Category Archives: Food

Walnut Trolls and Shakes

The heat wave that recently roasted  the East Coast is over but our quest for cool, nutty drinks continues.  The Banana Walnut  Milkshake  that provided welcome relief during that period  led us to two more walnut shake recipes. So today, we asked two of our favorite nutty characters and walnut experts to evaluate the shakes. We’re glad to feature non-peanut characters for once and a blog on walnuts is the perfect occasion.

Meet Wally 1 and Wally 2. They were plain old real walnuts before their transformation in the Little NutThings lab.

two trolls_touched up_web

Not all our nuts have names; originally, we just referred to these as “the trolls” because they reminded us of favorite childhood toys and stories.

Unlike the trolls of Scandinavian folklore trolls – who were not helpful to humans – ours are eager to please though a bit shy. We could not get them to look at the camera.   We’d like to share more tidbits about trolls and troll nuts, but it seems the terms have taken on new meaning and it’s likely we’d embarrass ourselves.  So onto the tastings.

Sage and Honey Walnut Milkshake 
Wally 1:  Wonderful, the avocado and sage are perfect together. I use regular honey because that’s what we have, but love the idea of chestnut (or any nut) honey.  I like that there’s vegan option.

Wally 2: Not bad.

Honey and Walnut Spiced Protein Shake 

Wally 1:   I loved it the two times I followed the recipe and couldn’t finish it the one time I skipped steps.  I think the honey is not optional but the xanthan gum is. Take a few minutes to toast the walnuts; it’s so worth it – just toss them in a pan over heat ’til they start to brown. They toast quickly so keep an eye or two on them. I just had a shake for lunch and it was so energizing that I wish I had a house – I’d clean it top to bottom.

Wally 2:  It’s OK.  I’m ready for a desert shake now – ice cream, milk, sugar and walnuts.

You nuts! Thanks for nutthings and some pointers on Living Well and Out of the Shell.

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VA Peanut Surprise in CA

Here’s a quest I can really get into … determine which city best exemplifies the Little Nutthings motto “live well and out of the shell”. Based on a recent trip, San Francisco gets my vote, though the study is ongoing. Suggestions welcome below.

Hog on Rock

Hog on Rock

But back to San Francisco, where the attention to all things food and drink naturally [emphasis on natural] lends itself to living well. From brief stays in the Union Square area and the Mission district, with a couple of side trips to other areas, we applied ourselves; we ate and drank and discovered new gastronomical delights day and night. An educational and especially delicious highlight was dinner at Hog and Rocks, the city’s first specialty ham and oyster bar. Full disclosure: a family member is a bartender here, but we tried hard not to let that or our amazing drinks affect our objectivity.

When “Rising Star Chef” Robin Song learned we were visiting from Virginia, he shared their latest, and perhaps best, dry-cured ham with us, Edwards Surryano from VA. And guess what accounts for its distinctive nutty flavor and wonderfully marbled meat?

Robin Song copy Chef Robin Song

A diet rich in VA peanuts!!

So I think I got the ‘living well’ part down. Next trip, I’ll work on getting further out of the shell. It might have been easier to accomplish this in one dramatic leap a few months ago. On Feb 13, public nudity without a parade permit was ruled illegal in San Francisco. Honestly, the law is unnecessary for me; I can’t imagine how much of my shell would need to crack for me to appear nude in public, in or out of a parade.

Speaking of VA peanuts — in addition to lots of gourmet Virginia Peanuts, The Virginia Shop in Olde Town Alexandria now carries four designs of Little Nutthings shirts: AstroNut, Beer Nut, Health Nut and PregNut. Bob, the owner, decided to go with the unisex style for the PregNut shirt instead of the maternity style. So if you need a Mother’s Day present and your mom doesn’t need a maternity shirt, this could be it. In any case, be sure to thank your mom for her earlier pregnancy.

‘til next time, take good care, live well and out of the shell.