Out of my Mind

Sometimes i’m pretty sure that i have lost my mind.

Like when I’m in the midst of taking photos for the blog and then I delete some pretty important step-by-step recipe photos that I needed for today.

Yep, that’s me.

So, today all I have is the end product photos for you.

And I had some really mouth watering photos of me pouring tahini, maple syrup, and honey all over some cashews.

But, these pics will just have to suffice. 🙂

Because let me tell you….you need this recipe.

I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of using tahini before on roasted nuts.

Tahini…a.k.a. sesame seed butter is basically my life. I use it to make dressings, drizzle it over fresh vegetables, and I’ve even used it to make cookies and muffins.

HAAAAALP ME!

Now, I’ve figured out a way to incorporate it into these honey roasted cashews.

It’s like using oil, but instead, you’re using tahini.

Because you are awesome like that.

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Warning: this stuff is highly addicting.

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Sweet, nutty, crunchy,

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crispy, & salty.

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Pretty much the perfect combination of all things delicious. 🙂

 

Tahini Honey Roasted Cashews
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 cups
 
Cashews, roasted in creamy, tahini, tossed in maple syrup, honey, and finished off with sea salt, cinnamon, and coconut sugar. Gluten-free, paleo.
Ingredients
  • 2.5 c. raw, unsalted cashews
  • 2 T. pure honey
  • 1.5 T. pure maple syrup
  • 1.5 T. tahini
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ t. ground cinnamon
  • 2 T. coconut sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the cashews in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Place the honey, maple syrup, tahini, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon over the cashews and mix until all of the cashews are evenly coated.
  4. Spread the cashews evenly on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 6 minutes, then remove, the pan, rotate, and bake for an additional 6 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven, place in a clean mixing bowl, toss with the coconut sugar and let cool completely.
  7. Store in glass jars once completely cooled.

MANGIA!!!

Sticky Fingers.

Yesterday I caught myself red handed…with sticky fingers.

Just when I thought I had licked the nut butter off of each one of my fingers, I found a little nut butter left over on the inside of my palm.

The next thing I know…I’m trying to get nut butter out of the crevice of my camera lens.

Oh boy…I am THAT food blogger.

I mean, I might as well walk the aisles of my fave department store with my shirt inside out.

That would be less embarrassing 😉

Let’s talk snacks.

I’m nuts for nuts.

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Rewind…let’s talk healthy snacks.

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This isn’t just any nut butter its a triple nut butter!

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That’s like nuts x’s THREE!

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To be specific, a combo of almonds, cashews, and walnuts.

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So, this stuff is chock full of those healthy Omega 3 fatty acids. Like…duh.

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Oh, then we added ground flaxseed for extra extra health benefits.

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The flaxseed gives this nut butter even more omega 3’s! Oh, and lots of fiber!

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Not to mention, it makes for the silkiest nut butter on the face of the planet!

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For kicks I added some fine sea salt and vanilla bean.

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I just want to dive head first into a vat of this stuff.

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Or, heck…maybe even make an exfoliative mask with it.

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That is…if I don’t eat my face off beforehand.

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If I were stranded on a desert island…this would be one of the three things in my bag…along with burnt toast and my laptop.

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My laptop? So I could watch re-runs of The Hills on Netflix…duh.

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Brody Jenner…be still my beating heart.

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I may have even traded in my daily dose of peanut butter for this stuff.

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GASP!

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Excuse me while I go sit in the corner now.

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Shame…shame.

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Vanilla Flax Triple Nut Butter
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Makes 3-4 cups
 
Gluten-free/Vegan/Paleo
Ingredients
  • 2 c. dry roasted, unsalted walnuts
  • 1 c. dry roasted, salted cashews
  • 1 c. dry roasted, salted almonds
  • ½ t. fine sea salt
  • seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 T. ground flaxseed
Instructions
  1. Place the nuts in the bowl of a large food processor.
  2. Process on high until the nuts begin to break down, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Keep processing until the nuts begin to churn into a smooth paste. About 3 minutes.
  4. Add the salt and vanilla bean seeds and process again.
  5. Add the flaxseed meal and process until the mixture is extremely drippy, about 1 minute.
  6. Serve on toast with your favorite jam!

MANGIA!!!

V-Day Prep.

Is it really only Wednesday?
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, people. It’s now or never. Now, I know there are those of you who have been prepping for weeks and Valentine’s Day is practically your event of the year. 
Let’s get real. I’m totally not prepped. 1. I don’t have a boyfraaaand, so there is no one to actually prep for (unless I want to do something nice for my friends and family which almost always happens) 2. I’d rather sit at home and eat myself to death in Reese’s Peanut Butter hearts and watch American Idol than go to some swanky restaurant. 3. I find that it’s always best to just purchase my own flowers and spend the day making chocolate treats for those lucky people in my life. 
So, here is to procrastination. Let’s unite in the supermarket parking lot tomorrow morning under that big white tent that reads “get your Valentine’s Day bouquets here.” You will probably see me there, buying flowers for myself and maybe some chocolates. Maybe. 
Oh, and you just might be that guy or girl that I talk to in the check-out line about how you are there to purchase the half dozen almost dead roses for your significant other. It’s the thought that counts, right?
Let’s make that thought homemade.
I mean, seriously? It can’t get easier than this. 
 How about we just forgo the whole roasting process and just eat these cocoa, maple, espresso, salty almonds of goodness right out of the bowl?
Yes.

Only roasting them makes them 100000x’s better. 
And it only takes 10 minutes. 

BOOM…instant gratification…instant Valentine’s Day gift. 

That is, if you don’t eat the whole entire bowl while watching re-runs of Mob Wives all night. 

But I don’t know anyone who would ever do such a thing. 
Salty Cocoa and Espresso Roasted Almonds (GF/V/P):
Ingredients:
2 c. raw almonds
2 T. pure maple syrup
2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 t. coarse sea salt
1 t. instant espresso powder
Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Toss all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until the almonds are evenly coated and quite sticky.
3. Spread the mixture evenly onto the prepared baking sheet.
4. Bake for 10 minutes, tossing the almonds halfway through the baking process.
5. Let cool completely before eating. That is…if you have self-control. 
Makes 2 cups.
MANGIA!!!

The Truffle Shuffle.

Let’s kick off the week leading up to Valentine’s Day with a little love talk.
Let’s talk about things I love. Oh, just to let you know, it’s also my birthday week so I get to talk about whatever I want…qualified or not 🙂 So, numero uno(s). I love God and my family, obviously. You see my love for my family on a daily basis here on the blog. I definitely have a “can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach for the stars, over the fence, World Series, kind of stuff” relationship with them. It’s solid.

 Completely random fact. I absolutely love hilarious movies. You know the ones that make you laugh so hard that your insides hurt? Yep. It all starts with the movie The Goonies. I swear Chunk is my alter ego. I mean, the kid knows his food. Plus, the Fratelli family? I mean, that is totally my family, only with the extra-super-sized criminal background. No biggie 🙂

The first time I saw the Goonies I couldn’t get Chunk’s pudgy belly dance referred to as “the truffle shuffle” out of my head. Obviously, it makes since, right? He’s a little hefty…probably from eating truffles, right? Coincidence? Maybe. Anyways, he does a pretty good truffle shuffle. Let me show you my truffle shuffle.

No, it’s not actually a real dance. 
This dance begins with peanuts.

Because I can’t live without em’. 

Then we add some cacao powder. This stuff is intensely cacao-ish.

Whatever that means.

We are testing our raw recipe skills here.

Your special someone will not be able to tell the difference.

I’m dead serious.

I’m pretty sure that if I was dating that special guy, I would make him some of these.

Hopefully, when that guy comes along he doesn’t take advantage of all this baking and cooking going on.

Who am I kidding?

I mean, my family members are pretty much spoiled so

you can do the math 🙂

You should probably make these for that little love holiday coming up. Just saying. 

Raw Salted Cacao Peanut Truffles (GF/V) recipe adapted from Oh, Ladycakes:
Ingredients:
2 c. raw, unsalted, peanuts
1/4 c. raw organic cacao powder (you can also use cocoa powder, plus more for dusting)
1/2 t. fine sea salt
12 pitted Medjool dates, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes (reserve the date water)
6 T. of date water
Instructions:
1. In a food processor, process the peanuts, cacao, and salt on high until you reach a fine meal.
2. Add the dates and pulse until combined. 
3. Add the date water and pulse until a dough begins to form. 
4. Place the dough in a large mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for 30 minutes, or until set. 
5. Remove the dough from the freezer, and using a cookie scoop, roll the dough into teaspoon sized round balls. 
6. Place the balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Lightly dust each ball with a hint of cacao (the cacao is very strong so a little goes a long way).
7. Store in the freezer in plastic containers. Enjoy at room temperature.
Makes 25 truffles.
MANGIA!!!

G.V.C. Pecans.

Happy Friday y’all!
Mom and I are off this morning for a mini road trip. This should be fun. Let’s talk childhood stuff. Okay… :). I grew up in South Houston in the neighborhood that my parents were also born and raised in, and I attended school where they attended school. It was all gravy. 
Now, our neighborhood wasn’t the most lavish neighborhood…but that is what I loved about it. I loved the billowing pecan trees lining the streets in the heat of the summer, shading me from getting a sun burn as I ran barefoot down the street to play at a friends house. Those pecan trees were my life. I would wake up on Saturday morning, walk out my front door, and pick the pecans off the ground with the pecan picker. I always thought that thing looked like a pogo stick. Kid brain, for sure. Then, I would sit at the kitchen table with my parents and crack those pecans until my knuckles were sore. 
Have you ever tasted a fresh pecan? It’s like biting into an itty bitty, nutty crunch of heaven. I still long for those days to be able to pick those pecans directly from my front yard. Luckily, I still have family members that live in my old neighborhood and bring me fresh pecans occasionally. The other day I had lunch with my cousin Megs and she surprised me with a bag of freshly cracked pecans. I was stoked. With the first bite of the pecan, all of my childhood memories came rushing back to me. Pure bliss.
I mean, seriously?

For all you super bowl fans…listen up! We are working on prime time snackage. 

I’m talking maple syrup, spices, and sea salt. 

Sweet, spicy, salty, super-bowl-y. 

Remember…these are magic Garden Villas pecans. 
They have special powers. 

Oh, and they are damn delicious! 
Spiced Maple and Sea Salt Pecans (GF/V/P):
Ingredients:
4 c. fresh, raw pecans
1/2 c. pure maple syrup
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
2 t. coarse sea salt
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss until the pecans are coated evenly. 
3. Spread the pecans out onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until browned, stirring occasionally. 
4. Let the pecans cool completely on the baking sheet before removing.
Makes 4 cups.
MANGIA!!!