It’s almost fall, and around here that means football season. Sadly, the games played by my team (the Tampa Bay Buccaneers if you’re interested) aren’t usually televised, but my husband is a huge Dallas Cowboys fan, and they never miss getting their games on the major networks. Although I know that lots of people go all out with huge tailgating spreads when they watch the games, we prefer to keep it a little more low key, and just have snacks while we watch.
Growing up, pretty much every family get-together, holiday or game night had a spread of snacks. Some sweet, some savory, but all delicious. There were often baked goods, pickles, olives, crackers and cheese, but the one that stands out the most for me is the homemade nuts and bolts that my Grama and my Mom both made.
I was challenged to try and recreate a favourite snack food from my childhood, without using any recipes or consulting with my Mom, so of course nuts and bolts was the one that jumped to mind. (And, if I’m being honest, the one I figured I had the best shot at making without screwing it up, haha.) I will admit, though, that I am not the kind of girl who cooks by the seat of my pants. I’m a tried and true recipe kind of person, and I like having precise measurements for everything, so this was a challenge.
I figured I’d go for it though and hope that everyone liked what I came up with. I decided to snazz it up a bit to fit our personal tastes, and make it more cheesy and less garlicky than the version I remembered.
Cheesy Fish and Bolts
1 1/2 cups Goldfish crackers (I used the three cheese blend)
1 cup of square shredded wheat cereal (I used Shreddies)
1 cup of pretzel sticks
3 tbsp butter
3 1/2 tsp Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp pizza seasoning
Combine your Goldfish, cereal and pretzels in a large bowl.
In a microwave safe bowl, melt your butter for approximately 20 seconds. This time may vary depending on your microwave. When the butter is completely melted, pour it over the cracker mix and stir to coat. Be sure to coat everything well, otherwise the seasoning won’t stick well. You may need more or less butter depending on the kind of crackers you use. Once the mix is coated, add your Parmesan cheese and pizza seasoning and stir once again to coat the mixture. I would recommend seasoning to taste here, starting with these measurements and adding more if you like.
Heat your oven to 300 degrees F. Spread the mixture evenly on a cookie sheet and place in the oven for about 20 minutes. Every 5-7 minutes, stir or toss the mixture on the cookie sheet. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, then enjoy!
If your batch doesn’t get eaten right away, store it in an airtight container for a few days. The cool thing about this snack mix is that you can add pretty much anything you like to it. We think that it might be delicious with cheese crackers, Cheerios or even nacho chips like Doritos added in. My husband also noted that he would prefer to have even more pizza and cheese taste to the mix, so if you like a good punch of flavour, I would recommend adding even more seasonings, maybe even doubling it.
My husband was a bit skeptical at first, but I think it is pretty safe to say that both of my guys loved it. The batch that I made didn’t even last until the end of the Cowboys game. I would call that a success, wouldn’t you?
All in all, I would call this a win, even though it wasn’t quite the nuts and bolts of my childhood. Next time, and trust me, there will be a next time very soon, I will get even more creative. I hope you like this and if you try it, let me know how it worked out for you. For even more fun snack time recipes, check out the Goldfish Facebook page.
I was asked by the people at Goldfish to try and recreate a childhood snack recipe, but I am sharing it with you now because it was awesome and my family loved it, and I hope yours will too. All ideas, photographs and the recipe are mine. As always, of it wasn’t something I truly thought you’d enjoy, I wouldn’t share it with you.