Unfortunately we were not able to get out to a ballgame this year. It is one of those things we love to do as a family. Everything from the tailgate, walking into the stadium, and enjoying the game (and more food). If there is one thing my wife loves it is the candied style nuts that they serve. The smell of them cooking is intoxicating, and they are as good to eat as they are to smell. It’s one of those things we typically buy together when we go. So with that being said, and a bit disappointed that we were not able to get to a game this year, I was not going to let that stop me from coming up with a batch of these baseball park style candied nuts for my wife and kids to enjoy.
Let’s get started.
2 cups of whole cashews
1 whole egg white, beaten
1 tsp ice cold water
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
generous pinch of salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
cooking spray, or parchment paper
The trick to getting that candied effect on the nuts is the egg white. It adds just the awesome crunch and serves as the glue for the seasoning.
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Beat the egg white and water in a bowl until it is nice and frothy.
Add the nuts to the bowl, along with the spices, and mix very well.
Lay the nuts evenly on the baking sheet and place in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until everything begins to caramelize and get nice and toasted. Once that is achieved, remove from the oven, and slide those nuts into a serving bowl. Let cool for about 5 minutes (if you can resist), and dig in.
You want to talk about not only a great ballpark snack, but these nuts are perfect this time of year, especially around the holidays! Hope you enjoy and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!
Do you know that time when you wake up and you immediately think of how much you love your kids? Yeah, me to. Granted parenting can be a very difficult thing in anyone’s life, but getting those ‘I love you Dad’ on a daily basis, especially, and personally nowadays it means everything to me. I love my kids and it is probably one of the reasons I cook and come up with recipes to hopefully continue to build memories and get them thinking about family, food, and all kinds of different cuisine. I mean what kid doesn’t love Thai/Lao larb, right? I know mine do.
My kids love breakfast, and I know how they roll. Chocolate chip whatever is how they roll. Me? I am not a fan of the sweet breakfast, but if you throw in a breakfast hash, some toast, and an easy egg, well then I am all in. But it is about them, and so are these super easy to make chocolate cake waffles.
Let’s get started.
1 box of your favorite cake mix
1/3 cup canola oil
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cup of water
It doesn’t get any easier than this. Read the back of your cake mix box if you want and take if from there. I go chocolate because that’s how my kids roll, but think of the endless amounts of waffles you could be making!
Heat your waffle iron. During this time mix the cake mix, oil, eggs, and water, and make into a smooth batter.
Once your iron is heated, lightly coat it with cooking spray.
Ladle in some of the cake mix to fill into the waffle iron. Close, flip, and cook until your waffle iron tells you so. The waffles should easily be removed from the iron. Repeat and get ready to see smiles on your kids faces. The result? No clue, but what I can tell you is they LOVED them. Enjoy!
We were fortunate enough this year to go apple picking at one of our favorite orchards. Not sure if we love apple picking as much as we love their apple pie from the Elegant Farmer. Regardless, apple picking was something we always loved to do when the kids were growing up. Something about watching them eat a bunch of apples while climbing trees is a quick pleasure. This year we probably bought way too many apples, and as I would walk past the half bushel, I decided that I would come up with something and see if the family would try out the apple chips.
My wife was gratuitous enough to get me a food dehydrator some time ago. I’ve done everything from making beef jerky to vegetable chips in the dehydrator and I’ll admit that I love it. So when the apples were in my zone, I decided on batching out some apples and making apple chips. So easy, so good, and a great way to use up some apples.
Let’s get started.
2 of your favorite apples, cored, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
Yep, that’s it. If you want to jazz them up, you could put some cinnamon and sugar mix onto them once they were cut up, but I went simple and simple was good.
Take your sliced apples and place them onto your dehydrator trays, leaving about 1/2 inch between each one. The goal is to not let them overlap or touch one another.
Once you have filled the trays, turn on your dehydrator and let them dry out for about 4-6 hours. It’s ok to feel them, and take them out when they meet your desired crispness.
You can store these in a airtight container to keep their crispness, but in our house, they were gone that afternoon. I was a bit startled to say the least to see them go so quickly, but I was actually really glad because I knew that everyone had a great nutritious snack that day. So if you are looking for something delicious and easy, and a great snack to boot, give these dehydrated apple chips a try (and yes you can do these in the oven as well).
I find it interesting that over the last few months there are a couple of boxes of fillo dough and puff pastry in my freezer. I’m almost certain I had a couple of ideas bouncing around in my head during those purchases, but it was not until team members from D’Vash Organics contacted me once again to partner with them in creating yet another great recipe using their amazing D’Vash Date Nectar. That’s when I knew exactly what I was going to make. A traditional baklava, in some ways, but using D’Vash date nectar in replace of honey. The result was mind blowing to say the least.
Start by making your sweet sauce that will be used after the baklava has baked. You will want to do this ahead so that it has time to cool.
Add 3/4 cup of sugar, water, lemon juice, and D’Vash date nectar to a small pot. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, then once boiling reduce the heat and cook for about 5 more minutes. Stir along the way. After 5 minutes, remove from the heat and let it cool.
Now the backbreaking work. Just kidding. This is the only time consuming part, and if you are having your kids help, this can take a bit of patience as unlayering each piece of fragile fillo can be a bit nerve wracking. Just make sure your fillo dough is completely thawed. I set mine out the day before and place it in the refrigerator overnight for a day or two to ensure it is completely thawed.
Get a baking sheet out, or if your are super detailed get a baking dish out that will fit your sheet of fillo dough. I go with my baking sheet and make sure that when I layer each fillo that it matches up with the previous fillo dough.
Make the sugar and nut mixture. To a food processor, or use a knife if you desire, pulse the nuts into a fine chop. Add the nuts to a bowl along with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and cinnamon and give that a good mix.
Get your bowl of melted butter ready along with a pastry brush. Unroll a roll of fillo and get ready to baklava!
Place 10 fillo sheets onto the baking sheet one at a time, and brush each sheet with butter once it’s in the pan before adding the next sheet of fillo. After the 10th sheet, spread about 1/5 of nut mixture over the fillo dough.
Do the same process, but this time layer only 5 sheets, buttering each sheet, then on the 5th sheet, top with the nut and sugar mixture.
Do this about 4 more times with the 5 sheet layer process, then on the final top, go back to the 10 stack of fillo, ensuring that all nut mixture is used up before layering the top 10 sheets of fillo.
Butter the top of the 10th sheet, then gently push down and form the baklava.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Now let’s cut the baklava. Cut the fillo into about 2 inch strips, lengthwise, then make diagonal cuts to make somewhat of a diamond shape. If you want to keep things simple, just cut into rectangles, it’s up to you.
Place the baking sheet into the oven and cook for about 1 hour, up to 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Once the baklava is a great golden brown, remove from the oven, and immediately ladle over the cooled syrup you made earlier, ensuring that you get into all of those crevices.
Now the hard part… waiting.
The goal is to not only let the baklava cool, but you want that syrup to penetrate all of that great fillo that you took your time stacking. After about 4 hours, go ahead and try the baklava, but trust me the longer you wait, the better it gets. Kids approved, neighbors and friends approved, and chef approved.
If you are looking for a great treat that will be sure to please everyone (with the exception of those with nut allergies), then give this baklava a try. The replacement of D’Vash really made this baklava stand out. It had this subtle tartness that really made this delicious baklava pop.
If you are wanting to try D’Vash Organics Date Nectar (and I highly recommend it), then head over to their store and pick some up. My lucky readers can use the coupon code DVASHSIMPLECOMFORTFOOD upon check out! Hope you enjoy D’Vash as much as we do!