Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Chex Mix

Since April, I moved to a new city and started a new job and – blink – hi, November. The last eight months slipped by at lightning speed compared to those preceding, which I think is one sign that I made the right move. Time flies when you're having fun.

These days I'm called to be (and credited for being) creative every day. It's a far cry from folding clothes. But what I do nine to five still can't fully be what this blog is, and now that I'm settled I want to start writing here again. I think the concept will change a bit. Now that this page doesn't have to serve as a professional portfolio, I'm more interested in regularly posting content bites that reflect thoughts or impressions on fashion, culture, life, whatever. Nothing earth-shattering or profound, but hopefully something small to chew on that's occasionally fun to read. Of course, things we plan never turn out as intended, so we'll see what happens. But that's where I'm pointing my arrow. 

To catch you up: the past few months were full of Saturdays at the Madison farmers market, quick trips to Chicago, new music (The National at The Orpheum) and old favorites (Matchbox Twenty and Goo Goo Dolls at Ravinia), Lake Geneva and Summerfest, a whitewater ride down a Colorado river, graduations, football firsts (So. This is Camp Randall.) and football traditions (the annual Minnesota-Iowa fight for Floyd), a 90th birthday, a wedding, camping and tubing and karaoke, a rooftop pool party, a beer tasting, a "remember when" Iowa City weekend. 

I'm not about to claim I have everything figured out, but when you look back at days and disparate experiences collectively, it all seems pretty all right. More than all right. 

So let's talk Chex Mix. Because it's basically what I eat during November and December. Until this year I relied on the pre-made seasoning packages to provide the perfect taste. But I tired of putting one of my favorite holiday traditions in the hands of General Mills and stepped out (note the sarcasm) to make the seasoning myself. The process is just as elementary without the packets, and picking up a teaspoon or two makes you feel like you're actually putting some skill into the finished product. Pat on the back.

For as simple as the recipe is, I'm surprised at how many people have yet to tap it. So, here's the step by step. I caution you to mix up just a batch at a time as a portion control mechanism (which you'll surely lose all sense of at first taste). If you're not compelled to whip this up just to mow it down all by yourself, it makes a great low-maintenance Sunday football snack or alternative to cookies and candy when exchanging holiday treats with friends and neighbors. 

3 cups Corn Chex®
3 cups Rice Chex®
3 cups Wheat Chex®
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup pretzels (I skip the pretzels and add an extra cup of Chex)
1 cup garlic chips
6 tablepsoons butter
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Preheat oven to 250°F. Melt butter in oven. Stir in seasonings. Add Chex, nuts, pretzels, garlic chips and mix until evenly coated. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool on paper towels. 

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