Spicy Honey Almonds

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Roasted almonds with honey, cayenne pepper, and salt. Yummmmmmm!

I should really start playing the lottery, because I love having days off so much! This week my days off included disc golf, reading outdoors, cooking and thrift store shopping (of course)! I am still trying to figure out a way to photograph my thrifty finds with you, my loyal followers, but in the meantime I will share this wonderful recipe.

I got some almonds today while shopping. It took me a while, mulling over the the various flavors, to pick out what I wanted. Not as awkward as picking out a cucumber (hehe), but still I was standing in the produce section for a long time. Smoked, honey, roasted, plain?? All the fun flavors were a full dollar more! Finally I picked out some honey roasted almonds, and then had an “ah-ha!” moment- I can make my own! I threw some roasted salted almonds in my cart- the cheapest option- and I was on my way.

I went immediately to my friend Pinterest when I got home, and she returned many great recipes for honey roasted almonds. For those who are living under a rock Pinterest is the kitchen-sink of all great things you can find on the Internet. Recipes, crafts, photos, tattoos, decorating and more! You can find it all on Pinterest! I found this recipe from Lemons and Anchovies. As soon as I saw ‘spicy honey almonds’ I knew this was the recipe for me. I love spicy food!

So here’s the recipe. Omit the cayenne if you don’t want heat with your sweet and add cinnamon instead!

Spicy Honey Almonds

2- 2 1/2 cups raw almonds  (I used roasted and salted and cut down on overall salt in the recipe)

1/8 cup turbinado sugar ( I used some homemade vanilla sugar instead, since that’s what I had)

1/4 cup honey

3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3/4 teaspoon salt ( I used 1/2 tsp Hepp’s Salt Co. Aussie flake and sprinkled some Hepp’s truffle salt on at the end)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. I used aluminum foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Do the same if using parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine salt and sugar. Set aside.

Heat honey over low-med heat. Add cayenne and stir together with almonds until coated. Spread in single layer on baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool slightly, then toss with salt/sugar mix. Pour almonds back onto parchment/aluminum foil placed over cooling rack, sprinkle with truffle salt if desired, and let cool completely.

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Delicious almonds chillin’ out!

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This jar will not last long, these nuts are awesome!

Store in an airtight container and try not to eat them all at once. WARNING: THESE ARE ADDICTIVE!

While it is back to work tomorrow. At least I have an awesome ( and I like to think fairly healthy) snack to get me through the day!

What is your favorite snack to get you through a long day?

Nuts to the Nutty,

J

Thriftin’ n Chick’n

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I love days off! After a few painfully slow days at work it was nice to have a day to entertain myself. I enjoyed a (late) morning cup of coffee while watching “What Not to Wear-Biggest Meltdown” episode (it was awesome) then took the dogs out for a wrestle in the snow. There were elk all over the hillside! Ollie gave chase but soon gave up, since running up hill in the snow is hard!

Then like every Thursday I visited the local Thrifty Shop. I usually spend about an hour looking at every rack and trying a lot on. Today was no different. I found a great grey Converse sweater that is loose and comfy, and looks almost like a poncho. And I love a good poncho sweater! They also had all women’s short sleeves on sale so I was able to snag a black and white wide striped tee and a white Bongo tee for about $10.

I also noticed a few short sleeve tops with tags still on, brand new, and bought those as well. The two sporty black polo shirts and coral colored flower embellished tunic/dress I bought retailed for over $300! They were immediately brought to the consignment shop so I hope I can at least make back the $22.50 I paid for the three!

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After working up an appetite shopping I decided to roast a whole chicken for dinner. I usually make one every month, it’s cheap and the leftovers make great chicken salad or soup for the next few days. I also like to make my own chicken stock from the bones, which is pretty easy to do but rather time consuming. That will be a lesson for another day!

I looked at some recipes on line before settling on the Pioneer Woman‘s roast chicken recipe. Click the link for this entire recipe and more! I used only one lemon zested into the butter (I only used 3/4 stick) and added about 1/2 tbsp Herbes de Provence in addition to rosemary and thyme. I then rubbed the butter on the skin, under the skin, and into the chest cavity. I added a shallot and three cloves of garlic into the cavity as well. I put the bird in a roasting pan with some carrots, celery and one medium shallot and roasted at 450 for about an hour and a half. It came out with delicious roasted skin and nice juicy meat.

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Totally delish! But I think what made this meal special was the sides I made to go with the chicken. Carrots boiled with some shallot until crisp-tender and some mashed potatoes really made this dish sing! My mom made these carrots pretty often when I was a kid, it was a recipe she got from my Grandma Lena. It makes me think of home every time I make them!

*Again, I am kind of estimating my measurements since I tend to cook by taste. Tweak the amounts of seasonings until it suits YOUR taste!

Brown Sugar Carrots with Onions and Truffle Salt 

2 cups carrots, cut into rounds

One shallot, diced

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp brown sugar

parsley

truffle salt and pepper to taste.

Boil carrots and shallot until carrots are tender but still crisp. You could also steam them, I just don’t own a steamer (my mom would even cook them in the microwave sometimes). Drain the water out and stir in butter and brown sugar. Add salt and pepper. Sprinkle on some parsley and think of Grandma Lena, the greatest German lady who ever lived.

Mashed Potatoes with Horseradish and Boursin

4-5 Red potatoes, diced but not peeled

2 Tbsp butter

Milk, enough to get texture you desire. I use about 1/2 cup.

1/4 5.oz box shallot and chive boursin cheese

1 cup sharp cheddar

1 1/2 tsp prepared horseradish

salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes in lightly salted water. Cook until fork tender then mash with butter and milk until smooth. Stir in boursin and cheddar until melted. Add horseradish 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until desired flavor. Add salt and pepper. You could add some bacon too if you are feeling sassy and want a true calorie fest. Just do not stir the potatoes too much or they might get a little gummy.

So this might not be the healthiest meal, considering the amount of cheese and butter needed to create the amazing flavors, but it is the ultimate comfort meal on a cold wintry Spring day. You could healthy it up, but sometimes you just have to splurge!

Anyway, thanks for spending my day off with me. Let me know how your chicken turns out, or just make a meal out of Lena’s delicious glazed carrots.

stay hungry,

J