Snow Day!

All week, there's been talk of the big blizzard that was heading our way. Southern Wisconsin laid directly in its path and we did our due diligence in making sure we had more than enough food on hand and warm clothes at the ready to wait out the storm in our little nest. So when the snow started to drift gently to the ground late Wednesday night, it was greeted with festive cheers. Then, this morning, we were greeted with slightly less than a foot of snow with promises of even more snow and wind before the day is done. So, of course, we donned our winter gear and headed out to play in it before the winds picked up and make being outside pretty miserable. We made a little snow family, including a snow corgi, to look at us from the patio doors and then made a little snow bridge that our dog, the inspiration for the snow corgi, could run under.

After about 45 minutes, we were sufficiently cold and headed inside for cocoa and coffee and festive warm things. Being the holiday season, I opted to toss together some mixed nuts, olive oil, maple syrup, and a spicy cayenne pepper seasoning before baking it for a bit. The result was a beautiful mix of spicy-sweet nuts and a nest that smells like delicious, as the youngster put it. So if you have about 20 minutes and a few ingredients on hand, you can enjoy these too.

You can multiply or divide this recipe fairly easily. Make sure you cool the nuts completely before packing them into tupperware or festive containers. They make great party snacks or hostess gifts, but we just love having a container of them out on the table for snacking on days like these. The snow is still falling and the wind is picking up outside, but we're all safe and warm inside. It's almost like a song. Speaking of which, I think I'll put on some holiday songs, some tea, and watch the snow pile up outside. Happy snow day!

Maple-Spiced Nuts

  • 7 cups salted mixed nuts
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or other spicy pepper blend

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, toss the nuts with the maple syrup, olive oil, and cayenne or other spice blend. Spread the mixture on two rimmed baking sheets. (I covered mine with silicone baking mats.)

Roast for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely before storing in a container for up to a month.

  • Yields: 7 cups
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes