Category Archives: Little Nutthings characters

Heat Wave

I am Hot and based on this map from The Weather Channel, there’s a good chance that you are too. Look at all that red … nearly half the US!

 weather channel pic_JPEG

Basically, (sing along  if you know the tune) We’re Having a Heat Wave; and Little Nutthings® wants to provide some relief.   First, a little visualization.

Beach Nuts

real Beach Nuts

The Beach Nuts here have the right idea but are they’re missing two key points.

1.  They need to go in the water.  Generally, coastal water is a lot cooler than the air temp.  Maybe they’re afraid of getting wet since they’re real, albeit, transformed peanuts.  But I happen to know that a little water wouldn’t hurt them.

2. Note their beverages. Generally, nothing wrong with this beverage of choice. After all, we’re big fans of Beer Nut. Only problem, beer has a diuretic effect – ever notice increased visits to the bathroom when drinking? On a hot day at the beach, you’re  already losing water due to sweating;  probably best not to increase the water loss with beer.  Save it ’til you’ve had plenty of water first.

Neil's walnut milkshake picv.2

nice, cool Walnut Shake

Speaking of drinks, this is a picture of milkshake from a friend, Neil.  Doesn’t it look cool and refreshing?  Neil bought his Walnut Shake – his picture inspired me to make my own.  Good news … it’s super easy, delicious and even good for you.  And it’s cool.

There are lots of versions of Walnut Shakes so picking a recipe was the hardest part.  Here’s one I like – a Banana Walnut Shake.


1 medium very ripe banana, frozen; wait until it ripens – a few brown spots – to freeze. Can’t wait ’til it freezes?  Use a regular banana and add a few ice cubes instead.

1/2 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt . You can also use soy milk, almond milk, or milk with a scoop of ice cream.

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1-2 tablespoon honey


Place banana, yogurt, walnuts, and 1 tablespoon honey in a blender.

Blend on low speed until ingredients start to mix together. Then increase to high speed and blend until smooth. For a sweeter smoothie, add another tablespoon of honey. Serve immediately.

TIP: To make a frozen banana – just put it in the freezer!  Some people like to peel it first and cut into chunks. Wrap in plastic and place in freezer several hours or overnight.

I think this heat wave is expected to last a bit longer; all the excuse I need to “research’ more cool, nutty beverages.  If you have any recipes or tips … please share.  And stay cool – it’s part of Living well and Out of the Shell™.


Did I Hear You Right?

Last week, Wordsmith featured one of our favorite words – mon•de•green (noun), the accidental mishearing of a word or lyric that gives it new meaning.

We love mondegreens, we do them all the time. They make us feel extra nutty, whether we’re the speaker or listener. They can lead to parallel conversations. You might hear the doctor say that you have “very close veins” instead of “varicose veins” and wonder about his concern.

Music lyrics lead to many mondegreens. In their song “Bad Moon Rising”, did Creedence Clearwater say “there’s a bathroom on the right” or “there’s bad moon on the rise”?

Speaking of music, there are at least two current bands named Mondegreen, one in Australia and the other in Illinois. We hope they deliberately use ambiguous lyrics as often as possible.

The late, wonderful Gilda Radner had some classic mondegreens as her character Emily Litella on Saturday Night Live.
“What’s all the fuss I hear about violins on TV” … or
“What’s all this I hear about endangered feces?”

Meg, the Domestic Diva MD and wonderful food blogger, recently wrote about a mondegreen that happened while working in the hospital.

A Real Misunderstanding Among Real Nuts

A Real Misunderstanding Among Health Nuts and Unhealthy Nut

[Doctor Meg to nurse]. So we’ll keep him on this form of oxygen now and then switch him later?

[Nurse]: Yeah, when my shift is done, I’ll switch him to rest him.


Do you have a favorite mondegreen? Please share; we love them. And always … live well … and out of the shell.

All Little NutThings® characters are made from real nuts … for real nuts. Any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely intentional.  All rights reserved. Copyright© Little Nutthings® 2008-2013

Oh, My Darling … nutty people

We’re truly nuts for you, dear nutty readers. And with Valentine’s Day this week, we have a Little Nutthing something special for you.
nuts for you_web-small

In fact, we’re so Nuts for You that we’re sharing a non-nut recipe today created by Maxine Sharkey Giammo, a natural nut, noted San Francisco bartender and future LN guest blogger.  This cocktail recipe is easy and delicious. If you can find fresh pomegranate seeds, add a tablespoon before you shake and it will make the drink bright pink!

Be My Clementine
1.5 oz bourbon or brandy
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz spiced syrup (see below for recipe)
4 spiced clementine segments
spoonful fresh pomegranate seeds (optional)
ginger beer

Add all ingredients except ginger beer to shaker with ice. Shake, pour into a Collins glass and top with ginger beer.

Spiced Syrup
2 c. sugar
2 c. water
2 tbsp clementine zest
2 inches peeled fresh ginger
1 tbsp allspice berries
1 tbsp black peppercorns

1 tbsp white vinegar
fresh clementine segments (5-6 fruits)

Combine all ingredients except vinegar and clementine segments in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Add white vinegar to round it out. (It’s strange but it works.) Let cool, strain, and then add fresh clementine segments, which will steep overnight and absorb the spiced syrup flavor. Syrup will keep for up to one week in the fridge.

Here’s a nutty side-trip — from Valentine’s Day and a recipe with clementines to a goof of a love song. At first, Oh, My Darling, Clementine “seems a sad ballad sung by a bereaved lover about the loss of his darling, the daughter of a miner in the 1849 California Gold Rush, but as the verses continue it becomes obvious that the song is in fact a tongue-in-cheek parody of a sad ballad. For example, in the second verse we learn that Clementine’s feet are so big that she has to wear boxes instead of shoes (presumably because size 9 shoes are not available), hardly a detail that would be mentioned in a serious romantic ballad. Her ’tragic demise’ is caused by a splinter in her toe that causes her to fall and drown – clearly a ridiculous accident, but told in a deadpan style. Finally, at the end of the song, the lover forgets his lost love after one kiss from Clementine’s “little sister”. Wikipedia.  There are many recorded versions of the song, from Bobby Darrin’s and Jan & Dean’s versions in the 50’s, to Westlife’s song on Allow Us to Be Frank, to Neil Diamond’s 6 minute, rockin’ version on the Americana album last year.

So, we’d love to know … how can the Little Nutthings® blog help enrich your life?  What would you like to see more, or less, of?   Afterall, we are nuts for you, we want to please.  How can we help you to Live Well and Out of the Shell™?

As always, all Little Nutthings® characters are made from real nuts … for real nuts. Any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely intentional. All rights reserved.
Copyright ©  Little Nutthings® LLC   2008-2013


Penny Marshall, one of our favorite actors – talk about a nut – recently published My Mother Was Nuts: A Memoir (New Harvest 2012). The title alone sold us on the book. In fact, we loved it so much that we created our first Little Nutthings V.I.N. (Very Important Nut) as a tribute to Ms. Marshall. The design is based on the book cover. As always, the figurine is a real nut that was transformed in the LN lab. Following is our book review.

Penny Marshall - 2nd Generation Nut

Penny Marshall – 2nd Generation Nut

We read it on a digital platform and are kicking ourselves for not enjoying this experience as an audiobook. It’s just that kind of story, because Penny is that kind of person.

The memoir tells of Penny’s childhood growing up in the Bronx with two older siblings, a largely absent father, several dogs that came and then quickly went (“to the country”, her mother said), a grandmother in residence, a grandfather who moved across the hall to live with two other elderly ladies, friends and neighbors who variously believed the family was Jewish and Catholic, and a rather distinctive, dare we say nutty, mother.

Her requirement that Penny attend classes at mom’s dance studio was not a welcome one, and the relationship would not be described as a close one. Still, the Penny’s mom was clearly an enormously influential force in the girl’s life. She worked outside the home at a time when that was a rare thing, hated cooking (and did it poorly), divorced her husband, pursued fame, however modest, with a passion, and generally seems like a pioneer of mandatory feminism. Though the portrait Penny paints of her mother is not unremittingly sunny and doesn’t give her much credit for her parenting skills (the funny bits here have an edge of sadness to them), it is illuminating and thought provoking.

The highlights, and a few lowlights, of that fabulous career are sketched out in this 320-page book, including an appearance on The “Jackie Gleason Show” in 1955 to her breakout role on “The Odd Couple”; her friendship with John Belushi and wrestling matches with Cindy Williams; marriage; divorce; marriage; the ground-breaking spinoff show “Laverne & Shirley”; and gallivanting with Carrie Fisher, Tom Hanks, Mark Wahlberg, Whoopi Goldberg, Robert De Niro, and Whitney Houston.

Penny’s rules: “try hard, help your friends, don’t get too crazy, and have fun.”

Words to live by, Ms. Marshall. As for our nutty readers, please let us know your thoughts on the book.

Live Well … and Out of the Shell™ in 2013!

Nut-trition from the Health Nut

Florence Nutingale

Florence Nutingale

Nuts can, and we believe should, play a key role in a healthy diet. A recent Google search on “nut studies” showed 27 million results. Enough to drive you nuts. Here’s a concise summary from Flo, our resident health nut and inspiration for the Little NutThings® Health Nut t-shirt.

Little Nutthings Health Nut  t-shirt
Why are nuts good for us?

They’re high in plant protein, anti-oxidants, monounsaturated fatty acids (the ‘good’ fats), vitamins and minerals. They’re cholesterol free and a great source of fiber. Studies show a variety of health benefits, including lowering blood pressure and LDL cholesterol. Peanuts are so nutritious they’re a major ingredient in Plumpy’nut™, a ready-to-use therapeutic food that has revolutionized the way childhood malnutrition is treated and prevented around the world

Pretty impressive, any down side?.
On average, nuts have have 9 calories per gram, making them the most calorie-dense nutrient. So unless you want to gain weight, don’t add nuts to your diet without subtracting a similar number of calories; for example, substitute nuts for chips or cookies. Second, remember that many processed nuts that are so handy for snacks are fried in oil and/or laced with salt, which can raise your blood pressure.

 Are the benefits the same for all nuts?
No, according to data from the University of Toronto all kinds of nuts are superfoods – but their primary health benefits, and calories, vary. Most studies indicate that walnuts, Brazil nuts and almonds provide the most healthful benefits. Personally, we love them all. Here’s the calorie count for one ounce of the 10 favorites. Note that one ounce is not very much; one ounce of Brazil nuts is only 6-8 nuts.

  1. Almonds: 169 calories
  2. Brazil Nuts: 190 calories
  3. Cashews: 163 calores
  4. Hazelnuts/filberts: 178 calories
  5. Macadamia nuts: 204 calories
  6. Peanuts: 166 calories
  7. Pecans: 196 calories
  8. Pine Nuts: 160
  9. Pistachios: 161 calories
  10. Sunflower seeds: 165 calories
  11. Walnuts: 185 calories.

Not to mention coconuts, cedar nuts, and so many more. We could go on and on about the benefits of each. The bottom line: nuts are fun and good for you! Go shell out for some soon. Just eat them by the handful, not the can full.

And as Flo says “Live Well … and Out of the Shell™”.


Call us nuts (anytime) but we’re changing  today’s blog. Our original post, Part Two of our Soup to Nuts holiday posts, was an original recipe for Cinnamon Spice Pecans – easy to make, so tasty and make perfect gifts. But it turns out, our recipe to share wasn’t so original after all.  A quick google search for Cinnamon Spice Pecans yielded 650,000 references. So, we reviewed bunches of them and tried several. Following is our favorite.

First though, a few nut bytes

  • Technically speaking, pecans are drupes and not true nuts. Walnuts are also drupes. However, we’re all inclusive when it comes to nuts or their friends.  Plus, we love the word “drupe”. It’s so vague yet distinct. Sounds like an insult.
  •  As you may have figured out, we’re all about nuts at Little NutThings; not only as a philosophical inspiration … but as food, too. Please send us your favorite nut recipe and we’ll post some here for fellow fans to savor.  Just be sure to include the source of your recipe if it’s not your creation.
  •  Speaking of nuts, we hope you like our tribute to the many Santas out and about this time of year. Like all of our characters, these start with real nuts, even if technically legumes, as the peanuts in this case.
Sanut Clauses

Sanut Clauses

Now, from , our pick:

Cinnamon Spice Pecans   Servings:  5

1 lb pecan halves
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine or 1/2 cup butter

1. Whip egg white until frothy.
2. Add water, sugar and cinnamon.
3. In a 13×9″ cake pan, melt the margarine or butter.
4. Pour pecans in egg mixture, stir well, then pour into pan.
5. Bake at 250 for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes.

‘til next week, live well… and out of the shell.

Greetings from the Peanut Gallery

Hartzell Ray, LN gun nut

Based on our very own unscientific research at recent Beer Festivals, we realize that not everyone is familiar with the term “peanut gallery”. In fact, only rare and gifted human nuts under 30 years old know the term (hi, Amanda). Therefore, as a public service, today we are going to explore the origin and applications of this chestnut of a term. In order of least importance…

First, current use: People whose criticisms are regarded as irrelevant or insignificant, as in “he ignored complaints from the peanut gallery”.

Second, origin of phrase: The term originated in the days of vaudeville as a nickname for the cheapest (and ostensibly rowdiest) seats in the theater; the cheapest snack served at the theater would often be peanuts, which the patrons would sometimes throw at the performers on stage to show their disapproval. The phrases “no comments from the peanut gallery” and “quiet in the peanut gallery” are extensions of the name.

Third, most important, meaning (note that this is the first documented reference for the most important meaning):  A very special area designated for the display of nut worthy characters; as in “It is an honor to appear in the Little Nutthings Peanut Gallery”.

Most of the pictures displayed with our blogs are from our very own peanut gallery.  It’s a pleasure to share them with you, nut to nut. Our Nut of the Week is Hartzell Ray, the Gun Nut. HR was hunting for wild turkey for Thanksgiving dinner but landed this deer instead.

Now, go, and please, live well … and out of the shell.

Run off election

Fall may be our favorite time of year; October and beer festivals lead to November and election season; here it’s a time to focus on the Beer Nut, Left wing and Right wing nuts.

To raise public awareness, Little Nutthings held several polls throughout October. Results indicated interest in a wider selection of nuts, neither political party nut did well.

Please vote today for your favorite nut candidates. Top candidates are appearing now in the Peanut Gallery. Equally important, vote November 6 for your favorite human candidates. Oh, and please, “live well and out of the shell”.