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I didn’t watch much of college anything until grad school. Never one to paint my face blue and gold on Game Day, I was about as exciting as the white petunias sitting in your neighbor’s drought-ridden window garden.
Then basketball season came one year and suddenly I began noticing things. No, not the cute guy wearing a school jersey. (Okay, maybe a little–who doesn’t look cuter dressed from head to foot in school spirit?). I was staring at the long line behind him, filled with hardcore fans and team gear and an excited babble that refused to die down. And that’s when I started to think…huh!
Throw in a bowl of homemade snack mix and you can count me in for the fun 🙂
Last week we were visiting Seattle and happened to arrive at the arena just as a bunch of fans congregated for the latest championship game. We didn’t end up buying last-minute tickets since we had a flight to catch (though trust me–he was sorely tempted!), but we did linger around watching all the buzz and excitement around the upcoming face-off, nibbling at our donuts and secretly wishing for a TV and bowl of snack mix to reward our vigilant abstention.
In fact, I am eternally grateful to basketball and all the snacky cravings it’s inspired in me this month, because that’s how this Cheez-It spicy snack mix was born. As of earlier this year, I became equally obsessed with the game and this perfect game day food.
If somebody told me that chucking my last bag of snack mix at our school mascot would guarantee a victory on the court, I’d have one heck of a time deciding which one I’d rather keep. (Don’t worry, I’d pick my team–but only barely.)
Did I mention that this snack mix is filled with Cheez-It Grooves Zesty Cheddar Ranch? I bought two boxes and am seriously obsessed with the stuff: it’s salty, cheesy, zesty, and ranchified, all in one. I decided it would be the perfect addition to one of my favorite microwave snack mix recipes, which I spiced up with ingredient of gochujang (a Korean red pepper paste) and soy sauce.
And as usual, I was right to go with my gut. The unusual combination of ingredients sent this snack mix soaring net-high and was a major slam dunk with all of my pals, who could really taste it but didn’t know what the secret ingredients were! And you can bet they were super excited about this new Cheez-It variety. You can find Cheez-Its Grooves (including Original Cheddar and Sharp White Cheddar flavors) in the Crackers aisle of your local Target:
Aside from the seasonal excitement, I really could do with more of this wonderful snack-inspiring sport. I’m 110% in love with spicy-salty right now, and it’s going to take a lot to convince me otherwise.
So yeah–grab your bowls, your gear, and game on!
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What’s your favorite edible way to enjoy game season?
- 6 cups square rice cereal
- 1 cup bite-sized pretzels
- 1-2 cups dry add-ins of your choice (garlic bagel chips, mixed nuts, etc.)
- 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
- 1/4 cup soy sauce (or Worcestershire sauce--if using, do not add sugar)
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- 3 tablespoons gochujang sauce or 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, to taste
- 2 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 cups Cheez-It Grooves, any flavor
- In a very large microwave-safe bowl, combine cereal, pretzels, and dry add-ins of your choice (not including Cheez-Its).
- In a separate small bowl, mix together melted butter, soy sauce, white sugar, gochujang sauce, garlic salt, and onion powder. Pour over dry ingredients, using two spoons to toss ingredients until thoroughly coated.
- Microwave for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring every 1-2 minutes to break apart the pieces and make sure everything is still coated. Spread mix on paper towels to cool. Once cooled, toss the mix together with the Cheez-It Grooves and serve. Game on!