April 2013


Honey-Coconut Chex Mix

Honey-Coconut Chex Mix

Who doesn’t enjoy Chex Mix? There’s more than enough recipes to satisfy every sweet or salty taste out there, and if you ever lived in Hawaii, you may have received Furikake Chex Mix from one of your aunties or coworkers at Christmas.

I prefer a salty Chex Mix, so made a variation of the original recipe found here. (the Chex cereal website has a huge selection of sweet and salty recipes, mostly with microwave directions.) After sampling the savory, garlicky flavor, I decided I wanted a sweet one, too.  I checked out a few blogger recipes and came across several variations of a recipe that uses shredded coconut and Honey Grahams cereal. It already sounds delicious, doesn’t it?

Improvise
I didn’t have corn syrup and I didn’t have Honey Grahams, so I made a few modifications. First, I used light agave syrup and honey. Next, I took one commenter’s suggestion and added a bit of coconut extract to give it a stronger, coconuttier flavor (and boy, does the kitchen smell GOOD!)  The addition of chocolate chips tastes great, but it may overshadow the wonderful coconut flavor, so you may want to sample a bit before adding a bunch of chocolate chips in your mix.

I was worried the butter-agave-honey mixture wouldn’t solidify, so I ended up baking it in the oven for 20 minutes (The Bomb Diggity recipe doesn’t need to be baked). I was glad I did. The syrup was more concentrated, intensifying the sweet, buttery flavor and created a crispy-chewy, coconut candy coating.

The Verdict
I had a feeling my husband would prefer the sweet version, so I asked him to try the salty one first. He liked it, but definitely preferred the Honey-Coconut Chex Mix. I gave him two containers of sweet and salty mixes to take to work, then started on another batch to keep at home. :)

Adapted from the Gooey Sweet Coconut Chex Mix (aka The Bomb Diggity), here is my version of a coconut Chex Mix.

Honey-Coconut Chex Mix

Honey-Coconut Chex Mix

Honey-Coconut Chex Mix
Make it Gluten-Free with GF pretzels!

Ingredients:

2 cups Rice Chex
2 cups Corn Chex
1 cup salted pretzels, twists or sticks
1/2 cup almonds (slivered or whole), macadamia nuts, or any nut you like
3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup light agave syrup
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or white chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

Combine cereals, pretzels, almonds, and unsweetened coconut in a 13″x9″x2″ baking pan. Set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, agave syrup and honey. Boil for 2-3 minutes, being careful not to let it boil over the sides. Remove from heat, stir in coconut extract.

Pour over cereal mixture and toss well with heatproof rubber spatula. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through baking.

With only 4 cups of cereal, you can use a casserole dish or rectangular cake pan.

With only 4 cups of cereal, you can use a casserole dish or rectangular cake pan.

Remove from oven and let cool for about 2 hours, stirring every 5-10 minutes (mixture will harden as it cools). You can also spread this out on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet if you don’t have time to stir the party mix, just break into small pieces when cooled. Add chocolate chips. Store in airtight container for up to 3-5 days. Makes about 6 cups.

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Week 2 of the second bathroom installation!

A little more work has been done by putting up studs (I helped a little with the shorter side):

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There wasn’t much room to work, so putting together the shorter side was REALLY difficult for my husband. It kept on falling apart here and there, so we had to improvise and lean the frame on the open door to the basement:

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Basement door in the back was open slightly, so the frame was leaning on top of it while I was holding one side and my husband was balancing on a step stool with one foot on the wall to nail the studs from the top.

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Bathroom fan will go above toilet. It will have a humidity sensor, so will automatically turn on to keep the room from getting too foggy.

There is some water damage from the upstairs bath, but we’re hoping it’s not too extensive and only the top layer will have to be replaced…but that’s for another renovation, and another post. :)

Plumbing is the next step, stay tuned!

I was looking for nursery ideas online and came across this one for a bird mobile. I like the idea of using embroidery hoops, and I used this pattern to make mine.

I was having a rough time at work so took a break from the computer and started working on the birds for the lower loop, then finished up the rest this morning:

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Bird mobile for baby’s room.

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Close up of stitching.

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Adjust the angle of the birds to make it more interesting.

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A lousy shot of the bottom up, but this is what the baby will be looking at. :)

I like how it turned out, and am ready for more stuffed animal projects!

Our house has one bathroom upstairs, and we thought it would be better to have  second one downstairs. My husband has been planning this for several months and now that the weather is getting warmer, it’s a nice time to start tearing things down. Our house is 233 years old, so we learned a lot about how people built their homes way back when.

First thing we noticed was all the odds and ends that held together the walls. You won’t see a lot of nice, even 2x4s, but rather an assortment of wood pieces, whatever pieces could be salvaged and used as support while the main beams of the house were nice and sturdy. See where that red leveler is? That wide plank isn’t a support beam, but was probably used as a surface to nail the inside wall to.

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Future site of new bathroom. There was no insulation in these two walls, so I stapled large table cloths over the doorways and pretty much avoided using this room all winter

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Drainpipe in corner will be covered with drywall. Doorway will be from the porch. One more layer of flooring to be removed.

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View from the porch. To the left of the opening is that framed-out drainpipe, door will go here. Coat closet on the right. Door to the kitchen hidden by hanging coats.

I think he’ll work on this over the weekend again, so I’ll post more pics soon…stay tuned!