Cooking soothes me.
The measuring, the stirring, the planning--they all serve to ease my mind, calm my nerves, control my breathing. So during the hustle and bustle of Christmas parties and shopping, holiday cards and stocking hanging I turn to baking and cooking to ground me when the chaos of the season threatens to overwhelm.
Unlike many people I don't see holiday food preparation as a chore. I eagerly scrawl lists and peruse cookbooks, magazines, and the internet for recipes and ideas. I spend countless hours in front of open cupboard doors just thinking, scheming, calculating. I lay in bed and literally dream of food that I plan to prepare for the ones I love.
For if the gifts are a flop or the weather is bad, if colds have invaded or unexpected news arrives everyone still has to eat. Through tears or joy we absolutely must eat, and I believe very sincerely that my job, my absolute duty is to feed you.
Over the next couple of weeks I will be posting some of my holiday recipes here. Most are cookies, but a few other goodies will also be thrown in just for fun.
Santa Fe Trail Mix
2 cups corn chips, Frito style (you can replace this with cereal if you like)
2 cups unsalted peanuts
2 cups pretzel sticks (we use small, bite sized ABC pretzels)
1 1/2 cups crispy corn cereal squares (we also add some cheerios)
1 cup pumpkin seeds (I've uses sunflower seeds in a pinch)
1/3 cup corn oil (canola also works fine)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder or to taste
1 teaspoon garlic salt or celery salt or to taste
Mix your dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl whisk together spices and wet ingredients. Pour the wet mixture over dry ingredients and stir well to coat. Pour mix into a large crockpot and cook on low for about 3 hours. Stir occasionally. Spread cooked mixture on baking sheets to cool. Store in an airtight container.
This is a big favorite in our house. You can easily substitute different cereals and nuts depending on your preferences and what you have on hand.
adapted from Robin Robertson's Fresh From The Vegetarian Slow Cooker