Here's a fun recipe from the past - Muddy Buddies (aka Puppy Chow). I made these for the first time about 7 years ago when Spouse and I were asked to be guests at a "homecoming party" for a little stuffed dog named Snowball, who had been sent around the United States by my niece's third grade class. Many of my cyber friends hosted the little dog and wrote about his adventures so the class could learn about people in other areas of the country. I had set up a travel schedule for Snowball whereby each host family was to keep him for one week, take pictures and write a little about his adventures, and then send the little dog on to his next destination. The last person to have him was to send Snowball back to the school - which had been his starting point. I kept in constant contact (through email) with the class and the teacher to let them know where Snowball was at all times. Each of the emails was written in first person, as if Snowball himself was talking to the students. The teacher seemed to love that. It was quite an adventure for all of us. It came at a very good time for my niece since her dad (my brother) had passed very suddenly six months prior to the project. This gave her something in which to be involved and brightened her days.
At Snowball's homecoming party, I offered the students Puppy Chow (aka Muddy Buddies) in a real Purina Puppy Chow food bag - washed and lined with plastic, of course. At first they were hesitant to try the morsels since they really did look like pieces of puppy chow, but they soon dug in and were pleasantly surprised when they tasted the treats. I had also baked some gingerbread "dog bones" and put them inside a Milkbone tin. It was fun seeing the students' faces when I offered them the authentic Milkbone tin and asked them to pass it around and try what was in it.
The students and teachers were very good sports and everybody loved the joke. At the end of the party, the students presented me with a huge stuffed replica of Snowball. They said they wanted to thank me for helping them with their "dogs around the USA" project. I loved being part of my niece's class project and working with her class allowed me to feel closer to my brother and to her. Coincidentally, my brother's nickname was "Buddy" and Muddy Buddy could certainly have described him when he was a child. I know that helping with the Snowball project was something he would have wanted me to do for his daughter. The big dog is still with me and he continues to wear a cowboy hat sent from Texas with Snowball.
MUDDY BUDDIES (aka PUPPY CHOW)
9 cups Rice Chex or Corn Chex cereal
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1. Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.
2. In microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.
3. Add powdered sugar to mix. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.