Friday, December 26, 2008

how to turn Thanksgiving into Christmas

This year for Christmas we decided to make our friends presents, and you guessed it- use ingredients from our box! We made a cranberry and orange infused vodka, and rosemary garlic bar nuts. Easy, quick, and tasty!

Super Tasty Bar Nuts
1 lb each pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, and cashews- all raw
1/2 cup each powdered garlic, powdered rosemary, sea salt
Canola oil
1 large pot of boiling salted water and a pasta strainer

Preheat your oven to 350, and mix the spices and salt together.

Place one of the pounds of nuts into the boiling water for 2 minutes and strain. This helps to "soften" the nuts and get them ready to absorb all the delicious flavor you are about to bestow upon them. Put the hot nuts into a bowl drizzle with canola oil to coat, liberally apply spice mixture and place on a baking sheet covered in foil. Bake in the oven 15-20 minutes or until done. Allow to cool completely before packaging. (I know what you are thinking, 'Kenny, why don't I just do all the nuts at the same time to save some time?' Well the answer is, the cashews and hazelnuts cook way faster than the pecans and almonds. The almonds take the longest, and you wouldn't want to burn you nuts- now would you?)

Now on to the booze!
For Thanksgiving dinner we made some really awesome cranberry relish, and we made an awful lot of it. When we brought it home that night we couldn't figure out what to with it, so we put it in the freezer. A few days later it struck me- flavored vodka! So I took it back out of the freezer and mixed it (about 2.5 cups, scroll down for recipe) in a large glass jar with three 750ml bottles of vodka, and the zest of 2 oranges. There it sat on the shelf for two weeks.

When we opened it we were suprised at how good it tasted. You didn't even need a mixer. Understanding just how dangerous this tasty concoction could be- we decided to dilute it. So we strained it through 4 layers of cheese cloth set in a fine mesh strainer and added three more bottles of vodka. It is still really tasty, and everyone who received one for Christmas really seems to like it.

Merry Christmas!

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