Secret Ingredient Party Mix

15326316_1473468122666873_8523108680417456618_oThere’s a long history behind my family’s party mix recipe. My mom made it every year at Christmas time, incorporating a secret ingredient that made the day even better, because we would get bacon for breakfast that day. Yes, the secret ingredient is bacon grease. You simply fix a pound or more of bacon, saving the liquid grease–then adding enough melted butter to make 2 cups.

It was always great going home for Christmas, because we knew that there’d be bowls of the party mix scattered here and there in the house. Perfect for munching while playing card or board games–always another ingredient of Christmas in my parents’ home.



You can pick up these round tins inexpensively at dollar or discount stores.

You can pick up these round tins inexpensively at dollar or discount stores.





Mom shared it with guests, too — buying inexpensive metal containers for gift-giving, like this one.

I began making the party mix a few years into our marriage–and our four kids grew up loving it, too. In fact, on a monthly or more frequent basis I sent a good-sized box of it to our son Joshua when he was serving in Afghanistan several years ago. Sweets were appreciated, certainly, but I quickly learned that the party mix was loved and even hoarded from the other troops.

So, here’s the recipe–the taste of home for the Holm/McHenry family.


I use these large roasting pans for the mix.

I use these large roasting pans for the mix.



Gently mix the following in two large roasting pans:

1 box Rice Chex (don’t substitute a cheaper brand)

1 box Corn Chex

1 box Wheat Chex

1 large can potato sticks

16 oz. bag pretzel sticks

24 oz. roasted peanuts

Stir together the following in a saucepan:

Bacon grease from 1 lb. or more of bacon — with enough melted butter added to make a total of 2 cups

1 T. Tobasco sauce

2 T. Worcestershire sauce

1 t. garlic salt

1 t. onion salt

1 t. seasoned salt

Pour the melted mixture as evenly as possible over the dry cereal mix and stir gently.

Place the roasting pans in a 300 degree oven for 45 minutes — stirring the mixture every 15 minutes. Let the party mix completely cool before storing in containers.

Makes about 4 gallons of party mix.


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