Sweet and Spicy Snack MixYou might be thinkin’…another snack mix with pretzels, rice cereal and nuts (yawn)? Well, I gotta tell you, this is no ordinary mix. It combines sugar and spice and everything nice, perfect for anyone that likes a little kick in the pants every now and again.
A word of caution though- once you try one bite, you will be snackin’ until there is no more, so you better round up some friends to share.
I shared mine with dear friends last weekend. Each year, we attend a Trivia Night fundraiser for our children’s school. We’ve been a Trivia Night team since our oldest kids were in kindergarten. Over the nine years, our lives have changed. Some have moved, some have changed schools, and some have kids that've since graduated. Through it all, one thing remains the same: come heck or high water, we show up for Trivia Night once a year.
And boy do we show up. We may not be very talented in trivia but we are certainly keen on making spectacles of ourselves by dressing up according to that year’s theme.
This year’s theme was “The Oscars” so we each went as characters from movies nominated this year. One couple was James Bond and a bond girl from Skyfall, one gentleman went as Abe Lincoln (isn’t he a dead ringer!!) and my hubby and I went as characters from Brave. I think what clinched it for us was the couple dressed as an academy award winner with her Oscar!
We were bestowed the high honor of best-dressed table and awarded the Elvis bust trophy which we plan to proudly display in our homes (Elvis will take turns on each of our mantels throughout the year).
The sweet and spicy snack mix was long gone before night’s end, but the memories of a great evening will last a lifetime (or until dementia sets in, whichever comes first).
Sweet and Spicy Snack Mix (adapted from Cooking Light, Dec. '12)
- 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 tsp. thyme, fresh (or 1 tsp. dried)
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground red pepper (or less if you don't want as much spunk)
- 1/2 cup pecans (Missouri Northern Pecan Growers, Nevada, MO)
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. butter (I used salted)
- 1 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal squares (like Chex)
- 3 cups tiny pretzels
- 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (Morris Maple Leaf Farm, Lake Odessa, MI)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast pecans and almonds in a roasting pan for about 10 minutes or until nuts just begin to brown. Add butter and toss until melts.
- Gently stir in pretzels, cereal and syrup with nut mixture.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine sugar, thyme, salt, cinnamon and red pepper.
- Sprinkle sugar/seasoning mixture over pretzel and nut mixture, and toss to coat.
- Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, stirring once, Cool completely, then let the snacking begin!