Bon’s Party Mix

Some people call this snack nuts and bolts, but it’s party mix to me. I only make this party mix around the holidays or for a party because if left alone to my devices, I will eat the whole bowl and it becomes a party of one. Party mix dates back to the 1950s and I like all thing vintage–including my snacks. The bowl that nestles these tasty morsels is a vintage 1950s Medalta crockery bowl from Medicine Hat. I love the worn glaze and cracks in the bowl and it’s perfect for holding my party mix. Back to this recipe. It follows traditional party mix recipes, but has a few grown up refinements. Fresh garlic is steeped into the melted butter and Dijon mustard and fresh lemon juice compliments the tangy Worcestershire sauce. And I added just a smidge of cayenne pepper for a bit of heat. It goes down well at happy hour with a glass of chilled white wine. -bvox

Bon’s Party Mix

Inspired by Bon Appetit

  • 3 cups bugles
  • 4 cups Crispex cereal (or Chex)
  • 3 cups small twisted pretzels
  • 1 cup blanched or roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 6 Tbsp butter (I used Earth’s Balance vegan “butter” spread)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 250°. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add garlic and gently cook to infuse butter, about 5 minutes. Strain into a small bowl, pressing to extract garlic juices; discrad garlic. Stir in Worchestershire, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, paprika, cayenne pepper and pepper. Pour over mixture in bowl and gently toss to coat.

Divide mixture between 2 baking sheets and spread in an even layer. Bake, stirring avery 15 minutes, until dry and toasted, about 45 minutes. Let cool completely on baking sheets (party mix will become crispy as it cools).

Transfer party mix to a large bowl and devour right away!

Can be made 1 week ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

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Cherry Crumb Cake

If life is a bowl of cherries, than what is a freshly baked cherry crumb cake? Not to wax poetic but the cherry season is so short and when the cherries come in from British Columbia, I get excited and then get busy in the kitchen. I usually make some type of preserve with cherries but decided to make this cake after browsing a past issue of Baked from Scratch magazine. Continue reading

Chickpea Coconut Curry with Roasted Squash and Cauliflower

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This vegetable curry recipe was inspired by one of my celebrity crushes, Vikram Vij. Vij, as he’s fondly known, is an exceptional Vancouver chef with dreamy blue eyes. The first restaurant he opened in Vancouver, Vij’s, was a game changer in the local culinary scene. Taking no reservations, people start to line up at Vij’s at 5:00pm. When I was last there, it was in the old location and we were lucky enough to get into the bar in the back of the restaurant while we waited. Vij walked around feeding us hot cassava fries that were crisp, light and flakey. The warmth and the atmosphere made me feel like I was family. If you haven’t been, you must. And I need to go back.

Onto this recipe. I wanted to make a curry that had a mild colour (read: not brown) and a heady mix of flavours. Vikram Vij’s Family Chicken Curry recipe called out to me and I took some liberties. The big difference is no chicken and instead of sour cream, I added coconut milk. It’s now vegan. I also used fresh turmeric versus dried as I spotted it at the the Granville Island market and knew my dried turmeric was old and stale. It was the first time I smelled and tasted fresh turmeric and I was delighted. It was a combination of earthy, peppery, floral and spicy aromatics. Exactly what I was going for! You can use any vegetable combinations you like and instead of roasting them, let them simmer in the pot until tender. Enjoy! -bvox

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Chickpea Coconut Curry with Roasted Squash and Cauliflower

1/2 cup canola or grapeseed oil
1 cups finely chopped onions
3 inch cinnamon stick
3 tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp chopped ginger
2 small peeled and diced potatoes
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp fresh or 1 tsp dried turmeric
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
3 tbsp garam masala
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 small cauliflower, cut up into bite size pieces
1 can chickpeas
1 can coconut milk
2 cups water
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, including stems

Preparation

Toss cubed squash with a couple tbsp oil, and salt and pepper. Place on a parchment covered baking sheet and roast in a 425 F oven for 25 mins. On another baking sheet, toss the cauliflower with oil, salt and pepper. Halfway through cooking the squash, add the cauliflower to the oven. Roast until the vegetables are tender enough to pierce with a fork and you see some charred bits on the edges. Set aside.In a large pan, heat the remaining oil (may need to add more) on medium heat for one minute. Add onions and cinnamon, and sauté for a few minutes. Add potatoes, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, salt, black pepper, turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala and cayenne. Cook this masala for 5 minutes or so.Add coconut milk and water and mix well. Increase the heat to medium-high. When curry starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium, and add the chickpeas, squash and cauliflower. Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes, while stirring two or three times until potatoes are cooked. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick.

To Serve: Divide curry evenly among six bowls. Just before serving, top with chopped cilantro. Serve with naan or rice.

Vegan Macaroni and ‘Cheese’ with Peas

Most people like pizza and grease when hungover; I turn to macaroni and cheese to fill my comfort food void. Mac and cheese is one dish that I’ve missed since taking dairy out of my diet.

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Chickpea of the Sea Sandwich

C38Vrw9UkAIGlG8.jpg-largeI make this mock ‘tuna’ salad the same way I used to make regular tuna salad: lots of pickles! This mixture gets a boost of briney flavour with the addition of pickle and caper juice.

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Almond Date Granola Bars

Up your granola bar game with these simple, healthy no-bake bars. Packed with good stuff, these bars a great guilt-free snack. Not only are the almond butter and dates a tasty combination, they bind these chewy bars together perfectly.

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Skillet Granola

skilletgranola

Making granola in a skillet couldn’t be any easier; this batch took me less than 10 minutes to make. I simply tossed all of the ingredients in the skillet, and voila!

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