With the 4th of July fast approaching, I thought I’d share a quick and easy 4th of July Snack Mix perfect for feeding a crowd.
Earlier this year I made a very similar snack mix for Valentine’s Day, but this mix can be easily adapted for most any holiday or occasion. This yummy mix can be customized to include most any snacks you love, from pretzels to popcorn to chocolate candies. Combining sweet and salty snacks makes this an irresistible treat.
Mix up a big bowl of this 4th of July Snack Mix and just watch how fast it disappears! Even as I was preparing these photos, I noticed my mix was disappearing bit by bit each time one of my kiddos (or hubby) walked by.
Fill small treat bags with this colorful snack mix for a perfect 4th of July party favor.
4th of July Snack Mix
Mix and match your favorite sweet and crunchy snacks to create a delicious mix!
cereal (chex, cherrios, or your choice)
peanuts (or a nut of your choice)
M&Ms or other candies
white chocolate or white candy melts
In a large roasting pan, or large casserole dish, mix all ingredients except the M&M's, sprinkles, and candy melts. Do not over fill your dish, you will need room to toss the ingredients together.
Melt white chocolate (or candy melts) in a microwave safe dish (at 50% power) in 30 second intervals until almost melted. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Use a spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate over the dish of snacks. Mix as needed to coat. It's up to you if you want the mix to be totally coated, or lightly coated (depending on the amount of melted chocolate you use). As soon as you've mix up the snack mix, but the coating is still warm and melty, add sprinkles of your choice, and M&M's to the mix. Stir to combine.
Spread the snack mixture out onto a baking sheet (or two if needed). Allow to cool, then break apart as needed.
If desired, add some of the melted white chocolate to a small plastic piping bag (or small ziplock bag), snip off the end and drizzle over the mix, then allow the chocolate to set before packaging up the mixture.
Store snack mix in an airtight bag or container.
Snack mix with popcorn in it will remain fresh tasting about 2-3 days, and a bit longer without popcorn.
Recipe source - Glorious Treats
Notes- For the mixture pictured, I used mini pretzels, corn chex, popcorn, white chocolate, sprinkles and M&M's
I have not listed quantities because it's really up to you how much you want to make, or what ingredients you have on hand.
Looking for more 4th of July treats?
Here are a few of my favorites…
4th of July Flag Cake
4th of July Cupcakes in a Jar
Strawberry Blueberry Mini Cheesecake Trifles
4th of July Star Cookies
I have even more 4th of July treats and ideas gathered from around the web on my 4th of July Pinterest board.
Prop note- Blue polka-dot snack cups from Shop Sweet Lulu
I recently had a few friends over for a special lunch. Of course I always like to add some pretty details when I’m hosting a party, even if the “party” is only 4 friends.
For this lunch, I went with a menu and decorations that could easily work for many different occasions… a baby shower, wedding shower, birthday, graduation, or most any gathering of friends. You’ll also notice that I used the same general display techniques that I use for my dessert tables, but with “real” food.
When planning the lunch I chose a pretty color scheme of various blues and white (my favorite colors). I made a fun polka-dot paper garland (tutorial coming soon) as a cute, yet simple way to set off the food table.
I almost always like to include fresh flowers on my tables. I love flowers so much and I think they add great color, texture and life to any display. For this table I chose all white flowers (daisy mums, gerbera daisies and button asters). My favorite places to pick up fresh, yet inexpensive flowers is Trader Joe’s or Costco. Certainly, if you want something very specific and don’t want to drive around to more that one store to find things, placing an order with a florist would be a sure bet.
Chicken Salad Sandwiches on croissants
Fresh fruit in small bowls
Caprese salad (fresh mozzarella and tomato slices with fresh chopped basil, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, dress with salt and pepper)
Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting (here’s my post on How to Frost Cupcakes)
Summer is the perfect time to make a fresh and delicious Caprese salad (ingredients listed in menu above).
I like to serve fruit salad in individual bowl as a way to make it easy to grab, and a little extra special.
I often use this same menu for baby showers, birthday’s or any moderate sized home party. It’s simple, yet beautiful and delicious.
Is there a certain dish or menu you almost always turn to when hosting a party?
Blue single cupcake stand (with dome) - Rosanna
Mini bowls (holding fruit) - Anthropologie
White and blue cake stands (holding cupcakes and sandwiches) - Target (Christmas 2012)
Blue cupcake liners – Confectionery House
Blue vases/jars – Hobby Lobby (vases) and (jars) Ebay (similar available from Shop Sweet Lulu).
Flowers (from Trader Joes) gerbera daisies, daisy mums, button asters.
Rice Krispie Treats are one of those desserts I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of. The original recipe is delicious on it’s own, but I really love how many amazingly delicious variations there are to think up! I’ve made lots of yummy and fun Rice Krispie Treat variations before, but this chocolate, caramel and peanut butter version is going to be added to my list of favorites!
If you’re curious about the name, these Whatchamacallit Krispie Treats were inspired by the Whatchamacallit candy bar. A Whatchamacallit candy bar is a “peanut flavored crisp with a layer of caramel, and covered in milk chocolate.” These Whatchamacallit Krispie Treats have all the same flavors and textures of the delicious candy bar…. and you can make them at home anytime you want! In fact, I like this Krispie Treat version even better than the candy bar!
Chocolate Caramel Peanut Butter Krispie Treats (a.k.a. Whatchamacallit Krispie Treats)
Rich and delicious Rice Krispie Treats inspired by the Whatchamacallit candy bar.
Yield: One 9"x13" pan (about 24 servings)
7 cups Rice Krispies cereal
8 cups mini marshmallows
4 Tablespoons Challenge butter
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 bag (11oz.) caramel bits
2 Tablespoons milk
1 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Prepare a 9"x13" baking pan by spraying lightly with non-stick cooking spray, and set aside.
Get two very large bowls. Into one bowl, add the rice cereal, and set aside.
Into the other bowl, add mini marshmallows and butter. Microwave for 2-4 minutes, or until the marshmallows are very soft and puffy.
While the marshmallows melt, measure out the 1/3 cup peanut butter and set aside.
Carefully remove the bowl of marshmallows from the microwave and stir until the (now melted) butter is incorporated.
Working quickly, add 1/3 cup peanut butter to melted marshmallows and stir.
Pour the peanut butter/marshmallow mixture over the bowl of rice cereal and use a rubber spatula (sprayed with non-stick spray) to quickly stir and combine the ingredients.
As soon as the cereal has been coated with the mixture, pour/scoop the rice krispies mixture into the prepared pan.
Use the spatula to press the mixture into the pan and flatten and even out as needed. Set aside to cool.
While the treats cool, in a small saucepan add caramel bits and milk.
Heat over medium heat until melted, stirring as needed.
Pour melted caramel over rice krispie treats, as evenly as possible.
In a small bowl, add chocolate chips and melt at 50% power in the microwave until almost melted (in 30 second intervals). Stir until melted and smooth.
Pour chocolate over caramel layer, using an offset spatula to spread, as needed.
Allow to cool about 30 minutes before cutting.
Store treats covered and in a cool place (on the counter) up to two days.
Recipe source- Glorious Treats
Notes- If you can not find the caramel bits (usually sold near chocolate chips), feel free to use individually wrapped caramels (such as Brachs).
For the peanut butter, I used natural peanut butter (with no added sugar).
Chocolate, caramel and peanut butter in a crispy, chewy treat… you’re going to want to make these soon!
School is out, summer is here and it’s time for vacation! I don’t have any beach vacation plans… but with this delicious Pina Colada Cake I can enjoy a tropical flavored treat right at home.
I’ve shared my recipe for Pina Colada Cupcakes before, and have been wanting to make a cake version for quite a while. I’m so happy I finally made it! This cake is moist, rich and flavorful.
I’m guest posting over on Tidy Mom today and sharing the recipe and all the details on this Pina Colada Cake. Head on over and say hello!
I’m not perfect.
Oh, in some ways that statement really pains me to say.
I’m a perfectionist… it’s how I’m wired. I like things, life, and myself to be clean, organized, pretty, and perfect.
In some ways this blog has helped me control, or at least channel my perfectionism. My house is not always in order… ok, let’s be honest, it’s actually rarely in order! My life does not always go as planned, I say things I wish I didn’t say, and I don’t look exactly the way I wish I did.
This blog is the one place I get to have things just the way I want. I get to post pretty, edited photos that expose only a couple square feet of my house (and not the mess required to create the “pretty” thing). I get to sit at my computer and write nice little captions about pretty cupcakes and cookies… all the while sitting at my messy desk, un-showered and in my pajamas. I get to have one little place in my life, even if it’s a virtual place, that is perfect.
This next week I’ll be attending a big blogging conference in Texas. This is where my real life and my virtual life collide. It’s terrifying. Really, deeply, terrifying!
Next week I’ll be face to face with many people I have only “met” online. People who only know me for my Hydrangea Cupcakes or Pink Ombre Cake, or decorated cookies. Things that are pretty, staged, and as perfect as I can possibly create.
The problem is… I’m not much like any of those things.
I mean, I do feel like my site is a reflection of me in many ways… I do love pretty things, I love details, I love making things by hand. But this site is only a part of me, not the full picture.
I am not perfect.
I am overweight. I’m 35 and still have acne. I don’t know what to do with makeup, and rarely wear any. I don’t know what to do with my hair either… so it’s just there. Sometimes I talk too loud and say things before I think. I don’t own anything by Coach or Kate Spade, mostly because I can’t afford them. My house is 1450 square feet and has one bathroom… it’s the house we can afford, and I am rarely proud of it.
This week I was talking to my dad about my upcoming trip and told him that I was really intimidated by the (people at the) conference.
He asked why. I said… “Well, my site is so pretty and perfect, and I’m not.”
He said, ”You mean you’re afraid people will find out you’re not perfect?”
“Well… yes.” I replied.
He said, “Let me tell you something… all of the other people going to the conference are imperfect too.”
It was so simple, yet somehow it really hit me.
It’s true. Somehow I’ve forgotten that. All of the ladies wearing their colored skinny jeans and chevron print, and statement necklaces… looking like they just stepped out of Pinterest, they’re not perfect.
Now there is a lot to be said for taking good care of yourself, it’s important. I’m not suggesting we all stop showering and go everywhere in our pajamas.
But if a grown woman (me) with a quite successful blog, many good friends, a supportive and loving family and enough disposable income to fly from California to Texas for a blogging conference, is scared out of her wits to meet a few women… then something is a little off. I’ve been lying to myself and it needs to stop. I’ve bought into the idea that I need to be perfect to be beautiful, and that’s bologna. I’ve told myself that everyone else is more beautiful/successful/confident/cool/fashionable than me, and it’s simply not true.
Sure, we all have different strengths… some women do a beautiful job with their hair and make-up, others are great speakers, some are especially talented photographers, some have great presence in a crowd…
But you know what… I’m pretty awesome just as I am. I’m smart, hardworking, creative, talented, dependable, honest, kind, funny, and beautiful in my own way.
I’m not perfect, but I am beautiful!
So if you run into me next week (or anytime in the future) try to hide your surprise when you see I’m not perfect…and try to hide your shock that I’m nearly 6′ tall.
I wont be wearing skinny jeans… because I can’t. I won’t be carrying a designer bag.
But I do truly enjoy meeting new people, and sharing a bit of our lives. I love meeting people who are smart, funny, creative, and nice.
And hey, if you happen to look great in mint colored skinny jeans, and have a super pretty bag… awesome, go for it. Rock ‘em.
I’m not entirely sure why I felt the need to write this post today.
I guess I’m hoping that my moment of enlightenment will be an encouragement to many of you who may feel the same. And if by some small chance you were ever intimidated to meet me… please don’t be, I’m not perfect and I’m secretly very glad that you’re not either!
I’d love to hear from you…. what are the qualities that make you beautiful and special?