Smoked Almond Turtles

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I saw Giada deLaurentiis make this recipe on her Halloween show and really hadn’t had a chance to make it so I decided to give it a try for our party.  It’s not hard but takes a little time and patience.

Giada makes hers in a regular size muffin pan so I did the same but I cut them in fourths for the party because they are really too big of a piece of candy for one person.  Next time I will use mini muffin pans or maybe even those flexible pans.

These are really, really good and well worth making.  They would be great for a gift.

Smoked Almond Turtles (Giada DiLaurentiis)

Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 cup (5 ounces) coarsely chopped smoked almonds ~ I left mine whole but I would chop them next time

Caramel:

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 stick (4 ounces) butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 tablespoon water

3/4 cup bittersweet (use Ghirardelli)) chocolate chips

Spray a 12-count muffin pan, very well, with vegetable oil cooking spray. Put the almonds in the bottom of each muffin cup and set aside.

For the caramel: In a 3-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the cream, butter, sugar, and water. Stir over medium heat until the mixture is smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 240º, about 5 to 7 minutes. Let the mixture cool for 30 seconds. Using a long-handled, metal spoon, carefully spoon the caramel over the nuts. Allow the caramel to harden, at room temperature, for 1 hour.

Put the chocolate chips in a medium glass bowl and melt int he microwave according to the directions on the back of the package of chocolate chips. Spoon the chocolate over the caramel and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Using a thin-bladed spatula, remove the turtles from the pan (caramel will be hard). This will take a little bit of effort.

Let the turtles stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour (to allow the caramel to soften) before serving. I cut into quarters before serving.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Makes 12 candies.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

Portobello Bake

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Mushrooms are one of my very favorite foods and I will eat them just about any way.  This recipe is easy and, of course, I tweaked it some from the original.  I found it on food.com posted by Dreamer in Ontario.

In the picture, I have sliced them into strips and I really think it looks like meat on my plate.  I served it with quinoa salad .

Portobello Bake

1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
6 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed, wiped clean and gills removed if desired
1 small onion, diced

Preheat oven to 350º.

In a food processor, grind almonds until powdered. Add the oil, soy sauce, water, vinegar, garlic, oregano and process until well blended. I used my mini chopper with no problems.

Place mushrooms in a baking pan upside down (stem side up) in one layer. Sprinkle the onions over the mushrooms and pour the sauce over the top.

Bake, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender.

To serve, slice into slices ~ one mushroom per person.

Makes 6 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Easy Tossed Salad

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Yes, we eat lots of salads, LOL!  I am always on the lookout for new ones.  If you have one you want to share, you can go to A Recipe A Day on Facebook and post it or the link.

This is another easy one with lots of great additions and simple dressing.  It is easily doubled (don’t double the dressing as there should be plenty) if you are serving a crowd.

Easy Tossed Salad

3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1 bag of Romaine leaves, bite-size pieces
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup toasted almond slivers
1/2 cup Caesar salad croutons (I used 1 cup)

Mix the dressing ingredients together until well combined.

Toss together all salad ingredients except croutons, dress the salad, and top with the croutons.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Green Salad with Fruit, Sugared Almonds and Orange Vinaigrette

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I really like fruit in my salad and when I came across this recipe I knew I would have to try it. I think you could leave out the almonds if you wanted and the salad would still be delicious. This recipe is perfect for a warm summer day.

I used whole almonds because that is what I had and it worked fine. I also used bagged salad greens because the heads of lettuce did not look very good at the store I went to.

Salad with Sugared Almonds and Orange Vinaigrette

Almonds:
1 egg white
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup sliced almonds
2 tbsps melted butter
Preheat oven to 325º. Beat egg white at high speed in a mixing bowl until foamy. Add sugar, 1 tbsp. at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold in almonds. Spread mixture in 9×9 pan with the melted butter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until nuts are dry, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes. Cool completely.

Orange Vinaigrette:
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. orange juice
1 tsp. grated orange rind
1/2 tsp poppy seeds
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Salad:
1 head Bibb lettuce, torn
1 head leaf letttuce, trn
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
10 fresh strawberries, thinly sliced
1 green onion, chopped

Combine lettuces, oranges, strawberries, and green onion in a salad bowl.

Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients together in a bowl until smooth and well combined.

Add almonds and vinaigrette to salad and toss gently to coat all salad ingredients well.

Makes 6 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Walt Disney World’s Glazed Almonds

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Have you ever been to WDW and gotten those super yummy almonds from the stands around the parks? They are my favorite snack to buy when we visit WDW. I found this recipe on a WDW website and it tastes almost like the real thing. At least it keeps me going until the next visit.

Walt Disney World’s Glazed Almonds

1/3 cup butter
2 egg whites
salt
1 cup sugar
1 (16 ounce) package almonds
4 teaspoons cinnamon

Place butter on 15- x 10-inch jellyroll pan and heat in 325F oven until butter melts, about 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat egg whites with dash of salt until frothy, then gradually add sugar, beating to stiff peaks. Gently fold in almonds and cinnamon.

Pour almond mixture into jellyroll pan and stir, coating with butter.

Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until almonds are crisp, about 40 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 4

Happy Cooking!