Nuts and Bolts/Bits and Bites

nuts and bolts 4

Whatever you use here is up to your families interests!  This year we made it peanut free for Liv, who is allergic, but pecans, cashews and coconut flakes added lots of interest.

This is our families favourite savoury Christmas treat … we only make it at this time of year for some reason, and we all love it. The butter makes it a treat you shouldn’t have often, but enjoy when you do!

Remember – use your own families favourite ingredients, whether it is the cereal aspect or the nuts – make it your own to enjoy.

1 cup butter
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion salt
1 tbsp celery salt

Melt and stir until seasoning is well mixed. Dip a Bugle, or or shreddie or something in it at this point and make sure you can taste the seasoning – if it needs more flavour, add a bit of each. Remember – critical – taste!! Everybody has different seasoning, and each brand is different in it’s level of flavour. (and freshness)

Nuts and bolts 1

If you taste it enough you might end up with less to cook………

4 cups Cheerios
4 cups Life cereal (or Shreddies)
1 package pretzels
1 package Bugles (4-6 cups depending on your preference)
1 bag  cheese crackers (goldfish) (3 cups)
2 cups peanuts
1 cup pecans
1 cup walnuts

Stir the melted butter/spice mix over the dry ingredients – mix well and bake in the largest roaster you have – it makes a lot.

nuts and bolts 2

Bake at 250 for 1 & 1/2 hours, stirring frequently.

Cool completely and store in an airtight container. (at least, try to store it – doesn’t last long….)

Best & Easiest Brownies


Best & Easiest Brownies

This brownie recipe is simply the easiest, quickest, and most kid friendly brownie I have found. Really – one pot, one spoon, a measuring unit or two and the baking pan … all done before you know it.

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp butter
6 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
(optional – 1/2 cup chopped walnuts)
(optional – 1/2 cup chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350
Grease 8 x 8 x 2 square pan

In medium saucepan melt the butter and cocoa. Remove from heat, stir in sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each one. Add vanilla. Stir in flour and the walnuts (if using).

Bake for aproximately 30 minutes – test at 25 minutes to see if a toothpick comes out cleanly. Do not overbake.

Remove from oven, cool and eat – they won’t last long! If you chose to use the chocolate chips – I put them on top as soon as it comes out of the oven, allow to sit for a minute then spread until smooth. The chips melt pretty quickly.

By the time you think you are having a chocolate craving, these can be in the oven before you change your mind! Easy clean up too. The kids learned to make these on their own in elementary school and it is still a quick favorite around our house.

Best Brownies

It seems hard to believe, but my oldest daughter is 33 years old now, and this brownie recipe is from the girl’s elementary school cookbook … still our favourite!

a pint sized helper is only going to make these brownies taste better

1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp butter

1 cup white sugar

6 tbsp cocoa powder

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In medium saucepan, melt the butter and cocoa.  Remove from heat, stir in sugar.  Blend in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after eat.  Add vanilla, flour and nuts.  Stir well.  Spread into a greased 8 x 8 x 2 pan.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Be careful not to overbake. Remove from heat as soon as a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and the brownies are starting to pull away from the edges of the baking pan.

If you want an extra hit of chocolatey goodness, as soon as it comes out of the oven sprinkle a generous layer of chocolate chips over and allow to sit long enough for the chips to melt …. spread and smooth with a knife or offset spatula.  Allow to cool slightly and cut up – they won’t last long!  In order to turn this into dessert, serve warm with ice cream, and my Fancy Fudge Sauce drizzled over top.

p.s.  did I mention how easy clean up is with only the one pot to wash???