Uncommonly Good

Party Mix 2012

Now begins the cereal portion of my year.

Party Mix 2012 on Larrapin

I’m not a cereal eater. It’s not because I don’t like it.

I do like cereal, but I’m one of those people who ends up with a drop of milk on my chin after nearly every bite! And it’s annoying.

Every once in a while I’ll crave a bowl of Shredded Wheat topped with Grape Nuts, but other than that I usually skip it.

Unless I make a batch of party mix. Here’s my Larrapin Party Mix recipe.

I made my first batch of the season last night and threw it together with ingredients on hand: Corn Chex, Wheat Chex, Cheerios, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds.

I mixed it up in a couple of big bowls and microwaved it instead of using the oven. I was impatient.

It’s easy peasy. Two minutes, stir; two minutes, stir; two minutes, stir. Eat.

Let it cool. Eat.

Divy it up into plastic containers. Eat.


November 6, 2012 Posted by | Snacks | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Larrupin Party Mix ~ Great Gift From the Kitchen

I love homemade Party Mix.

Party Mix

It’s the perfect mix of crunchy and salty snacking. And, while it’s a treat to bite down on the occasional peanut or pecan, Kix cereal is my favorite. I pick out handfuls of Kix and eat them one at a time. Just a bit of sweet in that crunchy air-filled puff.

Party MIx

For years my mom would make a roasting pan full of this stuff and parcel it out to all of us during the holidays. Eventually I got her recipe and started making my own.

It’s the perfect thing to make and divvy up for gifts. Fill any jar, cover the lid with a scrap of fabric, and secure the fabric with a rubber band. Finish it up with a tidy bow of ribbon, string, yarn, or whatever suits your fancy.

I think the recipe came from Marge, our across-the-street-neighbor on 40th Street. It’s similar to the recipe on the back of Chex cereal, but not really.

Chex cereals
Wheat Chex, Rice Chex, Corn Chex

It calls for a half-a-box of three different kinds of cereal, but mom doubles it so she doesn’t have to make room for three extra boxes of cereal in the cabinet. She has a pretty small kitchen.



After comparing all the recipes with the ingredients I had on hand I decided about 25 cups of dry crunchy stuff would go with the seasoning mix.

Chinese Crispy Noodles

Chinese Crispy Noodles

I used a LARGE stock pot to mix it in. When it came time to add the seasoning oil I split the crunchy ingredients into two stock pots to be sure I could stir it all the way to the bottom and get it mixed well. Mom’s roasting pan works great, it’s shallow enough to spread out and easy to mix during the baking.

Soy Nuts

Roasted, Salted Soy Nuts

If you want to microwave it, you can mix it in any large container. Then transfer it to a container that fits inside your microwave. Be sure to leave room to stir it every two minutes.  You may have to do it in batches.

Janz Revised Party Mix

Dry Crunchy Stuff

4 Cups Wheat Chex
4 Cups Rice Chex
4 Cups Corn Chex
4 Cups Cheerios
3 Cups Chinese Crispy Noodles
3 Cups Roasted, Salted Soy Nuts
3 Cups Nuts (2 cups roasted peanuts; 1 cup walnut pieces)

Party Mix Seasoning

1 Cup Olive Oil
2 T Worcestershire Sauce
8 splashes Tabasco
1 t Lawry’s Seasoned Salt (no MSG version)
1 t garlic granules
1 t celery powder


Preheat oven to 200°.
Dump all the dry crunchy ingredients into a large oven-safe container. A roasting pan or large stew pot works well.
Stir the oil mixture continuously and drizzle over the cereal mix. Stir the crunchy ingredients frequently to distribute the seasoning mix evenly. Put in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes.
To microwave stir every two minutes for 6 minutes.
Let Party Mix cool and store in air tight containers.

Mom’s/Marge’s Original Party Mix

1 C Oil
2 T Worcestershire
4 drops Tabasco
1 t Savory Salt
1 t Garlic Salt
1 t Celery Salt
1 C Pecans
1 can cashews
1/2 box Cheerios
1/2 box Rice Chex
1/2 box Kix
1/2 box Pretzels

My hacks:

  • I love Tabasco, so I added more, but I still couldn’t taste it. The recipe on the back of the cereal box suggests adding 2 T red pepper sauce for a kicked up version. So unless you splash in half-a- bottle, it probably won’t add much heat.
  • I didn’t have garlic salt or celery salt so I made substitutions. I figure less salt is better anyway.
  • I had nice pretty pecan halves and walnut pieces. I decided to save the pretty pecans for something else and used the walnut pieces here.
  • No cashews in the cupboard.
  • I like using all the flavors of Chex so I do.
  • Crispix! Not on my shelf today, but I love it. That will go in my next batch along with…
  • Kix! My fave! Again, not on hand. 😦 So I’ll get a box for the next batch.
  • Pretzels… not so much. I always pick around the pretzels in my mom’s  Party Mix so I  leave it out of mine. They don’t absorb as much of the flavor as the other ingredients so it just tastes like a boring pretzel to me.

About the cost~

If you just buy all these boxes of cereal off the shelf this can be pretty expensive, so clip coupons and watch for sales. Chex frequently has coupons for $1 off 3 boxes and my Homeland doubles the coupons. Save the coupons and watch for a sale and your wallet will thank you! Walgreen’s has frequent sales with different cereals priced at 2 boxes/$4. Add that to a dollar off coupon and cereal that’s usually over $3/box comes down to $1.50.

I don’t see Kix and Crispix coupons as often, which is why I didn’t have those on hand.

Soy nuts are about $2.69/lb. in the bulk nuts and grains area at Homeland. We snack on them a lot, and so this year I added it to my Party Mix. It’s a good addition.

I buy raw Spanish peanuts because the roasted peanuts I find are already salted. I spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet, low heat, for an hour or so. For this recipe I had a canister of roasted peanuts in the shell. I shelled them all and threw them in.

By the way, about a month ago I made a small batch (12 cups dry crunchy ingredients) using the recipe on the back of the cereal box. I was lacking a cup or two of  crunchy ingredients so I used a handful-ish of Wheat Thins.

That didn’t work out.

The flavors of the cracker clash with the seasonings of the Party Mix. I picked around the crackers, much to my dogs’ delight.

So far this year I’ve added three new ingredients: Soy Nuts, yes; Chinese Crispy Noodles, yes; and Wheat Thins, no. Two out-a-three ain’t bad.

What would you add to your special recipe?

December 14, 2011 Posted by | Gifts from the Kitchen, Snacks | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Roast Chicken Salad

Roast Chicken Salad

Roast Chicken Salad with Mandarin Oranges, Pecans, and Honey Mustard Dressng

This salad started out the same as the one I made yesterday, but it had a totally different taste. I added diced roast chicken, mandarin oranges, pecans and sliced almonds. I dressed it with store-bought honey mustard dressing.

I roast a chicken every few weeks, usually when I see them on sale at the grocery store. I get at least one fresh meal out of it and then I have leftovers of the main meal, chicken for salads or sandwiches, chicken broth, and I set aside all the unappetizing “chicken parts” for the dogs. They love it when I add those “parts” to their bowls.

Roasting a chicken is easy. Just wash it inside and out and put it in a roasting pan. I season mine with a variety of herbs. Tarragon has a distinctive flavor, at least to me, so I don’t usually mix it with other flavors. I have a personal herb blend I use on almost everything especially on chicken. I’ll pour about a half-inch of white wine in the bottom of the pan. Sometimes I’ll add  mushrooms, celery tops, onions and garlic. It goes, uncovered, in an oven preheated to 400° for about 10–15 minutes. When the skin is crispy and golden I’ll put a lid on the pan, or cover it with foil and leave it for another 45 minutes or so.

Roast Chicken Before

Fresh chicken seasoned with rosemary, tumeric, stuffed with mushrooms, celery, and lemons.

As soon as I get it in the oven, I’ll put rice in my rice steamer and turn it on. When the rice is done, the chicken usually is as well.

When the chicken is done, I take it out of the oven and let it sit for a few minutes while I get everything together for serving. Then I’ll take the chicken out of the pan and put it on a plate for carving. My favorite fresh hot piece of chicken is the leg quarter so I’ll pull that of and add it to the rice.  I may make a gravy out of the pan juices, but if not, I’ll simply spoon the pan juices over the rice and chicken. Garnish with some slivered almonds and chow down.

Roast Chicken After

Rosemary Lemon Roast Chicken

After I eat, and the chicken is cool I’ll debone it and put the whole breasts and any other meat in a container for future use. I may toss the bones, but if I have time I’ll put the bones back in the roasting pan, add some more water and put them on the stove top and cook them down to make broth.

After the bones cook an hour or so, remove from the heat and let it cool enough to handle. Remove the larger bones with tongs or a slotted spoon . (Don’t feed them to your dogs or cats. They can splinter and cause internal injuries when your pets eat them.) After you think you have all the bones out, pour the broth through a strainer and remove the smaller bones. You can also strain it though cheese cloth if you want to get the rest of the chunks that are floating around.

When the broth is strained, pour it into a tall container. I frequently use a tall plastic to-go cup I’ve saved. Put it in the fridge and the chicken fat will form a layer and harden on the top making it very easy to remove before you use the broth.

I’m in the mood for a BLT tomorrow for lunch. I think I also have an avocado I can add to it. We’ll see if I can’t get around early enough to pull it off.  I’m also looking for my little sandwich maker so I can make grilled sandwiches at the office. At home, my trusty iron skillets are so much easier, but I just realized that little sandwich maker is just the ticket. If I can just remember where I put it. 🙂

April 20, 2010 Posted by | Brown Bag, Salad | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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