Not too long ago, I was reading an article on the least desirable cities to relocate to in the U.S., and my home town of Chicago was mentioned. It was listed in the section of the article that discussed how perception of a city could sometimes affect a person’s decision about relocating to it. After the article warned against making a decision based on a preconceived notion, it said, “Everybody thinks Chicago is Siberia when it comes to late fall and winter.” As if that was a preconceived, untrue notion. As if Chicago was in fact, a lovely place to visit in late fall and winter. As if the wind chill off of Lake Michigan that pelts against the face like icy daggers didn’t make people taking public transportation consider jumping in front of the bus or train at least twice a week. As if freelance food writers working out of their homes 4 out of 5 work days a week didn’t feel trapped, lonely and a bit cabin crazy because the weather was so bitterly cold, even the walk from the apartment to the car (the same car with the driver side door that likes to get frozen shut, but only when you’ve locked your window scraper/frozen door-opener in the car) was unbearable. Especially when you slip on a big patch of ice that is frozen hidden beneath the snow by your car. So screw you, article. Chicago IS freaking Siberia, and all this cold weather makes me have uncontrollable urges to bake stuff. The oven makes the apartment even more cozy and I get to eat the outcome-score! But cold weather also makes me lazy. My inner chunk comes out and refuses to get off the couch except for commercial or pee breaks.
Enter Chex Mix. The most delicious party mix on the planet, at least it was in the 80s. Then they had to mess it by adding garlic bagel chips and breadstick doodles and removing my beloved peanuts (So some people are “allergic” to peanuts. Does that mean we all have to suffer, General Mills?). Even more reason to make it from scratch–I can customize it to my liking, and I only have to get up every so often to stir it. No butter to cream with sugar. No egg whites to whip. You’d have to be pretty special to screw up this recipe. What’s not to like? It is crispy, has a nice variation of textures, and this indescribably delicious savory flavor thanks mainly to a bunch of butter and seasoned salt. My favorite is the bit at the bottom of the bag or container, the tiny smashed up bits with the leftover salty spice mix. The 24 servings you end up with feed an entire party full of people, a normal person for two weeks, and a Leena for one. I ain’t ashamed to admit that I needed to make it twice in two weeks. I likes me some Chex Mix! ~LTG! ************************************************************************ Chex Mix Recipe (as found on the Chex.com website) Makes:24 servings 3 cups Corn Chex? cereal 3 cups Rice Chex? cereal 3 cups Wheat Chex? cereal 1 cup mixed nuts 1 cup bite-size pretzels 1 cup garlic-flavor bite-size bagel chips or regular-size bagel chips, broken into 1-inch pieces 6 tablespoons butter or margarine 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon onion powder Preparation Directions Heat oven to 250?F. In large bowl, mix cereals, nuts, pretzels and bagel chips; set aside. In ungreased large roasting pan, melt butter in oven. Stir in seasonings. Gradually stir in cereal mixture until evenly coated. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool, about 15 minutes. Store in airtight container.