finger foods can serve as appetizers. Since knives, forks, and spoons aren’t required, your guests can mix and mingle while munching on easy-to-eat nibbles. They also won’t have to worry about trying to balance a plate on their laps while using cutlery.
Finger foods should be small, and it’s best if they’re not too messy. Guests should be able to pick them up easily and be able to enjoy them as they walk around. Crackers and spreads, small sandwiches, nuts, cookies, berries, chicken wings, petit fours, boiled shrimp, and chicken nuggets are all good examples of finger foods.
What Other Kinds of Easy Party Foods Could You Make?
Easy food ideas will give you the chance to relax and actually enjoy your event. Whenever I host a party, I like to use as many make-ahead foods as I can. This gives me more time to spend on decorations, more complicated food, and last-minute details. Once my guests arrive, I’m ready to have fun!
There are all kinds of easy food ideas you can incorporate, depending on the type of shindig you’re throwing and when the event takes place. For example, in the colder months, you might prefer serving some warm foods like hot spreads or dips, meatballs, or wings. In the summer months, I like to serve a lot of cold foods, and I also take advantage of fresh locally grown produce.
Easy party food ideas can also include pre-made or pre-cooked items from the deli. Even frozen foods from the grocery store can work nicely, especially with some tweaking and imagination on your part. Some examples are frozen phyllo cups that can be filled with fruits, custard, cheesecake filling, or chicken salad. Another option is frozen cream puffs. I like to drizzle them with melted chocolate before serving.