Shake up snack time

Chill in the air makes me want to sit around and start eating snacks, chili, soups and other good foods.

A quick one to do is roasting nuts.

Spiced Nuts

1 egg white

2 cups mixed nuts

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup raisins

½ teaspoon salt, optional

1/8 teaspoon sugar (I use brown, but you can use white, too)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Beat egg white using a whisk or electric mixer until frothy. Stir in nuts.

Mix together sugar, cimmamon, cloves, nutmeg and sugar in a small bowl. Spread evenly over prepared baking sheet pan.

Bake 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and stir in raisins and salt. Let cool before serving.

Those spiced nuts will keep up to two days in an airtight container at room temperature.

For another nutty snack, try this:

Sam’s Toasted Pecans

1 pound of pecans

1 stick of butter, melted

½ teaspoon powdered garlic

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

3 shakes of red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 550 degree.

Place everything in a bag and shake until all pecans are covered.

Cut oven off and place pecans on a cookie sheet in the oven.

After about 20 minutes, stir pecans. Return to oven until they are toasted, about 45 minutes. You might want to add more salt, if you like.

Roasted Pepper Dip

12-ounce jar of roasted red peppers, drained and diced

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 8 ounces_

8 ounces softened cream cheese

¾ cup of mayonnaise

¼ cup finely-chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

4 shakes of hot sauce or red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Stir together all ingredients in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish.

Bake until all ingredients are bubbly and lightly brown, 30-35 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes. This can be made up to five days ahead and chilled, covered. Reheat in the microwave until heated through, one to two minutes.

Raspberry-Walnut Baked Brie

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

½ cup seedless raspberry jam

2 tablespoons toasted chopped walnuts (I use some pecans, too)

8-ounce round Brie cheese

1 egg and 1 tablespoon of water for wash, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Lay pastry onto prepared baking sheet and spread jam evenly over center.

Sprinkle with walnuts and pecans then center brie over walnuts. Fold sides of pastry over Brie.

If using egg wash, whisk together egg and water then brush over pastry.

Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy your cooking. Make it a family project – one way to add more family time to your days.

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