Rachael Ray's Campaign Trail Mix & An Award

Last night we had our monthly girl's night out - Bunko! The theme this time was Election '08, so we were all asked to bring something to munch on that would go along with the theme. There was Jimmy Carter Peanuts, Ronald Reagan Jelly Bellys, American Apple Crisp, 7 Layer Mexican Dip (seems W. likes Mexican food), and a Tart in honor of Monica Lewinsky! I came across the recipe for Rachael Ray's Campaign Trial mix while reading Aggie's Kitchen a couple of weeks ago and was sold on it right away! What could be bad about popcorn, peanuts and almonds (I subbed those for the pumpkin seeds) all covered in spicy-sweet mixture? Oh, YUM!

trail mix 2

This is a highly addictive snack that would be perfect for any casual get together - football parties, movie night or just a case of the munchies. I would have liked to have more of the popcorn coated with the brown sugar and cayenne pepper mixture, so I'll probably double that part next time. This was a huge hit at Bunko - I only had about 1 cup of it left! I love when something goes over so well!

Last week, while I was catching up on my blog reading I found out that I received a blogging award from Peanut Butter and Julie! Don't you just love the name of her blog? Well, stop on over there and you'll just love her stories that go along with her recipes. She's a pleasure to visit each day and I discover something new each time I visit.

I'm skipping the MEME portion of the award as I haven't had time to try to answer all the questions. I'll just get to the "pay it forward" portion of the award - that's the best part anyway!
The first person I want to pass this on to is Stacey Snacks. Not only is she another Jersey food blogger, she has some very creative recipes.
Tanya at Sunday Baker not only shares great recipes, but also writes a Weekly Fun post that is filled with all kinds of cool things that she has found.
Pinch My Salt not only shares recipes, but step-by-step photos that are beautiful to look at.
Go check out Sunday Nite Dinner to view some incredible food photos that will make your mouth water.
Finally, I want to pass this along to Antics of Mad Baker Woman. She's a Daring Baker and recently shared a decadent cake she made for a good friend of hers.
trail mix 1

Spiced Popcorn Snack MixRecipe
Adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray

8 cups air-popped popcorn
1 cup roasted peanuts
1 cup chopped almonds
8 TB butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and Pepper

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. In a large bowl, toss together the popcorn, peanuts and pumpkin seeds.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Whisk in the brown sugar and cayenne until bubbling and thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour over the popcorn mixture; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to a foil lined baking sheet. Form small clumps of the popcorn mixture and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake until toasted, 40 minutes. Let it cool completely.

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This is a great snack to make for gametime too.
LaDue & Crew said…
There is something so amazing that happens when brown sugar meets cayenne! I'm all over this recipe this weekend!
Mary Bergfeld said…
Sweet hot combos are hard to resist!
Congratulations on your award.
Stacey Snacks said…
Thank you for that nice award!!!
I am honored.
I love that snack mix, hence my name.....Miss "Snacks"
Anonymous said…
Wow Patsy! I haven't been by in a few days- it's stunning over here! Well done!
Aggie said…
Isn't this the most addicting stuff! I've made it a couple times now and can't get enough of it! Thanks for the mention! :)
That Girl said…
The whole idea is so cute!
Unknown said…
ooh, fantastic!!!
Lacey said…
yay! thankyou for the award!

great post, btw. i know of quite a few families who go insane over a game of bunko and snacks
Anonymous said…
Ooooh! That looks super yummy! And I LOVE your new header!!
Carla said…
A tart for Monica hahahahahaaha That cracks me up :)
Wendy said…
I am trying this recipe soon. Just as a side note, if you don't have an air popper, you can air-pop popping corn in the microwave. Place 1/4 to 1/3 cup plain popcorn kernels into a lunch-sized paper bag and fold the top of the bag shut with 5 small folds. Microwave on HIGH until popped. (2-3 minutes) I haven't tried larger popping larger batches yet. Anyway, I bet this recipe will be awesome :)

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