Maybe it’s just me, but I seem to find myself in this spot often. One would think being a food blogger would keep me out of this predicament. Nope, I am pretty sure that just makes my flaws more pronounced…
What in the world am I talking about? Well, I am either referring to my current fever OR my chronic lack of meal planning. And since I can’t really figure out what a fever has to do with food — we will go with the second option. But, let’s all pay special attention to the fact that my writing is definitely more “odd” when influenced by a fever.
Back to the subject at hand – meal planning. I do not meal plan. I have never meal planned. I will never meal plan. It stresses me out. It’s like a little piece of paper is bossing me around all week and by the end of Day 1, I am “outta here”. Honestly, even reading a recipe is stressful to me — “Mix, stir, pour, spread, 1 cup this & 2 tablespoons that, bake for this long at that temperature, cool…I mean how bossy can one piece of paper be?! And trust me, reading my own recipes is no better. STRESS-FULL.
Thanks to a well-stocked pantry & fridge ((or as hubby says :: “over-stocked”)), I can pretty much come up with 8 dinner, breakfast, lunch — or in this case, snack options in 2 minutes flat. No recipes, no lists, no menus, no instructions and NO being bossed around. For some reason, that is how I do things – and it makes me happy.
This spicy trail mix is no exception to my cooking habits. I recently needed to make a few snacks for a Bible study retreat I would be attending & knew I wanted to have a few sweets and a few salty treats. Travel & no refrigeration made this task a little tricky — combined with my quirky “no-recipe” tendencies, I was feeling a little pressure.
But after a quick scour through my pantry, homemade taco seasoning and a variety of dried fruits & nuts were just what I needed to make a yummy, simple snack.
I love this recipe because you can add and omit ingredients according to your taste preferences and what’s on hand. Start off by toasting approximately 3 cups of nuts and 1½ T taco seasoning in a medium skillet along with 2 T salted butter & 1 T canola oil.
Add in your favorite combination of dried fruits — I added pineapple, cherries & apricots.
As the mixture begins to toast over medium-low flame, add 2 T cane sugar and ½ t kosher salt (basically, salt to taste — depending on whether or not your nuts and taco seasoning have added salt, you may not need any salt).
Stir to coat and spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes at 250°.
A little spicy, a hint of sweet, just the right amount of salty and the perfect crunch! No refrigeration needed, assembled in under 15 minutes and travels like a charm.
- 1½ c shelled pistachios (lightly salted)
- 1½ c shelled pecans (unsalted)
- 1½ T taco seasoning*
- 2 T salted butter
- 1 T canola oil
- ½ dried cherries
- ½ dried apricots, chopped
- ½ dried pineapple
- ½ t kosher salt
- 2 T cane sugar
- Preheat oven to 250°. Line a baking sheet wth parchment paper and set aside. In a medium skillet, over medium-low flame, stirring frequently, toast nuts & seasoning with butter and oil until butter melts and the nuts are evenly coated with seasoning. Add dried fruit & sugar, season with salt to taste (depending on the saltiness of the nuts). Continue stirring until the fruit & nuts are evenly coated with sugar & seasoning. Pour the mixture out onto the lined baking sheet arranging in a single layer. Toast the trail mix for in the oven 10 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
- *The direct link to my homemade taco seasoning recipe is in the body of this post.
- Substitue nuts and fruit according to what you like and have on hand.