Saturday, January 24, 2009

Roasted Candied Pecans

Well it is never a surprise when I change a menu, actually the surprise would be to stay on task and complete the menu as described in the beginning stages. But reality is, that in the beginning it is more of an outline of options; than a finished and true menu.

So with that said, here is the real menu!

Double mushroom soup & Roasted tomato soup, these did not change. I wanted to have a soup course and thought it would be fun to try each. Also the leftovers will make great quick dinners later on.

Salad, this also did not change. But this morning I roasted some pecans to sprinkle over the salad.

Meatloaf with caramelized onions and sun dried tomatoes. Again this did not change.

Pork and Ham stew with cranberries and wine. This is a change. I have things in the pantry to make this with and again the leftovers will be put to good use. I am going to use the recipe from Noble Pig, I enjoy her blog. She is a great and artistic cook.

Oven roasted green beans, again not a change.

I want to make a batch of 5 minute artisan bread for the refrigerator. I will bake a pan of rolls to go with the soup/salad. Another change, but a good one!

Mashed potatoes, these will go great with both the meatloaf and the stew. Not a change, but I won't make rice and peas.

In place of the Orange glazed carrots, I will serve buttered peas. That way if the green beans are not a choice for everyone, there is another vegetable to choose from. And besides, 2 green vegetables is never wrong!

Lemon Meringue pie. I bought a bag of lemons just for this!

Chilled mint squares, another change. This is delicious, and a great frugal way to use up your Christmas candy canes, in a completely different way. I will share the recipe here.

I came home early from work on Friday, I felt the beginnings of a cold/virus coming on. This morning I am better, I will work at a slower pace for the rest of the weekend, but I am looking forward to this Sunday Cafe and starting out our family tradition for 2009.

Here is a very easy candied nut recipe. This is adapted from Everybody likes Sandwiches.

3 c pecan or walnut halves

2 T butter
2 T real maple syrup
2 T brown sugar

optional 1/8 - 1/4 t cayenne pepper

sea salt in a grinder (or add 1/4 t salt to the syrup mixture)

Spread the nuts in a 9X13 pan, warm and toast at 300 degrees for 15 minutes.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a small sauce pan, melt together and bring to a simmer on low heat. Remove pan form oven and drizzle the syrup over nuts, stir to coat all sides. Return to the oven and roast 10 minutes, stir and return for 10 minutes more. Remove from oven and spread out on a wax paper covered tray. If using salt in a grinder, salt the nuts while the syrup is still sticky. Let cool and enjoy.

You will have no trouble eating these. You can adjust the cayenne or not use it at all. These are wonderful chopped and sprinkled over a salad.

Enjoy your day!