First off - Happy Halloween!
As I mentioned in a previous post, a co-worker and friend of mine, Kathy, is having a baby really soon, and we had a baby shower for her at work this week. For a gift, I got her a locally made "baby sling" to carry her "little Hulk" around town in. The "baby slings" are really neat - we've seen women around town with them and their babies are never crying. When Brett and I were discussing what to get her, we liked that with the baby sling, the baby was able to stay close to Mom in transit and that probably helps to ease a lot of their anxiety. I also know the woman who makes these and sells them at The Peace Nook. I was very happy being able to get Kathy something that was not only useful, but also locally made - you can't beat that! I hope she and "the Hulk" make lots of good use out of it. (In case you are wondering "the Hulk" is the tentative name her husband gave the baby :-)).
I also needed to make a food contribution to her party and since the cake and other little nibblies were covered, I decided I would bring in nuts. I then decided to go beyond that and glaze the nuts, because I would rather, of course, have made something a little more extravagant for the occasion, but a purchased cake was already in the works. So this was my compromise - why buy something from the store when I could (happily) make something homemade?
A little note: These nuts are vegetarian as they contain honey and I know a lot of vegans don't eat honey. I am not sure whether this would work with agave or not. I can tell you that, at the very least, it wouldn't taste the same as this. Also, since I was making these for other people, I toned down the cayenne. The small addition of the cayenne in this recipe gave the nuts a smoky and savory flavor to complement the sweet flavors. If I had been making these for myself, I would have upped the cayenne and made this into "spicy-sweet" nuts, but I'm a freak like that and that is just how I roll. :-)
The local booty legend:
no asterisk = grocery store
+ = The Root Cellar
* = farmer's market
** = CSA
*** = Container or Community Garden
**** = the non-profit buying club, Blue Planet or Purcell Mountain Farms
Sweet (and ever-so-slightly spicy) Honey Glazed Mixed Nuts (Vegetarian)
3 cups of mixed nuts (I used 1 cup of peanuts, 1/2 cup of hazelnuts, 1 cup of cashews, and a 1/2 cup of walnuts)
1/3 cup of honey *
1 tbsp raw organic sugar
1 tbsp safflower oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne (or MORE! I was taking these into a baby shower so I had to keep them mild and sweet)
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine honey, sugar, oil, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne in a medium bowl.
Slowly stir in nuts and make sure to get the nuts evenly coated.
Place on a baking sheet and roast for 8-10 minutes - watching very carefully. You'll need to shake the pan a few times during the cooking process to keep the nuts from sticking.
Once removed from the oven, place in a single layer on parchment paper to dry for at least a few hours.
Store in a container for up to 3 days.
These were a pretty big hit at the party. And nobody was none-the-wiser that these nuts were homemade, not store bought. ;-)
'Til next time!