Donna Winters – Recipe for Romance – Part 1 of 1

Historical romance author, Donna Winters shares a yummy sound recipe for snack mix and a chance to win a copy of her latest release, Bluebird of Brockport. Comment on any post dated Dec 17 – 21 to get your name in the drawing. Deadline: Dec 29th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Donna:

Crystalized Christmas Snack Mix

2 cups Rice Chex

2 cups Corn Chex

2 cups Cheerios

2 cups cashews

2 cups stick or mini-twist pretzels

Place about four square feet of aluminum foil on your countertop and coat it lightly with oil. Coat a sharp-edged spatula with pan spray. (You’ll need these later when time is of the essence.)

Coat well the bottom of a broiler pan with pan spray. Combine the ingredients listed above in the pan and place in the oven at 225 degrees to warm the mixture while boiling the ingredients below.

1 ½ cups white refined sugar

¾ cup water

Optional additions once the sugar and water have cooked to 280 degrees:

1 ½ teaspoons flavoring (vanilla or another favorite)

Several drops red or green food coloring

Place the sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Thoroughly dissolve the sugar over low heat by stirring. Turn the heat to high and cook without stirring until the temperature reaches 280 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and quickly stir in flavoring and coloring if desired. (The sugar syrup will boil furiously the moment the flavoring and/or coloring hits it, so be careful.)

Quickly remove the snack mix from the oven and pour the sugar syrup over it and mix thoroughly with a utensil that has been sprayed with pan spray. Turn the snack mix out onto the foil to cool. Store cooled snack mix in an airtight container.

If you enjoy using red and green food coloring, create one batch with red, a second batch with green, and when thoroughly cool, mix them together for a colorful Christmas snack. You can give away small bags of this as Christmas favors or fill tins to give as gifts. It’s quicker and easier than lots of Christmas cookie baking, if you’re in a hurry for a homemade treat to share.

Clean-up Hints

The sugar syrup forms a hard coating on your saucepan and utensils but dissolves in water, so let them soak a few minutes and they will come clean without scrubbing.

Merry Christmas!

About Donna: Donna adopted Michigan as her home state in 1971 when she moved from a small town outside of Rochester, New York. She began penning novels in 1982 while working full time for an electronics firm in Grand Rapids. She resigned from her job in 1984 following a contract offer for her first book. Since then, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Zondervan Publishing House, Guideposts, and Bigwater Publishing have published her novels.

Her husband, Fred, a former American History teacher, shares her enthusiasm for history. Together, they visit historical sites, restored villages, museums, and lake ports, purchasing books and reference materials for use in Donna’s research.

Donna has written fifteen historical romances for her Great Lakes Romances® series. Recently, she turned her attention to her hometown on the Erie Canal and produced an historical novel, Bluebird of Brockport, A Novel of the Erie Canal, which released as a paperback in June, and has now been offered in Kindle format for 99 cents. Learn more:

About the book – Bluebird of Brockport, A Novel of the Erie Canal: Dreams of floating on the Erie Canal have flowed through Lucina Willcox’s mind since childhood. Yet once her family has purchased their boat and begins their journey, they meet with one challenge after another. An encounter with a towpath rattlesnake threatens her brother’s life. A thief attempts to break in and steal precious cargo. Heavy rain causes a breach and drains the canal of water. Lucina comforts herself with thoughts of Ezra Lockwood, her handsome childhood friend, and discovers a longing to be with him that she just can’t ignore. Can she have a future with Ezra and still hold onto her canalling dream?

Ezra Lockwood’s one goal in life is to build and captain his own canal boat, but two years into the construction of his freight hauler, funds run short. With his goal temporarily stalled, and Lucina Willcox back in his life, his priorities begin to change. Can he have both his dreams — his own boat, and Lucina as his bride?

Come back Dec 19th for Laura V. Hilton!

14 Responses to “Donna Winters – Recipe for Romance – Part 1 of 1”

  • Shannon, thanks sharing my recipe with your followers today! I wish you and all visitors a very Merry Christmas and blessings in the New Year!
    Donna Winters

  • Donna, this is one of my favorites and our family over the years. We often substitute Cheerios for one kind of Chex, or mix different ideas with it. Mom made it for us and I continued the ritual for our kids. Doesn’t seem like our snacks are complete without it. Great idea~ 🙂

  • Wyndy says:

    Sounds like a book I would thoroughly enjoy. I have a degree in Canadian History and I love historical books. I shall start looking for your stories.

  • Diane, thanks for stopping by to share your family’s version of the snack mix. I have to admit that this version is a modification of what my mother made, which used entirely popped corn that then became crystallized with the sugar syrup. Since we don’t digest popcorn anymore I substituted cereals.

    Wyndy, thanks for stopping by. You are a real historian. I am a writer of historical fiction that has been researched as best I can from my experiences over the years since 1984. I’d love to hear from you after you’ve had a chance to read one of my stories. I spent a couple of years developing the Erie Canal novel, reading loads of nonfiction before writing the fiction.

  • Cass Wessel says:

    I downloaded “The Bluebird of Brockport” the other day. Am engrossed. Will post review soon. Blessings, Cass

  • shelia hall says:

    the snack mix sounds so yummy! Your book sounds great too!

  • Kim F says:

    Sounds like a great story – I love historical fiction 🙂

  • Megan Parsons says:

    I’d love the chance to win this book and read it! Thanks! makeighleekyleigh at

  • Linda Finn says:

    HIstorical Romance is my favorite and I wanted to stop by and tell you that your name is new to me and I am hoping to be able to read your books soon and review some of them.
    Linda Finn

  • Linda Finn says:

    The Erie canal holds so much memories for me and my family. Great Grandfather Fisher worked the canal when younger. Your book sounds so good. I am trying to relate history to my children
    in story form. We homeschool.

    Linda Finn

  • Cass,
    Thanks for letting me know you got the book and will post a review! I appreciate it!

    Shelia, Kim, and Megan, thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your interest in my snack mix and my story!

    Linda, this book is a great home school story because I’ve made the Erie Canal of 1830 very real regarding the history. I included a glossary and use many canal terms in the book, but not so many that you can’t understand the story.

  • Nancee says:

    I’ve already read this book, and believe me, it’s a wonderful story of the early days on the Erie Canal, and the struggles that went along with this lifestyle. No need to enter me in the giveaway as I have a copy, but I just wanted to say that I thoroughly Donna’s newest release!

  • Nancee,
    Thanks for stopping by to let others know you’ve read and enjoyed my Erie Canal story! I appreciate the endorsement!

  • I have a winner! Megan Parsons won the drawing for Donna’s book. I appreciate Donna for being here and everyone else for stopping by.

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