|We’re gearing up for some Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Night fun thanks to Cost Plus World Market.
This is a sponsored post, but as always, all thoughts, opinions, recipes and general affection for GOTG are my own.
Honestly, we could host a Guardians of the Galaxy movie night for a week straight and still be ready for more! “I am Groot,” “Dance off, bro!” and “I have part of a plan” are all common phrases you can expect to hear in our home on any given day.
When we learned the film was nominated for several Oscars this year, it just gave us all the more reason to celebrate our love for this extraordinary, wicked-cool movie. But unlike the heroes in the film, when it comes to creating Oscar-Worthy Guardians of the Galaxy snack mixes, it pays to have a more than just part of a plan.
Good thing, ideas and plans, I have no shortage of. Plain and simple, I love creating fun, custom snack mixes!
My family and friends seem to share my affinity for them. Every time we have a family movie night or it’s time for a party, the question I’m most likely to be asked is “where’s the mix bowl?” This will be followed quickly by “where did you get (insert favorite snack element) and where can I get some?”
My secret is as plain and simple as my enjoyment of putting together creative snack mixes – I shop at Cost Plus World Market where there is no shortage of entertaining essentials including snack assortments from around the globe and an amazing array of vessels to serve them in!
My tricks for making a mix worthy of “best snack mix of the year” nominations are equally simple. Follow along as we build a few Oscar-worthy Guardians of the Galaxy snack mixes using some easy principles you can apply to any snack mix creation you wish to “wow” your guests with.
READY YOUR VESSEL
Some people like to start with the snack mix, I like to begin thinking about presentation first as it often leads to inspiration for the mix.
When I think of the movie what shapes come to mind? Are there colors that stand out that are associated with the film? What textures or materials do I associate with the onscreen action, vehicles, city layout or icons in the movie?
For Guardians of the Galaxy one of the first shapes I thought of what a star. I instantly began to envision serving the snack mix in a star-shaped bowl or something that would have the essence of a star-filled sky. When I spotted the Indigo Organic Reactive Glaze Serving Bowls (pictured above, left upper corner) at World Market, I knew I’d found my perfect galaxy! The hue is a hombre effect of dark to lighter blue with a treatment that gives the bowl a look akin to a Milky-Way effect.
A material that sprang to mind was wood in symbolism of Groot who is, in essence, the heart of the film. The Angled Individual Salad Bowl (pictured above, left lower corner) had just the right texture and rich, natural wood grain.
Red is a color that I quickly associated with the movie from eyes of Star Lord’s mask and the burnt red of his jacket. The Red Soufflé Ramekins (pictured above, upper right corner) captured not only the colors, but the general shapes, too. I could have easily gone with green and purple to mimic Gamora’s color-scheme or blue and yellow in tribute to Star Lord’s ship, the Milano.
Whatever route you take with the vessel you’ll be serving the snack mix in, it will the get the wheels churning for honing in on what element of the film you wish to further explore.
DECIDE ON YOUR DESTINATION
Once you have a basic idea buzzing in your brain about how you wish to present your snack mix, the next step is to determine your direction. There are three basic routes you can take to get where you are heading with your snack mix:
- Core Element
Character mixes are fairly straight-forward. Pick a character from the film and decide what attributes from the character will be in your snack mix. For example, the character I chose to theme one of my Guardians of the Galaxy mixes around was Rocket Racoon – a perfect match to serve in the wood bowl. This now meant I was looking for a woodsy, rambunctious mix that was a little rough around the edges. The idea for “Rocket Road Mix” gelled!
A Core Element mix uses either the theme of the film, an important symbol or essence that is relational to the film. For example, I knew from my vessel selection earlier that I wanted to capture the spirit of the “galaxy.” I’d already selected a lovely blue bowl that reminded me of a starry night so why not fill it with stars? To do so, I’d be looking for a mix that was rich with hues of white.
To create a Color mix is perhaps the easiest in theory. Select a color or set of colors from the film to pattern the mix after. For example, I decided to pattern a mix after Star Lord using the colors of his costume as inspiration. The harder part with color mixes can be finding foods that not only match the colors you desire but also pair together well in a snack mix. No worries, we’re going to cover that step next!
GATHER YOUR BELONGINGS
Now that you’ve generated solid ideas by exploring containers for your snack mix and determining the direction/pattern that you wish to follow, the next step is to build your recipe. Building a snack mix recipe may seem a little daunting initially, but if you stick to the basics, its truly a simple, fun and rewarding process!
To begin, decide on a central flavor. This can be based on a flavor you think will pair very well with your idea or based on a flavor you happen to love… like chocolate (you can seriously never go wrong with a snack mix based on chocolate!)
Once you have your central flavor, you can begin determining what flavors will pair well with the central flavor and will represent the elements of the snack mix you would like to have. Think about flavor combinations you already love like chocolate, caramel and peanuts.
Start making a list of items and flavors you think you would like to have in the mix. Ideally, a good snack mix will have a minimum of four ingredients. While you make your list, keep your mind open to possibilities. When you go shopping, you’ll likely find foods you hadn’t thought of, but if you have a good flavor profile written down, it will be easy to know that you want to incorporate them.
For example, I knew I wanted pretzels, chocolate and some type of S’Mores or Rocky Road-like taste profile for my “Rocket Road” mix. Initially I thought of marshmallows but when I saw the Maltesers during my shopping visit to World Market, I knew they would do the trick!
Also keep in mind that if the store doesn’t have quite what you envisioned, it’s often easy enough to figure out a way to create it. I initially wanted to have mini-graham crackers for my “Rocket Road” mix but didn’t find any that were suitable. I spotted McVitie’s Milk Chocolate Digestives Cookies and figured I could break them into smaller pieces to give me a similar taste. Plus, the rough edges of the cookies would be great for keeping with my “rough around the edges” theme of the mix.
Think outside the snack box, too. If you want multiple flavors, you might be able to combine different ingredients to form a new component. For example, I wanted pretzel sticks to symbolize the character Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy and I wanted a bit of dark chocolate added to my “Rocket Road” mix that was going to have a lot of milk chocolate in it. But instead of using dark chocolate chips and pretzels separately, I melted down the chocolate and drizzled it on the pretzels (pictured below.) Viola! A custom component of my snack mix was formed.
Lastly, be adventurous! Pick up an ingredient you may not have thought of but one that appears to be a great match for your snack mix theme. I didn’t expect to use World Market® French Burnt Peanuts, but when I saw them I got a little giddy as they were the perfect symbol for a Star Lord color mix!
LAUNCH YOUR RECIPES!
Once you have your 4-plus items selected for your snack mixes and your serving vessels in hand, it’s time to put your Oscar-worthy movie night snack mixes together. Below you’ll find the three recipes I created for Guardians of the Galaxy based on:
Character – “Rocket Road” Mix
Core Element – “Moonage Munch” Mix
Color – “Awesome Mix Vol. 1”
I hope you’ll enjoy making them for your Guardians of the Galaxy movie night or use them for inspiration for creating your own fabulous Oscar-worthy mixes for entertaining!
ROCKET ROAD MIX
This mix is a little rough around the edges with a very “earthy” appeal in texture and appearance.
2 C McVitie’s Milk Chocolate Digestives Cookies
1 C Maltesers
1 C Gratify Gluten-Free Milk Chocolate Pretzel Twists
1/2 C Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
2 C Schultz Salty Sticks
Cover a standard baking pan with a parchment paper. Lay Schultz Salty Sticks in a single layer on parchment paper. Melt Ghirardelli chocolate chips using a double boiler (or in the microwave) until chocolate is fully melted. Drizzle chocolate over salty sticks in a random pattern. Set to the side to cool for 1 hour. When cooled, gently break apart salty sticks into small pieces.
Break apart McVitie’s Milk Chocolate Digestive Cookies into approximately 6-8 small pieces per cookie.
In a large mixing bowl, add chocolate-drizzled salty sticks, McVitie’s cookie pieces and all other ingredients. Gently mix ingredients until distributed evenly. Serve snack mix in a rustic wooden bowl such as the Angled Individual Salad Bowl.
MOONAGE MUNCH MIX
The stars and bits of the galaxy served up with a sweet tropical note.
1 C World Market® White Chocolate Mango
1 C Dang Roasted Coconut Chips
1 C Royal Hawaiian Sea Salt Macadamias
1 C Menz Apricot Balls Rolled in Coconut
2 C Gratify Gluten-Free Yogurt Pretzel Twists
In a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients. Gently mix until ingredients are well distributed. Serve snack mix in a bowl that resembles stars or the galaxy such as the Indigo Organic Reactive Glaze Serving Bowls.
AWESOME MIX (Vol. 1)
Based on the colors of Star Lord, this is a great man-cave mix suitable for any ravager, but particularly good for heroic ones!
1 C World Market® French Burnt Peanuts
1 C World Market® Dark Chocolate Cranberries
1 C Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
1 C Sahale Honey Almonds
2 C Gratify Gluten-Free Sea Salt Pretzel Twists
2 C McVitie’s Dark Chocolate Digestives Cookies
Break apart McVitie’s Dark Chocolate Digestive Cookies into approximately 6-8 small pieces per cookie.
In a large mixing bowl, add McVitie’s cookie pieces and all other ingredients. Gently mix ingredients until distributed evenly. Serve snack mix in a small round red bowl like the Red Soufflé Ramekins.