Nuts . . . and Squirreling Things Away

One of the first food blogs I started following way back when was Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen. It has an inexplicable charm, likely because of the balance of her passion for all things food-related and her light-hearted wit. Reading her blog brings that same comfort of being in a warm kitchen and waiting for your latest creation to come out of the oven.
And now, she has published her cookbook! I read about her book tour in the morning and chanced upon her new book that same afternoon while wandering through Chapters, Starbuck’s Mocha in hand. Flipping through the pages, I found all new recipes, and the same fabulous photographs and memorable stories that make her blog definitely one to follow.
I made the Granola-Crusted Nuts from her most recent blog post. If these don’t get devoured right out of the jar, I can see them being a fabulous healthy breakfast simply as a topping on plain Greek yogurt. They taste like mini chunks of apple crisp topping. Try ‘em!

Here is my adaptation of her recipe:
Ingredients
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons pistachios, or other nuts or seeds
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon water
2 cups (about 1/2 pound) walnuts or pecans

Directions
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 300 F.
Put the first six ingredients in a food processor and pulse until finely ground but not floury. In a large bowl, whisk the egg white and water until frothy. Toss in the walnuts (or pecans) and stir until the nuts are very well coated. Add the granola mixture and fold in gently just so the mixture sticks in the cracks and crevices of the nuts. Spread out on the baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes. Cool, break into clusters and squirrel away!

I also made a batch of my Sweet and Spicy Rosemary Nuts to pack away for wintry night snacks. This time I substituted Vancouver Island Salt Co.‘s Alder Smoked Sea Salt. Loved it!

You may have noticed that this space has been sorely neglected lately. Creating in my kitchen has taken a back seat to creating in my classroom as I’ve been directing all my energies to my new group of Grade One kidlets. They are a fun group of 5 and 6-year-olds and they are responding with great enthusiasm to my efforts to increase play-based learning activities in my class. Right now we’re playing with some squirrel activities and reading all the Scaredy Squirrel stories, which likely explains my fixation on storing food! While I haven’t been writing lately, Laura has been experimenting and preserving food from our garden and local orchards. Besides drying tomatoes, apples, plums and herbs in our food dehydrator, she has made nasturtium seed capers, nasturtium leaf pesto, pickled onions, pickled beets, grainy mustard, green tomato salsa, and together with her good friend, Emma, twenty apple or pumpkin pies. Needless to say, we are loving living here and being able to have a garden. Here’s our garden harvest on November 12!!

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About joinmefordinner

. . . living in the Cowichan Valley, cooking for my appreciative family and friends, and taking advantage of all this area has to offer including local organic produce, cheese, wine, artisan breads, and fresh-caught seafood.
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