May 4th, 2015

Cookbook Road Trip, and the Good Road Trip Mix


In a couple of days, Bill and I will be headed out west. I have a cookbook signing in Erie Colorado, hosted by my fabulous cousins on Saturday May the 9th. On the 13th, I’m honored to be presenting alongside Chef Tanya Holland, at Pegasus Books in Berkeley California. I’ve included invitations to both events in this post. If you’re in the area, and take the notion, please c’mon by. Great food, drink and conversation awaits!


We decided to make the long drive, since I’ll have books and knives and whisks and bowls in tow. We don’t mind–we usually relish a road trip and we haven’t made the westward journey in many years.

Ten years ago, Bill and I took our first out west adventure.

We traveled for most of a month, taking in parts of New Mexico–White Sands Desert, Santa Fe and Taos. We stayed with friends in Flagstaff Arizona, a great base of operations for exploring Walnut Canyon, Wupatki and Sunset Crater National Monuments, and the Grand Canyon–of course. We made side trips to Sedona and the curious mining-now-crafts town, Jerome.


We spent a lot of time barreling down the highways and by-ways. The western landscape is vast and open, rugged and wild, such a contrast from the lush green of the South. I recall stretches when we saw no one, anywhere, for miles.

We listened to audiobooks. Fitting–I brought along Kerouac’s On the Road. As we made our great loop west, all the way to San Francisco, returning on the northerly route through Wyoming and Colorado, we laughed, as our journey often paralleled that of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarity.


I had a cooler packed with bread, cheese, fruits and water. I also made this kick-ass trail mix, stored in ziplock bags, which powered us through the day. I toasted the almonds, pecans, and walnuts. I had abundant dried fruits: apricots, golden raisins, cranberries, and cherries. I added slivers of candied ginger for the occasional breathy spark. And the crowning touch—roasted and salted pumpkin seeds. That salt, interspersed throughout, made the mix exceptional.

I haven’t made it since—until now. Bill asked if we could have that good road trip mix again.

So, I made a big batch.


3 cups whole almonds, toasted
3 cups walnuts, toasted
3 cups pecans, toasted
2 cups cashews, toasted
3 cups chopped dried apricots
3 cups golden raisins
3 cups craisins
2 cups dried cherries
1 cup slivered candied ginger
1 cup roasted and salted pumpkin seeds

Note: Times vary for toasting different nuts. Here’s a great video from Cooking Light on how best to do this.

Make sure that the nuts are all cool before mixing them with the dried fruits.
Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir until the fruit and nuts are well-jumbled together. Put into ziplock bags and hit the road.

Makes 24 cups

Tanya Holland-1

Posted in Appetizers/Hors D'oeuvres, Breakfast, Gluten Free, Recipes

22 Responses to “Cookbook Road Trip, and the Good Road Trip Mix”
  1. ernestine Says:

    Up in the night
    and say
    never turn on computer
    but I did :)
    copying the trail mix
    looks so good.
    Safe and enjoyable travel wishes
    being sent…

  2. Kath Says:

    Have a wonderful and safe drive and may the book signings go swimmingly and lots of sales be made.

  3. JP Evans Says:

    Bon voyage Nancy & Bill, please stay safe!

  4. Johanne Lamarche Says:

    Congratulations on the book signing road teip Nancy! I especially love the ginger and all the nuts in the road trip mix. Safe travels!

  5. goodfoodmatters Says:

    HI Ernestine–I appreciate the wishes. It’s a delicious mix that you can tweak one way or another—-equal parts of dried fruits and nuts. But the candied ginger and roasted, salted pumpkin seeds are a must.

    HI Kath–Thank you–I hope that the book and I will be well received.

    Hi JP- We’ll do our best! Onward through the fog.

    Hi Johanne—Thank you so much. The bit of ginger and the salty pumpkin seeds really set it off.

  6. heather Says:

    Trail mix is so essential! I take some wherever I go and it’s my mid morning snack. Thank you for sharing I can’t wait to try!

  7. Gerlinde Says:

    I made the trip from Santa Fe to Santa Cruz a couple of years ago and it was wonderful. We had so much fun, all we needed was your tasty trail mix. I’m a two hour drive away from Berkley, if I can get a girlfriend to drive with me I will come. If you come to Santa Cruz visit me, I love to meet you.

  8. goodfoodmatters Says:

    HI Gerlinde—I would love it if you could come to Berkeley! I hope that works out. Unfortunately, we won’t be headed to Santa Cruz this trip (I have family in Sacramento) but it is a place I’d like to visit someday, and it would be great to meet you.

  9. Cecilia Says:

    I totally like your good road mix. When we travel, we use to buy different mixes. Now I’m thinking to make my own with your recipe. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

  10. Juliana Says:

    Nancy, congratulations on the book signing trip…sounds like a lot of fun…and I like the idea of mixing nuts and dry fruits…great snack!
    Have a wonderful time and be safe :)

  11. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Cecilia-It really is easy (and a lot cheaper) and tastier to make you own. Thanks for stopping by!

    Thanks Juliana, we are looking forward to it.

  12. Kathy Says:

    So happy for you Nancy! My daughter and I simply LOVE your cookbook – safe travels!

  13. Gerlinde Says:

    My girlfriend and I are planing to be there. If you have a chance have lunch or dinner at Chez Panisee, Alice Waters restaurant.

  14. K-Run Says:

    Wish We could be there! Have fun and safe travels and I can’t wait to hear about it!

  15. Joyti Says:

    Yay! Can’t wait to *see you* in California!

  16. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Kathy–thank you so much!

    Gerlinde—that is fantastic news! wonderful. Yes, I have been to Chez Panisse–not in many years though

    Hey K-Run–catch you on the flipside


    Here I am up with the birds, getting ready to go. Excited as a kid going on vacation.

  17. Barbara Says:

    Very exciting, Nancy! Congratulations again.
    And I LOVED On the Road…what fun to travel a bit in those footsteps, we did too, many years ago during Air Force years when we spent a lot of time on the road ourselves!
    Great trail mix recipe too. Have a super trip!

  18. Tammy Says:

    Terrific for you! Congrats. The trail mix recipe looks lovely although I’d be include to gobble the batch in one sitting. Any chance you’ll drive through AZ?

  19. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Thanks so much , Barbara. You gotta love a road trip. We just hopped off the interstate (after 12 hours, have mercy) to spend the night in some wind battered town in west Kansas. Tomorrow we’ll get to my cousins’ in Erie Colorado, with ease.

    HI Tammy—we won’t be making the southerly swing your way when we return home, I am sorry to say—otherwise I absolutely would have reached out. The trail mix is addictive.

  20. Denise Says:

    Ironically, I’ve visited Jerome, but not the Grand Canyon… Enjoy your adventure!

  21. Beth Says:

    What a fun idea to turn it into a road trip! And good luck with your signings – it’s wonderful that you’re still promoting your book.

  22. Good Food Matters » Blog Archive » Return from Gypsy Life, and a Late Spring Potato-Pea Salad Says:

    […] bridge with my aunt, AND she is a long-time follower of my blog. It wasn’t until she read my last post with the invitation that she made the connection. She came to book signing, and we got to meet. How […]

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