Category Archives: Recipes

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.

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.

Ingredients

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

Directions

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™.

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

MORE NUTTY FOOD!

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 Food.com http://www.food.com/recipe/sugar-and-cinnamon-spiced-pecans-105682 , 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

Directions:
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.

Soup to Nuts and Nuts to Soup

Happy holidays from our house to yours.

Today, Nutty Notes is serving up some fun info to nourish your mind, as well as a fabulous recipe to nourish your body. (We’ll tackle your soul another day.)

One of our favorite phrases here at Little Nutthings® is “from soup to nuts.” An American English idiom that conveys the meaning “from beginning to end,” it’s derived from the description of a full course dinner, beginning with soup and ending with a dessert of nuts. Other languages have similar phrases, such as Latin’s ab ovo usque ad mala (“from the egg to the apples”), describing the typical Roman meal.

Notable uses of the phrase:

  • From Soup to Nuts, a 1928 short comedy film starring Laurel and Hardy as butlers hired for a high society dinner party
  • Soup to Nuts, a 1930 feature film starring the trio who later became the Three Stooges
  • “Duck Soup to Nuts,” a 1944 Looney Tunes animated short featuring Porky Pig and Daffy Duck
  • “Soup to Nuts”, an episode of That’s So Raven
  • Soup2Nuts, a production company known for its animated comedies
  • Soup to Nutz, an American comic strip launched in 2000

Thank you, Wikipedia! Now on to our recipe …

PEANUT SOUP  (Serves 10 to 12)

¼ c. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
3 tablespoons flour
8 cups chicken stock
2 cups smooth peanut butter
1 ¾ c. light cream or half-and-half
12 ounces diced ham

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; add the onion and celery and cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes longer. Pour in the chicken stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until slightly reduced and thickened, about 15 minutes. Whisk the peanut butter and the cream into the liquid. Warm over low heat, whisking often, for about five minutes. Do not boil. Grill the diced ham and sprinkle some on top of each serving.

(From A Taste of Adventure with Reed Hellman, “When the Frontier was Near”, reprinted in Recreation News (December 2008).

Bon appétit, fellow nut-lovers.

Live Well … and Out of the Shell™!