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I adore having close friends come over IN-BETWEEN-THE-HOLIDAYS. To be more precise, after the family Christmas festivities but before New Year’s Eve and sometimes between New Year’s Day and my birthday on January 7th, so ideally December 28th or January 4th. Those days tend to be the safest days for everyone, no more indigestion, nor hangovers and usually more leisure & relaxation time, for them as well as for us, here at home.

It’s the ideal time to use whatever leftovers and half-used bags of stuff in the pantry and unfinished dishes & desserts you stored in the refrigerator and freezer.

Here’s a well-known, very popular, not fancy and simple north-american relaxed party mix for everyone. It’s made with thick square-shaped cereals, nuts, crackers, pretzels, butter and/or oil, salt, sugar, condiments like Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce and a mix of finely ground spices. It’s well known in North America but completely foreign here in Europe, which is why I came back from Canada with some boxes of these cereals that I like to use for this, even though I never eat breakfast nor ever have a desire for cereal any morning.

The cereals used here have to be thick and textured and square-shaped so you can use anything that resembles that and available in your neighborhood supermarkets. You usually need regular, whole wheat and/or rice CHEX or WHEAT SHREDDIES or CRISPIX. The rest of the nuts, pretzels, crackers and spice mixes are all up to you and whatever is close at hand.

Proportions are important, which is why in this recipe, it’s all about the number of cups of each and the amount of the “coating mixture” required.

For 12 cups (half cereal and half nuts, crackers, pretzels), you will need about 30% of that in weight in the spicy coating mixture, so 12 cups + ¾ cup liquid coating + 3 ½ tbsp dry spice blend or 12 cups mix + 1 cup coatings = the TOTAL PARTY MIX.

All spices need to be very finely ground or they won’t stick (even with all the butter, oil and liquid condiments) so forget about using dry herbs if they’re not as fine as powder and no sesame seeds nor poppy seeds either, because they’ll fall to the bottom of the roasting pan and BURN !

Anyways, just follow the recipe and enjoy the happy IN-BETWEEN-HOLIDAYS period . . . :)

‘in-between-holidays’ salty & spicy snack mix


12 cups


dry mix (725 grams or 12 cups) : 

  • 300 grams (6 cups) mixed square cereals (CHEX, SHREDDIES, CRUNCH, CRISPIX, etc.)
  • 225 grams (2 cups) mixed nuts (almonds, peanuts, cashews, etc.)
  • 100 grams (2 cups) small pretzels (and/or pretzel rods)
  • 100 grams (2 cups) small crackers (triangles with poppy seeds or others)

liquid coating mixture (185 grams or ¾ cup) :

  • 125 grams (9 tbsp) mixed melted butter & olive oil
  • 50 grams (3 tbsp) Worcestershire sauce
  • optional : 1 grams (¼ tsp) Tabasco sauce

dry spice blend (25 grams or 3 ½ tbsp minimum or to be adjusted to your taste) :

  • 10 grams (2 tsp) fine sea salt (or a mix with half hickory-smoked salt)
  • 5 grams (1 tsp) sugar
  • 2,5 gram (1 tsp) smoked paprika (and/or sweet paprika)
  • 2,0 grams (1 tsp) garlic powder
  • 1,5 grams (1 tsp) onion powder
  • 1 gram (½ tsp) ground cumin
  • 1 grams (½ tsp) ground allspice
  • 1 gram (¼ tsp) ground pepper
  • 1 gram (¼ tsp) chili powder or cayenne pepper
  • optional : 1,25 gram (½ tsp) sumac powder (tastes like spicy ketchup)
  • *or use 2 ½ tbsp of your own favorite dry baste mix like cajun spice, chipotle, barbecue mixes, etc. and only add the 1 tbsp (or 3 tsp) of the extra salt and sugar …


  • gather all ingredients and grind all spices and melt the butter
  • preheat the oven to 125°C
  • combine the melted butter and oil, then add the Worcestershire sauce, add the salt and sugar and stir until dissolved and finally all the finely ground spices
  • place the cereals, nuts, pretzels, crackers in a large bowl, pour the coating on top and stir and toss until all pieces are well coated
  • place in a large and flat baking dish (I use the enameled oven drip pan which measures 40 cm x 35 cm x 4 cm) 
  • bake for 60 minutes, stirring everything every 15 minutes and finally turn off the oven and let dry out in the oven until completely cooled (about 30-45 minutes) with the oven door slightly ajar.