#handcraftededibles: Go Nuts

#handcraftedediblesIn an effort to make all of her holiday gifts this year, Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla invited some of her favorite foodie bloggers to share recipes for hand-crated edibles. Over the course of twelve weeks, we’ll be sharing recipes for all your homemade holiday gifts. Hope you’ll follow along for inspiration. You can find out more information, including the schedule here.

Today’s theme is “Go Nuts”. Spiced and candied nuts or nut mixes make for perfect party food. Next time you’re invited to a holiday party, bring a pretty container full of flavored nuts to gift to the generous host.

I had a couple of recipes on the blog that would fit today’s theme, but I’ve decided to re-share my personal favorite, Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds. These almonds are a great alternative to the popular traditional candied nuts and are guaranteed to wow your friends.

Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds

Ingredients:

  • 4 C almonds
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp orange zest

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Place almonds on prepared baking sheet. Lightly spray with cooking spray and roast 10-15 minutes.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat melt together butter and sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved remove from  the heat and mix in the rosemary and orange zest.
  4. Toss roasted almonds and the butter mixture together in a large bowl. Spread nuts back out on baking sheet(s) to cool completely.

*This recipe is adapted from Christie at http://akitchenhoor.blogspot.com/2015/02/src-reveal-orange-and-rosemary-roasted.html*

Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds | Sew You Think You Can Cook

To give nuts as a gift place them in a glass container and tie it with a bow along with the recipe! An entire gift basket of different nut flavors and varieties would be a great gift, too.

Here are some other options to fill your basket:

Next week – week 10 – check back for our recipes to inspire you as we let our confectioner’s skills shine. Think truffles, barks, anything
and everything with chocolate. Don’t forget to check out our #handcraftededibles pinterest board.

Tuesday Tattles #10

Tuesday Tattles

It’s been another almost five months since I’ve done a “favorite products” version of Tuesday Tattles. My little man is now 16 1/2 months old.

12107130_10103304221470551_5559103387627477238_nA lot has happened since he’s turned one! He is more sure footed than ever, except for when he’s tired, and is a happy explorer. He can run, although not exactly gracefully, and enjoys running away from us to see if we’ll get him! But his number one activity is climbing. He’ll try and climb up on anything! I’ve caught him on top of my crafting table, laying next to my sewing machine. Chairs now have to be kept at a distance or tucked too far under the table to be of use.

His vocabulary has expanded from “duck” to include “all done”, “uh oh”, “up”, and “okay.” He is getting great at communicating when he is hungry too by running to the fridge and yelling “MAOW”. His favorite foods include sandwiches, berries, bananas, and the food that gets a happy dance, cheese.

Now on to the favorite toys of my one year old. A lot of today’s items are those he got at his first birthday. My family had some great ideas so if you have little ones on your holiday shopping list pay attention!

Duck Pond Water Table

toys for toddlers | sew you think you can cookA splash table is a fun warm weather activity and when I saw one that was duck themed I knew I had to get it! (Duck was my little man’s first word and he still loves rubber ducks and the duck stuffed animal I had as a child.) My son loves water – baths, showers, washing his hands. It’s getting too cold now but I know when it comes back out of the box come late spring he’ll find new enjoyment with it.

Little People Music Parade Ride-On

11755883_10103137355366561_2074814749816057856_nThis marching band car is a huge hit! He loves to press the music making buttons, push it around the house, sit on it and be pushed, sit on it and scoot around himself, and of course, try to fit himself in it. Surprisingly he still hasn’t put anything into the seat cavity, other than to immediately pull it out. Maybe with a little brother around he’ll re-discover the compartment as a place for safe keeping.

Play Kitchen

toys for toddlers 2 | sew you think you can cookA play kitchen is a perfect toy for a food blogger’s kid! And I’m happy to report that a lot of independent play has been developed through his play kitchen. (Allowing me to wash dishes peacefully.) He will bang the dishes, open up all the doors, and naturally try and climb it. This particular model comes with a shape sorting pot and it’s one of his favorite activities. All of the accessories do create a bit of a mess, but what’s a home with a toddler without a little clutter?

Classic Table and Chairs Set

toys for toddlers 3 | sew you think you can cookWe found this classic table and chairs set at a consignment shop in fantastic shape, so I jumped on the chance to bring it home. I thought he was still too little to really use it but I was proven wrong within ten minutes of having it home. He had immediately climbed up on top of the table and stood up. It was kept upside down for a while after that. And when he got tired of being in his booster seat I found he’d eat a sandwich like a big boy at his table. Turns out the table is also the perfect platform for superhero practice with Daddy.

Mega Bloks

Until quite recently my little man much preferred destroying towers as to building them but now he’ll stack a few before taking them apart. He likes to bring us the bag to open up and build with him, although the creativity and endless hours of fun are still a ways away.

The Little Engine That Could

This abridged version of the classic is definitely my 16 month old’s favorite book. We read it at least four times a day.

The Babies on the Bus

I must admit, I wasn’t thrilled pulling this one out of the birthday bag, but the gift giver definitely knew what they were doing. This book comes at a very close second for most read book in our house. I have managed to turn it into a fun read by not singing the song (no one needs that stuck in their head all childhood) and using hand motions. My son will now “sing” “LA LA LA” with the babies on the bus and say “shush shush shush” with the driver on the bus. He will also swing his arms “open and close” along with the “doors on the bus.”
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Grape Jelly

I feel like I’ve been saying this a lot lately, but here’s another cooking adventure I’d always been afraid to try. Making jelly and canning. This adventure wasn’t even on my culinary bucket list – it was too scary. There’s the whole bit with the pectin and the part of sterilizing jars and sealing jars. It just seemed like way too much time and effort to be worth it.

Boy was I wrong!

Homemade jelly is FANTASTIC.

Maybe it’s the grapes.

These grapes came from my parents’ lake house in Lake Geneva, WI. This house used to be my grandparents’ summer home and I spent many of my childhood summers making memories there.

By the road there’s a fence that has grapes growing on it. Grapes which I always thought were green grapes. Nope. They’re beautiful, purple concord grapes! They were just never ripe when I was visiting.

This year, the grapes were ready a little early and Mom called me up asking if I wanted to try making jelly with her. She had over ten pounds of harvested grapes! She stopped by on her way back to Florida for the winter for a few days and we tried our hand at jelly making. A first for both of us!

There are a good number of steps to jelly making. And there’s a good mess to be made. But it’s not difficult. And with the right canning suppliesit’s even fun. This recipe made 12 4oz Jarsand 4 8oz jars.

Making Homemade Jelly 1 Making Homemade Jelly 2 Making Homemade Jelly 3 Making Homemade Jelly 4

Grape Jelly

Ingredients:

  • 5 lb concord grapes
  • 7 C sugar, divided use
  • 1 pkt pectin(or 8 tbsp)

Equipment:

  • blender or juicer
  • cheesecloth
  • jelly jars with lids and rings
  • jar funnel
  • jar grabber
  • magnetic lid grabber
  • large stock pot(s)

Steps:

  1. Sanitize your jelly jars. I did this by running my dishwasher on a very hot cycle. Keep jars warm until ready to fill to prevent the glass cracking. If you do this in a dishwasher, simply don’t open the door until you’re ready to fill the jars. If you sanitize jars by washing with soapy water and boiling in water for 10 minutes,keep the jars in warm water until you’re ready to fill them.
  2. Place jar lids in a shallow skillet over low heat (do not boil) to get the seal gummy, remove lids from water.
  3. Place grapes in a blender (this will need to be done in batches) and pulse until juiced. Pour and press the juice through a cheesecloth lined strainer and strain into a large measuring cup. Squeeze cheesecloth to extract all the juice. Do this until you have 5 C of juice. (Any extra juice is a delicious tart treat for you to enjoy!)
  4. In a small bowl, combine the pectin with 1/4 C of the sugar.
  5. Warm the juice, but do not boil (yet). Stir in the pectin. Bring to a full boil.
  6. Add the rest of the sugar and return to a boil. Boil for 1 minute.
  7. Fill jars with jelly, cover with lids and rings. Seal by placing the filled jars in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool in a dry place over night. (I did this in my oven.)

*This recipe is adapted from http://www.pickyourown.org/grapejelly.htm#.VELDzfl4ofg*

Homemade Grape Jelly

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Vanilla Honey Roasted Pecans

April 14th is National Pecan Day.

I’ve been wanting to try using the honey we brought back from Hawaii and after a trip to the Marietta Square farmer’s market in Atlanta where we inhaled Angel Pecans from Ye Olde Christmas and Candy Shoppe I knew that roasted nuts in honey would be a great way to utilize the Hawaiian honey. But first, I needed to do test runs with cheaper products.

National Pecan Day was an excellent excuse to try it out. I already had pecans in the pantry and my friend Tara of Tara’s Multicultural Table gave us vanilla bean infused honey for Christmas. I happily used that, roasted the pecans in the oven, and tossed with a little powdered sugar.

Vanilla Honey Roasted Pecans

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 C vanilla bean infused honey
  • 1 1/2 C pecan halves
  • 1/8 – 1/4 C powdered sugar

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place honey in a microwave safe dish and microwave for 20 seconds.
  3. Toss pecans in honey. Place pecans in a single layer on a greased baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  4. Remove pecans from baking sheet and allow to cool in a single layer. Toss in powdered sugar, to taste.

Honey Roasted Pecans

For other nut recipes, check out my Sugar and Spiced Nuts, Pecan Pie, or Pecan Crusted Salmon.