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There are few things that I will say someone makes better than my mom, but this is one of them. The first time I had the famous chex mix was the Christmas of 2005. I arrived at Billy’s parents house a few days after Christmas, not knowing his family that well, but I quickly learned that my mother-in-law makes the best chex mix ever. She makes it for pretty much every event, and it always disappears (usually eaten by me and my father-in-law). So, when we decided we were having a Halloween party, I knew I had to make it.

Here’s what you’ll need:
– 4 cups rice chex cereal
– 4 cups wheat chex cereal
– 2.5 to 3 cups Cheerios
– 1 can (16 oz.) peanuts
– pretzels
– 3 sticks butter, melted
– 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp garlic salt

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. You’ll want to use a large aluminum pan or a large turkey roasting type pan that will hold everything.

Combine the chex, Cheerios, peanuts and pretzels and mix together well. Next, add the Worcestershire sauce and garlic salt to the butter, stirring well to combine. Pour the butter mixture over the cereal mixture and stir to coat everything. Bake for one hour at 250 degrees, stirring well every 15 minutes.

"Mother-in-Law" Party Mix

For Halloween, we decided to replace the pretzels (our least favorite ingredient) with festive colored M&M’s — only we added them after the baking was done. I thought adding something sweet to the mix was pretty good, but definitely not the same. Billy didn’t like it. Either way…still the best party mix you’ll ever have. I’m not sure if it’s the butter, the Worcestershire sauce or the garlic salt, but something about this mix is amazing. Eating bagged chex mix isn’t even an option anymore…thanks Linda.

Okay…so I’ve fallen off the face of the blogosphere, I know. But, I have a good reason. The day after our Halloween party (thank God it was the day after) I started feeling pretty crappy and by Sunday I was down for the count. Still not entirely sure what it was/is, but Billy ended up getting it too and we’re still recovering. Anyway, I’m back. We haven’t been doing much cooking this week, but I can’t wait any longer to post about all the cool stuff we made for Halloween.

This was the first year we decided to have a party. It was a lot of work, but totally worth it. We decided to go the “finger food” route and wanted to make everything with a Halloween theme. We ended up with way too much food, but everyone had a good time and seemed to enjoy the food.

What we had on the menu:
– English “Mummy” Pizza
– Meatballs in “Blood” Sauce
– Bone Breadsticks
– Green Chili Rollups, dyed orange of course
– Spiders on a Log (aka, Ants on a Log)
– “Mother-in-Law Party Mix”
– Sugar Cookies and Thumbprint Cookies
– Sherbet Punch with a Floating Brain :)

English Mummy Pizza

These were a total hit, and so fun to make. We used string cheese so it wouldn’t melt and kill the mummy look. For the eyes, we used black olives with green onions as the pupils.

Spiders on a Log

Ants on a log are one of Billy’s favorite snacks, so we totally had to make them into something fun for Halloween. Billy was really committed to those spiders, too…he hand drew all eight legs on all the spiders!

DSC_1287(r)

This was the first time either of us has ever decorated a cookie. I thought it was so fun! We were by no means pros, but I thought we did pretty good for our first time. We totally bought the wrong stuff though because it never hardened when it dried, it was some kind of gel (tips, anyone?). Never the less, they came out lookin pretty good!

"Mother-in-Law" Party Mix

I never looked at my mother-in-law the same after she made this mix the first time. Everyone has their favorite party mix, but this will seriously blow all of them out of the water. Something about the three (very unhealthy) sticks of butter, garlic salt and Worcestershire sauce….

Sherbet Punch...and a brain

Who doesn’t love sherbet punch (with alcohol, of course)? The brain was a little creepy though….

We had a ton of fun coming up with and creating all the food for the party. It was a little stressful trying to make so many things, but totally worth it. I think everyone got a kick out of all the Halloween themed food, and they certainly didn’t mind eating it.

On Saturday the whole fan-dam-ly got together at my great-grandma’s for a little swimming and a good old fashioned summer BBQ. The early afternoon snack menu consisted of homemade salsas, three ways, using fresh tomatoes from our garden (you know, the million a day that we get have to go to some good use!), an Italian antipasto salad, and some cheese and crackers (along with lots of alcohol, haha).

Billy and I made regular red salsa with tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and a half of a habanero pepper; a green salsa with roasted tomatillos, onions, jalapenos, and the other half of a habanero; and a chili con-queso with green chili, onions, and tomatoes (and of course cheese). The green salsa was the hottest of the three, but equally delicious. It was more blended than chunky so it was perfect for scooping up on a tortilla chip. The red salsa was really chunky and fresh tasting. It wasn’t horribly hot which made it refreshing on a hot summer way (and perfect for a swimming/BBQ snack). For the queso, we used 1/2 pound American cheese and 1/2 pound of Mexican cheese blend. It was so creamy and using the different cheeses gave it depth and a lot of flavor. It wasn’t very spicy, but the green chili gave it a great kick and flavor.

Red Salsa

Red Salsa

Green Salsa

Green Salsa

Queso

Queso

The dinner menu was grilled chicken made by the old-man grill master (aka, my dad), green chili rice made by my mom, and sauteed spinach made by yours truly. Nothing too special, so no recipes to share, but I thought the salsas were worth sharing. I hope you make the most of what’s left of your summer with some more good-old BBQ’s. I know we will! Until next time, happy eating. :)