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!
It’s starting to ramp up to comfort food season. Not like that has stopped me year round to make most any type of comfort food, but this fall season in particular has already yielded a variety of soups and casseroles. This is one of those recipes. While thinking of a warm recipe for a cool day, I thought of what my wife and kids would eat, and eat well. Nachos! But how could I turn a simple, or complex plate of nachos into something warm and comforting?
I looked around to check on my inventory, and granted I was looking at pie dough and thinking of chicken pot pie, a thought I had to quickly shake out of my mind, and then again back to the nacho thought. How about a riff on chicken pot pie but go nacho style? How about a nacho pot pie?!
Nacho pot pie it was, and not only super easy to throw together, but everything you love about nachos in a luxurious pot pie style, sans the pie crust.
Granted this is not the prettiest of all dishes, but again what pot pie is when you plate it? This is forkalicious delicious.
Let’s get started.
1 lb ground beef, or chuck, cooked and fat removed
1 cup onion, diced
15 oz can diced green chilies
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup of taco seasoning
1/3 cup water
6 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 cup of milk
2 cups of water or stock
1 cup of canned black beans, drained
1/2 tsp salt, to taste
1/2 tsp cracked black
1 bag of tortilla chips
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1 head of iceberg lettuce, shredded
sour cream, optional
hot sauce, optional
black olives, optional
any other favorite nacho toppings
Think nachos. Think pie. Good, let’s go.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Get a large skillet on your burner over medium-high heat. Add the ground meat and cook until browned. Drain any fat, and then add the taco seasoning, green chilies, onion, garlic, and 1/3 cup of water. Give a good stir, and cook until the onions are softened, about 5-7 minutes.
Place the meat mixture into a casserole dish and return the skillet to the heat.
Add the butter and let it completely melt. Once melted, add the flour and stir (and keep stirring) until all of the flour is incorporated. Cook this through for a few minutes.
Slowy stir in the milk, and use a whisk if you want to ensure that the mixture gets nice and smooth. No clumps needed here.
Once smooth, add in the remaining water or stock, and stir again. Season with salt and pepper, and let the mixture come to a boil, stirring frequently. The goal here is to make a thicker sauce.
Once the sauce thickens, add in the black beans, and return the meat back into the skillet. Stir well and cook for another 5-7 minutes.
Add shredded cheese to the top, then crumble a generous amount of tortilla chips over the top.
Place the skillet (if it is oven safe, otherwise put everything in the skillet before adding the cheese and chips) into the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes.
Now you are ready to serve.
Scoop out your desired amount onto your plate and top with your favorite toppings. In my case it was black olives, shredded lettuce, avocado slices, sour cream, and hot sauce. Feel free to have a bowl of chips on standby for any additional scooping!
The result is spectacular. It is so comforting and everything we loved about a pie or a plate of nachos, all bundled together! Hope you enjoy!
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!
I think corn is officially done at our farmer’s market. It’s sad in a way as nothing screams summer like great tomatoes and really good corn. I loaded up pretty much every weekend, when I could, and brought the corn home. We would have a couple of ears for dinner, and I would shave the rest down to save the kernels for later use this winter. As I was recently planning dinner, an activity that I seem the only one to be able to manage, I decided to use up some of those fresh kernels and come up with a fried bacon and corn side dish.
This southern style dish is sure to please anyone and it was a great side dish and super easy to make.
Let’s get started.
4 slices of your favorite bacon, cooked until crisp
2 tbsp reserved bacon fat
3 ears of corn, or enough kernels to make about 2 cups
salt, to taste
cracked black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp milk
Start by cooking your bacon, and cook until it is crisp. Remove the bacon onto a paper lined plate, and reserve about 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Return the skillet on medium-low heat and add in the corn. Stir, and cook the corn for a few minutes, continuing to stir to warm the corn through. Season with a generous pinch of salt and cracked black pepper.
Once the corn has softened a bit, add in the milk, stir again to warm the milk through. Add in the chopped bacon, and give that a stir. Place the corn mixture into a serving dish and garnish with chopped chives. Get ready to dig in.
The end result is a slightly creamy corn with a great smoky flavor from the bacon. It’s a great use of that last of the summertime corn and is a perfect side dish, or heck even a main dish for that matter. Hope you enjoy!