Category Archives: Snacks

Wheatless Wednesday – Key Lime Pie Puppy Chow


We still appear to be knee-deep in winter.  Sure, the snow melted over the weekend, and we had a couple days of 40 degrees.  But it’s still cold, and there’s still snow predicted over the next week or so.  Is spring coming?  Well, yes, I feel the promise of it in the air as the darkness doesn’t seem to completely encompass the world.  And I did see a robin last week (the fact that he’s probably one of the crazy ones who stayed behind last fall is beside the point).  Yes, I still hold out hope for a good wallop of snow that warrants a snow day and forces us to stay inside playing games and baking.  But I’m also completely ready to be done with puffy infant snow suits, hats and gloves,  zipping up winter coats, and finger-numbing steering wheels.

Here’s where I’m thankful we are a world of global commerce, thankful that we don’t limit ourselves to a local market.  I’m all for supporting local farms and business, but I also like bananas and oranges and strawberries and limes.  And chocolate.  I really like chocolate.  (I’m pretty sure cacao trees don’t grow in Ohio at any time of year.)  A little sunshine and vitamin C on my plate is much appreciated in the dead of winter!  And just imagine having to shovel snow without the promise of hot chocolate…

Today I give you a bit of tropical to enjoy whether you’re experiencing 70° and a warm breeze or -7° and gusty winds.  It’s an adaptation from the Chex™ Lemon Buddies recipe.  Because I favor limes over lemons, I have a bag of limes in my fridge more often than lemons.  So that’s what I used.  I added the dried cranberries for bit of chewy tartness and the pretzels for extra salty crunch.  Either can be left out as you want, especially if you need it to be gluten-free (or substitute with gluten-free pretzels).  If you want a truer key lime pie experience, you may want to swap out some of the Chex™ for Golden Grahams™.

Let’s thumb our noses at winter!  Grab a large bowl, some limes, and your flip flops and think spring!


Key Lime Pie Puppy Chow

You’ll need 2 small limes for this recipe.  Corn Chex™ may be used in place of the rice.

  • 1-1/4 cups vanilla baking chips
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 4 tsp finely grated lime zest 
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 9 cups Rice Chex™ cereal
  • 1 cup pretzels (optional)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Place vanilla chips, butter, lime zest, and lime juice in large microwavable bowl.  Heat for 1 minute; stir.  If mixture is not completely melted, heat at 15 second intervals, stirring after each, until mixture is smooth.

Add cereal and pretzels, if using.  Stir to coat mixture.  Add powdered sugar and carefully toss to coat (or place mixture in a resealable plastic bag, add sugar, seal, and shake to coat).

Add dried cranberries.  Let cool as necessary.  Store in airtight container.


Wheatless Wednesday — Grocery List Guacamole


Fact: chances are very good that when you’re entering a guacamole contest, good avocados that will ripen at just the right time are hard to find.  You will buy a small stash and dutifully place them in a brown paper bag for a couple days.  And yet you will probably have to make an early morning emergency run to the grocery store the day of the contest to find avocados even close to what you need because those little friends in the brown paper bag didn’t get the memo that you need them. Now

It will have snowed a couple of inches the night before.  In a city that is surprisingly ill-prepared for snowfall.  And once you get to the grocery store and have gently pressed every avocado in the produce department, you find a few that show promise and will (hopefully) mash up nicely.  And naturally, they’re not cheap (they’ll go on sale tomorrow). 

So, you go home and carefully slice through them.  At least two of the three of them aren’t brown in the middle.  You mix up your best guacamole with an ingredient list that matches the length and variety of your monthly grocery list, drive downtown (through the snow), and do your best to find a parking spot.  There are plenty, but where the lines are is anyone’s guess.  You hand over your container of mushed green stuff and walk around the indoor market three times before succumbing to one of the best and largest cinnamon rolls you’ve ever had while waiting for the contest to begin.  

And then you stand and nervously watch the judges eating guacamole at 9 o’clock in the morning.  Yours is first, and you are praying that the lady who brought hers in as the judges were sitting down and picking up their spoons doesn’t win because — snow or no snow — it was supposed to be submitted at 8:30 (though later you cut her a little slack because you find out that she also had to make an emergency run to the grocery store that morning for ripe avocados).  After 30 minutes and the tasting of 8 entries, your guacamole (the one with bacon and beer) ties for second place because it doesn’t have enough heat. (Did you know guacamole is supposed to be spicy?) Your recipe loses to the one that tastes like chili seasonings.  At least it wasn’t made by Eleventh Hour Lady.

A few weeks ago, I found myself in such a situation.  I’m really not bitter about not winning and walking away with only my leftover guacamole in hand (there was no prize for second place).  It was a good experience and an excuse to make guacamole — a little bit of cantina in an otherwise long stretch of winter.  And who doesn’t need a little cantina when it’s snowing out?  🙂


Laundry List Guacamole

  • 1 Roma tomato
  • 4 avocados
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 Roma tomato, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (leave some seeds in for a bit of heat)
  • 3 tomatillos, peeled and chopped (optional, but a nice addition)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • juice and zest from one lime
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. beer, optional (a good hoppy IPA preferred)

Chop tomato and place on paper towel to remove extra moisture.  Cut avocados, remove pit, and scoop out flesh.  Mash in medium bowl until chunky consistency.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  If not serving immediately, wait to add bacon, cilantro, and beer until serving time.