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From sweet to savory, these bold recipes are brilliant party starters
No one party mix is the same.
When you hear the words "party mix," what do you think of?
If you’re thinking of the ultimate tunes to accompany your bash, you're thinking of the wrong "mix" — but don’t fret, we have plenty of playlists for you, too. Now if you’re thinking about endless combinations of your favorite snack foods, then you’re right on target.
Party mixes — also known as snack mixes — are great to serve when hosting.
They're great for game night, perfect for pairing with a wine and cheese spread, and even better when packaged up and given as favors for guests to enjoy on the way home.
The various textures, shapes, and colors create a welcoming and often nostalgic vibe that makes guests want to stick their hand in the bowl for a taste.
While we’re very aware that Chex has a serious hold on the party mix industry, we looked to the Web and found some stellar blends that push the flavor envelope big time.
Incorporating unexpected ingredients and tipping the scale in the sweet and savory balance, these mixes are packing some real punch.
Try this simple Asian-inspired spicy pork traybake for a stress-free family meal – put everything in one large roasting tin and let the oven do the work. Fluffy lemongrass rice with leeks and pak choi is topped with juicy pork chops marinated in chilli, lime and ginger for punchy layers of flavours.
- Mix the finely chopped chilli, soy, hoisin, lime juice and ginger together in a non-metallic bowl. Add the pork chops and turn to coat. Cover and leave to marinate for at least 30 mins or up to 24 hrs. Preheat the oven to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C.
- Mix the rice, leeks, lemongrass, pak choi and stock in a deep roasting tin. Top with the pork and all the marinade, then bake for 30 mins until the pork is cooked through and the rice is tender.
- Garnish with the roughly chopped coriander and sliced chilli. Serve with lime wedges to squeeze over.
For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.
As part of a healthy balanced diet, we recommend this recipe for a special occasion or treat.
Photo courtesy of simonianfarms.com
5. Hawaiian Blend
Mix dried pineapple, coconut flakes, macadamia nuts and white chocolate chunks or chips.
6. Crazy for Berries
Mix dried gogi berries, dried blueberries, dried cherries, dried cranberries and raisins (you can also purchase chocolate-covered versions for a sweeter blend).
OUR 15 FAVORITE ESSENTIAL OIL RECIPES
Morning Refresher Essential Oil Recipe Blend
This blend is a great way to wake up as it increases mental alertness (which is also great for an afternoon pick-me-up) and stimulates. 4 drops Wild Orange + 4 drops Peppermint
Summertime Essential Oil Recipe Blend
Refresh and cleanse your space, and your palette with this summertime scent! 3 drops Grapefruit + 3 drops Lavender + 2 drops Lemon + 2 drops Spearmint
Liquid Sunshine Essential Oil Recipe Blend
Cheer up your home with a citrusy blend of liquid sunshine. 3 drops Wild Orange + 3 drops Grapefruit + 2 drops Lemon + 2 drops Bergamot
Allergy Relief Essential Oil Recipe Blend
To keep clear breathing and healthy immune response in allergy ridden spring and summer months, keep this blend handy, and well as apply to the bottom of your feet if you feel allergy symptoms. 3 drops Peppermint + 3 drops Lavender + 3 drops Lemon
Silent Night Essential Oil Recipe Blend
In the evening, as we begin nightly routines with the kids, this is a great blend to sweetly set the mood for sleep. 3 drops Lavender + 3 drops Wild Orange + 3 drops Roman Chamomile
Citrus Fresh Recipe Blend
A great way to purify the air while also making your home smell like you’ve spent the day cleaning – really though, you are sanitizing the air! 1-2 drops each of Lemon + Lime + Wild Orange + Grapefruit + Bergamot
Get Focused Essential Oil Recipe Blend
Diffuse to get your head in the game. 2 drops Peppermint + 2 drops Cinnamon + 1 drop Rosemary
Just Breathe Essential Oil Blend
Use this blend for great protection, to boost respiratory function and to help clear congestion–especially during cold and flu season. 2 drops Lemon + 1 drop Lime + 2 drops Peppermint + 1 drop Rosemary + 2 drops Eucalyptus + 1 drop Clove
Germ Buster Essential Oil Recipe Blend
During cold and flu season, say goodbye to 99% of airborne bacteria by diffusing this blend. 4 drops Shield + 2 drops Lemon + 1 drop Melaleuca
Headache Relief Diffuser Blend
While Peppermint is great for relieving headaches when rubbed on the temples and back of the neck (and Clary Sage for hormonal headaches), you can also diffuse a blend that will help bring continued relief to the toughest headaches. 1-2 drops each of Marjoram + Thyme + Rosemary + Peppermint + Lavender
Cool It Essential Oil Recipe Blend
To cool you down on a hot spring or summer day as well as ward off the creepy crawlies while you’re letting in a breeze, diffuse this blend. 4 drops Spearmint + 4 drops Peppermint + 4 drops Citronella , + 1 drop Lemongrass
Wind Down Essential Oil Blend
To help calm your mind and emotions after a long day, try this relaxing blend to relieve stress. 4 drops Lavender + 2 drops Cedarwood + 2 drops Wild Orange + 1 drop Ylang Ylang
Be Happy Diffuser Recipe Blend
Adding these oils together creates a mood-boosting blend that is great when you’re having people over and are ready to entertain. 3 drops Bergamot + 2 drops Geranium + 3 drops Lavender
Sleepytime Essential Oil Recipe Blend
One of my favorite ways to fall asleep is with Cedarwood , it slows me right down. I rub it on my big toes at night and diffuse as well. 4 drops Cedarwood + 3 drops Lavender
Spiced Cider Diffuser Blend
Even when it’s nowhere near fall, and we do share more fall/winter favorites here, this is one that I love to use year-round to calm and ground me. 4 drops Wild Orange + 3 drops Cinnamon + 3 drops Ginger
A few of our favorite essential oil diffusers:
Like these essential oil recipes and best smelling essential oil blends? Check out our Holiday Blend Essential Oil Recipes too!
Think this post is worth a read? Please share… I’d greatly appreciate it!
*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. None of the information on this blog is intended to cure, treat, or heal any disease. Please use essential oils at your own risk with lots of common sense. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
10 geeky drinks for your next nerdy party (or night at home)
The past decade has seen the rise of geeky bars, in which you can relax in a nerdy atmosphere with an equally nerdy drink in hand. Perhaps one of the most well-known is in Brooklyn, where The Way Station offers geeky drinks and channels Doctor Who with select décor and cocktails.
Luckily, those not in New York no longer need a TARDIS to travel there to try one of the creations offered at this fine beverage establishment. Thanks to a new book by Way Station owner Andy Heidel called The Cocktail Guide to the Galaxy, anyone anywhere in time and space can give his drinks a try.
The Cocktail Guide to the Galaxy contains more than 100 recipes inspired by everything from 12 Monkeys to Young Frankenstein. Heidel told SYFY WIRE he came up with the idea for trying to write it after seeing other bars releasing their own cocktail books. The book doesn't just include recipes with some awesome illustrations, though -- it also features tips for enjoying a night out from Heidel and others. There are Heidel Hints throughout like the Hydration Protocol to remind people to drink a glass of water in between each cocktail and the Food Directive to remind people to eat before going out to drink.
"Even some of my seasoned bartenders forget to eat every once in a while, and they have a couple of drinks and then next thing they know, they don’t know anything," Heidel said. "Then at The Way Station, we get a lot first time bar-goers, so I worked on essays with my bartenders about tipping etiquette and bar etiquette."
There's a lot you can get out of this deliciously geeky book, but what about those cocktails? Heidel shared his 10 favorites from the guide with SYFY WIRE, including two with recipes that you can try yourself below!
If you’re a fan of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, then this cocktail created by Douglas Adams will be familiar to you. Heidel has been a fan of Adams’ for a long time.
“Years and years ago, I must have been 11 or 12, my best friend at the time who I was playing Dungeons & Dragons with ended up getting a copy of [Hitchhiker’s] and started reading some passages aloud to me. I was just rolling on the floor laughing,” he said. “I got myself a copy and read through it again and again. In college, I was lucky enough to meet Douglas Adams when he gave a lecture at my school. He was one of the first authors that made me want to write.”
If this drink was going into the cocktail book, Heidel knew he had to give it 3,000 percent instead of going with previous versions, which were an easy drink that looked colorful.
“I put the most dangerous Earth ingredients in it that I could find that were legally available and when I first made it and tried it, my hands literally shot away from my body. I knew I made something dangerous,” Heidel said. “When I had it for sale at the bar, I limited consumption to only one cocktail.”
Hearing that, it’s wise to take Adams’ advice, which Heidel notes in his book introducing this drink as well, and bring along a towel when you try this!
Pour all the ingredients into a large glass filled with ice. Stir, then strain into a fancy glass and garnish with lemon peel.
(Illustration - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Cocktail: Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. Credit: Kati Delaney)
Here is a list of 11 best juice recipes that you can prepare at home. So go on, juice up!
1. Watermelon Lychee Granita
A refreshing way to beat the heat. Throw in rsome watermelon pieces along with ginger, mint leaves, lemon and lychee topped with lots of ice!
2. Cool Kiwi Juice
A tall glass of refreshing drink with cucumber, kiwi and the zing of Thai ginger.
3. Aam Ras
The fruit of the summer shines its way into your glass. A lovely blend of mango pulp, lime juice and spices.
4. Ananas Da Panna
A twist to the popular mango drink, this recipe calls for fresh pineapple pulp which is blended with cumin powder, black salt and lime juice.
5. Lychee and Dill Juice
Make the most of lychees by using them to make this delicious summer cooler. Add lime and fresh dill for some zing.
6. Very Berry Khatta
Enjoy the tangy notes of mulberries, lime, orange, grape juice and kala khatta in this tantalising beverage.Tangy, sweet and everything delicious! Image credits: iStock
7. Virgin Punch
Fruity, with an instant power to boost up your energy levels, this juice recipe makes the most of fruits like apple, mango, orange and some sparkling lemonade.
8. Grape Nectar
A sweet and tangy mixture of grape juice, lemon chunks and lychees. Overcome the summer heat with this cool mocktail.
Time to reboot. Shake up this simple and incredibly delicious plum smoothie using juicy plums. This recipe of a refreshing plum drink is uses pureed plums and condensed milk which will cool you down instantly on a hot summer day.
10. Orange and Basil Juice
Orange and basil come together to create this revitalizing drink which is perfect to beat the heat. Top it up with ice and enjoy.
11. Pomegranate Juice
Detox with this refreshing ayurvedic juice, packed with the goodness of beetroot and pomegranate. Beetroot is a cleanser in itself, when added with aloe vera and pomegranate this juice helps in building a strong immune system!
Homemade Baking Mix (Bisquick)
Baking mix, such as Bisquick, can be convenient to use now and then, but you may not always have it on hand. Or you may not want some of those extra chemicals that are found in a commercial mix. Also, some of my friends have told me that baking mix is not available in their area. Here's an easy way to make your own.
[After I first published this, I have done a little more experimenting. In response to readers' questions, I have tried this recipe using butter instead of shortening, and it worked great. I used very cold butter I even put it in the freezer for 5 minutes before using. Also in response to questions, I tried using a combination of all purpose and whole wheat flour: half AP and half WW. I sifted the whole wheat flour before measuring. Again, this combination worked beautifully, and it made delicious biscuits. I also tried adding some baking soda to the recipe, and I think I prefer the texture of the baked products when using the baking soda. It works fine without it, I just kind of like it better "with". I have adjusted the recipe to reflect these changes].
Homemade Baking Mix
Makes 1 cup of baking mix equivalent
Can double or triple recipe
1 cup all-purpose flour (or 1/2 cup all purpose and 1/2 cup whole wheat)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening (such as Crisco) or cold butter
1. Whisk or sift dry ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Cut in shortening or cold butter with a pastry blender until you get a fairly uniform mixture with lumps the size of small peas.
If not using immediately, refrigerate in an airtight container.
Shared at these great parties!
Recipe adapted from Food.com
You might also enjoy these Yesterfood recipes that call for baking mix:
11 Travel-Ready Recipes for the Road
This nut mix is so delicious, you should invite a couple of your best friends over to share. The result? Instant party.
Deliciously retro and spicy, these cheese-and-pepper finger sandwiches are anything but delicate &mdash great for enjoying after a tour around the local attraction.
The simple turkey sandwich, a favorite of most families, gets a lift from fresh spinach leaves and tangy lemon mayo.
Barley is versatile enough to be served warm or at room temperature, as in this terrific salad with walnuts, parsley, and salty bits of ricotta salata cheese in a lemon-garlic vinaigrette. Because the salad has cheese, we recommend storing it in the cooler until mealtime.
This grown-up ham and cheese boasts a playful mix of flavors, including savory ham, sweet fig jam, spicy arugula leaves, and earthy blue cheese. The result: an Italian-style marvel great for picnics and on-the-go meals.
Even More Cute Cupcake Recipes For Summer
Lime Blueberry Cupcakes | These stunning cupcakes are the perfect combination of sweet and zesty. Everyone is going to go crazy over how awesome they taste!
Strawberry Cupcakes | Wonderful cupcake for your next summer barbecue or party. You are going to love the subtle strawberry flavor and how moist they are.
Maraschino Cherry Pineapple Cupcakes | These are impossible to eat without a giant smile on your face. They are bright, cheery and taste heavenly!
Chocolate Angel Food Cupcakes | You still need a little bit of chocolate even in the summer. Angel food cake that is going to melt in your mouth and leave you begging for more!
Lemon Chiffon Cupcakes | Elegant and tasty these cupcakes are out of this world! The lemon cream cheese frosting is an explosion of delicious flavors!
I hope you enjoy these fun summer cupcake recipes. I know I have quite a few I have on the list to make this year.
We love cupcakes and have lots of family gatherings we will probably attend, so it is a good excuse to make some and share with our loved ones.