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Party Mix - The Cereal Stuff


fifi
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One of the things on the menu for Christmas munching at my son's house is our own personal version of "The Original Chex® Party Mix." Over the years we have revised it and settled on a favorite formula that differs from the original. Our revisions are somewhat based on watching what folks leave to the last as they pick their way through the bowl. The Fifi House Version is something like this:

Rice, Corn and Wheat Chex® in about a 2:2:1 ratio

No pretzels, bagel chips or other "chaff"

Pecans, cashews, almonds - in that order of preference - no peanuts

Double the amount of butter, Worchestershire, garlic and onion powder

Seasoned salt the same amount to keep it from being too salty

One warning . . . One time we put walnuts in there. It was horrible! They had this awful fishy taste. The only thing I can figure is that the anchovy component in the Worchestershire combines with maybe the tannins in the skin on the walnuts to make something really vile.

We did a version one time with soy sauce, garlic, ginger and a little Chinese five spice that was pretty good. We still go back to our favorite, though.

What do you make? Any other ideas? We are not adverse to trying a new recipe as long as we make the favorite as well.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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my mom makes an indian version of cereal mix...

it's corn flakes, rice krispies and special K, spanish peanuts, golden raisins and dessicated coconut, tosse din a very spiciy masala, most likely including turmeric, cumin, chili powder, salt, and garlic powder.

i thinkt he coconut gets toasted along with the spices prior to mixing too.

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That's not "chaff" Fifi, it's the good stuff! Skinny little pretzel sticks, chow mein noodles, canned onion rings, Crispex cereal, real homemade bacon bits and mix the some of the fat with the butter-spice-worcestershire blend. Any thing crispy is fair game; my mom used to make "clutter & stuff" that had cheerios, Kix and a bunch of other stuff. I've even experimented with using Nam Pla in the butter mix instead of Worcestershire sauce (not bad, but not great!) You're right about the nuts, though; peanuts are not the way to go here, nor are walnuts. Pine nuts on the other hand... :rolleyes:

edited because I can't spell worth a damn...

Edited by judiu (log)

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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Bacon . . . Hmmm . . . Now that has possibilities.

But then, bacon always has possibilities. :laugh:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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To be really exceptional I think Chex mix needs something with the potential to turn your fingers orange, such as crunchy cheetos (not those puffy abominations), cheez -its, or best yet, Andie's Hot Fries.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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That is exactly what I was looking for. I have never heard of adding Cheetos. :biggrin:

And, in case there is someone on the planet that hasn't done this or something like it, here is the original recipe. There may be similar recipes outside the US that would use different cereals. That would be interesting.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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We don't like the wheat chex in the mix as they seem to get hard. I use Chrispex for the cereal portion. I totally agree about doubling the amount of the seasoning part. I also add a healthy dose on cayenne. The original recipe has no punch. I do like the pretzels, but no cheerios. They get hard, too.

Stop Family Violence

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Rice, Corn and Wheat Chex® in about a 2:2:1 ratio

No pretzels, bagel chips or other "chaff"

Pecans, cashews, almonds - in that order of preference - no peanuts

Double the amount of butter, Worchestershire, garlic and onion powder

Seasoned salt the same amount to keep it from being too salty

We did a version one time with soy sauce, garlic, ginger and a little Chinese five spice that was pretty good. We still go back to our favorite, though.

What do you make? Any other ideas? We are not adverse to trying a new recipe as long as we make the favorite as well.

We've always made the original recipe but also add Cheezit's (cheese flavored crackers). And my mom eventually dropped the 3 kinds of Chex for a box of Crispix.

My niece always liked to pick out the Cheezit's from the mix and my SIL picked out the cashews, so one year I bought the big Costco size box of Cheezit's and a Costco cannister of cashews and baked each separately with the original "sauce"and gave them as gifts to the respective recipients (The cashews were easy...once baked I put them back in the original cannister...and the Cheezit's ended up in a holiday-themed Ziploc-type bag). Both my niece and SIL were thrilled.

One year when my mom wasn't looking I sprinkled chile powder over the mix as it was baking to give it a kick. Mom couldn't eat it but all of us chilehead kids ate it up. :biggrin:

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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That is exactly what I was looking for. I have never heard of adding Cheetos. :biggrin:

And, in case there is someone on the planet that hasn't done this or something like it, here is the original recipe. There may be similar recipes outside the US that would use different cereals. That would be interesting.

God, I haven't had this in a decade or so and now

MUST

HAVE

NOW!!!

PS The website you posted has lots of variations. Some of them are scary.

Edited to add-I dug up my old recipe for this. I used 1 box (7 cups) each kind of the three cereals, some pretzels, some nuts, and this for the seasonings:

1 cup margerine (I must have substituted butter, though)

2 tbsp. Tabasco

1/4-1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce

2-3 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. salt

That must make it nice & spicy, although I don't remember it being too hot. I wonder what a little Chipotle powder at the end would do? Fresh rosemary, perhaps-I make some spicy nuts that use fresh rosemary. Or is that just too modern?

I'm going to try it w/ all pecans.

Edited by marie-louise (log)
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The wheat chex can be processed separately. I keep them separate, toss them in melted butter, then put them into a slow oven and bake until they have absorbed the butter and have become tender and crisp.

I put them into a brown paper bag with a couple of paper towels and shake the bag, then leave them in the bag for the surface to dry while I prepare the rest of the mix.

These buttery little wheat nuggets are very good made this way.

I had cheese nips, the little stick-like things.

I don't mix them in with the mix while it is baked or stored, but when I serve it I add some of the little Ritz sandwich crackers, both peanut butter and cheddar cheese.

Sometimes I do add some of the savory Japanese crackers.

Mixed nuts, the dry roasted kind, are also added.

Sometimes I do add the little square, pillow-shaped filled pretzels.

I make it in large batches and store it in the popcorn cans I save from each holiday season. It stays crisp and fresh in those cans.

I used to add homemade waffle fries made from potatoes I had cut into 1 1/2 inch spears then cross cut. I would soak them in water to get out as much of the starch as possible, then drain and dry, fry part way, drain, chill then do the finish fry to get them very crisp and dry.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Soba, you are not the only one with the wasabi peas. I have noticed that wasabi peas are one of the few things that I open on the way to the car when I leave the store and munch on the way home. I have never tried them in the party mix, though. And why am I not surprised that you would use Mrs. Dash? :raz:

I forgot that we do usually add cayenne if the batch is just for us.

As much as I adore cashews, I think pecans are my favorite in this stuff. They soak up the seasoning just right and I like the texture. The last few times I made it I used just pecans.

I like andiesenji's idea for treating the wheat separately. That sounds inspired.

My niece always liked to pick out the Cheezit's from the mix and my SIL picked out the cashews, so one year I bought the big Costco size box of Cheezit's and a Costco cannister of cashews and baked each separately with the original "sauce"and gave them as gifts to the respective recipients

Toliver, that is a truly inspired gift. I still remember the half gallon jar of maraschino cherries that my sister gave me when I was a kid because I used to pick them out of the fruit cocktail.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I like to use all the chex cereals -- and I really like the wheat chex, but I add it later to the oven toasting. Also use pecans, sometimes cashews too, potato matchsticks (not as inspired as your homemade waffle fries, Andie, but good), bagel chips and the crispy fried onion rings. For seasoning my fav is my own Cajun spice mix (but any good one will do) with the worscestershire sauce with this combo.

Have also done it with curry powder and the worcestershire sauce and added pecans and cashews to the 3 cereal mix with the onion rings for toasting then toss with golden and dark raisins. That's a good combo.

I don't really care for the pretzels -- too salty for me.

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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While were on the subject, anyone have a recipe for a carmelized chex-based mix? I had one a while ago, and i cant even remember all of whats in it.

There's one on the Chex site.

Don't know if that's the one your thinking of, but you might want to chex on it. :raz:

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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A couple of notes on some interesting variations I have eaten but never prepared myself.

One of my neighbors adds the crisp noodles-in-a-can and the canned French fried onions to one batch of her variations, along with a significant amount of garlic salt and she also adds Tobasco or similar pepper sauce and a drop of Liquid Smoke to the butter/Worcestershire mixture.

It is an interesting and potent flavor combination - the family is Fillipino/Italian/Greek and all like highly-spiced foods.

Another variation she does includes red pepper flakes and grated asiago cheese with slizes of a tiny cured sausage that contains hot peppers.

I like spicy but this one is too much for me.

For the children she makes one that is sweet with cinnamon and sugar and includes other types of cereals such as the sugar coated ones with some substance to them.

I haven't tried this one.

Several years ago I was at a party where there was one that included small pieces of beef jerky and they had used teriyaki sauce instead of Worcestershire sauce in the "dressing".

Another variation that I loathed included Corn-Nuts. At a party, probably 20 years ago, I took some, tossed it into my mouth, bit down and broke a tooth on a Corn-Nut. I had to leave the party, spend a night in agony and had to see a dentist as an emergency the following morning. The host did pay my dental bill but after that I always checked to see what the mix included before tasting.

One variation I made a couple of years ago was the addition of a pinch of "black salt" which has a rather strong flavor but using just a tiny bit was okay. It added a sort of "smoky" flavor that no one could identify.

I have to say that I do not like the commercially packaged mix at all. There are additional things in it that I do not care for. The little rounds of melba toast (or whatever that stuff is) always seem to be stale and the pretzels are hard.

The little pretzels I use are very tender and crisp, they don't get hard, probably because of the filling. They are only available in bulk at the local health food store. I think they are made by Charles' Chips. They may be available at other stores but I haven't looked.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I like to use all the chex cereals -- and I really like the wheat chex...

I concur on the Wheat Chex luv going on here. They get crispy and turn out so much better than the rest of the Chex flavors. Sadly, Wheat Chex is but a memory now that my mom uses only Crsipix.

Another variation that I loathed included Corn-Nuts...

I've seen ads for a new brand of corn nuts that isn't hard like the corn nuts we grew up eating. They crunch very easily according to the commercials so there's less of a chance of breaking your teeth on them.

I have to say that I do not like the commercially packaged mix at all.

It is surprisingly atrocious! You would think since they launched the famous Chex Mix recipe that it would taste something like the original recipe, but it doesn't. I wonder if anyone in the company is aware of how bad it tastes.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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I was just talking to a friend of mine that has made it with this peculiar mix . . . Butter, Maggi seasoning (not as much as the Worchestershire), Knorr chicken base, cumin, chile powder (mostly ancho with some hot variety added for punch), finely crushed Mexican oregano. I can't imagine how this would taste but it is curious.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I was just talking to a friend of mine that has made it with this peculiar mix . . . Butter, Maggi seasoning (not as much as the Worchestershire), Knorr chicken base, cumin, chile powder (mostly ancho with some hot variety added for punch), finely crushed Mexican oregano. I can't imagine how this would taste but it is curious.

Except for the Maggi, it sounds like a nice Southwestern/Tex-Mex Mix.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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