Ben calls me the Snack Monster. I mean, not all the time, but he definitely knows when my munching moods are coming... On one of our first dates he actually stopped for snacks on the way to dinner because he could just tell I wasn’t going to make it to the restaurant without sustenance on the way! Hahaha this is a fact. He was right. I would have melted.
The Snack Monster is coming when you hear one of two phrases - either “I’m starving...” OR “I’m not that hungry.”
The last time I claimed I wasn’t that hungry I decided to skip dinner. Why eat when you’re not hungry? I did feel like munching on a Chocolate Chip Cookie though; ya know, just something small and sweet. So I baked one up with some dough I had in my freezer.
After the cookie, I thought it might be nice to have something salty, which led me to make some popcorn... I always like to eat something salty after I eat something sweet... I can’t explain the craving but I can’t be the only one! Sweet and Salty really is the perfect combination!
The problem is, is that it is too perfect!! The cycle never ends!! So after the popcorn, I thought a waffle sounded fantastic!! I made a waffle (also premade and frozen in my freezer) and smothered it in PB and homemade raspberry jam. I slowly gobbled it up, enjoying a glass of Chocolate Almond Milk on the side.
So, as you can see, I wasn’t that hungry, I was just in need of a plethora of snacks!
My life could not exist without snacks and I don’t think yours should either!! So below I’ve written up the recipes to my three all-time favorite salty snacks!
Homemade Chex Mix - so addicting it was nicknamed “The Crack” at RylieCakes.
Garlic-Parmesan Popcorn - wait until you try it, the entire bowl will be gone in no time!
Oh-My-God-I-Cannot-Believe-This-Is-So-Fucking-Good Salmon Dip - really, it is unbelievable how tasty it is!
I will discuss a little bit about each recipe separately but there are a few things you need to know that applies to all three, so here they are first:
All of these recipes pair perfectly with white, red, and rose wine. I personally taste tested all three types of wine with all three recipes and I am happy to report that each combo was a great success!!
All of these snacks are great party food, whether it be a summer BBQ or a cozy winter hang out, these snacks will have your guests begging for more (and they probably won’t have room for dinner...).
All of these snacks are fantastic meal options. I have been known to skip a dinner or two in order to binge on Chex Mix, devour an entire bowl of Garlic-Parmesan Popcorn, or snuggle up with a tub of Salmon Dip in my lap, dunking in endive spears and crackers. Meal of champions!
I’m not really sure you need to know more, I feel like these snacks are already speaking for themselves but I’ll carry on...
Homemade Chex Mix
This has got to be one of the easiest recipes on the planet to make!! Simply toss together all the ingredients and you are ready to bake! It takes an hour to bake AND the whole time it is baking, your kitchen is filling up with savory, mouthwatering aromas - it really is quite the tease. We used to joke at RylieCakes that we should bottle up the smell of Chex Mix and use it as perfume :)
In the recipe, you will see it calls for Milton Crackers. These are my favorite GF crackers!! They are perfectly crisp and satisfyingly salty. However wonderful these crackers may be, there are several options here!! Today I used Kettle Hot Jalapeño Potato Chips instead and they totally gave the mix a kick!! You could throw in cheese crisps, popcorn, or mini rice cakes – whatever you choose, the mix is bound to be amazing!
P.s. I use heaping measurements on the spices in this recipe!
You all have my mom to thank for this bad boy. Growing up my mom had really awful migraines and Garlic-Parmesan Popcorn was her go-to food. She would make a huge bowl and munch on it all day, rarely sharing. My mom would also whip some up for movie nights, afternoon snacks, and breakfast on Sunday mornings and during these times, she shared! It was hands-down the most flavorful, mind-blowing snack every single time!! My mom has never actually written a recipe for her creation though, so I decided to jot one down to share the goodness with you!!
The salt says “QS” which means Quantity Sufficient. In other words, add as much salt or as little salt as you’d like!! What I like to do is mix up the freshly popped popcorn with the butter mixture and Parmesan; I then season lightly with salt and pepper. Next, I taste test a bite, then I sprinkle on more salt, then I eat some more, then I fold in some more salt... this goes on and on until it is just right!! I recommend going slow because once the popcorn is over salted, there is no going back.
And yes, you really do refrigerate the popcorn before eating!! You can eat it warm but it won’t be as flavorful; letting it sit for an hour allows the flavors to meld and soak into the popcorn. It is only then that you can get the true (and sensational) buttery, garlicky combination and the full flavor explosion of the Parmesan mixed in with it.
Oh-My-God-I-Cannot-Believe-This-Is-So-Fucking-Good Salmon Dip
Yes, this dip is SO good it deserves a curse word in its name!! This recipe probably is the easiest recipe on the planet – take that Chex Mix! All you do is combine everything in one bowl, refrigerate it overnight, and then add some extra salt in the morning if you see fit.
In case you were wondering, it MUST be refrigerated overnight in order to develop its full force of flavors!! If you eat it right away, it just tastes like lightly seasoned mayonnaise; it is nothing to write home about. So make it a day ahead of time, pat yourself on the back for waiting overnight, and then dig in!!
Muriel’s Dip is made locally in Washington so I am assuming it will be hard to find out of the state. I found The Dip Shack online and they sell Muriel’s!! I promise you, it is worth the time to get, let’s say, 10 pouches of seasoning sent your way :)
And lastly, GF Smoked Salmon can be hard to find depending on where you live. I personally love Trident Smoked Salmon because it is sold at our local Costco and on Amazon, which makes it easy to come by. Plus, it has amazing flavor!!
There you have it, the three best salty snacks ever that you can munch on forever and ever because they are so good it is impossible to put them down!! So stop listening to me blab and go make all three!! You heard me, every single one; you won’t regret it!!!
Lick the Bowl – You Only Live Once,
Homemade Chex Mix
(Yield: approximately 4#)
1 box Corn Chex
1 box Rice Chex
5 oz pecans, chopped
5 oz walnuts, chopped
7 oz slivered almonds
9 oz pretzels
6 oz Milton crackers, lightly crushed
12 oz butter
½ tsp cayenne
2 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp fresh garlic
4 oz Worcestire sauce
1 Tbsp onion powder
QS black pepper
Preheat oven to 250°F. Coat two half-sheet pans with cooking spray.
In a LARGE mixing bowl, pour in both the box of Corn Chex and the box of Rice Chex.
Add chopped nuts, almonds, pretzels, and lightly crushed crackers. Fold together with hands.
Make sauce by melting butter in a liquid measuring cup. Then, add the remaining sauce ingredients and whisk well to combine.
Pour sauce over Chex mixture and stir together with a spatula or with your hands (it gets messy).
Spread Chex Mix evenly over prepared sheet pans.
Bake Chex Mix for 15 minutes and then remove from the oven; sprinkle with black pepper, stir*, and bake another 15 minutes. Remove from oven after the second 15 minutes and again, sprinkle with pepper, stir, and bake another 15 minutes. Remove from oven one last time and stir well, bake another 10-15 minutes until mix is well toasted.
After approximately 1hr of baking, remove mix from oven and let cool completely.
*It is important to stir every 15 minutes to ensure the Chex Mix bakes evenly on all sides.
(Yield: Approximately 12oz)
4 oz butter
0.65 oz (≈4 gloves) fresh garlic, minced
½ tsp salt + QS more
½ tsp pepper + QS more
3 Tbsp oil
½ cup popcorn kernels
2.4 oz Parmesan or Asiago Cheese, finely grated
Melt butter in a liquid measuring cup. Add garlic, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper. Whisk together and set aside.
Place an 8 QT. pot over medium heat and allow to warm up. Then, add oil and 3 kernels of popcorn; cover with lid. When the oil is hot enough, the 3 kernels will pop signaling it is time to put in the remaining kernels.
Pour in remaining kernels, cover pot with lid, and shake every minute or so. Shaking helps evenly cook the popcorn, avoiding any burned kernels. When you can actually hear the popcorn stop popping, it is done.
Pour popcorn into a large mixing bowl. Pour butter mixture and Parmesan over popcorn and fold to combine.
Taste test – add more salt if necessary and pepper if wanted. It may help to let the popcorn sit for a minute or two in between adding more salt.
Once perfectly seasoned, refrigerate for 1hr before eating!!
Oh-My-God-I-Cannot-Believe-This-Is-So-EFFING-Good Salmon Dip
8 oz mayonnaise
8.5 oz sour cream
1 packet of Muriel’s Northwest Seafood Dip
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
10 oz smoked salmon, shredded
Add all ingredients to a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine.
Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Taste test in morning, add more salt if needed. Dig in!