“Since hunger is the most primitive and permanent of human wants, men always want to eat, but since their wish not to be a mere animal is also profound, they have always attended with special care to the manners which conceal the fact that at the table we are animals feeding.” - John Erskine

06 September 2011

Critter Crunch vs. Muddy Buddies

Not long ago I got an e-mail from my best friend in junior high, who moved to New Mexico just before her 16th birthday.  She was traveling “home” with her MUCH OLDER sister – who was coming to attend her 30 year high school reunion (sorry to throw you under the bus, Kim, but I’d rather admit your age than my own!) – and wanted to hang with me and our two “old” friends while her sister partied.  While I get to see our other two friends quite often (I live in a house with boys – they help me get some girly time with lunch and pedicures) it’s been several years since any of us last saw Mel, and we had an awesome party of our own.  We even watched a video of ourselves at 15.  Talk about a kick in the pants!  (Sometimes I wish I could be young like that again.  Wasnt I cute?)

This is me and Andrea when we were about 15.

This is me and Melanie when we were about 15.


This is Mindy when she was about 18.  I know we took some of those photo booth pictures too, but I couldnt find one of us.
Of course, no party is complete without food.  For my contribution I pulled out the big (and last minute) guns – Chex Muddy Buddies.  I also thought it would be a good chance to try out a new recipe – Critter Crunch – and to compare the two.  And now it’s your turn.  New recipe first:

Critter Crunch
makes about 8 cups
source: www.tasteofhome.com
¼ cup butter, cubed
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1½ cups Crispix
1½ cups Cherrios
1½ cups animal crackers
1½ cups honey bear-shaped crackers
1 cup bite-sized Shredded Wheat
1 cup miniature pretzels

In a saucepan or microwave-safe bowl, heat the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon until butter is melted; stir until blended.  In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.  Add butter mixture and toss to coat. 

Place on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake, uncovered, at 300° for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. 

Store in an airtight container.

I was in such a rush to get it made and get to the party I didn’t take a picture.  You can find one on the website if you need it.  The consensus was that it tastes a lot like cinnamon toast.  Not hard to understand why my littlest loved it.

Chex Muddy Buddies 
makes about 9 cups
source: www.bettycrocker.com
9 cups Chex Cereal
(doesnt matter which varieties, but I think rice tastes better for these, followed by corn and wheat only when necessary.)
¼ cup butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1½ cups powdered sugar 

Place cereal in a large bowl.
Place chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in medium microwave safe bowl.  Microwave at HIGH 1 minute; stir.  Microwave 30 seconds more or until smooth when stirred.  Stir in vanilla.  Pour chocolate mixture over cereal, stirring until all pieces are evenly coated.

Pour mixture into large plastic bag; add powdered sugar, shake until pieces are well coated.  Spread on waxed paper to cool.

Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

At the party Melanie was talking about some kind of snack mix she calls edible crack, because it’s so addictive.  I haven’t tried her recipe yet (you REALLY need to send that to me Mel!) but this is totally mine.  What is it about the combination of chocolate and peanut butter?  I totally can’t stop eating it.  Good for me (and my waistline – which, ok, is mostly non-existent, or too existent!)   I usually only make it for birthdays.

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