New Year’s Eve Traditions

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In movies and TV shows, New Year’s Eve is always full of champagne, parties where people can make total fools of themselves, and confetti. People stand in the cold in Times Square to watch the ball drop. Some couples share a kiss at the stroke of midnight. My friends talk about annual get-togethers with old friends, a party like the good old days.

My experience with New Year’s Eve is nothing like these. Aside from the past few years, my family and I did the same thing every year. Stayed up late playing board games. And we’re not talking quick board games. We’re talking old school Monopoly and Risk. The kind of game that you knew would take hours anyway. We’d reheat some Christmas leftovers (if any were left) and make some snacks, and by night’s end, we’d all be so sick of counting out little armies we were willing to concede defeat.

My favorite snack for this kind of thing is homemade Chex Mix. It tastes so different compared to the store bought stuff, and has that great salty savory flavor that you want from your party snacks. Link to original recipe here, but it can be found on almost any box of Chex cereal.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups Corn Chex Cereal
  • 3 cups Rice Chex Cereal (I used Crispix in place of the Rice and Corn Chex)
  • 3 cups Wheat Chex Cereal
  • 1 cup mixed nuts (I use cocktail peanuts)
  • 1 cup bite-size pretzels
  • 1 cup garlic flavored or regular bagel chips, broken into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ tsp seasoned salt
  • ¾ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder

Directions:

Heat oven to 250 degrees F. In ungreased roasting pan, mix cereals, nuts pretzels and bagel chips. Melt butter in microwave safe bowl, add seasonings. Add to cereal mixture until evenly coated. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread out on paper towels to cool, about 15 minutes. Store in airtight container.

Notes: I’ve always wanted to make this with something like Crispix, just so I don’t have to buy three different kinds of cereal. I like the chex mix, but the recipe (if followed exactly) doesn’t work in whole boxes, so you’re left with pieces leftover. At least Crispix is a cereal that I like to eat plain.

This year for New Year’s, we are visiting family. We ended up just having a very laid back evening with snacks and tv. If you like the board game idea, I recommend the Board Game Remix Kit. I got the Iphone app and saved the ideas I liked before I got rid of the device. It’s great if you don’t like playing with the vanilla rules, or are bored, or want the game to go faster. It’s written by people in the UK so some of the terms may be different, but it’s not hard to figure out. I totally recommend the Zombie Mansion game using a Clue set. We’ve actually play tested that one and it’s fun.

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