Saturday, December 10, 2011

A few of my favorite things

When I say that I could eat this whole thing, I really mean that I could eat this whole thing! I could seriously survive off of cheese, bread and fruit, but I know that that isn't the most healthiest of diets so all in moderation right? But when it comes to cheese this is one of my most favorite things, I love baked brie and love to make it any chance I get for company or to take to a party. There are so many variations of baked brie, but my favorite way is to wrap the cheese with puff pastry and top wit with raspberry jam, while it bakes it all melts and oozes out when you cut into it. Another way is to top it with nuts and brown sugar, or for more of a savory kind, pesto and sun dried tomatoes. Below is a beautiful picture of brie without the puff pastry which still is so good.
Real Simple
Here are two other of my most favorite holiday yummies. They are good to have if you are having company, to take to a party or to give as a holiday gift. Believe me your recipient will be thoroughly impressed with these delicious treats.
Curried Walnuts, these are so good, I've given them as gifts many times and everyone always wants the recipe. They are so good by themselves or sprinkled on salads!
Recipe for Curried Walnuts:
1lb. of walnut halves
1/2 cup of sugar
2 1/2 t. corn oil
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1 1/4 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. each of, ground ginger and coriander
1/4 t. each of, chili powder, ground cloves and cardamon
Preheat oven to 325
Blanch walnuts in boiling water for 1 minute, drain, while still warm transfer to a bowl, add sugar and oil, combine and let stand for 15 minutes. Arrange the nuts in a layer on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, stir every 8 minutes. In another bowl combine all the spices, remove the nuts from the oven and sprinkle with the spices while the nuts are still warm. Toss well and cool completely.

This one is a staple for me during the holidays, it is Almond Butter Crunch, it's toffee, and so good!
This recipe was given to me by someone I knew, I make it every year and always think of her.
This is a little more involved and takes a little more patience but it is worth it.
Recipe for Almond Butter Crunch:
1lb. butter
5 ounces of sliced almonds
2 1/2 cups sugar
package of semi -sweet chocolate chips
Melt butter in a large sauce pan, stir in almonds and sugar,  bring to boil, stirring constantly. Using a candy thermometer while stirring constantly wait til you reach the hard crack stage. When you reach the hard crack stage, pour out onto a baking sheet with sides, and sprinkle the chocolate chips on top, wait a few minutes and then use a spatula to spread out the melted chocolate. After the toffee has cooled completely, turn over and break into pieces.

Hope you enjoy these recipes, if you have any great recipes to share that would also make great gifts, would love to have you share them.

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