Thursday, December 6, 2012

Spiced Pecans

Sugar and Spice scream Christmas! when combined with toasted pecans
If you were to shop one of the nation's most popular purveyors of mail order gifts, you might find yourself paying up to $30 a pound for totally run of the mill nuts. That makes me say "Awwwww Nuuuuuuuuuuts."Hopefully by the end of this post you'll be saying "Ah! Nuts!" As in, Oh, wow, I must make these.

Impress your friends and family with home-made delicious and exotic flavored nuts. Its ridiculously simple, and takes only ONE hour! 

I did one pound of nuts this afternoon just to confirm that my recipe was truly as great as I thought it would be (and it was :) ) But you can definitely do more than one pound of nuts at a time by doubling or tripling the recipe. I get two pounds of beautiful whole pecans at Costco for around $15. Once I account for the egg, sugar, and spice, THIS pound of nuts will come in around $8.00 a pound, leaving plenty of money left over to make lovely little packages to give them in. (Although, I have a secret for that as well, that will save  TONS of money by using things you probably already have! See our Living Generously page for a quick and wasy craft that doubles as a unique gift package)

Gg's Spiced Pecans

1 lb whole pecans
1 egg white
1 T water
1 C sugar
available in the Gg store
3/4 t kosher salt

Beat egg white and water together until foamy.
Combine Sugar, Salt, and Wise Woman of the East gourmet spice blend in a large bowl.
Toss whole pecans with  beaten egg whites, stir to coat. Empty coated pecans into Sugar and Spice combination. Toss until well coated and no sugar remains in bottom of bowl.  
Spread nuts evenly across jelly roll pan covered in parchment paper ( use a jelly roll because it has sides so when you stir the nuts during baking they don't fly all over the oven!) in a single layer.
Place pan into a preheated oven (250 F) and bake one hour, stirring every fifteen minutes.

Let cool (nuts will crisp as they cool) and Enjoy! (the giving, enjoy the giving! Get out of the nuts, they're for the neighbors!)

Sugar and Spice are very nice, aren't they?


Monday, December 3, 2012

Kids in the kitchen

When kids visit the kitchen, mom puts perfectionism away
I am passionate about bringing kids into the kitchen.  Its funny, because I'm also somewhat of a perfectionist, and will admittedly get frustrated when my vision for a project does not end up matching the vision of the child I am working side by side with. But that's ok, we're creating memories, not perfection.  My 9 year old son LOVES with a capital L Gingerbread.  And I love to make it with him, but its tricky, heavy, doesn't always remain even remotely in one piece. One year I cut double of each shape just to be sure we would get at least one structurally sound Gingerbread House.  It was a pain, but the little boys and girls my son made were darling and delicious.  This year, Chef Stephanie Petersen aka Chef Tess has another idea: build your houses out of something a little less delicious, and spend more time on the fun part. This year, I think we'll do it Chef Tess' way, and save the yummy gingerbread for boys and girls and little trees and bells.  They'll be darling, and the house will be a dirty trick for anybody who tries to eat it.  These are terrific inexpensive gifts, and your kids will love you for the time you take with them to complete these.

Chef Tess' "Gingerbread" Houses

Are you going to make Gingerbread this year? Post your pictures to our Facebook page, we'd love to hear from you!