Saturday, February 2, 2013

Nuts & Bolts Party Mix: A Recipe from Grandma

Some of you have met my grandma.
Most of you have seen pictures, heard stories, and followed along as she gifts me with some of the most awesome stuff.

If you watch Downton Abbey you will know the Dowager Countess.
In the same way she is the Matriarch of the Granthams, my Grandma has been the Matriarch of our family. Her sass, spunk, and authority runs rampant through everything we do.
She is bossy with a heart of gold, particularly for her grandchildren.
And she will always surprise you with her rational and sensible "I get it" attitude amidst difficulties.
I can't help but think of my Grandma every time I watch it.

Doesn't she just look regal?

It makes me incredibly happy to receive comments about how much you guys all love my Grandma.
She is one of those kinds of ladies.
A school teacher in her town for 60 years. She has taught almost every kid in town at some point or another. Usually their parents. And quite often their grandparents.
Yes. Grandparents.

You can't take her anywhere without being recognized.
People love her.
I love her.
She makes you feel like you are her own grandchild, even if it's the first time you've met her.

She has a generous heart, and a lively spirit.
Summers were spent swimming in her pool, eating tuna sandwiches and jello.
Winters were spent dressing up in 49er gear, rooting on the Red & Gold.
Her house was always loud and crazy during the Superbowls of the 80's.

My grandma can throw a mean party.
She is known for her 4th of July and New Years Eve bashes.
And the party food, it is ALWAYS the same.

A cheeseball, salami, cheddar, and Triscuits, onion dip with Ruffles, and of course "Nuts & Bolts".
Which, you may otherwise know as Chex Mix.

But let me tell you, Nuts & Bolts is not the Chex Mix you will find in a bag at the grocery store.
Nope. It's way better.
Way tastier. Way saltier.
And almost as easy to make.

I have been collecting my grandma's recipes, and realized this one was missing.
So I gave her a jingle and she rattled it off to me like she was saying her A, B, C's.
I have probably consumed gallons of this stuff over the years.
Okay, that is for sure an understatement.

So, tomorrow is the big game, Grandma's team is on their Quest for Six, and Nuts & Bolts should be mandatory for Superbowl Parties everywhere.  You still have time to whip up a batch!

Here is what you'll need:

1 1/2 Sticks Margarine 
2 cups Wheat Chex
2 cups Rice Chex
2 cups Corn Chex
1-2 cups Cocktail Peanuts
1-2 cups Cheese-Its
1-2 cups Pretzels 
1-2 tsp Garlic Salt
1-2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

A few things: Grandma was adamant about the margarine. Also, the last batch of Nuts & Bolts that Grandma delivered tasted funny. I asked her about it, and she accidentally used Honey Chex. No. Do yourself a favor and stick to the wheat/rice/corn variety. It's the way it's supposed to be. And as for pretzels, I much prefer the stick vs the twist kind. But, usually I share these with the dog. And the Cheese-It's, they're my favorite part. So be generous with them. 

  • Preheat the oven to 250*
  • Combine the dry ingredients: Chex, Cheese-Its, Pretzels, & Peanuts.
  • Melt the margarine in a roasting pan (I used the bottom of a broiler pan since I don't have one).
  • Once melted, stir in the garlic salt and worcestershire sauce. 
  • Toss with the the dry ingredients, and coat well. 
  • Spread evenly in roasting/broiler pan, and bake for 1 hour, tossing every 20 minutes. 
    • (I added a little more worcestershire sauce & garlic salt here, as I felt like it needed it)
    • (You MUST toss or else the mix won't crisp up evenly, and will burn).
  • Once the mix is a little darker than it started, crispy, and delicious, it is done. 
  • My grandma's oven is fast, so you may need an additional 10-15 minutes.

Serve to 49er Fans Everywhere!

(If there are any leftovers, store in an airtight container. Feel free to double the batch, I am pretty sure that is what Grandma does, it seems to not get stale too quickly!)



  1. Can you mail me a box of this stuff? Double the butter, double the cheez-its, double the fun.

  2. so, i love you. this post is so sweet.
    margarine? i suppose i could do that, for cute grandma. looks super YUMMO.
    also, is that a tiny bubbles bowl from southern living?

  3. yay for awesome Grandmas and margarine!

  4. i LOVE this post about your gramdma. i am hands down her biggest bloggy fan. "bossy with a heart of pure gold" i imagine that is how my family will describe me.