Monday, December 24, 2012

Recipe Monday: Merry Christmas Chow!

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!  Because I was a good little girl this Christmas and WAYY ahead on my holiday shopping (and wrapping I might add), I had some extra time on my hands to really get in the Christmas spirit and add to the Holiday Baking - YUMMMMM.

Today, in the spirit of Christmas and spending time with your loved ones, I devote this recipe post to coolest kid on the block ... my baby brother: MAX!


Maxman and I have always been close, and growing up we were often the 2 siblings that were home the most often together.  Because I was a pre-teen with a mother who was "baking-challenged" and I discovered my love for it with my sweet Grandma Elaine (more on her here if you've missed it), I always made it my mission to add sweets to our family dinners/household snacks.  And because poor little Max was too young to tell me no (or well even if he did, he was too young to have a choice) I always made the little guy my helper.

One of his favorites, and a recipe we came to PERFECT over the years is none other than crispity-crunchity, chocolatey, peanut-buttery PUPPY CHOW.  There are a gazillion names for it I'm sure, but here in the BlueGrass it's better known as Puppy Chow.  It's the simple age old recipe on the back of every Corn or Rice Chex at your local grocer. If you haven't tested it out yet, I suggest you do so - NOW. (and if you can't find the recipe on the cereal box, message me and I'd be MORE than happy to share)


Max and I always had a different way of doing things though, and our poor mother's kitchen took the beating.  The key to the messiness with Puppy Chow, is that after you coat the cereal in all it's chocolatey goodness, you then have to coat it in powdered sugar.  A task that doesn't pose too challenging for your average adult.  Buuuut add in a super short, pint sized, know it all pre-teen and her baby brother who was ordered to do EVERYTHING the way I commanded - OR ELSE!, and my dears: we've got a HOT mess in the kitchen.

One of my favorite puppy-chow cooking memories was at our Plum Hill house. Mom had to run out for something and asked me to keep an eye on the little guy...(bear in mind I keep referencing him as little...he's almost 20 and in college now...but it's really hard for me to picture him more than 3 feet tall playing with Poke-mon, so give me a break).  Here is at Xavier in his (NASTY) dorm room with his new college buds. (he's the one on the left)


Nevertheless, I decided I would be a great babysitter and entertain him by making puppy chow (although let's be serious..I clearly was doing this more for my own benefit rather than his). Weeelllllll, the way WE made Puppy Chow, was to combine all cereal and chocolate in a bowl and then place in 2 large zip-loc bags -- add TONS of powered sugar to each -- and SHAKE furiously until it was well coated. 

So, naturally, I handed him the zip-loc bag with coated cereal and extra powdered sugar loaded in to start shaking and told him to zip it up and shake (not paying attention to whether he actually did that or not).  Next thing I knew, I turned around and he, the kitchen, the floor - COVERED, I mean COVERED in powdered sugar.  He had a "OMG" I'm in trouble look, but being the super cool big sister I am (and because it wasn't my kitchen...because if this were to happen today you can bet I would set out in full panic crisis mode), instead of getting mad...I simply started laughing grabbed a handful of powdered sugar out of the package and threw it at him. Which erupted into the most ridiculously messy food fight that kitchen had ever seen (yes, we had more than one...we were "THOSE" kind of kids). 

THANK GOODNESS our mother is fun and LOVES us so, because she walked in nearly a minute later ... *OH NO, HOLD YOUR BREATH*.... annnnd....joined us :) -- AHH...memories.

Alright, enough of memory lane ... onto the recipe.  So, this is a version of Puppy Chow, but entirely different in both taste and texture.  It really doesn't have a name.  And, I make it all year long, but in honor of the holiday, we're noting it today as Christmas Chow! (Sorry, I didn't get a better pic once it was all finished...i got sidetracked and completely forgot)


Recipe Monday: Christmas Chow!

Ingredients:
  • 1 package Kroger Candy Coating (Vanilla)
    • I swear by this stuff, it is SO easy and SO good
  • 1-2 heaping tablespoons Peanut Butter (I use Jif Reduced Fat)
  • 4.5 cups of Rice  (or any type really) Chex Cereal
  • 5 cups Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch Cereal
  • 1/2 bag regular or peanut butter M&M's
    • Optional Items I have also seen in this dish:
      • Nuts of any kind (often peanuts)
      • Pretzels (usually sticks)
Directions:
  • Toss together cereal in large mixing bowl
  • Melt candy coating and peanut butter together for 1 minute
    • Seriously this stuff is so easy, it melts in the tray it comes with and you toss once finished
    • Follow instructions though, to ensure you do not scorch!
    • Start at 1 minute, stir
    • 15 second intervals following (often doesn't need more than 2-3)
  • Toss and coat vanilla peanut butter mixture over cereal - to ensure all pieces are coated
  • Add in candy pieces
  • Spoon out mixture over wax paper to harden (about 15-30 minutes)
  • ENJOY!!!

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