July 16, 2015

Bacon-studded Honey Mustard Snaxx

titleThis month’s Improv ingredients are pretzels & mustard. I love making mustard (like I did here) but one must do that not-at-the-last-minute for a challenge!

Anyhow, the wonderhubs has a life-long aversion to pretzels, & I am currently (involuntarily) participating in an aversion to gluten. My solution was to come up with a gluten-free snack mix, where he could pick around those nazzzty pretzel pieces.EJmustpretzel (3)

I’d been seeing “Muddy Buddies” & “Chex Snack” mixes done in the crock pot on various blogs. That sounded so much more exciting to me than heating the oven/house for an hour or two while toasting the mix. (If your slow cooker, like mine, does not have a vent, you will need to use a towel to absorb the “perspiration” that comes off the mix as it cooks.)EJmustpretzel

Here’s my recipe:

¼ cup mustard powder

¼ cup water

½ cup butter

½ cup honey

3 cups Corn Bran Crunch™ cereal

3 cups Rice Chex™ cerealDSCN2878

3 cups Honey Nut Chex™ cereal

3 cups gluten free pretzels

2 cups gluten free rice crackers

1 cup sliced almonds

1 cup bacon crumbles

Mix mustard powder with water and let sit to thicken 10-15 minutes. Melt butter and stir in honey. Add thickened mustard and whisk until smooth.EJmustpretzel (6)

Combine remaining ingredients into crock. EJmustpretzel (7)Pour over honey mustard mixture and stir gently.EJmustpretzel (13)Cook on “Low” for 2 hours, carefully stirring every 30 minutes.

Pour onto parchment paper to cool.EJmustpretzel (15)Devour!

EJmustpretzel (19)This makes you wish for a larger crock…

…because you want to TRIPLE the recipe!

Check out what my friends did with their pretzels & mustard:

July 14, 2015

Backside of the June…

markThe 6th month of the year is has always been a whirlwind for my family. When I was growing up, my grandparents’ anniversary was on the 2nd, my parents’ the 6th, then came Father’s Day & my birthday right on top of each other. Grandpa & Grandma had a camp that they ran for at least two weeks of this month as well.

Then I decided to have a June wedding, and my in-law’s decided to have both their birthdays in June, too!Gpa Shingler

If you blend the above facts with this month’s trips, you can see that June was, well, INSANE!

In between the two Colorado jaunts we took Mom & Dad out for dinner to celebrate their joint birthdays. Creative planning running thin, we decided to take them to, ummmmmmmm, Rudy’s. Smile

I was able to muster a few creative juices to make their gifts.

DSCN2717I made this for my MIL with the help of my digital cutting machine & a frame from the HobLob.

For the FIL (a man who s coffee & adores fudge) I whipped up a batch of Espresso Toffee-topped Espresso Fudge.EJtoffeebitsSilly me, I made the old-fashioned recipe of fudge where you have to beat it until your arm falls out of the socket.

EJjustbeatitBut it was worth it!EJesspressotoffeefudge (13)The toffee was my favorite part of it all.EJesspressotoffeefudge (19)Although, the fudge wasn’t too bad…

EJesspressotoffeefudge (22)Pretty sure it’s all gone now…EJesspressotoffeefudge (26)