Well we all entertain. Its hard to decide on what you want to offer as "appetizers". You can really go over the top by providing elaborate appetizers that are time consuming. Sometimes, though, it's nice to just create something that is simple, but doesn't take a lot of prep time. This is one of those recipes that really doesn't take much of your time to make. Basically, you are just placing all the items in a container and mix. Keep in mind that I normally make this always in larger batches (so the pictures reflect making a large batch).
We had about 3 different gatherings we were preparing for. My in laws also like this mix when I make it. So I am actually making a large batch. If you are brave enough to do what I am doing, you first need a large enough container that allows you to mix all of the ingredients (I have 2 large bowls that I use when I make tamales, etc). You also need to have a large enough container to bake the mix in the oven. Either way, it is something that you can bring to a gathering/party and everyone will truly enjoy!
2 cup Rice Chex
2 cup Corn Chex
2 cup Wheat Chex
2 cup Pretzel sticks
2 cup Melba Toast (Gardhetto's brand)
1 cup Mixed nuts (or one type of nut, your choice)
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tbsp Worcestershire
1 tbsp cajun spice (like Tony Chachere's)
1 tbsp garlic powder
Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. This will be a little high, but you are baking a nice amount of mix. I need it this high since I am making large batch.
Mix the 3 different types of Chex cereal that you are planning to use. I like to use the different cereals as its a great flavor coming from the mixed cereal.
Once you have mixed the cereal, you may start to add the various pretzel bags that you have purchased. Remember to use a flat spoon to mix well. When it comes to pretzel I tend to limit to different kinds. Sometimes, I use the twists, but I also like a variety like Nibblers, Garlic Bagel pretzels or those really thin pretzel chips.
Add the Rye Chips and mixed nuts. Originally, I don't normally add nuts to the chex mix since sometimes I make this with kids in mind. Since this will be more for adults, I made this with almond, macadamia and cashew nuts. Again, make sure you mix well in order to have enough nuts.
Add the butter to a bowl. Place into a microwave and allow to melt through. Normally this would melt in about 30 to 40 seconds. After you have melted the butter, add the Worcestershire and mix well. Notice that I have two containers since I am making two large batches.
Add the butter mixture to the Chex Mix. Make sure you drizzle a little at a time and then mix after you have drizzled the butter. If you have to, add a little more Worcestershire (I like to do that on occassion).
Since the Chex mix has taken on some of that butter and Worcestershire, you are ready to add the spices. I like to have a little bit of a kick. A very good and close friend of mine gave me some cajun spice that a local mom & pop business sells (her family friend). You may add your own spices, but if you use something similar that would be best since you don't want to add to much cayenne or salt. This spice that I am using has an even balance. Also add the garlic. Do this a little at a time just as you did with the butter. Lightly sprinkle a little at a time and then mix.
Now that the Chex Mix is ready, you can place into the oven. I don't cover the Mix as I want it to get well heated with the oven. Most people would just use a baking sheet and spread across. Here's the thing, I am making a LARGE BATCH. You would be doing this all day if you were going that route. I allow it to get well heated for about 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and then mix. I then place it back into the oven. I do this 3 times total.
Once you have done this 3 times, take out of the oven. Allow it to cool completely. You can finally place into bags when the mix is fully cooled. Keep in mind that this is great for a large gathering. You are also able to freeze some of it in a freezer. It does keep well, but I would want to use it before 2 months time and if you are like me, with all the gatherings, these will be gone in no time!!