Hello dear friends! Where has the time gone? As I am sitting down to write this blog post about Christmas in July Party Food, I am realizing that July is more than half-way over and Christmas is almost five months away!
Well, I guess we can start by celebrating Christmas in July and keep on going through the dog days of Summer! Hallmark knows what they’re doing, folks. We really just need to keep the spirit of Christmas flowing year-round. Do you agree?
First, what should Christmas in July party food be? Well, I think it should embrace the fruits of the Summer but be presented in a way that screams Christmas. For me, I pulled in fresh strawberries, blueberries that I picked at a wonderful local family farm, watermelons, fruit punch and a spunky Chex Mix that is sweet, salty and a little weird. You see, I found several recipes on Pinterest for a Hawaiian-style Chex Mix that uses a secret ingredient that gives it an island flair. One of the main ingredients is….wait for it….seaweed!
Can you see the green flecks in the finished product? That’s the seaweed!
Am I getting ahead of myself? Sorry! I just couldn’t wait to throw that at you guys and see what you think. I promise that I had never heard of this before and went into this recipe experiment a little skeptical. Now, I am asking myself why I’ve went so long in my life without tasting this wonderful concoction. I am munching on it as I type this post. I may be licking my fingers. You’ll never know…
Here’s how I made my version of the Salty & Sweet Chex Mix:
I began by mixing the dry ingredients in a bowl. I used Corn Chex Cereal, Rice Chex Cereal, HoneyComb Cereal, small pretzels and dry roasted salted peanuts.
I divided the dry mix between two large cookie sheets . **I will tell you that I covered the pans in foil but had some trouble pulling the finished mix off. The foil seemed to stick in some places. I thought lining the pans was the best thing to do but I’m not so sure now. Next time, I will either ditch the foil or try using disposable aluminum pans for this recipe.**
I melted butter in a sauce pan and added granulated sugar until it was dissolved. Here’s where it gets interesting…I then added light corn syrup, vegetable oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce to the butter and sugar mixture and brought it to a rolling boil.
To avoid under cooking the mixture, I recommend using a candy thermometer. The mixture will need to come to 250 degrees. This is called the hard ball stage. Although my Granny Jean could cook candy and just know when it had reached this hard ball stage, I am not that experienced in the candy making game and my impatience would make me to believe that it had cooked long enough when it had not.
Once the sugar mix has come to a hard ball stage, I turned off the heat and poured it over the two pans of cereal mix and stirred them together until the cereal was well coated and laying in a single layer on the pans.
The mix will go into the oven at 250 degrees for one to two hours. Stir every 15 minutes while it’s in the oven. I cooked mine for two full hours because I live in the South with higher humidity and I wanted to make sure the final product was crispy and not gummy.
The first time you remove the mixture from the oven to stir, add 1 Tablespoon of Nori Komi Furikake on each tray and stir it in. You can choose to add more, but I wanted to be cautious and go light. Nori Komi Furikake is a lightly salty Japanese seasoning most often used to season rice. I easily found the Nori Komi Furikake with the Asian seasonings (right beside the bottle of sesame seeds) at my local Ingles grocery store.
Once you complete the cooking and remove the pans from the oven, sprinkle one-half teaspoon of Kosher salt evenly over each pan. Again, you can go a little lighter on the salt if you so choose. Just be sure to evenly sprinkle it over so you don’t over-salt some areas.
Once cooled, remove the mix from the pans and break most of the pieces apart. Store in an air-tight container.
I promise you, this is really, really good!
What do you think now?
Have I made a believer out of you yet? This recipe makes a large amount of Chex Mix and it will last a long time at room temperature as long as it’s in something air tight. I have been keeping mine in this glass jar my mom gave me.
While we’re still on the Christmas in July Party Food mood, I also wanted to share my Christmas tree watermelon slices. Blueberries top each tree by using a snipped off piece of a toothpick to keep them attached to the watermelon. (Remove toothpick before eating.) These are just adorable!
I made these by simply slicing watermelon and “cutting” them out with a Christmas tree cookie cutter. When cutting them, be sure to work in circles and use the rind as your tree trunk. How easy is that?
Here’s the watermelons on my Christmas in July Party Food table!!!
I promise that I will share the rest of the tablescape and other recipes later this week.
I want to leave you with a photo of my daughter, Mary, and her friends Faith, Katie & Alex when we had our first Christmas in July party several years ago. They were performing together in a play at the local community theater and I threw them a little Christmas party afterwards. Don’t let their sweaters fool you…it was at least 90 degrees that day! They were just being good sports and humoring me with my themed party. Hey, I bought them pizzas (a lot by looking at the stack of boxes) so they could play along with another one of my crazy schemes! Good memories…
Thank you all so much for stopping by and celebrating Christmas in July with me! I hope that you’ll come back again and see what other Christmas goodies I have in store!
Until next time,
Be sure to PIN this for later!Print Recipe
This delicious mix offers you a little heat, a little sweet and a special surprise treat!
- 3 Cups Rice Chex Cereal
- 3 Cups Corn Chex Cereal
- 2 Cups HoneyComb Cereal
- 2 Cups Dry Roasted Salted Peanuts
- 2 Cups Small Pretzels
- 1 Cup Butter (I used real butter, not margarine)
- 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 3/4 Cup Light Corn Syrup
- 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
- 3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1-2 Tsp Tabasco Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Nori Komi Furikake /Divided, use 1 Tbsp per tray
- 1 Tsp Kosher Salt /Divided, use up to 1 Tsp per tray
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Mix all cereals, peanuts and pretzels.
Spread mixture onto two large cookie sheets.
Melt butter in a medium sized sauce pan over medium-high heat.
Add corn syrup, vegetable oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco to sugar mix and stir until blended.
Bring to a boil and allow to cook until it reaches hard ball stage of 250 degrees with a candy thermometer.
Turn heat off of sauce pan. Pour sugar mix evenly over two cookie sheets. Stir to coat cereal mix.
Place pans in oven.
Cook for 15 minutes. Remove pans from oven and pour 1 tablespoon of Nori Komi Furikake over each pan and stir to coat. Place back in oven.
Cook for a total of 1-2 hours. Remove pans from oven and stir every 15 minutes.
Remove pans from oven and sprinkle up to 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt over each cookie sheet. Stir to mix.
Allow mix to cool. Break up any larger pieces.
Store at room temperature in an air-tight container.
Will last up to two weeks as long as it is in an air-tight container. Speaking from experience, I don't think you'll have to worry about it being around two weeks!