How to set up a DIY Chicken Toast Bar

This post was written in a paid partnership with Manitoba Chicken Producers. As always, all opinions are my own and I only promote products and services that I use and love.

May Long Weekend is just around the corner.  You may be one of the lucky ones who scored a campsite for this unofficial start of summer or you may be heading to a family cottage to open up for the season.  You might also be staying home, enjoying the comfort of your own backyard like I am. Wherever you choose to celebrate the long weekend, this DIY Chicken Toast Bar featuring three toast recipes from Manitoba Chicken Producers is a great option for a lunch or a snack.

The basics

To set up this toast bar, all you need is shredded chicken, toasted baguette slices and a few fresh toppings.  Here are three toast recipes that you can make:

You may have seen these recipes featured on Great Tastes of Manitoba Season 31, Episode 6- Toast to MB Chicken. If not, you can watch it here to see how they’re made.

Setting up your Toast Bar

Here are some recommended ingredients for your toast bar:

  • Toasted baguette slices
  • Chicken (roasted, shredded, sliced or chicken fingers)
  • Two spreads
    • Hummus
    • Pesto
    • Olive tapenade
    • Baba ghanoush
  • One or two soft cheeses
    • Ricotta
    • Brie
    • Fresh mozzarella
    • Goat cheese
  • Two to three fresh toppings
    • Tomatoes (fresh or roasted)
    • Greens (arugula, cilantro, dill, sprouts)
    • Avocado
    • Roasted red peppers
  • Finishing touches
    • Fruit preserves or jam
    • Balsamic reduction
    • Capers
    • Pine nuts
    • Dried fruit (blueberries, apricots, cranberries)

Meal Prep Tips for your DIY Toast Bar

You can set up your toast bar to be as simple or elaborate as you want.  Most of the ingredients can be prepped ahead of time, to make this a quick and easy snack or lunch, perfect for a day of yard work, camping or sitting on the dock.

Here are some steps that you can take to prep your toast bar ahead of time:

  • Slice the baguette (toast it just before serving for maximum crispness)
  • Cook and shred or slice the chicken
  • Make hummus
  • Roast tomatoes
  • Other fresh toppings need minimal prep, like fresh arugula or herbs, tomatoes, avocado & capers

Store-Bought Shortcuts for your DIY Toast Bar

Store-bought ingredients

If you’re looking for maximum time-savings, here are some store-bought shortcuts that you can try:

  • Rotisserie chicken from the deli
  • Chicken fingers
  • Crostini rounds (find them in the cracker aisle)
  • Store-bought hummus (try a few flavors)
  • Guacamole
  • Oil packed sundried tomatoes
  • Olive tapenade
  • Capers
  • Flavored goat cheese spread

What to do with the leftovers?

What happens if you finish off the baguette and you have a bunch of toppings leftover?

This is why this is the perfect weekend meal.  The ingredients are so versatile that you can pack everything you need for the toast bar and have leftovers for lunch the next day.

Show us your toast bars! Tag @manitobachicken and @toobusylivin204 so we can see which ingredients you chose!

How to Make a Holiday Snack Board

Featuring Recipes from Manitoba Chicken Producers

This post was written in a paid partnership with Manitoba Chicken Producers. As always, all opinions are my own and I only promote products and services that I use and love.

Snack boards aren’t just for large gatherings! We like to enjoy them for lunch or dinner regularly. Whether you’re wrapping gifts solo or having dinner with your family, pulling a snack board together for any occasion is doable with these tips.

For this board, I scrolled the Appetizer & Snacks section of Manitoba Chicken’s new website for some make-ahead appetizers. 

My favorite part about this website is the categories in the Recipes section.  You can search recipes by type, cut, preparation and cuisine.   Also, it`s educational.  You can find absolutely anything you want to know about Manitoba Chicken Producers, from farming to food safety in the following sections:

  • Nutrition
  • Cooking School
  • Blog
  • At the Farm
  • Our Industry
  • About Us

Store-bought VS Homemade

Using a combination of homemade and store-bought ingredients will help you impress without the stress. Choosing make-ahead appetizers saves you some prep time before you assemble your board.

The Appetizer & Snacks section of the website has an assortment of fresh, make-ahead and freezer friendly recipes to choose from. Think of your main homemade ingredients as the anchors for your board, then fill in with store-bought ingredients to complete the look.

This time, I chose the BBQ Chicken Bacon Bites (assemble ahead of time) and the Chicken Empanadas (make-ahead and freeze) to anchor the board.

How to add interest to your snack board

You can try to stick to a particular color scheme or create a theme for your board, but I honestly think the best part about making a snack board, is using whatever you want and have in the house.  I like to focus on using different textures to make the board visually appealing.

Here are a few specific ways to add interest to your board and how they were used in this board.

Use a couple items from each of these categories:

  • Protein (BBQ Chicken Bacon Bites, Chicken Empanadas)
  • Cheeses & Spreads (Fresh ricotta, sliced mozzarella, habanero black pepper cheese, honeycomb, tzatziki)
  • Fresh fruits & Vegetables (cucumbers, apples, pomegranate)
  • Breads, crackers, pretzels (Whole Wheat Crackers, rustic seed & fruit crackers, beet chips)
  • Something pickled (olives)
  • Filler (to fill in the small gaps around the board)
    • Fresh herbs (dill & parsley)
    • Dried fruit (dried cranberries)
    • Nuts
    • Candy or chocolate

Assembling your snack board

Assembling your board is the trickiest part. You may have to move some ingredients around once you place them to achieve the look that you want.  The important part is to have fun!

  • Place crisp ingredients like crackers and chips on the board just before serving, to prevent them from getting soggy.
  • Contain dips, spreads and pickled items in small bowls.
  • Choose appetizers that can be served warm or at room temperature to prevent heat transfer to the rest of the board components.

Making your snack board ahead of time

If you want to assemble most of your board ahead of time, there are a few ways that you can do this. The first way is to get all your components ready, so that you can assemble the board quickly.

  • Prepare dips and spread and fill bowls.
  • Prepare hot appetizers that need to be cooked
  • Chop and slice fruits, vegetables and cheeses

The second way is to place most of the fresh ingredients on the board and to store it in the fridge.  Just before serving, add the hot appetizers and dry components to the board.

Here are some other great appetizers from manitobachicken.ca that would work well on a snack board.

Prep ahead and assemble before serving

Make-ahead and freeze

Which one will you try first?  Head to manitobachicken.ca to check out their new website and find a new recipe to add to your next snack board.

S’more Stout Cupcakes

Shopping local is always important, but now, more than ever, Winnipeg small businesses need our support. These cupcakes echo all of the smore-like flavors of the Kilter S’more Scout with the crispy texture of a toasted marshmallow, a gooey marshmallow centre and a fluffy subtly chocolate buttercream on top.

Jump to Recipe

My friend Pat from the Bros, Bumps & Beers podcast gifted me this Kilter S’more Scout to try. As soon as I read the description on the can, I knew I had to use it in a cupcake, which I in return shared with the guys at the podcast. You can also listen to the Bros, Bumps & Beers’ review of the Kilter S’more Scout here.

S’morey goodness

This stout tasted exactly as described. Chocolately, marshmallowy and sweet with a subtle hint of cinnamon and campfire. I savoured every drop like I savored every crumb of this cupcake. If you aren’t into cupcakes, this beer will make the perfect dessert substitution. And if you like the best of both worlds, crack the can, make the cupcakes and drink the rest.

Layers of s’more flavour

These cupcakes highlight several dimensions of smore-like flavors. The tops bake up crispy and chewy like a perfectly toasted marshmallow. The centre oozes with a gooey marshmallow fluff filling. I made the marshmallow fluff from the Jenna Rae Cakes and Sweet Treats book (another amazing local Winnipeg business and a must-have for your cookbook collection if you like to bake). You could substitute it with a store-bought jar of fluff. Finally, these cupcakes are topped with a fluffy buttercream, subtly flavored with cocoa and cinnamon. I didn’t have any graham wafers when I made these, but a crumble on top the of icing would be delicious too.

Substitutions

The Kilter S’more Scout is a limited edition beer and may not be available when you want to make these cupcakes. You could also use another stout. May I suggest exploring the options available from some other local Winnipeg breweries such as Half Pints, Sookrams, or Barnhammer to shop local. If you’re not into baking with beer, you could also substitute it with milk or black coffee. The texture of the cupcake may change, depending on the substitution you choose, however you’ll still have a delicious cupcake.

The perfect accompaniment for any meal

Enjoy these s’more cupcakes any time, as a dessert or snack. Sourcing local ingredients for your meals is an easy way to support local Manitoba businesses. Try these Lemon Basil Chicken Burgers (made with local Manitoba chicken) or this mac & cheese (made with local Bothwell cheese) to start shopping local.

S’more Stout Cupcakes

The flavors of Kilter's S'more Scout beer are all echoed in cupcake form. Crispy, chewy toasted marshmallow, chocolate with a hint of cinnamon.

Course Dessert
Keyword beer, beer cupcake, cupcake, smore, stout, stout cupcake
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 24

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup Kilter S'more Scout Can substitute with another stout, milk or black coffee.
  • 1 Tbsp White or Apple Cider Vinegar

Filling

  • 1 cup marshmallow fluff

Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pinch cinnamon

Toppings

  • mini marshmallows
  • mini chocolate chips
  • crumbled graham wafers

Instructions

  1. Combine dry ingredients. Set aside.

  2. Mix all wet ingredients except beer & vinegar.

  3. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

  4. While mixing, gradually add beer, then vinegar.

  5. Scoop into muffin liners and bake at 350 degrees Farenheight for 20 minutes.

Frosting

  1. Soften butter using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer.

  2. Add vanilla, then the cocoa & icing sugar.

  3. Mix at low speed until combined.

  4. Gradually add the heavy cream and whip on high for 3 minutes or until fluffy.

Filling and Decorating

  1. Once the cupcakes have cooled, fill a piping bag fitted with a round tip with marshmallow fluff.

  2. Plunge the piping tip into the centre of the cupcake and squeeze out a small amount of fluff into each cupcake.

  3. Fill a second piping bag fitted with a 1M tip with icing and place a swirl of icing on each cupcake.

  4. Sprinkle the tops with crumbled graham wafers, mini chocolate chips and mini marshmallows, as desired.

Recipe Notes

If substituting the beer with milk or coffee, the texture of the cupcake may change slightly.