Maple Spiced Nuts



Maple Spiced Nuts

  • 1/4 cup salted butter

  • 1 pound mixed nuts

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 teaspoon  cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup








  • In a large skillet set over medium heat, melt butter and add the nuts. cook, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes until nuts are beginning to toast.





  • Add remaining ingredients, stirring until the sugar is melted. Lower the heat to medium and cook for another 3-4 minutes until the nuts are caramelized. Transfer nuts to a parchment or waxed lined cookie sheet to cool.





  • Tip: To enhance the flavor of the nuts, toast them on the baking sheet for 7 to 9 minutes in a low oven.



Makes a great hostess gift or party appetizer!

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Kim's Studio Treats

Going to my friend Kim Nixon's studio is always exciting - Kim is a fiber artist who designs and creates wool hooked rugs along with funky art furniture.  Yesterday was an open studio day, where we get to see what she has been working on and each other’s projects.  It’s a day filled with not only inspiration, design challenges, & laughter but we always have a special delicious little treat that she has made.  Her Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares were incredibly yummy.  So I wanted to share her recipe and her website:  www.undertherug.com



Kim’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares   Makes:  24

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice

1 teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp

1 ¼ cup sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 package (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350  Foil line a 9X13 baking pan

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, pie spice, baking soda and salt, set aside.

With electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium high until smooth.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Beat in pumpkin (mixture will appear curdled) reduce speed to low and mix in dry ingredients.  Fold in chocolate chips.

Spread batter evenly in pan.  Bake until edges pull away from the foil – 35-40 minutes

(pottery shown is made by another creative friend:  Diane Quamann)
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Soups On!

Such a rainy day calls for a good soup - This is the perfect tomato soup recipe from Cooks Illustrated---rich and robust  flavor. 

Cream of Tomato Soup – Cooks Illustrated Magazine   Makes  5 ½ cups, serves 4-6

2 - 28 oz. cans whole tomatoes packed in juice, reserve juice  (or 2 cans of diced tomatoes)

1 ½  tablespoons dark brown sugar

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

4 large shallots, minced (about 2/3 cup)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

Pinch of Allspice

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 ¾ cups low sodium chicken broth

½ cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons brandy

Cayenne pepper and table salt

Preheat oven to 450.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Spread tomatoes out in single layer and sprinkle with brown sugar.  Bake about 30 minutes, let cool slightly, set aside.  (this is what gives the soup rich flavor!)

Heat butter over medium heat in large saucepan, add shallots, tomato paste and allspice.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until shallots are soft about 7 minutes.  Add flour and whisk until combined.   Add reserved tomato juice, then the roasted tomatoes.

Using a hand held blender, puree until smooth.  Add cream and heat over low heat, stir in brandy, season with salt and cayenne pepper.

(Heart is made using a drop of heavy cream, formed by swirling a toothpick to shape and make dots)

Enjoy with fresh bread and a salad!                        Penny Rug created by Shelby Morris
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