Saturday, November 20, 2010

Weekend Roundup: Saturday Swap, a New Product & Spicy Orange-Cranberry Nut Mix

Happy weekend! Time to bid adieu to our friend the pomegranate and turn our attention to All Things Thanksgiving...preparations are well underway here at Casa Garcia. I'm busy cleaning, decorating, and getting some of my food prep started. I figure anything I can do now will make my life much easier come Thursday ;)!  Before I give you a recipe for a FAB snack you can put out for your Thanksgiving guests to munch on when they arrive, I wanted to share two exciting bits of news with you.

First, today is the Saturday Swap recipe sharing project over at Quit Eating Out. Every weekend, Kim's readers share their favorite recipes of the week. Take a moment to go have a look...I promise that you'll find a lot of great new recipes and blogs to visit. I've been taking part for a couple of weeks and have been having a LOT of fun! Maybe you'll even want to join the fun and submit a favorite holiday recipe next week!

In chocolate news, I received a free bag of a fantastic new Hershey's product today. My good friend Michelle at Everyday Celebrating had a giveaway to win a free bag of Hershey's Drops a couple of weeks ago. I was one of the winners and received my bag of Cookies 'n Cream Drops today. Let me tell you...these are WONDERFUL! They'll be in stores next month, so be on the lookout for them.

Now...are you ready for a great little Thanksgiving appetizer that you can make ahead to put out for your guests to nibble on while you're taking care of the final touches on your meal? This afternoon, I whipped up a great fruit and nut mix that's a little spicy, a little sweet, and completely yummy! The nuts feature orange juice, orange peel, and dried cranberries...a great flavor profile for Thanksgiving and into the holiday season!!

I hope you'll give them a try for your holiday celebration. I'm planning to set up an appetizer table with these nuts, white bean hummus, pita chips, a cheese ball, and some crackers.

Spicy Orange-Cranberry Nut Mix
adapted from Cooking Light

Step 1:  Preheat oven to 250. Add 1 egg white, 1 tbs. orange juice, and the grated peel from one orange (about 1 tbs.) to a mixing bowl. Whisk until frothy.

Step 2: Add 1/2 cup pecan halves, 1/2 cup almonds, 1/2 cup walnuts, and 1/2 chopped hazelnuts to the egg mixture. Stir well to combine; the nuts should be evenly coated with the egg mixture.

Step 3:  Add 2 tbs. dark brown sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. ground ginger, 1/2 tsp. chili powder, and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt to the nuts. Stir to combine.

Step 4:  Spread the nuts in a single layer in a 13x9 pan. Cook for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and stir in 1/2 cup of dried cranberries. 

Step 5: Cool the nut-cranberry mixture completely and serve in a pretty fall bowl.

That's it...five minutes to assemble + an hour to bake and cool. One Thanksgiving day food down, many more to go. I'll share a few more recipes from my Thanksgiving menu in the coming days!! So tell me what YOU'RE serving for your Thanksgiving meal this year!!!


  1. This looks really good - I always love spiced pecans, so I'm sure I'd love these. Turkey Roulade (Ina Garten) and roasted veggies are on my Thanksgiving menu. Also chocolate pumpkin tart and a cranberry cheesecake if I can find a good recipe! Anyone out there have one for me? Gracias!

  2. Those drops look like such fun! And seriously, that snack mix would be gone in a second at my family gatherings! I love the orange/cranberry combination :)

  3. I soooo want some of this snack mix! Oh YUM!!!!!!

  4. YUM!!! The spicy orange cranberry nut mix looks soooo good. I love how you added dried cranberries to it. I'm so making that except I'm going to use another nut in place of the the hazelnuts. (allergic to hazelnuts)

  5. @Lindsey - The original recipe called for using all pecans, but I wanted to do a mix of nuts for feel free to sub in whatever nuts you like best!

    @Kathlen - It's really a nice flavor combo. I figure if there's any leftover, I'll use it for salads since we love nuts and dried cranberries in our salads!

    @Sarah - The drops are very good...sort of like a big M&M, but without the candy shell. They do have a very light coating so they don't melt in your hand. I think they're a winner!

    @Tracy - I hope you're able to find a good cheesecake recipe. I'm betting the Philly Cream Cheese website will have some great options. And I hope you post the choo-pumpkin tart on your blog!!

  6. These look delicious. I think I'll give them a try for Thanksgiving too!

  7. Spicy orange-cranberry nut mix looks amazing. I was imagining a handful of it with some of those Hershey drops;)

  8. I love Cooking Light recipes, and used them for years. This lovely spicy-orange-cranberry mix looks so yummy, and festive!
    Thanks Wendy, for sharing!

  9. This stuff is really good...we gave them a sample for "quality control purposes" last night. The orange flavor is good b/c of the zest, but I'd up the chili powder a bit if you want more of the spice to come through. It's there, but it's not as pronounced as I thought it would be...think I'll use cayenne next time I make them!

  10. Hi Wendy! Yay for free bags of candy. Those drops look delicious. And I love this nut mix. These are always so popular at holiday events, and I love making new varieties. The orange and the cranberry flavorings must taste amazing with those crunchy, spicy nuts. Thank you for sharing this recipe with me. I hope you have a wonderful week of family, friends and food!

  11. OOhhh!! Wendy, this looks amazing!! Something I must try!!


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