Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Nuts And Bolts Of It

Friend Missy (who is now a Mimi herself) shared her Mimi's recipe for Nuts & Bolts with me weeks ago. There are so many versions of Chex party mix online—some make smaller amounts, some cook faster, and most have more seasonings. But I wanted to try this family favorite, just like Missy has made it for years.

Mommy mixed it up for me one day while she was here at the farm wrapping gifts and we were out running those last errands. This isn't a hard recipe, but it takes hours in the oven. I did get one text from Mommy when she poured the butter mixture over the cereals, asking if she should make more of the butter mix. She thought maybe the cereal wasn't coated enough. I trusted Missy's recipe to be perfect just like she wrote it. It was. The butter mix and cereal amounts are just right.

This makes an enormous amount. Perfect at the holiday season because we've had plenty to eat, we've given several jars as gifts, and there is enough to get us through all the bowl games on TV this coming weekend. I used jars for giving, just because I had them. Those fun tins you can get just before Christmas would work, too. Plastic bags are fine, but might not keep the mix fresh as long as storage in glass—not a problem, though, if you are eating it up pretty quickly.

Here is the old family recipe, complete with Missy's notes. She also told me that she adds more Worcestershire and Tabasco because they like it spicy. We stuck to the original recipe this time and have loved it that way. I did follow her suggestions for less pretzels and using pecan halves.

NUTS & BOLTS (Missy's Mimi's recipe)

1 box Wheat Chex
1 box Rice Chex
1 box Cheerios (large)
1 (16-oz) bag pretzel sticks (I think 8 oz. is plenty)
1-1/2 lb mixed nuts (I use 1 lb mixed nuts and 1/2 lb pecan halves)
1-1/4 lb. butter (5 sticks)
3 tablespoons Tabasco
4 tablespoons Worcestershire

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Mix first five ingredients together in a VERY large bowl. Bring butter, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce to a boil. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir gently to coat everything.

Pour into two large roasting pans (I use the disposable ones) and put on middle racks in ovens if you have a double oven, or put both in one oven and alternate positions a few times while cooking. Cook for 4-1/2 to 5 hours, stirring gently every 45 minutes.

Let cool and seal in airtight containers. (Each batch makes twelve 8-oz bags.) If sealed well, this Chex mix stays crunchy for a long time.

Christmas has come and gone. But our little people are still with us for several more days. That means there is not much time to write at the moment. I am still in baby chasing/meal cooking/toy picking up/story reading/un-decorating mode. I'll catch up with you in 2016!


  1. Hang in there, grandma. incan only imagine the memories you are gathering. We never know what moment is one that lasts. Nuts and Bolts recipe looks good!

    1. My only problem with the nuts & bolts is that it's TOO good. I need to keep my hand out of the jar. Little ones are here a little longer, and you are right...so many memories being made. The baby's vocabulary has doubled since they arrived. It's been fun listening to her chater.

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