Nuts n’ Bolts
When I was little, my family lived on a cul-de-sac in Reston, Virginia called Turkey Wing Court. There were young families in every house, so kids were always outside riding bikes and big wheels (what ever happened to big wheels?!) or knocking on our door. The moms were all close friends (still are) and the dads carpooled every day into work together. Every Sunday during football season, the whole neighborhood would gather in someone’s basement to watch the Redskins games. Each mom had a special game day dish. Pat was known for her swedish meatballs, my mom made a killer Stromboli, Carol brought her husband Norm’s ribs and Barb always made giant vats of Nuts n’ Bolts.
I loved (and ate massive quantities of) Barb’s Nuts n’ Bolts, so I emailed her recently to ask about the recipe. I wondered if it was the same as the Chex Party Mix on the back of the cereal box. She promptly replied, “No way. That crap’s for amateurs.” Then she sent me her recipe (complete with notes to add a “whole mess” of this and that and extra salt “if your heart works”) and I went at it. My kids loved it and, I have to say, it brought me right back to those good ol’ days on Turkey Wing.
It’s very easy to make, and the recipe makes a ton. You start by combining chex cereals, pretzels, cheerios and nuts in a large disposable aluminum pan. Feel free to omit any of the ingredients you like, just be sure to substitute more of something else.
Next, make the butter seasoning by combining the melted butter with the Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt and thyme.
Slowly pour the butter mixture over the snack mix, being careful to spread it evenly around.
Then stir it with a spatula until all of the ingredients are evenly coated.
Bake in a low oven, stirring occasionally, for about 1-1/2 hours. Let it cool, then store in an air tight container.
It’s a great game day snack to feed a crowd…and such a yummy blast from the past. Thanks, Barb!
- 4 cups corn chex
- 4 cups wheat chex
- 3 cups rice chex
- 3 cups skinny bite-sized pretzels
- 2 cups cheerios
- 1-1/2 cup salted nuts
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (or vegetable oil)
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 heaping teaspoons seasoned salt
- 1-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Combine all of the snack mix ingredients in a large disposable aluminum pan.
- Combine all of the butter seasoning ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well combined. Pour slowly over snack mix, stirring as you go, to coat evenly. Continue stirring until snack mix is well coated with seasoning. Bake for 1-1/2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool, then serve or store in an airtight container.
You can omit any of the snack mix ingredients as long as you substitute something else. The idea is to keep the ratio of snack mix to butter seasoning the same. Also, be sure your oven is fully preheated before you put the snack mix in. The initial surge of heat to preheat the oven will burn the snack mix in a heartbeat.