Tag Archives: sweet

Nuts For The Holidays

A couple months ago my friends Erin & Rachel hosted a little West Coast IG meet up with Canadian and Arizonian friends, Melisa & Rachel.

Seven of us sat around a beautiful gold & mint themed dining room chatting, noshing, making all kinds of hot nut jokes and giggling like a bunch of tweens.

Erin made an old Marta Stewart nut recipe and we all immediately spooned another helping on our plates after the first sample.

The flavors in this are indescribable. They mesh together amazingly.


Here is what you’ll need…

5 cups mixed nuts, such as walnuts, cashews, almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts {I subbed peanuts for the pecans and used 1 cup of each nut}

Note: use unsalted nuts

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 small shallots, thinly sliced crosswise into rings to yield about ¼ cup
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

Here is what you’ll do…

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Arrange nuts in a single layer on baking sheet and toast until golden…8-12 minutes.

Transfer to a large bowl. Add shallots and garlic to hot olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.

Fry until golden brown. Remove to paper towels and set aside.

Pour melted butter over nuts. Stir in rosemary, cayenne, brown sugar, and salt. Add shallots and garlic and combine well.

Serve warm. Nuts can also be reheated in a 300 degree oven for 8-10 minutes but watch carefully.

Store in an airtight container….that is IF there are any leftover.


I haven’t started my holiday baking yet, but I did make a batch of these to take to our PTA Teacher Appreciation brunch last week.

Several people asked for the recipe so I know they were a hit. I mean, why wouldn’t they be?

I served in a bowl with a big spoon with some fancy ziploc bags on the side so they could take as a snack to their classroom.

I cannot wait to make these to snack on while our house is full of holiday visitors.

They’d be perfect for neighbors or as hostess gifts, too!

Enjoy. And let the hot nut jokes begin…..

Crispy, Crunchy, Salty, Sweet {And Shoes!}

Last night I threw together a test batch of another Pinterest find.

I made a joke on a recent Facebook status that Pinterest needs to require that for every recipe pinned a {fitness} pin must follow! I mean really….give me something to DO to work off all these goodies!

I love that Jess is hosting PinterTest Kitchen…because apparently every pin that pops up is not worthy! So far I have been lucky and everything has been scrumptious and this Sweet Salty Snack Mix is no exception:

{my apologies for the 6:21am cell phone pic}

The moment I spotted this I knew I was going to make gobs of it for Christmas and hand it out to everyone, but then I thought it’d be cute with Halloween m&m’s.

Here is the line-up:

Pretzel twists or sticks would be fine, too

Small Fritos {original}

UNsalted roasted peanuts or nut of choice

m&m’s {you could certainly kill two birds with one stone and get peanut or almond m&m’s. I had a bag on-hand and weeded out all the orange, brown and green ones for this. I also threw on a few candy corn so they wouldn’t feel left out!}

White chocolate chips or Wilton candy melts

Dark or milk chocolate chips or Wilton candy melts

Just throw down a layer of pretzels and Fritos then {glue} those together with white chocolate {after you’ve melted of course ~ 30 second intervals in the micro at 50% power [VERY IMPORTANT], stir and repeat until smooth}. For me, white chocolate does not melt as smoothly as milk or dark…I found that I had globs of the white chocolate and had to smooth it out with a butter knife a little. Then toss on some peanuts and the m&m’s and {glue} those down with some milk chocolate drizzle! Put in the fridge to set up and then break into chunks and eat share.

Crispy, crunchy, salty and sweet!

I picked up some purple plastic tumblers with spiders on them at Dollar Tree {4 for a buck}, washed them {!!!} and then filled with the snack mix.

Done and done! {I’ll try and post a pic later, but wanted to share this with you ASAP so you could make some this weekend!}


Lately my Ross has had great shoes! Today I found these {Simple Weegee Booties} for a very belated gift for a very special little guy:

{are they not adorableX100?}

And I picked up these Blowfish ballet flats for Elliott for just $12.99…

{wish they came in my size}


Well, that’s it…a couple new recipes in the works for this weekend along with some housework and pumpkin patch action on the agenda.

What about you? What are you up to?


Hot Chili Nights

The weather hasn’t quite given us the green light for chilis, roasts and crock pot comfort meals, but I say “so what!” I spotted this sweet potato chili recipe in a Better Homes and Gardens at dance class last Friday and jotted down the main ingredients, but kind of did my own thing as far as preparing it.

3 large sweet potatoes {I guess you could also use yams}, peeled and cut into medium sized chunks {aka not too big and not too small!}

1/2 pound ground turkey, browned {this was not part of the recipe ~ I added it, but this would also be perfect as a vegetarian meal}

onion, chopped

red pepper, chopped

garlic, minced {however much you like…we like A LOT}

1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes with jalapeños

2 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

dash cayenne

chopped cilantro and sour cream for garnish

I used 2 large sweet potatoes ~ peeled and cut them. Chopped a brown onion, red pepper and massive cloves of garlic. Sauté onions, peppers and garlic in olive oil until soft, stirring often. I browned the ground turkey in a separate pan, but you could brown it along with the veggies I suppose. Add the sweet potatoes, tomatoes {I ended up using a big fat can [28 ounces, I think] of petite diced}, and about 1-2 cups water {depending on how thick or soupy you like it}. Bring to a boil then turn down and simmer {covered} for about 20-25 minutes until potatoes are fork tender. Add the cooked meat and beans, heat through. Ladle it up and serve with cilantro confetti, a dollop of light sour cream and several dashes of Tabasco.

I love chilis because you can make a big pot and eat it throughout your busy week for lunches and dinners. The flavors also seem to get better the second and third day {can you tell we’re totally OK with leftovers over here?} 😉

Since this has the starchy taters, I didn’t serve any cornbread with it. It was a hearty, filling one pot meal ~ perfect for the {upcoming!} cooler weather. I also recently discovered a chicken basil chili that I will be making next week….stay tuned for that yummy recipe.


Happy, happy weekending!

Sweet Sippin’

I am not an iced tea drinker per se.

If I do drink iced tea, it must have lots of lemon and a little sweetner. The southerners have it all figured out with their infamous {sweet tea}. It’s a little too sweet for me, but I wanted to share a recipe that strikes the perfect balance between lemon and sugar and will have you thinking you’re on a wicker rocking chair under a leafy palm porch fan…


6 cups boiling water

5 Lemon Zinger Celestial Seasoning tea bags

1/2 cup sugar

Drop tea bags into boiling water that has been removed from the burner. Let steep for 8-12 minutes. Remove tea bags and pour warm tea into a pitcher and add 1/2 cup sugar. Stir until dissolved and fill the rest of the pitcher with ice. Serve with an extra squeeze of lemon and a mint sprig, if desired.

{Another summertime favorite is the Arnold Palmer ~ half iced tea [unsweetened] & half lemonade}

Happy Monday!

Ancient {Filipino} Secret

I think it’s safe to say that {everyone} knows what lumpia is…but if you’ve never had it, well, I’m sorry, but that can change. They are just a Filipino egg rolls I guess is the best way to describe them.

And they are DE-LISH!


Lumpia Shanghai Recipe

{from my mother-in-law, Lucy AKA “Lola”}

1 lb. ground pork

½ lb shrimp, chopped

2-3 stalks green onions, finely sliced

½ cup water chestnuts, chopped

(The shrimp, water chestnuts and green onions can be chopped all together in a food processor or chopper)

¼ cup soy sauce

½ tsp salt

Mix all together.  Add 1 slightly beaten egg and 3 tablespoons corn starch to hold the meat together and mix again.

Look for square, thin wrappers brand Spring Home TYJ Spring Roll Pastry or something similar.

Place 2 tablespoons of the mixture in a wrapper diagonally across.  Fold the pointed edge over the meat and then the sides of the wrapper.  Roll tightly and seal edges with warm water.

Here comes the bad part…shallow fry:

When golden brown on both sides, remove and place onto a paper towel lined plate.

We like to cut ours in half before serving. I found this sweet chili sauce {brand: Maggi} at Albertson’s in the Asian aisle. You can also use plain ‘ol sweet and sour sauce for dipping.

Tip: after the lumpia are all rolled, you can freeze them for future enjoyment. So make a lot of them because, trust me, they will fly off the plate.

Many people have asked for this recipe….so glad I can share this {secret} with you!

Happy Sunday!

{Simple} Sunday

Today was a simple, family day.

: Hot coffee with hazelnut creamer :

: Bike ride to Albertson’s :

: Grilled cheeseburgers with crinkle fries and Sriracha Ranch :

: Quick Slip N Slide action in the backyard :

: Outdoor play-doh fun :

: Football and more football :

: New dinner recipe :


My sweet, now in CO friend, Alicia, was so kind to send me a subscription to “Real Simple” magazine. I forgot just how much I love this publication. Full of ways to simplify, but still thoroughly enjoy life. Since I am currently obsessed with purging, this mag fits the bill perfectly. Thanks again, Leesh! I love the monthly love in my mailbox.

This month’s issue had a recipe that caught my eye. We’ve been talking about grilling up a pork tenderloin for weeks and when I scouted this one, I knew this was it.

Chili-Glazed Pork With Sweet Potato Hash

Uh, chili powder and maple glazed pork with sweet potatoes? Yes, please!

It was the perfect recipe for our maiden {pork tenderloin} voyage! Jay grilled the pork instead of broiling as the recipe suggested.

The sweet potatoes paired with the Sriracha sauce?


And I love that there is some spinach thrown in to make you feel extra good about this dish. Next time I will add lots more spinach and maybe half the sweet potato to reduce the starch in the meal.

Love. Love. Love.


And here is some proof that you can break out the water slide in January in So Cal…


Hope your weekend was full of all things {simple}.

{Dessert} Island

How adorable is this Turkey Day dessert table by the ever so talented Amy Atlas?


Confections for the {kid} in all of us!

I love the “corn cookies” on a stick.

I don’t know about you, but I always have room for dessert on Thanksgiving {and everyday for that matter}.

I wanted to share an easy pie recipe with you…

Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Pie

Courtesy of Paula Deen.

Just a little something different than your usual suspects…apple, pumpkin & pecan.

I love shopping for the bird and all the trimmings.

Think about putting some sweet potatoes on your list this year….you won’t be disappointed!

Happy Monday ~ only about 2 days left!

Easy As Pie

Seriously…this pie is easy and the only thing that isn’t from scratch is the shell. I use frozen unbaked crusts that come two to a package AND in a tin! Easy peasy!

Here is the recipe: Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Pie

Here are the ingredients:


Here is what it looks like when it’s making your whole house smell delish:


Looks like I need to clean the inside of my oven door…..

Anywhoo, this is what it looks before you cut it and devour it:


The recipe calls for a meringue top, but I think the pie is gorgeous without it. Maybe a little vanilla bean whipped cream? But tonight I’m serving it on it’s own and saving the calories for something else!

Burger Bliss


OK, you have got to make these burgers. Seriously!

If you think you don’t like horseradish, you do. If you think you don’t like Rachael Ray, you do.

These are the best. I make them all the time. Perfect for Fall. Turkey & Cranberry. Yum!

Serve with Alexia sweet potato fries (in the frozen aisle) and a simple green salad. I roasted some brussels sprouts to go with this meal, but left them in a little too long and they weren’t very photo worthy.

Here is a link to the recipe:

Turkey Burgers with Horseradish & Cheddar Cheese