Friday, April 28, 2006

Tea Glazed Almonds

I realized I had used a lot of nuts in my cooking lately--bananas, coconut & pecans--sticky buns for Sunday morning breakfast (which I will post)--chocolate pie with pecans. I love eating them raw or toasted or in a cooked dish--sweet or savory. Have been eating raw almonds for a few years because I had read they were healthy. At first I didn't really think I would care for them raw & then learned how very delicious they are. So, now I keep raw almonds in my desk & munch them throughout the day. I also love tea and when this months shipment of Gunpowder Tea arrived from Adagio I had a brainstorm. I had made different versions of spiced pecans, walnuts & almonds before so thought I would do a tea glaze for almonds. If you have ever "glazed" almonds or other nuts before you know it is a pretty simple process. Since I really do like the flavor of tea I decided to use the actual tea to flavor the almonds. Here is the recipe & the procedure--short & sweet

1 Cup Raw Almonds
1/4 cup white sugar
1 Teaspoon Gunpowder Tea
Dash of Salt

Process the sugar, salt & tea in a mini food processor until the tea is broken into smaller pieces. Place the almonds & sugar mixture in a pan over medium heat. It takes me about 15 minutes on my cooktop to complete the process of having the sugar melt & stirring the almonds to thoroughly coat. Once the sugar starts to melt, keep the almonds moving until all of the sugar is melted and the almonds are coated. You really can't walk away from this process. When the sugar does start to melt, lower the heat to finish. When the cooking is finished turn almonds out onto waxed paper in a single layer. It won't take long for them to cool & dry. The glazing also toasts the almonds & they are delicious. If you don't like tea you could leave it out or add something like cinnamon. I entered this recipe in the Adagio Tea Chef contest for the month. The Gunpowder does make a good cup of tea and it is great iced too.
To view some creative ways to use tea visit the Adagio site @

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Coconut Banana Pudding Baby!

Couldn't resist buying this cute little hand of Baby Bananas recently. Should have taken the picture with a regular banana to show the contrast. After eating a few, I decided to make one of our favorites. This dessert would definitely fall into the category of comfort food at our house. It is rich & creamy and if you like bananas & coconut give it a try. Mom always made a version of this minus the coconut & sour cream since Dad didn't like either. It is a simple recipe that can be put together very quickly. The ingredients & procedure are -----------

One Box Instant Coconut Pudding (prepared according to directions)
1/4 Cup Sour Cream added to pudding mixture
1/4 Cup Cream (whipped & added to pudding mixture)
Vanilla Wafers (about 24 or however many it takes to line your dish)
Bananas (Probably 2 sliced)
Coconut for topping
Layer the ingredients as pictured-wafers, bananas, pudding & a sprinkle of coconut over the top

Notes--You can use vanilla pudding, banana pudding or whatever you like. I've made many variations and we have liked them all.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter

Hope everyone has had a wonderful day of celebrating and eating. I have been on a sort of self-imposed hiatus. Work & family have taken my "blogging" time. Hope to do more posting. No recipe today, but when I saw these little beauties at a local market I couldn't resist. These dainty little quail eggs brought back a rush of memories for me. I grew up in quail country and my Dad raised quail for a while. I had forgotten how beautiful they are both inside & out. Should have taken a photo of the inside for those who haven't seen the beautiful blue shell that is such a contrast to the speckled outside. This being the season for coloring eggs, I thought it was appropriate to post a photo of nature's handywork.