Tag Archives: Nuts

pistachio sandies

Pistachio Sandies

Christmas is a mere 4 days away. (Seriously, how did that happen?) Even though I started listening to the Classical Christmas pandora station soon after Thanksgiving, the fact that it is already December 21st snuck up on me.   I’m sure there are some of you that are totally cookie-d out.  However, I hope that you have a little more room in your holiday baking schedule.  Continue reading

good to the grain {a review}

Good to the Grain

I received Good to the Grain a couple months ago to review from Abrams Books and I’m so sorry that I have been holding out on you, because it really is a wonderful book.  From the absolutely stunning photography of Quentin Bacon, to the range of recipe types, this is a book that should make it onto any adventurous home cook’s shelf.  After many years as a pastry chef, Kim Boyce decided to leave professional kitchens for her own and in the process she began to experiment with many whole grain flours. Continue reading

A cookie for Santa

Oatmeal Cookies

I know what you are probably thinking. “Whitney, I am cookie-d out. Christmas is in 3 days (3 days?!?) and I don’t need to hear about yet another cookie.” There have been plenty of cookie recipes floating around the blogs, some even had 12 Days of Cookies (I was impressed). But I will tell you why you need just one more recipe. Santa. Continue reading

weekday mornings

One of the best things about currently being unemployed job searching is weekday mornings.  I wake up reasonably early since Dave gets up and heads to work and I spend the first couple hours of the day, slowly sipping my coffee out of a big ceramic mug while sitting on my couch, digging through my Google Reader or reading a book.  For the time being, its very enjoyable routine.  My morning routine also consists of this granola.  You might have read about this “dangerously addictive olive oil granola” that was featured in the NYT. I decided to make up a batch because I was eating my way through also very delicious but expensive bags of granola from Milk and Honey. Continue reading

spiced nuts

I forgot to tell you about a simply recipe that made an appearance at my party a few weeks ago: Spice Nuts.  I have always thought that the addition of an almond or a pistachio can enhance a recipe (or draw me to the recipe in the first place.) And I have a strong memory of buying some warm almonds from a street vendor near Columbia in NYC last May.  

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the generosity of friends

This past weekend, I threw a party at my apartment and asked my friends to donate money as “cover” to my ACS Solider Field 10 mile page.  Really, it was just a great excuse to have some great friends over to unwind before finals (and Bar Review-gag) start.  After running 6 miles (my longest yet!) in the morning, I came home to get ready for the party.  Throughout the day the donations trickled in and I was quickly over my $400 goal.  A BIG THANK YOU to all my wonderful friends that donated.  I can’t thank you enough for your generosity, especially as a time when we are all graduating and most of us without a clear income in sight.   Continue reading

Granola w/ Almonds, Pistachios and Cranberries

After reading a bunch of food policy-esque books lately, I have been reevaluating some of my food purchases and finding simple changes that have infinite benefits.  Simple things like looking at the italian dressing packet that I always used and swapping it for a mix with far fewer (and pronounceable) ingredients from the Spice House. It is satisfying to know that the loaf of bread that just gets pulled out of the oven, only has a handful of ingredients in it. After buying a whole lot of dried milk for my light wheat bread, I was excited to see that another use for all the surplus is granola. This recipe is entirely flexible and the results are wonderful. I have a big gallon sized bag that I am slowly eating down and enjoying it every step of the way.

I decided to use my favorite nuts (almonds and pistachios) and big, plump dried cranberries that I really fell in love with during this past holiday season.

It comes together quite quickly. You put all the dry ingredients (nuts, oats, powdered milk, coconut, salt) in a huge bowl (in my case 2 large bowls) and give them a quick stir. Then you mix together all the wet ingredients (oil, honey, vanilla) in a measuring cup and slowly add the liquid to the dry stirring it all in as you go.

Once everything is mixed, you dump it all out onto a half sheet pan (I did it in two batches) and place it in a preheated 300 degree oven. Take it out every 5-7 mins and stir it around so that it cooks evenly.

The granola is done when the oats start to brown and it feels hot to the touch (took me around 20 mins). It is fanatasic on its own, eaten like cereal with cold milk, or, my personal favorite, mixed with some tangy plain greek yogurt.

I have been giving little baggies full to friends and enjoying it for breakfast all week. I will probably stick some in the freezer to see how it holds up. The recipe makes a TON so it might be smart to half it (or just have lots of ziploc handy.)

Recipe adapted from Homesick Texan

10 cups rolled oats (this is just your normal Quaker Oatmeal)
1 cup dried milk
4-6 cups nuts (I used 2 cups of pistachios and 2 cups of almonds and I think it is plenty)
5 cups dried, unsweetened coconut flakes (I usually HATE dried coconut, but these flakes are PERFECT in this recipe)
2-3 tsp. salt (I used 3 and it is almost a little salty)
1 to 1.5 cups vegetable oil
1 cup honey
3 tsp. vanilla
2-3 cups dried cranberries (add after baking)
Heat oven to 300 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients in a BIG bowl and mix thoroughly. In a large measuring cup, measure the oil and then add the honey and vanilla too it. Mix thoroughly with a whisk.

Put the mixture on a silpat lined (if you have one) pan 1-3 inches thick and bake. Use a spatula to turn it every five minutes or so. It is best to take it out before it seems done. When it feels hot to the touch and is a light golden brown, it’s ready. Mix in the dried cranberries.

Cranberry-Nut Bread

Time and time again I realize how much I love going to the farmer’s market because I end up buying an ingredient that I have never used before and I’m not even sure if I like it, but then come home, pull out my cookbooks and find something to do with it. Cranberries are in that category. I can’t remember having cranberries on our Thanksgiving table and the only time I have tasted the flavor is in juice form to ward off a bladder infection. At the last Green City still in Lincoln Park (they have since moved North to the Nature Museum but it is a bit of a trek on my bike rather than a leisurely walk) I picked up a $2 pint of cranberries just because they looked so pretty.

pretty red cranberries.

pretty red cranberries.

After looking through Tastespotting and a few of my favorite blogs, I decided that I would make a quick bread.  I love how easy it is to throw all the liquids in a small bowl.  Whisk all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Pour the wet into the dry with a quick stir, pour into a loaf pan and toss it all into the oven.  This bread was super moist and stayed that way for 4 or 5 days when I took the end of the loaf to work.  I got lots of compliments on it.

perfect flavor combo

perfect flavor combo

Try this while cranberries are still in season. They were little bursts of tang mixed in with the bright orange and the moist bread.

I love Zest.

I love Zest.

quick stir

quick stir



perfect with a glass of milk

perfect with a glass of milk

Cranberry-Nut Bread
Modified from p.687 “The Best New Recipe Book

2 Cups of AP Flour (I used 1 Cup AP, 1 Cup White-Wheatand will probably use all White-Wheat the next time)
1/2 cup nuts (I used Walnuts because it was what I had on hand, but pecans would also be lovely)
Zest and Juice from 1 large orange
2/3 cup buttermilk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2-1 teaspoon of cinnamon (My addition-I love cinnamon in all my breads)
1 1/2 cup cranberries, chopped coarse.

Pre-heat oven to 375. Grease and flour a loaf pan. Stir together the orange zest and juice, buttermilk, butter, and egg is a small bowl. Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry with a rubber spatula until just moistened. Gently stir in the cranberries and pecans. Don’t over mix! Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the surface.

Bake 20 mins, then reduce the heat to 350; continue to bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 mins longer. Cool in the pan 10 mins, then cool completely on a wire rack.

TWD #4: Caramel Peanut Topped Brownie Cake

I will say that while I had fun making the caramel, I wasn’t a big fan of the final product. The cake turned out dry and the topped was really hard to chew through. I took it with me to a friend’s apartment for dinner on Friday night and came home with half that ended up in the trash today.  I just didn’t want another slice 😦

This was the fun part.

This was the fun part.

Look forward to next week!