Enough with the Chex Mix! A homemade snack mix is a nice alternative to having bowls of pretzels, chips or a store bought snack mix sitting out at your party. It’s just something a little different and it’s so easy to make….and much cheaper! This recipe makes a good amount but it will keep well for a few weeks in an airtight container. If you keep dry Ranch dressing packets around, you are likely to have everything you need (any variety of cracker or pretzel will work fine). This recipe also works for seasoning oyster crackers to use to top soups. In fact, at the last Columbus Soup and Bread Fundraiser last May, I served my Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup topped with Lemon-Dill Oyster Crackers (I used this recipe but added Lemon Pepper Seasoning). You can play around with all sorts of seasonings to go with different soups (chili powder or cumin to top a chili or tortilla soup, ground ginger or curry to top an Indian or Asian inspired soup). You could even use flavored oil in place of vegetable oil (or a portion of it) or replace the dry ranch dressing packet with a dry Italian dressing packet….there are endless possibilities and combinations and it’s pretty hard to mess this one up!
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
1 9 oz package oyster crackers
1 11.5 oz box of reduced fat Cheez-its
8 oz (half of a normal bag) waffle pretzels (can use no salt)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dill weed
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In large bowl combine oyster crackers, Cheez-its and pretzels (use any combo of snacks including bagel chips, Chex cereal, pretzel sticks, Gold Fish, sesame sticks or any small cracker to make a total of about 30 oz.). Drizzle with vegetable oil, mix in dried ranch dressing packet, onion powder, garlic powder and dill weed. Spray two cookie sheets lightly with non-stick spray. Spread snack mixture evenly among cookie sheets – sprinkle with more dill if desired. Cook at 250 degrees for approximately 30 minutes (after 15 minutes give it a good stir and return to oven). Store in an airtight container. Will keep for about 2-3 weeks.
**This recipe also works for seasoning Oyster Crackers for soups. To make Lemon-Dill Oyster Crackers use all oyster crackers and add 1-2 tsp of Lemon-Pepper Seasoning to the standard ingredients, and some extra fresh dill and perhaps even some lemon olive oil in place of vegetable oil (optional). Place a scoop on top of my Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup.