Monday, December 30, 2019

Three Christmases and a Nut Recipe

I can't believe the holidays are nearing an end. It seems as though they've hardly begun!


Our Christmas really started on Saturday, December 21, when our friend Jerry came to visit from Paris. After doing some running around, we landed at a comfy place, Rick's house, his tree glowing!


Rick was on cooking duty that night. He makes this terrific Pasta Amatriciana using pancetta. I'm not sure if this is his recipe, but this one from Bon Appetit looks pretty close. To die for.


I spent a lot of time at Rick's the week before Christmas, doing lots of baking! I did more lemon bread and four kinds of cookies at his place. Then I headed home and made Nana Diana's Incredible Peanut Butter Fudge.  (This is so easy and so good and it is REALLY dangerous!) Some of the cookie recipes are HERE.


I also made a wonderful nut recipe I've been doing almost since I started blogging. This is a real keeper and it is at the bottom of this post.


I finally had some decent light in the house and got a couple of photos of the living room so one last overview of the decor.


(I wish IKEA still made the red chair cover. Maybe I can find it online. Lizzie loves it as a scratching place. She has loved it too much so now it just comes out at the holiday. On my last visit I bought the gray and another beige one!


And the big tree. Most of the presents under that one were headed for our family Christmas the next day!


I finally had to pull the orchids and roses from the flower arrangement I did HERE and added some holiday bling.


One of the first bloggers I "met" online (and actually, in person!) was Anno, who stopped blogging in 2011 and just a few days ago put up a new post, featuring her favorite books of the year! (I was SO thrilled to see her back!) But I never stopped making her spiced nuts, which I named Anno Nuevo New Year's Nuts. They're very peppery and a real hit! (And not just for New Year's!)

Anno Nuevo New Year Nuts

  


  • About 4 cups of nuts. I use almonds and pecans and this year macadamia. Anno just used pecans and for a long time I just used almonds. Your call!
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • Half stick of butter (4 T)
  • 4 T. water
  • 2 T. fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 t. salt

Cover a cookie sheet with foil that is buttered or sprayed with a cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350.

Combine the salt and pepper and put aside.

In skillet heat butter, add the brown sugar and water and when dissolved, add the nuts. Let the nuts go, stirring periodically to be sure all are well covered but not burning. Add half of the pepper mixture and stir. This might be about 10 minutes, maybe less. You are looking for the sugar mixture to thicken and more or less disappear as it covers the nuts.

Turn the hot mixture out onto the cookie sheet and flatten to single layer. Sprinkle the other half of the mixture on top. (Optional -- a light sprinkle of raw turbinado sugar on top will add sweetness. I don't always do it and they are just as good.)

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Remove foil with nuts from pan to a rack if available or to counter. When fully cool, break apart.

If I'm keeping them for any length of time, I will freeze them but usually they don't last that long. For giving away, I either put them in bags tied with a ribbon or if I have enough, empty Bonne Maman jars (my preferred method) or small canning jars.

~~~~~~~~

Then it was time to head out for our Christmas celebrations with the kids. But more on that later!


Lizzie and I hope you are having a wonderful holiday!

45 comments:

Carola Bartz said...

Those nuts look seriously delicious. My friend gave me her recipe for making the roasted almonds we had at the Winterfest of the German School and I will try it some time in the new year. I just love roasted nuts.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Rick and I share a delight in cooking. We do quite a few Italian dishes and even though I say it myself I make a fine chicken cacciatore. We make whole batches of pasta sauce and can make a quick meal of spaghetti with meat balls or chicken if we have been out all day. There is a deli locally that always has Italian Parmesan cheese and the best Romano Pecorino I have found anywhere. Miriam is the baker in the house. I have never done much baking and she does it so well it would be pointless for me to do it anyway. We also cook Asian food frequently. Good food, good wine, good company - the cornerstones of life if you ask me,

Joyful said...

Everything looks beautiful and/or delicious Jeanie. How wonderful that you had a friend from Paris to join you! I'm sure he was very happy with the hospitality offered by you and Rick. I know I would be ;-) I agree that the holiday has barely started and yet it is over. I enjoyed it but it whizzed by. So I will have to take the decoration down as I don't like them up past January 1. For some reason they seem out of place to me once January is under way. It's good there is more natural daylight as each day goes by. Happy New Year to you and Rick in 2020!

Olka said...

Yeah... cats... they love to scratch everything :D
When we were moving to this flat I bought scratching mats to put them on the side arms of sofa. Cats are content, because I let them scratch, I'm content, because they're not destroying landlord's furnitures :D

And thanks for sharing the recipe! <3

DUTA said...

Lovely decor surrounding the glowing Christmas tree!
Rick's terific pasta and your delicious cookies - nicely complementing the room decor with a great culinary performance.

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

I would love both those nut recipes and I bet it wouldn't hurt your feelings if we celebrated Christmas year around. That red chair cover is great! I get a lot of covers at SurFit online. They fit like cloves but I don't recall ever seeing a bright red like that.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

The room with the tree looked so cozy, Jeanie. And, those food recipes made me hungry just looking at them. I also did a nut recipe this year and baked pecans which had sugar and cinnamon on them and they were a but hut, just like your nut recipe. Happy 🍾New Year to you and Rick🥂

anno said...

As ever, Jeanie, your holiday celebration is filled with joy and grace, color, generosity, and lots of good friends... not to mention, excellent food! So glad you are still enjoying the spiced nuts, and the next time I make them, your example will inspire me... definitely plan to make a mix! Happy New Year to you & Rick!

My name is Erika. said...

So many festive photos. I love all the trees. And the festive red chair cover. I am having a hard time convincing myself that is just about time to take down the decorations. I guess part of me isn't ready for the holidays to be over. I enjoyed seeing all your pretty holiday decor. And happy new year Jeanie. Hugs-Erika

Thelma said...

Your decorations are beautiful Jeanie. I love that red chair cover. Happy New Year. Thelma xo

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

What a joyous post, Jeanie. Your home was so warm and inviting, and Rick's tree was stunning. I always love your decorating and baking skills, and NOW I love your wrapping skills, too. Hope your New Year is joyous, healthy, safe, and filled with love.

GretchenJoanna said...

What a cozy living room and appealing recipes! Is your coffee table made from a phone company cable spool? My father made a table from one long ago that looks identical.

Happy New Year!

Evi Erlinda said...

Rick looks like an Italian chef!
Wow, it's very special pancetta pasta.

Peanuts and cookies are so luscious!

Happy New Year!

Valerie-Jael said...

Looks like ou made the most of Christmas! Happy New Year 2020 to you and yours, may it be a great one for you! Hugs, Valerie

Mae Travels said...

Lizzie looks so reverent in that last photo. She's probably awed by your beautiful photographs (or can cats understand 2-D renderings of reality?)

I hope you have great plans for New Year's Eve! And for great blog posts in 2020.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Rustic Pumpkin said...

I don't think I had better make your nut recipe, for I know myself too well and there would be none left, for I love things like this and willpower and moderation are not my best friends where nutty nibbles are concerned. I love looking at your tree photos, one in particular catches my eye indeed.

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!
~~~waving~~~Deb in Wales

Carol said...

Such a nice post. Your living room with the tree and Christmas décor looks comfortable and inviting. I love that you baked so much as I truly did not. The nut recipe sounds good, but I do not eat many nuts so I will share with my daughter.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Jeanie,

Your Christmas tree and decorations look lovely. I saved the Pasta recipe, sounds yummy. Your cookies look delicious, I wish I could grab one off my screen. I wish you and your family all the best in 2020, a Happy & Healthy New Year!

Iris Flavia said...

Oh, the bus there - in Perth they have such a "British sight-seeing bus".
I love the scene with the tree and the chair right beside - where is the book?
It must be really tough times when you like sweet "stuff", it´s all around!
Yes, the red chair immediately caught my eye. And I love your spatula.
Sweet last pic, see you next year, to a wonderful 2020!

Rita C at Panoply said...

Love all the decor photos, and that but recipe will be pinned, thank you!

La Table De Nana said...

Big fan of Ikea and slipcovers.Even bight white w/ boys:)
All so festive and fun..Jeanie Rick et Famille..Bonne Année!!

Laurie said...

It all sounds wonderful! The recipe for nuts is really interesting with all that pepper! Our recipe doesn’t call for pepper but we now must add it! Happy New Year !

Linda said...

I love how you two enjoy life to the fullest. Beautiful.....decor, food...all of it.

The French Hutch said...

Oh Jeanie, I love all your Christmas decorations in the living room. The room is filled with some of my favories and such a gorgeous tree, love your travel ornaments too. I have them on mine as well. They bring back a lot of happy memories as I'm sure yours does. How nice you entertained your friend from Paris, the dish Rick is making sounds delicious. All of your baking, when do you get all this done. Yummy results for your family. Wishing you a all the best in the new year...............

gigi-hawaii said...

What a great holiday season it has been for all of us! Happy New Year and Aloha from Hawaii.

Sandi said...

It all looks so wonderful! It's hard to believe it is time to put it all away.

P.S.
I'm sorry to hear about your flooding!! 😳

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Those nuts look and sound delicious! I love nuts of all kinds so would love this recipe. There is a pecan recipe I've made before that calls for rosemary and some other spices - it's sooo good! I need to make that if/when we have an open house to meet our neighbors (thinking of throwing one on a weekend afternoon this winter).

Liz@ HomeandGardeningWithLiz said...

Everything looks so joyous! That peanut recipe sounds divine! Wishing you a Very Happy New Year!

Sandra Lambiotte said...

Jeanie, this post made me so happy. I called Mike just as soon as I opened it up to show him I am not the only person who has loads of books. He just shook his head. You would think a man with 3 advanced college degrees would also love books instead of golf balls. Oh well. I also love the red chair. Maybe Lizzie loves the color.
Thanks so much for the recipes, I will be trying them. Happy New Year, Jeanie.

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Oh how I enjoy seeing your pretty home all dressed for Christmas! What a gorgeous Tree and what a nifty chair cover! I have the worst time with covers for sofas and chairs...we must purchase odd-ball sizes!
Yummm that mixed nut recipe sounds delightful, we enjoy nuts at the Holidays too, I definitely need to give this a try.
Such a full and beautiful life! Happy Day and Happy New Year!
Jemma

Barb said...

I got hungry reading your post and seeing the food photos! I love seeing your Christmas living room. I'm loving mine so much (on a much smaller scale...), I hate the thought of putting everything away. I think I'm hooked on Christmas decorating, Jeanie - you've been a good...or bad...influence on me.

Kitty said...

Happy New Year to you and Rick. Wonderful pictures and recipes.

Marilyn Miller said...

What a festive post. And I love toast, spicy nuts. I didn't do them this year, but I usually do pecan with some hot spices. Rick's tree and your trees and decorations are all just wonderful. The pasta looks pretty darn good too. Happy New Year!

shoreacres said...

My mother always made what she called Swedish nuts. Whether they were Swedish, I'm not sure, but they were delicious: sweet, rather than savory. I remember a lot of butter being involved, and a meringue-like froth they were stirred into. I need to see if her recipe might be among those that I still have.

Susan Kane said...

What beautiful decorations! Your room is beautiful. IKEA Surely has a red?! Happy New Year!

BeachGypsy said...

It's new years eve already!! Happy new year my sweet friend!! Hugs!!! Love the pictures!

handmade by amalia said...

I love the look of your home, so warm and welcoming, I always enjoy it when you invite us in. I'm glad you had such a nice Christmas and send the very best for a Happy New Year.
Amalia
xo

Sami said...

Such beautifully decorated Christmas trees Jeanie.
I've saved the Peanut butter fudge, as I love fudge.
I think I'll try the nuts too, but without pepper as it makes me cough :)
Have a wonderful New Year Jeanie and Rick.

Victoria Zigler said...

Sounds like you've had an exciting holiday... I'm tired just reading about it!

Happy new year to you and Lizzie. Oh, and Rick too.

Karen thisoldhouse2.com said...

Your holiday home is so cheerful and warm, just like you! Thanks for sharing the nuts recipe!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jeanie, the nuts and Rick's pasta dish look wonderful! And, like yours, Rick's home looks cozy and welcoming year round. I'm sure when guests settle in they never want to leave!

Pam Richardson said...

What a wonderful Christmas, Jeanie! All the food, celebrations, and love is felt in this post. I love the overview photo in your living room, so very festive and lovely! Here’s to another great year of blogging.

Karen said...

Check IKEA often. Those covers come and go and come back again. I'm waiting for the denim ECTORP sofa cover to show again.

Red Rose Alley said...

Rick's spaghetti looks Yummy. I'm actually making that tonight for dinner - one of my favorite meals. And those cookies and mixed nuts! You're not alone in waiting to take your Christmas decorations down - Jess is also taking hers down in January. And it will be harder for you, as you have all those beautiful trees decorated each year. I love the look of your BIG TREE! It's so full and lovely with many ornaments and treasures on it. Oh, that Lizzie is so pretty with those big green mysterious eyes. : )

~Sheri

William Kendall said...

Always nice to see Lizzie.

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