Nothing fancy but impossibly addictive, this old-fashioned snack is included here for sentimental reasons. My mom made this for my dad's weekly poker games. She used Corn, Wheat, and Rice Chex, peanuts, and pretzels. My job was to carry the bowls into the game. I now make my own variation with wasabi peas, mixed nuts, packaged ramen, melted butter, and other goodies (though you can substitute fun ingredients until you find your own magic mix). When I bring it out during a football game, or a family gathering, or before a party, my husband literally whimpers, "Please, please, don't do this to me." It's the happiest protest you've ever heard. One secret I insist on: Always use the honey-sweetened corn cereal for that little extra sweet 'n' salty combination. And one other secret: Double the recipe and watch the smiles when they ask for more.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Break the noodles from the ramen noodle soup into small pieces, and reserve the seasoning packet for use in Step 3.
Stir together the cereal, cheese cracker chips, pretzels, peas, nuts, and ramen noodle pieces in a large bowl.
Stir the reserved seasoning packet from the ramen noodle soup into the melted butter. Pour over the cereal mixture, and toss to coat. Spread the mixture evenly between the prepared baking sheets.
Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Cool completely, about 10 minutes, before serving.
If this is for a kids' party and the wasabi peas are too strong, leave them out and add another cup of the mixed nuts or goldfish grahams.
Make Ahead: This is a great party dish that can be prepped and kept for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
Recipe excerpted from "Valerie's Home Cooking," published by Oxmoor House, a division of TI Inc. Books, a subsidiary of Meredith Corp (2017)