Sure, I can eat a handful of honey roasted peanuts now and then, salted cashews are starting to grow on me, and I like my peanut-butter crunchy, but I despise Jordan almonds and think that nuts ruin perfectly good fudge. I hate nuts in stuffing, I hate nuts in trail mix. They’re usually bitter and make my teeth feel weird.
But these Candied Pecans might as well be some illicit drug with how addicted to them I am.
I would go as far as to say that besides for the allergic, these would convert even the most ferocious of nut-haters.
They’re so easy to make and perfect to have on hand for the holidays. I’ve served them for our last three holiday movie parties, and several years ago I even made festive little baggies of them as gifts.
Preheat to 300 degrees and line a large baking tray with wax paper.
Whisk the egg white, vanilla, and water together in a large bowl until its thicker and frothier.
Add in the sugars, cinnamon, and salt, and then mix thoroughly until the pecans are well covered.
Spread evenly over the wax paper-lined baking tray and place in oven for 45 minutes.
Stir the pecans every 15 minutes.
Cool for at least 10 minutes before eating.
Stores well in cookie tins.
You’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t give them a chance.
Our humble party spread featuring the candied pecans, kettle corn, movie-theater popcorn, hummus and veggies, hot cocoa and fresh whipped cream, eggnog, pomegranate punch, salted caramel cookies, various candies, and a delicious cabbage salad courtesy of my brother and his girlfriend.
Holiday shorts and cartoons before our main feature during our Holiday Movie Party
I’ve been making a version of this cake from Italian Kiwi for more than two years now. I remember originally thinking that wine and chocolate are such a good pairing that there MUST be an excellent recipe out there on the internets that combines the two. I’ve modified it from the original, swapped out plain ole red wine in favor of port and adjusted the proportions a hair.
It’s so delicious, you guys. Rich, flavorful, creamy, and complex. Mmm.
Set out your eggs so that they can make it to room temperature.
Grease and flour the heck out of a cake pan.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using an electric mixer, combine butter and sugar until well mixed.
Slowly mix in wine - you'll eventually have a lovely purple mixture that is far too easy to pick at with a spoon.
Take half of the wine mixture (plus an additional ½ cup) and set that aside for later.
Slowly mix in the eggs (one at a time), cocoa powder, flour, and baking powder.
Pour the batter into your super prepped cake pan (this likes to stick).
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.
Shortly before it is done baking, take the reserved wine, butter, and sugar mixture and melt it in a small pot over the stove. Stir often, and make sure it doesn't burn -- here you're working to get the sugar properly melted into the butter (if you skip this step, it can occasionally turn out grainy).
While the cake is still relatively warm and the mixture melty, tip the cake out of the pan. Pour the melted mixture over the cake. You may want to poke a few holes so that it soaks in.
Serve while warm (you can also microwave it BRIEFLY) to remelt the gooeyness. Scoop up the sauce to make sure each portion comes with a nice helping.
Cat and I cook well together because often my issue is lack of inspiration, and Cat’s issue is lack of desire to do the thing.
So when she finds something she’s interested in eating, it’s great because I’m usually interesting in making it!
To go with our Pizza Balls the other day Cat suggested we try this recipe for Chocolate Pots de Creme from Food Network and I was psyched about how easy the recipe looked.
They ended up being exactly as easy to make as they looked, and as delicious as I thought they would be. Incredibly rich and very chocolaty.
The main issue I had with these was that though I followed the recipe to a ‘T’ (not something I usually do), and gave them greater refrigeration time then said necessary, they turned out to be not as thick as advertised.
I would suggest that when you make this recipe that you either give them at least 4 hours in the refrigerator before eating, and or mix about a teaspoon or two of cream of tartar in with the sugar.
Secondly, not an issue with the recipe, but a heads up that this would lend itself perfectly for flavor ad-ins! Mint extract, orange extract, vanilla, almond! So many possibilities!
5 tablespoons granulated sugar (add an extra tablespoon if using bitter chocolate)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
Place the chocolate in a blender. Whisk the milk, 1 cup cream, egg yolks, granulated sugar and salt in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the spatula and almost boiling, 5 to 6 minutes.
Immediately pour the milk mixture over the chocolate in the blender. Cover and hold the lid with a thick kitchen towel; blend until combined and smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender as needed. Divide the chocolate mixture among ramekins or small cups and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
Whip the remaining ½ cup cream and the confectioners' sugar with a mixer or in the blender until soft peaks form. Top the chilled pots de creme with whipped cream.
I will definitely be making these again with some of those flavor adjustments.
It has been super hot again and everything is terrible.
What’s that? You’re upset that a person with a college education, a job, a safe place to live, and ample food is complaining about things? Then stop reading a darn food blog and do something valuable with your time. You know, like sponsor a needy rescue bat. 😀
Temperatures have risen and any food that involves making my kitchen even warmer sounds awful. I’ve resorted to lusting after popsicle recipes on Pinterest. Here are a few that look especially delightful:
I made this cake for the first time about four years ago.
My boyfriend at the time was working in a managerial position for Claire’s corporate, and I had somehow ended up as the official cake baker for his employees birthdays. They quickly caught wind that I enjoyed turning alcoholic drinks into baked goods so besides for this Strawberry Margarita cake, I also made a White Russian cake and my classic Irish Carbomb cake.
When it showed up on my Timehop, I knew without a doubt I had to make it again. Fortunately I had the perfect excuse, it was my mothers birthday on the 2nd and she had requested a Mexican theme for the food. So, along with our Crock-Pot Enchiladas (for which I made my own red enchilada sauce), we had a taco bar, margaritas, chips and guacamole with the most perfect avocados I’ve seen all season, Cream Cheese Things, Tomato Basil Mozzarella apps, Coconut Macaroons, and this cake.
As you can see from the photos, the frosting looks a little suspect. Not only was it very warm in the house which exasperated the situation, but I had somehow run out of powdered sugar and it was just too late to get any more. I experimented with using a little corn starch to try to thicken it up, but it didn’t work like I had hoped.
If you use as much sugar as you’re supposed to, you’ll have a nice fluffy frosting on your hands like my picture from four years ago.
2 sticks room temperature (or hurriedly microwaved) unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons lime zest (about 4 limes worth)
¼ cup milk
¼ cup non-alcoholic margarita mix
2 Tablespoons tequila
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon water
2 Tablespoon Tequila
8 oz room temperature Cream Cheese
½ cup room temperature salted butter
1 cup fresh strawberries, blended
3 Tablespoons lime juice (about 2 limes)
2 Tablespoons non-alcoholic margarita mix
6 cups powdered sugar
2, 9" Cake pans
reheat the oven to 325 and butter and flour the inside of two 9" round cake pans.
In a small bowl sift together the flour salt and baking powder.
In the bowl of stand mixer with a paddle attachment, blend the butter and granulated sugar on medium low until light and fluffy.
Scrape down the sides and one at a time add the eggs.
Scrape down the sides slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix on low until combined. Do not over mix.
Scrape down the sides and add the lime zest, milk, margarita mix and tequila. Mix until combined. If you feel your batter is too thick, add more margarita mix.
Divide and pour equally into the prepared pans and place in the oven for about 35-40 minutes until golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean from the center. Rotate the pans once halfway through baking.
When they're done, remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
Remove the cakes from their pans as carefully as possible and set flat side up on some cooling racks. Brush the tops of the cakes each with a quarter of the tequila glaze.
When your frosting is ready, cut the first cake in half and place the glazed half down onto your plate or tray. Frost this layer generously.
Place the second half of the cut cake, cut side up on top of the frosting. Brush with ¼ of the remaining glaze and allow it to soak in for a couple of minutes.
Frost this layer generously.
Approach the second cake in the same way, cut in half, put the cut half on top of the frosting, frost, place the last half on top, glaze, and then frost.
At this point you're ready to frost the rest of the cake. Be generous with your delicious frosting.
Decorate with freshly sliced strawberries and a twisted lime slice right on top.
When you cakes are about ready, prepare the glaze by mixing the sugar, water, and tequila in a small bowl with a fork or a whisk until fully combined and smooth. Set aside until needed.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, place the butter and cream cheese and whisk on medium until blended and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
Add the lime juice, blended strawberries, and margarita mix, whisk for another 2 minutes.
Add the powdered sugar slowly, scraping the sides of the bowl every now and then, until the frosting is at your desired thickness.
The frosting is a little week, but still delicious. However, the cake itself is amazing; super moist and tangy and delightful. You could forgo any alcohol or even margarita mix, and just use it as a zesty lime cake!
Our breadmaker is… well… really darn old. I usually put a knife block in front of it while it’s running because the latch on the door doesn’t stay shut while it’s wobbling wildly during its mixing stages. Add the ricketyness to the fact that we got some new but not quite right paddles and I had me an ugly, underbaked loaf.
Thankfully, there’s no need to throw away imperfect homemade bread – add just a few things you probably already have in your house and you’ll have a lovely bread pudding.
This was so popular that the whole batch disappeared in less than 12 hours. Frankly, that’s only because I fought Mark off until Brie could get back from school. The recipe also came together quickly, which was great.
The only real drawback was I didn’t get a chance to properly photograph it after people realized it existed. This was my only other evidence:
We created this space in 2013 as a home for recipes, reviews, and entertaining tips for those on the nerdier end of the spectrum. We're on vacation at the moment, but there are usually new posts every Thursday. Sometimes more, if you're lucky.
With our powers combined, we represent a culinary school grad, an aspiring astronaut, a culinary school dropout, social nerds, gamers, cinephiles, bibliophiles, laqueristas, food fanatics, social anxiety disorders, and more. It’s fun stuff. Oh! And Brandie is wife to Adam who is brother to Brie who is cousin to Cat! Clearly nerdiness runs in this family.
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