New Year nibbles

Monday , December 24, 2012 - 2:07 PM

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Scripps Howard News Service photo by SCOTT KEElER/Tampa Bay Times...

Janet K. Keeler

New Year’s Eve get-togethers tend to be grazing affairs of finger-friendly appetizers. This year, consider making cereal party mix to take along or serve at your own soiree. Chex markets many pre-made varieties, but you can save money and tailor the melange to your taste when you make it yourself.

Besides cereal party mixes, spiced nuts and trail mixes that don’t require cooking make tasty additions to the celebratory food table.

Most recipes make oodles of mix. Don’t cut them in half: I’ve done that and have been unhappy with the results. For some reason, halving the spices leaves the mixes a bit wan. If the name is Asian Firecracker Party Mix, I want to taste the explosion. Make the full recipe and give some away if there’s too much for your purposes.

Mixes also keep in the refrigerator for weeks if tightly covered. Heating the spices develops flavors but can also mellow them, so you might want to sprinkle more cayenne pepper at the end. To boost the color and zip of the Asian Firecracker mix, I added more wasabi peas after it had cooled. (Find the peas in your grocer’s Asian food aisle.)

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