Monday, December 11, 2017

Easy Homemade Christmas Gifts- Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts

Good morning! I hope that you had a great weekend. Were you one of the lucky ones that got a little or a lot of snow? Sadly we did not get one flake, lots of rain and really cold weather but no snow.

It was gray and rainy, the perfect kind of weather to stay home and make things. I have a long list of people that I bake or make things for and I decided this year to try a few recipes. 

So this week I am going to share one or even two a day with you. That way if you have people that you like to give homemade food gifts to there is time to try them out.

I love nuts and think that they are an easy and delicious gift to give. In addition to just giving a beautiful tin of these nuts you can add them to a bottle of wine or champagne or even a basket with cheese and homemade crackers.

Whatever you do make sure that you make an extra batch for your own house because they are a great snack or appetizer to serve with drinks when people stop by over the next few weeks.

Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts
Recipe from Once Upon a Chef


2 1/2 cups of mixed unsalted nuts (pecans, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, etc)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Toast the nuts until lightly toasted and golden brown, about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl mix together the butter, rosemary, cayenne pepper, brown sugar. Add in the warm nuts and then sprinkle with the salt. Toss to coat. These nuts are delicious served warm.

That's it, the whole recipe takes about 10 minutes and they are spicy and sweet and scrumptious!

They look beautiful in clear cellophane bags tied with ribbon or in a holiday tin with a clear window so that your recipients can see what they are getting. 

I hope that you try them. 

Have a great day!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Silent Sunday 12-10-2017

Have a great day!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Friday Favorites from Camille Styles, Cup of Jo, A Spicy Southern Kitchen, French by Design and More

Post contains affiliate links. 

Good morning! How was your week? Are you getting ready for the holidays? I have my house decorated, I have watched a ton of Christmas movies, wrapped and sent all of my gifts but the baked ones and now I am getting to the fun part, baking and eating!

I made 4 batches of nut brittle yesterday, along with 3 different spiced nuts, a cake and a loaf of bread. Next week I have about 10 batches of candy, 6 kinds of cookies, 3 cheesecakes and a tart to make. It's my favorite part of the holiday. Have you been baking? 

Image a Cup of Jo

I love sandwiches and this Croque Madame is right up may alley. 

Image HERE

My husband has been doing all of the cooking while I have been under the weather and last Saturday he made on of my favorites, French Dip sandwiches using this recipe from A Spicy Southern Kitchen and the best news, its made in a crockpot. 

Image from Ikea via French by Design

I love Christmas so much that I put up multiple trees in my house and on the years that I am hosting Christmas every guest room gets its own tree. For those of you who are short on space, do not like real trees or just want to try something new, this post Alternative Christmas Trees from French by Design might interest you!

Image Private Newport

If you like making pomanders here is a great post from Bettie at Private Newport. I love to make them but I have yet to figure out how to keep them from molding. If you have tips I would love the hear them. 

The Rules of Magic: A Novel (The Practical Magic Series)

Speaking of books. I have 2 great recommendations of books to give friends and loved ones for Christmas!

The first, Valerie's Home Cooking: More than 100 Delicious Recipes to Share with Friends and Family is one of my new favorite cook books.

From the back cover:

As the current star of her Food Network show, Valerie's Home Cooking, and co-host of the network's Kids Baking Championship, as well as having spent years acting on television, Valerie Bertinelli has made a name for herself in households across America. But to really know Valerie, is to spend time in her kitchen. 

Inspired by her family's cooking legacy, Valerie specializes in showing fans how to make dishes their own families will love that are for the heart and soul. As she often says, there's a story behind every recipe and Valerie shares them in this gorgeous cookbook, where home cooks will find more than 100 recipes that are easy to make and innovative--they're just as fresh, vibrant and down to earth as Valerie herself. Many of these classic comforting recipes have an original twist like Bloody Mary Tea Sandwiches, Lobster BLTs, Quick Rotisserie Chicken Gumbo, and S'mores Popcorn. These mouthwatering dishes will become your go-tos, whether you're having breakfast or lunch on your own, friends are joining for last-minute cocktails and small bites, or the whole family is coming together for a hearty dinner and dessert.

I have been a fan of Valerie since One Day at a Time and have watched her show of Food Network. What I love about this book is that the photos are beautiful and the recipes are easy. There are cocktails, breakfasts, snacks, lunch, dinner and dessert recipes. Many of the recipes are comfort food, my favorite sort of meal, macaroni and cheese, pasta, sandwiches and there are also recipes that my husband would love for steaks, lamb chops and tenderloin.

If you know someone that loves easy, family friendly meals than this is a beautiful book to give them for Christmas.

The second book I was given by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest opinion. It is called The Comic Book Story of Video Games: The Incredible History of the Electronic Gaming Revolution and I think it is going to be perfect for my nephew for Christmas! If you have a "gamer" in your family than this is the book for them. It tells history of computers and games, contains details about the programmers and the companies behind the technology and so much more. IT is everything that you would ever what to know about video games and more in an illustrated in comic book.

And last but not least and interesting article: 31 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Setting Next Years Goals

I hope that you have a great weekend. If you have something that you would like to share, a movie, book, podcast, or perhaps a favorite Christmas recipe please do!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Winter Coats and Cold Weather Looks

This post contains affiliate links. 

Good morning! The weather here is just starting to turn cold, yesterday it was 69 and today it is going to be in the 40's and rainy. They say by Sunday it will be in the 30's, maybe we will get some snow! The cold weather has me getting out my cold weather gear. Having lived in Wisconsin I think I am ready. I put together a few of my favorite looks that are similar to coats and clothes I already own. Just in case you want to shop the sales. 

Don't you jut love a beautiful black winter coat

 This military inspired coat by Ralph Lauren can be dressed up or down and it looks fabulous on. I love it with the tall boots. Throw on a plaid scarf and some leather gloves and you are ready for a day at work, date night or a day shopping.

I have been a Barbour fan ever since my first trip to Scotland in 2001. These sturdy jackets keep out the frigid air and keep you warm. Over the years I have gotten several but I think my favorite it the plaid wax jacket. 

As a scarf some casual jeans(these girlfriend jeans are some of my favorites) a sweater and some booties and you are ready for a day out.

On really cold days runny back and forth to yoga or taking my pups for a walk I break out the quilted down jackets. I have short and long and they are both nice and toasty.

What is the weather like in your area? Has it gotten cold yet? What is your"go to" jacket or coat on a cold winter day? Do you prefer wool, or down?

Of course I always accessorize with a plaid cashmere scarf and some warm mittens.

I hope that you have a great day! 

Please say a prayer for all those in the path of the fires in California. So many have already lost their homes and everything they own. 

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