Hot’n Devilish Chex Snack Mix Recipe from 1988

Here is another old recipe for you to try out at home in the modern age. I looked over the list of ingredients, and everything you need is still on the market today. This twist on the traditional snack mix looks really good, and should fit the Halloween season really well. I’ll be making a batch of this for Halloween night as my snack of choice while enjoying that night’s TV viewing. If you make this, drop a line in the comments with how it turned out.

Pumpkin Spice Frosty

The 2023 Halloween junk food season is a good one so far. I highlighted a variety of our finds last week, but the hunts continue so there is probably another couple of those posts to come. But for this post, I want to focus on a single item…the new Pumpkin Spice Frosty from Wendy’s.

I didn’t have to seek this one out…it came to me. About three weeks ago, our friend Tony from Retro-Daze posed a question to everyone in the TRN Clubhouse. He asked if anyone had heard anything about a Pumpkin Spice Frosty. Until I read his question I had not. But I have an inside source as my youngest daughter works at Wendy’s. I immediately went to her and posed the same question. She gave me a look and said that she really wasn’t supposed to say anything. I kept staring at her until she said she didn’t know, but that a button for a Pumpkin Spice Frosty had appeared on the cash register. That was all the confirmation I needed.

I told her that when they were available I’d like to try one. Then a couple of days later the official news broke that it was indeed a thing. Fast forward to this past Sunday when she came home from work with a sample size of the new fall treat for me to try.

I want to say something before I go any further. I’m a guy who feels like there is only one kind of Frosty, and that’s the original chocolate version that we all grew up with. A few years ago they started rolling out vanilla and strawberry options, but to me, those aren’t Frostys. The only thing I have to say to defend this position is that I’m old, stubborn, and set in my ways.

Anyway, I gave this new Pumpkin Spice Frosty a try and it’s not bad. It’s certainly good enough to have another before the season is over. Mine was a little melted by the time it reached my hands so that may have something to do with my feelings on it. As in, it’s good, but not over-the-moon good. I still prefer the chocolate.

But at the same time, it’s good enough that it’s worth going to get one if you like pumpkin spice things in general. I just wish they would call their non-chocolate creations something besides a Frosty. That name should be reserved for the original. And if you want to know more about what I think about Wendy’s and its offerings through the years, you can check out my post The Things I Miss About Wendy’s. Everyone else on the internet has, and you should too.

Hardee’s Fried Chicken of the 90s

Hardees Fried Chicken

Like most other American households in the 1980s, when my family wanted fried chicken, we got it from Kentucky Fried Chicken. Not KFC, but Kentucky Fried Chicken. We weren’t all metro back in those days using just the initials to identify the fast food chain. Other than the price, not much has changed from then to now. You can still get an 8-piece bucket of chicken, along with two family sides, and four biscuits. It’s an American staple at this point.

But then in the early ’90s comes Hardees with their fried chicken offerings. The chain had purchased the Roy Rogers chain and started using their recipe to sell fried chicken in a good deal of their locations. Not having a Roy Rogers anywhere close to here, we were totally unfamiliar with their brand of chicken.

Coupon for Hardee’s Fried Chicken Family Meal, Johnson City Press 1995

My family was a little skeptical in the beginning for a couple of reasons. One was the fact that here is this burger chain selling fried chicken all of a sudden. It was as foreign of a concept as Kentucky Fried Chicken starting to sell Big Macs would have been. And two, how is anyone going to compete with the Colonel’s secret blend of herbs and spices? Well, the answer to that part is they couldn’t, but Hardee’s could certainly compete with the Colonel’s extra crispy recipe. The chicken at Hardee’s was of the extra crispy variety, which I loved, but the bigger draw was the biscuits.

The biscuits at Hardee’s have always been at the top of the fast food biscuit world, and because they were now selling fried chicken, you could get their signature biscuits at any time during the day. It was almost like a little slice of heaven had fallen to earth. But the chicken and biscuits combo proved to be a good one, and for a while there, my family switched to Hardees when the craving for fried chicken hit, and we didn’t really go away from it until Hardee’s pulled it from their menus around these parts. But I still think back on it and remember fondly all of the weekends at the lake, busy evenings after school, and Sunday afternoons eating Hardee’s fried chicken and biscuits while watching my NASCAR with my old man.

Nintendo Cereal

In 1988, I was all about Nintendo. It had probably taken over as my favorite toy by that point if you want to consider it a toy. And I was already self-aware of my finer tastes in junk food. So Nintendo cereal coming along was right up my alley. It was made by Ralston, who was the king of producing commercially-licensed cereals in the ’80s and ’90s.

This short-lived cereal featured a split package designed and contained both Super Mario Bros. cereal and Zelda Adventure cereal. The Mario cereal was “fruity” flavored and was made up of super mushrooms, Goombas, Koopa Troopas, and Bowser-shaped pieces. The Zelda side consisted of berry-flavored Links, hearts, keys, boomerangs, and shields.

Given how I love gimmicky junk food, the fact that this mimicked Nerds cereal by featuring two different flavors packaged separately in the same box made it a sure bet that a box of this would end up coming home from the grocery store with us. And since she knew how big of a Nintendo fan I was, my mom didn’t put up a fight when I asked to try it.

I can’t recall the taste or if I was a fan or not, but the fact that it had no marshmallows was not a good start for a kid’s cereal if you want to make it long-term. It hit the market in 1988 and was gone in 1989. While it may not have stuck around long, it made a lasting impression on a lot of people, myself included.

McDonald’s Patty McMelt of 1995

McDonalds Patty McMelt

I have a deep nostalgic connection to the McDonald’s Taste of the Month promotion from 1995. Maybe it’s because I was driving and able to go get things for myself, or maybe because I worked across the street from a Mcdonald’s. But whatever the reason, I loved a lot of the special items they rolled out that year as part of the promotion, and this Patty McMelt is near the top of my list of promotional menu items.

I’m still trying to track down info on the releases for each month that year, and I’ve not found suitable info on this one yet. But I do know that it came out early in the year, as in January, February, or March. I know this because I remember it being cold and snowy when I was enjoying them. I’m a sucker for a patty melt, and this version was pretty good. I’m not sure what the slice of Canadian bacon had to do with a patty melt, but they threw a piece on this sandwich, and somehow it fits. Their grilled onions could have been a little more grilled for my tastes, but that minor squabble aside, McDonald’s version of a Patty Melt is worth remembering.

Most people have little or no memory of it existing, and the commercial below is about the only reference I’ve ever been able to find about it online. I’ve made the plea before, but I’m going to make it again…if you know anything about any of the taste of the month promotions from 1995, please get in touch with me. Any info at all, no matter how big or how little the detail would be appreciated. The Arch Deluxe made its debut as part of the promotion in my area, and my favorite of the lot, the Super Hero Burger, was part of it, but I still have a lot of gaps in my knowledge.