Toasting your nuts

Okay, yes it’s me. I’m back. Just got a message asking me the best way to toast your nuts.

It’s oven roasting for me. You can do it in the microwave but . . . not my preferred method but doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.

Toasting your nuts.
How to Toast Nuts in the Oven

TOASTING YOUR NUTS

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spread your nuts in a single layer on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Place the cookie sheet in your preheated oven and toast for five to ten minutes until they are golden brown. Roasting time varies depending on size so keep an eye on them.

Toasting your nuts gives them a super rich flavor. Since nuts have lots of natural oil, you do not need to add oil for toasting.

TIPS

  • Taste your nuts before toasting to make sure they are still fresh.
  • I like to toss them around every couple of minutes with a wooden spoon or spatula so they bake nice and even.
  • Larger nuts will usually take the full 10 minutes. Smaller nuts will toast faster.
  • Do not toast different types of nuts together unless they are pretty much the same size.
  • Toast your nuts only until they start to turn a golden color. If they get anything other than light brown, believe me they will not taste good.

By the way, warmed nuts are easier to chop. Oh, and you don’t need to line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Make sure you have a nice clean baking sheet for this though (smile).

Now you know how to toast your nuts, how about these?

Pan Spiced Candied Nuts (by Minimalist Baker)

1 cup raw pecans
1 cup raw walnuts
1 1/2 Tbsp melted coconut oil or olive oil
2 Tbsp coconut sugar (plus more for topping)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 healthy pinch cayenne pepper
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp maple syrup (divided)

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C).

Add pecans and walnuts to a bare baking sheet and top with oil, coconut sugar (regular sugar will not do), cinnamon, cayenne, nutmeg, salt, and 1 Tbsp of the maple syrup. Toss them around with a wooden spoon to coat.

Bake for a total of 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Toss or stir about halfway through. Keep an eye on them so you do not over brown them.

Then remove from oven and immediately drizzle with remaining 1 Tbsp of maple syrup. You can also add a little more salt, cinnamon, and coconut sugar to coat. Stir them around to make sure they are coated evenly.

They make a lovely gift. Put them in a festive jar such as a Mason jar and decorate it.

Look at this. How about these for a hostess gift.

Toasted Pumpkin Spice Pecans (Flavour and Savour)

Pumpkin spice roasted pecans.
Pumpkin spice roasted pecans. Stored in an airtight container, these spiced pecans will last up to a month. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups pecan halves raw
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp maple syrup

Make your own pumpkin pie spice. Combine . . . .
3 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp ground ginger
2 tbsp ground nutmeg
1.5 tbsp ground allspice
1.5 tbsp ground cloves

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Add pecans to a large bowl. Add coconut oil and toss or stir gently to coat. Combine pumpkin spice with salt, add and repeat. Pour in the maple syrup and stir gently to coat.

Spread the mixture evenly on a baking sheet  and bake for 10 – 15 minutes, turning half way through. Watch carefully so they do not burn. Note: They will continue to brown after you remove them from the oven.

Let cool before serving or storing in an airtight container.

See y’all next week. L♥ve, P♥sty.

Thanksgiving cranberry fruit salad

Hello dear ones. Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving at our house without homemade fruit salad. It is something I look so forward to.

I love cranberries and decided to add them this year to our family recipe, but somehow it didn’t taste the way I expected when I did a test run. So I thought, okay, find a recipe that you know works. I found one at Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures.

Cranberry Fruit Salad by Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures
Cranberry Fruit Salad by Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures

Cranberry Fruit Salad

INGREDIENTS
1 – [ 16 oz. package ] frozen cranberries (or fresh)
1 cup water
½ cup organic maple syrup (+/-) *
1 teaspoon allspice *
2 teaspoons cinnamon *
¼ teaspoon clove *
1 gala apple, peeled, chopped into small pieces (or similarly flavored apple) *
1 cup (+/-) mandarin oranges, fresh or canned – liquid drained (no sugar added) *
1 cup (+/-) pineapple tidbits, fresh or canned – liquid drained (no sugar added) *
1 cup (+/-) walnuts, toasted and chopped

Alternative Ingredients:
Pecans, toasted and chopped (in place of walnuts)
Pear, peeled, chopped into small pieces (in place of the apple)

Go here for how to put the whole thing together. Please note: You will have to scroll for a very long time before you get to the recipe, so don’t give up. It’s there. The site is monetized but not to the degree I bailed out like I usually do. Over monetized sites make me feel crazy, as you know.

I am serving this cranberry fruit salad along with my Granny’s traditional fruit salad which has coconut and mini marshmallows. Yummmm! I get my vegan marshmallows at Dandies, a super company. Thrive Market has them. You can get them on Amazon too. Stock up cause there’s loads you can do with them.

Why’s Thankgiving so late?

Does it seem to you like Thanksgiving should be this week? I was wondering about it and did a little search to find out if it’s just me, or if there’s something up that passed me by. I found an article by Country Living, Here’s Why Thanksgiving Is So Late This Year.

Country Living says:

“As it turns out, there’s a reason the holiday is arriving a little on the tardier side—and it’s downright historic. In fact, the story dates all the way back to 1939 when Franklin Roosevelt decided to shake up the tradition a bit in the name of capitalism.

“Thanksgiving had been celebrated on the last Thursday of the month since the time of Abraham Lincoln. But, according to TIME, during 1939, the calendar had been unusual, as the month started on a Wednesday, so there were five Thursdays as opposed to four.

“To restore some order, Roosevelt moved the national holiday to the second-to-last Thursday of the month (a change that many were unhappy with). Instead of focusing on the negative, Roosevelt attempted to justify his decision with a pro-shopping response: merchants would now have a holiday further from Christmas to allow for more shopping time. In a way, this birthed the consumer craze known as Black Friday nearly 80 years ago.

“The following year (1940), the change stuck as the second-to-last Thursday (Nov. 21) was declared the official Thanksgiving Day. In 1941, he reportedly admitted that the switch was a mistake, but because the calendars were already printed with the third Thursday as Thanksgiving Day, it was too late to go back.

“As 1941 ended, Roosevelt made the final permanent change, as he signed a bill making Thanksgiving Day fall on the fourth Thursday of November, regardless of if it is the last Thursday of the month or not.

” . . . this year, the month of November begins on a Friday, which means the fourth Thursday of the month falls on Nov. 28—it’s the first time Thanksgiving has been this late since 2013.”

Did you know all of this went on? I had no idea. It never crossed my mind. Do you remember it being late like this in 2013? I don’t. Not sure what that is a sign of.

Anyway, I doublechecked this year’s date one more time for my husband who is totally off balance because of it!

According to Calendarpedia.com, Thanksgiving is for sure on November 28th this year. Thanksgiving won’t be on the 28th again until 2024, or 1837 days from this year’s. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if turkey was totally off the menu by then? I can dream.

Vegan Pumpkin Crumble

Vegan Pumpkin Crumble by Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures
Vegan Pumpkin Crumble by Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures. Click image to visit recipe.

Oh, if you are looking for some new or extra recipe ideas, especially if you are newly vegan, Monkey and Me have loads of suggestions, like the one pictured above. Click to see their recipe.

Here’s more from them. You can make your whole vegan Thanksgiving dinner with these options!

Big hugs and many thanks, P♥tsy!

Updated 8:40 pm EST

 

Take action for California racehorses

California Governor Gavin Newsom

Racehorse killings continue at California racetracks. California Governor Gavin Newsom who was very vocal during Santa Anita’s final season of death has gone quiet.

Three racehorses have already been killed at Del Mar. What is he waiting for? How many killings does it take? Yes, we know that the State is still recovering from the wildfires. As sorry as we are, we can’t help that.

TAKE ACTION

Calling all Californians. Contact Governor Newsom to suspend all California horse racing indefinitely until they get to the bottom of all of these racehorse deaths.

Not a Californian? We should all take part, from wherever you are. It will demonstrate that this issue is still under intense public scrutiny. This issue is far from over. This issue is not going away.

The current race meeting at Del Mar runs to Sunday, December 1, 2019. To date three horses have been killed.

Ghost Street (while racing) 11/10
Prayer Warrior (while racing) 11/10
Slewgoodtobetrue (while training) 11/17

TWITTER

The most effective social media platform for this is Twitter. Please tweet your message to @CAgovernor.

Use hashtags #california #horseracing. Do you think we should use something much stronger like #killracingnothorses? Maybe not.

Thank you giving racehorses your voice.

Yummy vegan nut roast for the holidays

Cornucopia artwork by Country Living.

I love veggie loafs and nut roasts but the nutty ones most during the holidays.

This is such a handy holiday recipe to have. It’s a BBC recipe that I have made time and again and everybody loves it.

Make sure none of your revelers are allergic to nuts. It you can’t do something “nutty” because of allergies etc, there’s loads more below. So stay with me.

The only ingredient you may not find in the veggie section at a regular supermarket in the U.S. is a leek. Don’t worry about that. You can substitute chopped onion. And you should be able to find chestnuts this time of year, if not at your local market then via Amazon.

Chestnuts are what give this loaf it’s “meaty” texture. So let’s get our 2 lb loaf pan out of the cupboard, and get busy.

BBC Vegan Nut Roast.
BBC Vegan Nut Roast.

Ingredients

300g/10½oz mixed nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans or Brazil nuts
1 vegan-friendly vegetable stock cube
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing
1 onion, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
1 leek, trimmed and thinly sliced (about 100g/3½oz prepared weight) *
2 carrots, coarsely grated (around 150g/5½oz prepared weight)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 tbsp cashew butter
180g/6oz cooked chestnuts, broken into small pieces
75g/2½oz dried cranberries
20g/¾oz bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 lemon, finely grated zest only
4 tbsp soya milk or nut milk
1 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Put the nuts and stock cube into a food processor and blitz on the pulse setting until chopped into small pieces, but not fully ground. If you don’t have a food processor, chop all the nuts as finely as you can.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6/400F. Lightly oil then line the base of a 900g/2lb loaf tin with baking paper.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and gently fry the onion, celery, leek and carrots for 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring regularly. Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds more.
  4. Tip into a mixing bowl and stir in the cashew nut butter. Add the chopped nuts, chestnuts, cranberries, parsley, lemon zest, almond milk and salt. Season with lots of ground black pepper and stir until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin. Press down with a spoon firmly to compact the mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes, or until the loaf is hot throughout and lightly browned.
  6. Remove the tin carefully from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before loosening the edges of the loaf with a table knife and turning out onto a board or platter. Cut into thick slices and serve hot with vegan gravy.

* If you don’t have leeks or just wish to find a substitute there are several good alternatives. For 1 cup of leeks substitute:

1 cup chopped green onions (scallions)
OR – 1 cup dry yellow or white onion, chopped
OR – 1 cup chopped shallots -which are also mild and have a slightly different flavor.

*  *  *  *

I love you so much I made a pdf of the recipe so you can print it out. Shopping list is on page 1; how to prepare it on page 2.

•  RECIPE_Nut_Loaf_Vegan (pdf, 2 pp)

My dear little young’un likes to make a “sandwich” with mashed potatoes in between two slices of nut loaf, pours loads of gravy on it, and tops it all off with brussel sprouts.

More

Not feeling the chestnut thing? Okay. Here’s another recipe but l leave the ketchup off. It’s a Meatless Loaf with Mushrooms from veganhuggs.com. Boy oh boy is this good. Love it. Click image to see the recipe.

Vegan Huggs' Mushroom-walnut meatless loaf w/ ketchup glaze.
Vegan Huggs’ Mushroom-walnut meatless loaf w/ ketchup glaze. Click image to visit recipe.

Can’t leave out vegan superstar chef Vegan Richa, right? This one is made with chickpeas. You know chickpeas . . . what hummus is made of. Sigh! This is melt in your mouth good. The texture and the flavors. Mega.

Vegan Chickpea Veggie Loaf by Vegan Richa.
Vegan Chickpea Veggie Loaf by Vegan Richa. Click image to visit recipe.

Even More

We’re back on the chestnut thing because I had to share this. The chestnut is for the garnish so could do something else there. You can’t miss this this soup . . . heaven! Click image to visit recipe.

Pea and Spinach Soup from Merchant Gourmet.
Pea and Spinach Soup from Merchant Gourmet.

Another Roast

For Christmas see this recipe for a Chestnut, Mushroom & Sage roast also from Merchant Gourmet. I love them. Delicious! You can buy your chestnuts at Merchant Gourmet too.

Alrighty then. I have given you plenty of inspiration. So . . . . . what are you going to cook?

Hugs, P♥tsy.