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Recipe(s) of the Week: Chex Party Mix and Cranberry Cashew Romaine Salad

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Faith's Firm Foundation: Recipe(s) of the Week: Chex Party Mix and Cranberry Cashew Romaine Salad

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Recipe(s) of the Week: Chex Party Mix and Cranberry Cashew Romaine Salad

"Nuts-and-Bolts" Prior to Baking

   I thought about posting the "Ghastly Guest" story today and I couldn't do it for two reasons, so if you were anxiously awaiting it, you'll have to wait another week because I couldn't bear to talk about something negative on the day before Thanks-giving!  And secondly, the Lord had different plans for my days yesterday and today, when I would have written it!  Yesterday, in His wise judgment, He allowed me to have the most "horrendous computer day" ever; and today, we are blessed to spend the day (mostly) with my mom helping her prepare for our Thanksgiving Celebration! I guess the Lord is teaching me Flexibility!
   So...I decided to post some recipes which are part of our Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions, and which I think you might like to have as part of your recipe collection.

   Our family has a tradition.  Every year, right before Thanksgiving, we make Chex Party Mix.  But we don't call it that.  We call it Nuts-and-Bolts.  I grew up with Nuts-and-Bolts at Thanksgiving.  So, my mom probably used the 1950's version of the recipe, but she doesn't remember:)  Now, I make a version of the newer recipe, but we don't just make one batch.  We make a quadruple batch.  We take some to the Thanksgiving celebration with my family, and for many years, when we'd always spend Thanksgiving weekend, leaving the day after Thanksgiving, with my husband's family at the farm, we'd take one big Tupperware container-full up there, too, because his family loves it, as well. Then we freeze the rest in Tupperware containers, having it on hand for our skating parties and any unexpected guests who might drop by.  It's also nice when I need something to bring to unplanned-for parties over the Christmas holiday, too!
     I have changed the recipe a little.  I like to use Wheat Chex and Bran Chex, as well as Rice and Corn Chex, giving it a little more fiber and "health"--but I also put a whole can of mixed nuts and a whole can of cashews into the quadruple batch for "good taste"!  You only have Thanksgiving and Christmas once a year, you know!
     Here is the Original 1950's Recipe (right off of a 1950's cereal box), and below you'll find the recipe that I use.  Also you'll find one of my favorite recipes, Cranberry Cashew Romaine Salad!  Since it says Cranberry in the title, I thought some of you might like to make it as a side dish during the Thanksgiving Holiday, as it's so simple and goes so well with Turkey!

The Original 1950's Recipe for Chex Party Mix
(Makes 1 Batch)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1-1/4 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp garlic salt
3 cups Wheat Chex square cereal
2 cups Rice Chex square cereal
1-1/2 cups peanuts
1-1/2 cups small pretzel rods

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Melt butter in a shallow pan. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt, and garlic salt (not garlic powder).  Add Wheat Chex, Rice Chex, nuts (peanuts, pecans or cashews), and pretzel rods. Mix until all pieces are coated with the butter mixture.
Place on a shallow baking pan with sides. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool...enjoy!

(Part of) The Finished Quadruple Batch
"Nuts-and-Bolts" (Chex Party Mix, My Version)
Makes a Quadruple Batch = About 50 cups (approx. 2 Large Tupperware-Containers-full)
It's easy to halve this or just make 1 batch--Try it!

12 cups Corn Chex cereal (one 14 oz box)
12 cups Rice Chex cereal (one 12.8 oz box)
12 cups Wheat Chex cereal (almost 2-14oz boxes)
(I substitute Bran Chex for part of the Corn and Rice Chex)
*1 can Mixed Nuts
*1 can Cashews
4 cups pretzel sticks (less than one bag)
*4 sticks of butter (you can get by with 3, which is 24 Tbsp:)
8 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
6 tsp Lawry's Seasoned Salt
3 tsp garlic salt (or garlic powder)
2 tsp onion powder
*you can use 3 sticks of butter and less nuts for a lower fat version

   In 2 large oval roaster pans, melt the butter (half in each), at 250 degrees F.  My oven requires that I overlap the top edges of the pans to get them in side by side, but this doesn't matter to the recipe or the pans.  Also, you'll need to remove the top rack from your oven.
   While the butter's melting, mix your dry ingredients in two large Tupperware or other plastic bowls, (or do this in shifts).  Check your butter--you just want it melted.
   When the butter's melted, take the pans out and add half of the Worcestershire sauce (4 Tbsp) to each pan.  Then add half of the other seasonings to each pan, and stir it all up.
   Now SLOWLY add the dry cereal mixture, a large stainless steel spoon works best, so you can scrape the bottom of the pan, stirring after every little bit, to thoroughly coat it with the butter mixture, but not crush the cereal.  (If your butter mixture has had time to cool, put it back in the oven to heat it a little for easy pouring and coating consistency.  Otherwise it will glop onto some of the cereal, and not coat some, and you'll have burnt pieces, which makes it all taste yucky.)
   Now, put the pans in the oven at 250 degrees and bake for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes, so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.  If you're using roaster pans, you can put the cover on and holding both handles tightly, shake it up and down and around, to mix.  You'll still have to stir a little with a spoon to scrape the bottom.
   After an hour of baking, spread the mix out on paper towels or paper bags cut open and turned inside out, to cool.  When cool, store in airtight containers in the freezer for up to a month.  Enjoy your new tradition from Our House to Yours!

Cranberry Cashew Romaine Salad
Serves 6-8 (Use a Large Bowl)
1-1/2 heads of romaine lettuce, washed, dried and torn, or chopped
1 large eating apple, cut into small square pieces just before serving
3/4 cup Craisins
1 cup cashews
1 cup Swiss cheese; diced
1/2 cup sugar or honey
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup oil
2 tsp fresh grated onion
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp poppy seeds

Mix dressing ahead of time.
Mix salad just before serving.
and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Blogger the W. family said...

Thanks for these recipes and memories from your life. Each family has a little culture all its own, doesn't it?
Yes, the ghastly guest can wait; I hope you didn't feel a 'push' to do it from my comment on your post yesterday. Did you?? Anyway, Lord willing it will be a post of thanksgiving for those of us who need to see ourselves in both of these guests and learn from them both.
Thanks for your faithfulness.
Onward and upward still,

November 25, 2009 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Hi Annette,
Thanks for your comments--I love to read them! I'm so glad that the Lord is using the prayer post and if it is timed right, or well, it is all Him. I had already decided to put off the "Ghastly Guest" post, and no, I didn't feel any pressure from what you said, only was happy that someone was thinking about it:) I hope I'm not picturing too dramatic of an extreme, but I like to visualize things--it helps me and hopefully helps others, too. Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!
Love, Wendy

November 25, 2009 at 9:08 AM  

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