Snack Time

I am not a fan of trail mix. The problem with GORP is that it's an oxymoron. Old peanuts and raisins are never good and every time I have trail mix it tastes like all the ingredients are indeed old.  I can still see myself at Girl Scout camp peering into my ziplock sandwich bag allotment and noticing that all the raisins were salty and all the peanuts were plain. Gross. If there was a way to keep the raisins from doing that; maybe. But there's not (and you know either way they're still raisins...) so, that was the end of trail mix for me.

The problem is that I like the idea of trail mix. Crunchy, mostly healthy, a little bit of chocolate. Enter "snack mix." Thing One (my oldest) loves for me to make him snack mix. This is basically any mixture of crunchy edible things.

This is my usual mix and my favorite, because it's stuff we have on hand at all times: craisins, pecans, chocolate chips, natural coconut flakes. This particular batch also has yogurt covered raisins.

 For a special treat or a road trip I like to make one I call "Sweet and Spicy." It's limey, it's sweet, it's spicy, it's crunchy. It's delicious. 

I actually got this recipe from a book called "Holiday Gifts from a Jar." It's a collection of recipes for things you measure and layer in a Mason jar and then give to friends and neighbors with a tag containing the recipe and a list of "fresh ingredients" you add when you're ready to make it. You know. You've made them or received them. These gifts are the perfect way to say: at this busy time of year I was worried that you might run out of projects that you didn't want to do so I made you this jar filled with SOME of the ingredients needed for this recipe. Happy Holidays!  

If you really like your neighbors or friends or whoever, bake up a batch of this and then give them a container of it ready-to-munch. Here's the recipe for a single batch. It's yummy and I'm not good at sharing food that I like, so I always make a double batch. : )

Sweet & Spicy Snack Mix

1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. medium heat chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
2 c. bite-size shredded wheat cereal
1 c. thinly sliced dried apricots
1 c. pecan halves
3 tbsp. butter (cut into smaller pieces)
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice

Preheat oven to 325°
Line a large baking pan (or two small ones) with foil

1. Mix the sugar and spices together in a small bowl
2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir in lime juice.
3. Immediately stir in the sugar and spices.
4. Stir in the cereal, pecans and apricots and gently stir until ingredients are well coated.
5. Spread mixture onto foil lined pan and bake for  12-18 minutes (until mixture doesn't feel too sticky).
6. Cool completely on pan, then store in an air tight container if you can keep yourself from eating it all immediately.

Thanks for reading! Bon appetit!

By the way, Thing One's first favorite CD was "Snack Time" by BNL. Kid music that parents can stand to listen to? Yes, thank you. I'll take two. 


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