Bunny Bait, or White Chocolate Snack Mix You Can Make All Year

I feel so lame calling this snack mix “Bunny Bait.” What I REALLY want to call it, despite those springtime Easter M&Ms, is Ho Ho Ho Cheerio Mix. Because that’s its real name [for Christmastime]. My mom was given this recipe back in the day with her friend Kim, and it’s been a family favorite ever since. The sweet and salty snack mix is super addictive, so I don’t suggest making a batch unless you have lots of friends and family to share with.

Bunny Bait, or White Chocolate Snack Mix You Can Make All Year Long | thepajamachef.com

Though I want to tell you that the ingredients in this snack mix–Crispix, Cheerios, pretzels, peanuts, and M&Ms are sacred, they really aren’t. Case in point: when I was shopping for ingredients to make this batch, I accidentally grabbed Chex cereal instead of Crispix. I don’t know what I was thinking! But it worked just fine. So feel free to substitute ingredients with what ya got or what you want to use. Cause really, when you pair M&Ms with crunchy cereal and salty pretzels and peanuts [that I left out this time because this batch was a gift for student workers in the library, and I wanted to be sensitive to possible peanut allergies], and top everything with white chocolate, you can’t go wrong. This Bunny Bait or Ho Ho Ho Cheerio Mix or White Chocolate Snack Mix is just divine. It’s perfect for Easter or any holiday, just use the seasonal M&Ms to make it extra festive. Enjoy! :) Happy Easter!

Bunny Bait, or White Chocolate Snack Mix You Can Make All Year| thepajamachef.com

one year ago: Pork Chops with Quinoa, Kale, and Blood Orange
two years ago: Best Burrito Bowls Ever
three years ago: Sausage Egg Apple Strata

Bunny Bait, or White Chocolate Snack Mix You Can Make All Year [from my mom's friend Kim]
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Ingredients:

  • 6 cups Crispix or Chex Cereal
  • 6 cups Cheerios
  • 2 cups pretzels
  • 2 cups peanuts, optional
  • 2 cups M&Ms [I usually use the smallest "large" bag they sell, about 12 or 13 ounces]
  • 12 ounces white chocolate chips, or 1 package vanilla almond/candy coating
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, optional

Directions:

In the largest bowl or roaster you own, stir together cereals, pretzels, peanuts, and M&Ms. Then melt white chocolate chips or candy coating  in the microwave, heating in 30 second bursts and stirring well in between until melted. This usually takes me about 90 seconds.

Stir oil into white chocolate to help with pouring if you like, then pour white chocolate over cereal mix. Stir together to coat, then spread on wax paper to set.

Time: 10 minutes, plus time to set.
Yield: 12 cups.

Linked up with Weekend Potluck.

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Grapefruit Arugula Salad

Once I tasted a bite of this awesome Grapefruit Arugula Salad, I knew I had to photograph and share it, even though it was late and I was making this salad when all the natural light had already bid Nashville farewell. [translation=indoor photography :(] My sister and brother-in-law were visiting, and this salad was the perfect accompaniment to our roasted chicken and vegetable dinner.

Grapefruit Arugula Salad | thepajamachef.com

I know there are a million variations of grapefruit arugula salad out there, and this is the first version I’ve ever had, so I can’t say it’s the best, but I can say it’s MY best. :) How’s that? Well, it’s just so much yumminess in one bowl! You’ve got your juicy citrus, your tangy feta, and your peppery arugula all dressed in a lemon vinaigrette dressing. Basically an explosion of flavors. I totally wish I had made bigger salads so don’t make the same mistake I did. This is one salad I know I’ll be coming back to time and time again. Enjoy, friends!

one year ago: Herb, Tomato, and Cheese Crackers
two years ago: Smoky Fried Chickpeas
three years ago: Pantry Pasta for Two

Grapefruit Arugula Salad
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Ingredients:

  • 1 large grapefruit
  • 3 ounces arugula
  • 1 ounce crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • lemon pepper
  • salt

Directions:

Using a sharp paring knife, section the grapefruit into segments. I tried to do this without a tutorial and it didn’t go so well, so check out this tutorial and your grapefruit will look better than mine. :)

Divide arugula between four bowls, then divide grapefruit between the bowls as well. Top with feta cheese.

Whisk together oil, lemon juice, and balsamic for the dressing. Add lemon pepper and salt to taste, then drizzle over salad immediately before eating.

Time: 5 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings.

SRC: Coconut Curry Popcorn

Hello and welcome to another edition of the Secret Recipe Club! For the month of April, I was assigned Leandra’s blog, Love & Flour. Leandra lives in Charlotte, and claims to have a dual affiliation for/affliction of the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Florida Gators. My husband says this is absolutely impossible, but he is a diehard Buckeye so that’s to be expected I suppose. :) I’ve long admired Leandra’s blog because of her lovely photography and creative recipes, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to make something from her blog! I was quite torn between many delicious dishes like this unique Popcorn Bread, a lovely Sparkling Rosemary Grapefruit Soda, or a scrumptious-looking White Texas Sheet Cake. In the end, I went with ease and simplicity, but just because this recipe came together in about five minutes flat does NOT mean it is lacking in any way.

Coconut Curry Popcorn | thepajamachef.com

No, actually this Coconut Curry Popcorn has big flavor and has absolutely revolutionized my popcorn habit. Normally I’m a butter ‘n salt girl. I pin all sorts of popcorn recipes but haven’t ever made any of them. So making this popcorn seasoning was a step of faith… and truth be told, I was kind of SCARED to try it.

Coconut Curry Popcorn | thepajamachef.com

How ridiculous is that? I love coconut and I love curry, but I think I was just terrified that I’d ruin a perfectly good batch of popcorn with a weird seasoning. To be fair, I have curried myself out in the past but I haven’t had any in awhile so I figured I’d be safe now. But Leandra described this popcorn in such a way that I absolutely HAD to give it a try. And I’m so glad I did. It’s everything good at once… salty, sweet, spicy. This seasoning certainly has a little bit of kick to it, but the sweetness and warmth from the sugar, coconut, cinnamon, and ginger provide an awesome balance that is way too addictive for my taste. I’m glad this recipe makes a lot [even after I cut it down from the original] so I can keep some in the cupboard for easy access every time a craving strikes.

Coconut Curry Popcorn | thepajamachef.com

Thanks for the great recipe, Leandra! Enjoy! :)

Coconut Curry Popcorn | thepajamachef.com

one year ago: Dark Chocolate Crumb Bars
two years ago: Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing
three years ago: Chicken Pot Pie

Coconut Curry Popcorn [from Love & Flour]
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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • popped plain popcorn

Directions:

Combine all ingredients except popcorn in a food processor, then pulse until coconut flakes are broken down. Toss over popcorn, then store remaining seasoning in an airtight container.

Time: 5 minutes.
Yield: 1/2 cup popcorn seasoning.

Be sure to check out all the other SRC recipes for the month at the link below!

Linked up with: Weekend Potluck.

Oatmeal Fudge Bars

I know people have been on the sweet and salty dessert kick for awhile, but it’s taken me some time to get on board. If you’ve read my blog for awhile you may have noticed that I don’t put salt in many of my recipes. My mom doesn’t either, and hasn’t really ever, so I’m super sensitive to salt. But in these Oatmeal Fudge Bars, the salt is what makes them GREAT! Picture a gooey, fudgy, peanut buttery layer surrounded by a hearty, soft oatmeal-based crust with just a hint of salt to balance the sweetness, and you have these bars. If you don’t have these bars, you’re missing out, so you should make them, stat. They are a perfect way to celebrate Whole Grain Sampling Day today too!

Oatmeal Fudge Bars | thepajamachef.com

These bars are a bit finicky to make, but their sweet-salty goodness makes them well worth the effort! Mind you, when I say these bars are “finicky” I mean you have to make and bake the crust, wait for it to cool, then add the filling and the topping. So really, not too complicated… but an extra step or two and a bit of time.

Oatmeal Fudge Bars | thepajamachef.com

They are so fudgy and rich that just a small, warm slice is perfectly satisfying. Because I ran out of chocolate chips [I knowwww] while making them, I used some peanut butter chips too. You can’t go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate, can you? Enjoy!

one year ago: Neely’s Lemon Pasta Salad
two years ago: Pineapple-Apricot Teriyaki Chicken
three years ago: Sweet and Tangy Pork Chops with Pineapple and Coconut Toasted Rice

Oatmeal Fudge Bars [from Carpe Season]
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Ingredients:

for crust/topping

  • 1 cup oats [original recipe suggested quick oats, I used old-fashioned]
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour [or all-purpose]
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly

for filling

  • 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour [or all-purpose]
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter chips [or can use all chocolate chips], divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8×8 square baking dish with foil and grease thoroughly.

In a medium bowl,  prepare the crust/topping. Whisk together oats, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour in melted butter, then stir to combine.

Save 3/4 cup of this mixture for the topping, then press the rest evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake crust for 8-9 minutes, until crust is golden brown and cool completely [can refrigerate pan for 20-25 minutes to speed process up, if desired].

As crust cools, prepare the filling.

Stir together flour, brown sugar, instant coffee, and salt in a bowl. You can use the crust bowl, wiped out with a paper towel, if desired. When crust is cool, melt 1/2 cup chocolate and 1/2 cup peanut butter chips together with the butter in a bowl in the microwave in 20 second increments, for a total of about a minute. Stir in between each microwave session.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg. When chocolate mixture has cooled a bit, pour chocolate into the egg and whisk constantly so as to not cook the egg. Pour egg/chocolate into the flour mixture, stirring with a fork to combine. Mixture will be thick–like icing.

Spoon the filling over the cooled crust. Don’t worry if crust isn’t completely covered. Sprinkle reserved topping over chocolate mixture, then top with reserved chocolate and peanut butter chips.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Bars are done when filling starts to pull away from the sides of pan.

Cool bars for 30 minutes before removing from pan with foil, then cut into bars and serve.

Store in the fridge for best results.

Time: 2 hours [30 minutes active].

Yield: 16 servings.