kruizing with kikukat

Monday, August 8, 2011

Snack Food Party Mix

I'm dedicating this post to A, a self-proclaimed party mix connoisseur.  I hope she reads this and drools.

Party mixes have been around since I was a kid.  I remember buying Doodads from the supermarket and snacking on them in the car on the drive home.  When I was in the third or fourth grade, Mom's coworker gave her a recipe for something called "Nuts and Bolts".  Nuts and Bolts was a mix of three kinds of Chex cereals, Cheerios, peanuts, and pretzels.  My favorite item was the rice Chex; I hated the wheat Chex.  The mixture was coated with a sweet, garlicky, buttery mixture, then baked in the oven forever to dry out.  The whole thing needed to be stirred every 15 minutes.  People went crazy with Nuts and Bolts, adding everything from M & Ms candies to Honeycomb cereal.  Somewhere along the line, "Party Mix" replaced "Nuts and Bolts" in the local lexicon.

About a decade after the debut of Nuts and Bolts, Aunty's friend brought over a different kind of mix.  This one was peanut butter based and had the same cereal-nut mixture as Nuts and Bolts.  It was made using the same principle . . . pour sweet peanut butter mixture over cereals and nuts, then bake.  This one didn't take quite so long to dry out, but somehow, it never enjoyed the epic popularity as Nuts and Bolts/Party Mix.

Fast-forward another decade or so, give or take one or two of them (I was never good at math).  I was at a friend's house, and another guest brought over what appeared to be a mixture of Frito's Scoops, Cheetos, pretzels, and Bugles.  Puzzled as to why anyone would just randomly mix these together, I avoided it, preferring to eat the won ton I brought instead.  While helping tidy the place (okay, maybe this is an embellishment. . . since when do I clean up)  at the end of the evening, I happened to taste a Bugle, and I was blown away.  It wasn't straight out of the box.  The Bugle was coated with the same sweet, garlicky, buttery mixture as Mom's Nuts and Bolts!

Since the cook has the authority to cook what/how she pleases, I decided to put only what I want into my snack food party mix:  Cheetos and pretzels.  I like the balls or the curls (puffs), but I'm waiting for Frito-Lay to make paw shapes again.  Any pretzel shape will work, but I don't use the sourdough-type they sell at Costco.  And I leave out the stinky garlic powder that many other mixes contain.  This permutation of Party Mix is definitely my favorite.

A. . .call me.  Your bag of party mix is waiting. . .next to the kitty treats.

click on recipe title for printable recipe
Snack Food Party Mix

     3/4 c butter
     3/4 c sugar
     1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
     1 lb. pretzels
     9-10 oz. Cheetos
Melt butter.  Add sugar and Worcestershire sauce.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Pour hot sauce over pretzels and Cheetos.  Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Cool completely then store in an airtight container.

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