musings, mutterings, and creative muddle. . .

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

BEST Spicy-Sweet Snack Mix Ever

Looking for a tasty twist on the same old snack mix?  I L-O-V-E the combination of spice (black pepper, jalapeno, chili peppers) and sweet (mango, honey, sugar) and was daydreaming about how I could somehow incorporate that into a snack mix with my favorite crackers, nuts, and other tasty nibbles.



Here's what I came up with:

Spicy-Sweet Snack Mix

4 Tbsp melted butter
1/4 c. dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp. cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp cardamom

Combine all ingredients in small bowl and set aside.

3 cups nuts (we prefer a pistachio, cashew, almond mix)
2 cups oyster crackers
2 cups small pretzel twists
2 cups bugles
2 cups corn chex

Combine all ingredients in large bowl then toss with seasoning mixture.

Spread on jelly roll pan(s) and bake at 350 for 20 minutes stirring once or twice (a large plastic spoon works well). Remove from oven, place in air-tight container and toss in 2 cups craisins and 1 cup fish crackers.

Let cool completely before sealing container.

This recipe is EXTREMELY flexible. Once you taste the 'sauce' you may decide you want more cinnamon and less brown sugar. . . or less pepper and more maple syrup. Or maybe you like extra-seasoned snack mix and want to double it all - DO IT!!!

Prefer peanuts and walnuts? That's awesome - use them! Don't want oyster crackers? Skip them. Prefer wheat or rice Chex? Go for it. You're the one that likes to dig the Cheerios off the bottom? Add them:-)

This recipe is just a suggestion of what I found works for us. Feel free to add more or less of anything suggested. Trust me, this recipe is constantly being tweaked depending upon the occasion, ingredients on hand, and who's going to be munching it.

Enjoy!!

Have a Spicy-Sweet kind of Day -

Robin Z

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Wallbanging Good Orange Cake. Seriously.

Okay. Here it is. Just in time for Holiday Parties - THE cake recipe of all cake recipes.

Well. . . at least in our house. Was my requested Birthday cake at eight years old. . . and nine. . . and 10. . . and. . . It was the one that arranged the furniture in mine and Hubster's first house (yeah - it may have been our muscle that moved the furniture, but it was the cake that helped us decide where it should go. Or, more aptly, that the furniture all looked good right where we left it with the couch in the center of the room). It's the one I took to a certain board Christmas party, accepted compliments on the 'moist orange cake' and enjoyed the little-more-than-usual relaxed and party-like atmostphere.

We make sure to *always* have the ingredients on hand (which isn't too hard) and it's a great go-to for a quick, easy, make-ahead cake. So are you ready for this???



Friday, December 19, 2014

Buttoning Up Last Minute Ornaments

Got Buttons?!?! You know I do!!! Every shade of every color and nearly every size from teeny-tiny buttons for baby garments to big ol' over-sized 1960's coat buttons.



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Wish for you: An OKAY kind of Holiday

As we're all completely immersed in the Holiday Season once again, there's something that's being weighing on me that I feel compelled to share. Life ain't a Hallmark movie, folks. And quit beating yourself up trying to make your holiday decorations, celebrations, and gifts meet that unrealistic bar. Additionally - It's Okay!!! A crooked little Peanuts tree is okay! A frozen turkey dinner is okay! Using gift bags (and no bows) or newspaper (and no bows) to wrap presents is okay! As long as there is love, joy, and an appreciation of those around you - It's All OKAY!


Friday, September 26, 2014

That's a Great Set of Pipes!

I needed. . . no wanted. . . .a new display set for my jewelry when I set up at Art Shows. Not that there was necessarily anything wrong with what I had - I just felt like I could do better. Always watching and looking for ideas, I came across something I thought was The Best Thing ever!!!

I thought about it. . . stewed over it. . . sketched out my thoughts and dimensions. . . Then finally talked to Hubster about my idea and he thought it was smashing! And that was the end of it. Or so I thought.

We were out of town on a middle-of-the-week weekend excursion (Empty Nesting is AwEsOmE, BTW) and he said we needed to go to a specific home improvement store. Thinking he was shopping for that elusive chain saw that's been on his list all summer, I knew I could wander around and find other neat-o stuff to look at.  When, SURPRISE! He directed me to the plumbing department and we proceeded to pick out parts for my idea. Considering I was ill-prepared and did not have my drawings and measurements with me - I did push my brain, did a lot of envisioning and ended up with all the parts needed (barring one floor flange, black stain, screws, and liver of sulphur).