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In your pantry: Snack Attack

Shake up the after school snack routine with these kid friendly recipes that I found on the back of the box of Kroger's Rice and Corn bitz cereals.



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Rancho Deluxe Mix

9 cups Rice or Corn bitz, or combination of the two

2 cups bite sized garlic flavor bagel chips, or regular size broken into 1-inch pieces

1 cup mini-sized pretzels

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon dill weed1/4 teaspoon lemon and herb seasoning, optional

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1 package ranch salad mix, dry

Preheat oven 250 degrees. In open roasting pan, combine cereal, bagel chips and pretzels. In a small bowl, combine vegetable oil, dill weed, lemon and herb seasoning and garlic powder. Gradually pour over cereal mixture; stir until all pieces are evenly coated. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, stirring every ten minutes. Gradually sprinkle salad dressing mix over cereal mixture; stir until all pieces are evenly coated. Spread on absorbent paper to cool. Store in airtight container. Makes 12 cups.

Microwave directions: In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine cereals, bagel chips and pretzels. In a small bowl, combine vegetable oil, dill weed, lemon and herb seasoning and garlic powder. Gradually pour over cereal mixture; stir until pieces are evenly coated. Microwave on HIGH for 3 to 4 minutes*, stirring thoroughly every minute with rubber spatula and scraping sides and bottom of bowl. Gradually sprinkle salad dressing mix over cereal mixture; stir until pieces are evenly coated. Spread on absorbent paper to cool. Store in airtight container.

Peanutty Chocolate Mix

8 cups Rice or Corn bitz, or combination of the two

1/3 cup peanuts

1/4 cup raisins, optional

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

2/3 cups peanut butter

1 1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar

In a large bowl combine cereals peanuts and raisins; set aside. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate chips and peanut butter until smooth, stirring often. Remove from heat. Pour chocolate mixture over cereal mixture; stir until all pieces are evenly coated. Pour powdered sugar into large resealable plastic bag; add cereal mixture. Seal securely and shake until all pieces are well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container. Makes about 9 cups.

Microwave directions: In a large bowl combine cereal, peanuts and raisins; set aside. In small microwave same bowl, combine chocolate chips and peanut butter. Microwave on high for 1 to 1/2 minutes* or until smooth stirring after 1 minute. Pour chocolate mixture over cereal mixture; stir until all pieces are evenly coated. Seal securely and shake until all pieces are well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container. Makes 12 cups.



South of the Border Mix

6 tbsp margarine or butter

1 package taco seasoning mix, dry

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

8 cups Rice or Corn bitz, or combination of the two

1 cup peanuts

1 cup mini-sized pretzels

1 cup bite-sized cheese crackers

In preheated 250 degree oven, melt margarine in open roasting pan. Stir in taco seasoning, Worcestershire sauce and pepper sauce. Gradually add cereals, peanuts, pretzels and cheese crackers; stir to coat evenly. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on absorbent paper to cool. Store in airtight container. Makes 11 cups.

Microwave Directions: In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt margarine on HIGH, Stir in taco seasoning, Worcestershire sauce and pepper sauce. Gradually add cereals, peanuts, pretzels and cheese crackers; stir to coat evenly. Microwave on HIGH 5 to 6 minutes*, stirring thoroughly with rubber spatula every 2 minutes and scraping sides and bottom of bowl. Spread on absorbent paper to cool. Store in airtight containers. Makes about 11 cups.

* Due to differences in microwave ovens, cooking time is approximate.



Photo: From bottom to top: Rancho Deluxe Mix, Peanutty Chocolate Mix and South of the Border Mix. Heather Witherspoon

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